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0 April 2012

Pass the NPTE Calendar Guide

A 4-month calendar guide for Reviewing for the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE)

At a Lost on How to Start your NPTE Review?


If youre one of the many graduate of Physical Therapist of the 1990s and trying to nd their way back in the loop of the world of Physical Therapy after 12 years. Reviewing for the Physical Therapy Licensing exam can be a REALLY HARD.

WHATS YOUR EXCUSE? I graduated in 199- forgotten I didnt practice Physical Therapy since graduation from 199-forgotten I dont know what books to read I dont know how to start reviewing

All the above-mentioned applied to me. Its been exactly 13 years since I got back on the bandwagon again. I graduated back in 1998, took the local board exam in August of that same year AND I FAILED. ******************** Fast forward to 2009. I was pushed by a lot of relatives in the US to pursue Physical Therapy as a career. I decided to take the plunge and reviewed for 4 months before taking the local board exams here in The Philippines. And you know what? I PASSED. In June of 2010, I READ THROUGH every Physical Therapy textbook imaginable and took my rst bite for the NPTE.

This time, I FAILED. So, when it came to the 2nd round for the NPTE last May 2011. I knew what I did wrong and had a plan even BEFORE REVIEWING. I was better prepared and was able to PASS IT. I was crying bucketloads when I saw the words PASSED in the FSBPT website!

In this free guide, you will nd the study guide calendar with the topics and cases that you can tackle for each day. Including the reference of practice exams that I took 3 weeks prior to the exam. This is not a comprehensive reviewer, but a medium to PROVIDE STRUCTURE when tackling your review books and reference textbooks. I hope that this will help other aspiring Physical Therapists out there to pass the ever-elusive National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) and be able to start that rst step in working as a licensed Physical Therapist in the United States. The PASS THE NPTE CALENDAR does not warrant the accuracy or validity of the information and hereby disowns any liability to anyone who FAILS the NPTE with this calendar guide. This is merely a guide that MAY or MAY NOT HELP YOU PASS THE NPTE (National Physical Therapy Examination) in the United States.

Afliate Links are present throughout the PASS THE NPTE CALENDAR GUIDE. If you purchase through these afliate links, the author will receive a small commission that helps make the NPTE Calendar Guide FREE FOR ALL. Good luck and my Prayers are with ALL OF YOU.

Reviewers and Textbooks

Recommended NPTE Reviewers and Reference Textbooks.

Review Books

Differential Diagnosis for Physical Therapist 4th Ed. by Goodman and Snyder (DiffDx)
This is not the usual reviewer, but it provides a great explanation on how to rule out systemic diseases versus musculoskeletal conditions basing from the signs, symptoms and examinations. Reviewing this book will help you RULE OUT the correct answer for each question.

National Physical Therapy Exam Review and Study Guide 2012 (StudyGuide2012)
This one of the must haves for reviewing for the NPTE. It comes with a CD with 3 sets of practice exams, with an explanation of the reason for the answer for each question. I based my review with the chapters and topics of this book.

PT Exam The Complete Study Guide

If you have extra budget to spare for an additional review guide and practical exams. The NPTE reviewer is another good investment. It comes with 3 sets of practical examinations as well.

McGraw-Hills NPTE by Mark Dutton (NPTEDutton)

I liked how this review book is easy to read on the eyes. It explained cases and subjects in a direct and easy to understand manner. It also comes with a 500 Q & A on CD that you can use as one of your practice exams.

Reference Textbooks
Physical Rehabilitation 5th Ed. by Sullivan (PhysicalRehab)
This is the most comprehensive textbook that you can reference on when you need a more thorough explanation of a case. This textbook is a good investment that will last you up until when youre working as a Physical Therapist.

Therapeutic Exercise 5th Ed. by Carolyn Kisner

This is a gem of a textbook for a thorough explanation of evidence based practice topics. I needed this textbook for the PNF techniques and proper positioning and movement for exercises. This is another textbook that I like having on hand when I dont get my imagination right!

