Let me guess, you read the question (stem) first. Then, before even finishing the question, you started thinking about scapular winging and possible answers. Then, you finished the question and realized it has nothing to do with scapular stability or winging. Now you have to re-read the question all over again.
The national physical therapy examination allots 5 hours to complete 250 questions. Let me do the math for you. You’re going to have about 72 seconds per question come test day. In other words, there is no time to waste. CONTINUE reading to learn 3 simple steps oh how to analyze NPTE questions and save time.
Read the answer options below. Then, read the question.
Notice how reading the answer options first makes reading the question easier. This method allows test-takers to extract pertinent information and disregard useless distracting data the first time they read the question.
Read the answer options below. Then, take a moment to broadly categorize the options. We’ll explain further.
Read the answer options first. Then take a moment, only 5-10 seconds to see if the answer options are categorical or an obvious outlier exists. More often than not, there is an outlier in the answer options. Let’s take the answer options above to further explain.
D is the correct answer. The Ottawa ankle rules were developed to help clinicians determine when ankle or foot radiographs are indicated. In the scenario above, there is evidence of malleolar (bony) tenderness. According to the Ottawa ankle rules, this patient should have an ankle radiograph to rule out a fracture prior to initiating any physical therapy intervention.
The exam is long and difficult. There’s going to be groups of questions that frustrate you. A tough batch questions can linger in your brain for five-minutes, making it difficult to stay focused. It’s crucial to quickly move on and fuhgettaboutit! Your confidence will be shaken. Don’t abandon the answers first option methodology. Stick to your answer analysis technique and focus on the present question.
In summary, remember to read the answer options first. You will thank us later for this advice, as it will save you time and reduce test-taking errors. Take a moment to categorize answer options and you’ll start to recognize outliers. Most importantly, don’t over analyze the decisions you make. Approach each question with mental clarity. Use your best judgment and reasoning, select an answer option, then fuhgettaboutit!
Be confident and prepared. Shift the way you prepare for the most important exam in your career!
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