Examination Construction, Development, and Scoring
Information related to examination construction, development, and scoring is discussed. Current examination passing rates including the first time passing rate and the ultimate pass rate are identified.
Task Approach Analysis and Exercise
Students are exposed to a formal process for answering multiple-choice questions that can significantly reduce test taking mistakes. A sample exercise using clinically-oriented questions provides students with the opportunity to assess their own tendencies when examining challenging multiple-choice questions. Specific test strategies pertaining to computer-based testing are discussed.
Academic, Decision Making, and Test Taking Mistakes
Students learn how to identify and differentiate between various types of examination mistakes (academic, decision making, test taking). Students are oriented to a performance analysis grid that is used to track examination mistakes throughout the remainder of the course. A sample exercise provides students with an opportunity to analyze clinically-oriented questions and utilize the performance analysis grid. Specific remedial strategies are discussed to address each of the various categories of examination mistakes.
Developing and Implementing a Comprehensive Study Plan
Students are oriented to a sample study plan that can be used to prepare for the NPTE-PTA. The study plan consists of four major components: Academic Review, Clinical Application Templates, Content Outline, Sample Examinations. Detailed information on each of the components is provided in order to assist students to develop a personalized and efficient study plan.
Students learn to assess their preparedness for the examination through sample examinations. Specific scoring targets are established using several commonly utilized examination resources. Students gain insight on how to refine their academic knowledge, decision making, and test taking mistakes using sample examination questions that are similar in design and format to actual examination questions.
Students are presented with several formal methods to review relevant academic content using active and passive learning strategies. A combination of active and passive strategies facilitates student mastery and allows students to gain greater breadth and depth in relevant systems and non-systems areas.
Clinical Application Templates
Clinical application templates allow students to explore the patient/client management of a wide variety of medical conditions commonly encountered on the examination. A tiered system (i.e., Gold, Silver, Bronze) helps students prioritize the relative importance of various clinical conditions and increases the return on investment from dedicated study time. By utilizing the clinical application templates students broaden their experience base and as a result are better prepared to answer applied examination questions.
Content Outline Exercise
Students are introduced to the content outline of the examination by taking a sample exercise that consists of representative sample multiple choice questions from each of the five content outline categories.
The content outline provides a detailed analysis of the content areas of the NPTE-PTA. A thorough understanding of each of the content areas and the corresponding categories and subcategories streamline a candidate's preparation. Students are oriented to an active study tool using the final work activities of the content outline. The study tool serves as a valuable late review and assists students to focus on essential examination information prior to the actual examination.
Implementing a Comprehensive Study Plan
Students are taught how to integrate each of the components of the comprehensive study plan (i.e., Academic Review, Clinical Application Templates, Content Outline, Sample Examinations). Several sample study schedules are presented which provide students with the necessary structure to make consistent, meaningful progress in scheduled study sessions. Students learn to use self-assessment as a mechanism to make necessary changes to their study plan based on interpreting their performance on sample examinations. By customizing the study plan in this manner students are able to accelerate their rate of progress and increase their scores on sample examinations.
Sample Examination Questions
Students are required to answer sample examination questions representing the full scope of physical therapy practice in order to be successful on the actual examination. A sample exercise provides students with the opportunity to review relevant academic content and to improve their ability to select good, better, and best options on challenging sample examination questions in selected system and non-system areas. By analyzing performance in each of the areas students are able to assess strengths and weaknesses and build on many of the concepts presented earlier in the course.
Students have the opportunity to focus on answering sample examination questions in each of the four system areas: Musculoskeletal; Neuromuscular and Nervous; Cardiovascular/Pulmonary; and Other Systems (i.e., Integumentary, Metabolic and Endocrine, Genitourinary, Gastrointestinal, Lymphatic, System Interactions).
Students have the opportunity to focus on answering sample examination questions in each of the two non-system areas: Equipment, Devices, and Technologies; Therapeutic Modalities; and Safety and Protection, Professional Responsibilities, Research/EBP.
You Make the Call
Students are exposed to actual emails from students questioning their readiness to take the examination. By analyzing the information quantitatively and qualitatively, students gain a better appreciation of how to determine their individual readiness for the examination.
Conclusion and Course Evaluation!