Orthopedic Physical Assessment 5th Ed. by David J. Magee

This textbook is what I used to get a good grasp of Special Tests that are outlined in all the NPTE review books I read. So, when I cant imagine a special test in my mind and need extra help with the visuals and how to execute it. I turn to Magees guiding words for it.

Calendar Guide
The Pass the NPTE Calendar Guide that you can follow. Note: Please take note of the Review Book LEGENDS in Chapter 2.

Week 1

Chapter 1 - STUDYGUIDE2012, Chapter 8 - Dutton-NPTE

Day 6
Screening of Hand, neck and body (Chapter 14) Screening of Sacrum, SI & Pelvis (Chapter 15) Screening Buttock, Hip, Groin and Thigh (Chapter 16) Screening of Chest, breasts and ribs (Chapter 17) Screening of Shoulder and UpperEx (Chapter 18)

Day 1
Musculoskeletal Anatomy Overview Chapter 1 - STUDYGUIDE2012 Chapter 8 - Dutton-NPTE

All from DiffDx

Day 7
Catch-Up Read and REST!

Day 2
Special Tests, Lumbosacral and Brachial Plexus Convex-Concave Rule Chapter 1 - STUDYGUIDE2012 Chapter 8 - Dutton-NPTE

Day 3
Upper Limb and Lower Limb Tension Tests Variations Chapter 1 - STUDYGUIDE2012 Chapter 8 - Dutton-NPTE

Day 4
Musculoskeletal Conditions Chapter 1 - STUDYGUIDE2012 Chapter 8 - Dutton-NPTE

Day 5
Musculoskeletal Conditions Screening of Endocrine & Metabolic Disease (Chapter 11 - DiffDx) 9

Week 2

Day 12
Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) SCI Patient Rehabilitation Section in (PhysicalRehab) Chapter 2 - STUDYGUIDE2012, Chapter 9 - Dutton-NPTE

Day 13
Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)

Day 8
Neuroanatomy Overview Focus on - Dermatomes, Myotomes, Reexes Types of Nerve Injuries Chapter 2 - STUDYGUIDE2012 Chapter 9 - Dutton-NPTE

Chapter 2 - STUDYGUIDE2012, Chapter 9 - Dutton-NPTE

Day 14
Catch-Up Read and REST!

Day 9
Neuroanatomy Overview Focus on Brain functions, Cranial and Peripheral Nerves Chapter 2 - STUDYGUIDE2012 Chapter 9 - Dutton-NPTE

Day 10
Different Neurologic Dysfunctions/ Conditions Chapter 2 - STUDYGUIDE2012 Chapter 9 - Dutton-NPTE

Day 11
Cerebrovascular Accident/ Stroke (CVA) CVA Rehabilitation Management section in Textbook (PhysicalRehab) Chapter 2 - STUDYGUIDE2012 Chapter 9 - Dutton-NPTE 10

Week 3

Chapter 4 - STUDYGUIDE2012

Chapter 10 - Dutton-NPTE

Day 20
Screening for Pulmonary Disease Chapter 7 - DiffDx

Day 21
Catch-Up Read and REST!

Day 15
Cardiovascular System Overview Chapter 3 - STUDYGUIDE2012 Chapter 11 - Dutton-NPTE

Day 16
Cardiovascular Conditions (PAD, PVD) Chapter 3 - STUDYGUIDE2012 Chapter 11 - Dutton-NPTE

Day 17
Screening for Cardiovascular Disease Adult and Child CPR Chapter 2 - STUDYGUIDE2012 Chapter 9 - Dutton-NPTE

Day 18
Pulmonary Systems Overview Focus on Lung volumes, capacities Chapter 4 - STUDYGUIDE2012 Chapter 10 - Dutton-NPTE

Day 19
Pulmonary Conditions 11

Week 4

Day 26
Prosthetics Gait Patterns and Problems in Prosthetics Chapter 11 - STUDYGUIDE2012 Chapter 15 - Dutton-NPTE

Day 27

Day 22
Integumentary System Overview Common Skin conditions Chapter 5 - STUDYGUIDE2012 Chapter 13 - Dutton-NPTE

Wheelchair measurements, ramp measurements and mobility Chapter 11 - STUDYGUIDE2012 Chapter 15 - Dutton-NPTE

Day 28

Day 23
Ulcers and Ulcer Management Wounds and Wound Management Types of Dressings Chapter 5 - STUDYGUIDE2012 Chapter 13 - Dutton-NPTE

Day 24
Burn and Burn Management Amputation Chapter 5 - STUDYGUIDE2012 Chapter 13 - Dutton-NPTE

Day 25
Orthotics Gait Patterns and Problems in Orthotics Chapter 11 - STUDYGUIDE2012 Chapter 15 - Dutton-NPTE 12

Week 5

Chapter 7 - STUDYGUIDE2012

Chapter 16 - Dutton-NPTE

Day 33
Pediatric Conditions Cerebral Palsy and Autism Chapter 7 - STUDYGUIDE2012 Chapter 16 - Dutton-NPTE

Day 34 Day 29
GI, GU, Metabolic, Endocrine, Psychological Conditions & other systems Chapter 6 - STUDYGUIDE2012 Chapter 12 - Dutton-NPTE Geriatric Conditions Alzheimers and Dementia Chapter 8 - STUDYGUIDE2012 Chapter 14 - Dutton-NPTE

Day 30
GI, GU, Metabolic, Endocrine, Psychological Conditions & other systems Chapter 6 - STUDYGUIDE2012 Chapter 12 - DuttonNPTE Screening for Hematological Disease (Chapter 5 - DiffDx) Screening for Gastrointestinal Disease (Chapter 8 - DiffDx)

Day 35

Day 31
Screening for Hepatic and Biliary Disease (Chapter 9) Screening for Urogenital Disease (Chapter 10) Screening for Immunologic Disease (chapter 12) All from DiffDx

Day 32
Pediatric Conditions Focus on Developmental Development 13

Week 6

Day 41
Pharmacology Chapter 19 - Dutton-NPTE

Day 42

Day 36
Therapeutic Exercise Chapter 9 - STUDYGUIDE2012 Chapter 17 - Dutton-NPTE

Day 37
Therapeutic Exercise Chapter 9 - STUDYGUIDE2012 Chapter 17 - Dutton-NPTE

Day 38
Physical Agents and Modalities Chapter 10 - STUDYGUIDE2012 Chapter 18 - Dutton-NPTE

Day 39
Physical Agents and Modalities Chapter 10 - STUDYGUIDE2012 Chapter 18 - Dutton-NPTE

Day 40
Pharmacology Focus on Side Effects and Interactions Chapter 19 - Dutton-NPTE


Week 7

Catch-Up Read!

Day 49

Day 43
Professional Roles and Management Chapter 12 - STUDYGUIDE2012

Day 44
Role of Physical Therapy and Administration Chapter 1 and 2 - Dutton-NPTE

Day 45
Education and Consultation Chapter 13 - STUDYGUIDE2012 Chapter 4 - Dutton-NPTE

Day 46
Research Chapter 14 - STUDYGUIDE2012

Day 47
Research Chapter 4 - Dutton-NPTE

Day 48

How I Studied
Some helpful tips on how I studied for the NPTE.

Study Tips

And after that, I broke it down in blocks, because I nd my brain and body feeling tired if I read on straight for 6-8 hours. 2. Exercise for 30 minutes right after studying in the morning. 3. Praying right before I study and review. 4. A mug of brewed coffee helped me get into the focus of reviewing at 4:00AM 5. When doing chores or running errands, think of a case or topic and have conversations and discussions with yourself. There are times that I talked out especially when driving. 6. Sacrice night outs and alcohol for the days that you are reviewing. But have a glass or wine or two on the night BEFORE a REST day to help you relax. 7. Have more protein on your plate especially during lunchtime to help you stay awake. I get all sleepy and drowsy after having a lunch of rice or pasta, and it was hard for me to stay focus for afternoon review.

How To Use the Calendar Guide

The Pass the NPTE Calendar Guide spans 7 weeks. But, I went through this calendar guide twice, making it a total of almost 4 months for me to go through it. On my second go through for the calendar guide, I focused on topics and cases that I know that I am weak. I highly recommend that you understand the cases, rather than just simply memorizing it. And feel free to adjust the days as you see t depending on your schedule and your UNDERSTANDING. We all learn differently and at different styles as well. For me, going in to youtube and looking HOW a special test is done served best for me to fully graps what and how it is executed.

Tips of Studying and Reviewing for the NPTE

1. Study from 4:00AM to 8:00AM and 12:00NN to 2:00PM and 8:00PM to 10:00PM. Studying rst thing in the morning without any distractions and with a mind that is still fresh worked for me.

Helpful Apps

der for each structure. Because I am a visual learner myself, it makes it easier for me to understand where the symptoms are coming from from a client who suffered a traumatic brain injury or a stroke patient. 3. Brain & Nerves - Another great app for people in the medical eld. It discusses the most important topics on brain and nerve diseases. Although the information is not as substantial, since this is made to cater non-medical professionals as well. The basic information is enough for an iPhone app.

iPhone and iPad Apps

Here are some Apps that I found useful to help me out while I review for the NPTE. I have broken it down to free and paid app for your convenience. These are the same apps that I wrote about in my Hub: The Best iPhone Apps for Aspiring Physical Therapists.

Paid iPhone Apps

1. iOrtho - I rst downloaded the free trial version, and liked what it had to offer. So I paid, $9.99 for both the complete versions of their Special Tests and Mobilization techniques. Nice as a quick reference app for NPTE reviewers. Unfortunately, this app is only available for sale in iTunes Apple US stores. 2.**PT Content Master App - This iPhone/ iPad app is created by Scorebuilders and can be purchased from the iTunes store for $29.99. The best iPhone app NPTE reviewer. It has a content review, assessment section with 750 QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS! There is already available for ANDROID phones as well! If you can buy this app, I highly recommend that you do. This was the app that I always read and answered the exams while on the go.

Free iPhone Apps

1. Nerve Whiz - one of my favorite free apps. It has an easy to understand diagram of the Brachial Plexus AND the LumboSacral Plexus. It also has a Muscle Localizer, and all you need to do is choose a muscle that's weak, and it will show you the possible nerve or trucks affected. It also has a sensory localizer, where you just tap the part of the muscle. And voila! it tells you nerve sensory distribution for it. 2. 3D Brain - With just a ick of your nger, you can rotate and pinpoint the brain structures, functions and the associated disor-

The Key: Practice Exams!

Practice really does makes perfect!

Practice Exams

exam, and another one two weeks before the exam. PEAT is priced at US$90.00. 2. National Physical Therapy Exam Review and Study Guide 2012. This Review book comes with 3 sets of exams in CD that can be used for Mac and PC. 3. McGraw-Hills NPTE by Mark Dutton. This review book comes with two set of 250 item exam in CD that can be used again in both PC and Mac. 4. Online Exam by Susan OSullivan and Raymond Siegelman is a 200 item exam that you can take online using INTERNET EXPLORER browser for three times within 30-days of purchasing. Priced at US$40.00. 5. Kaplan National Physical Therapy Exam This NPTE review book is priced at US$25.++ on It has two fulllength NPTE practice exams that you can include in your slew of practice exams leading on the day of examination too.

How Practice Exams Helped

Three to Four weeks before my scheduled NPTE exam, all I did was DO ONE PRACTICE EXAM rst thing in the morning EXCEPT SUNDAYS. And then, I actually checked the explanation of each item that I answered wrong. Knowing the WHY behind the wrong questions, helped me REMEMBER the subject and topic associated with it. Think of 3 weeks of Daily Practice exams as a way of CONDITIONING YOUR BRAIN and YOUR BODY to get used to the rigors of SEATING THROUGH 4 hours of ANALYZING and RULING OUT EACH QUESTION.

What Practice Exams Should You do?

1. Practice Exam and Assessment Tool (PEAT) from FSBPT. Purchase PEAT a month before your scheduled exam, and do the practice exam rst a month or three weeks before the


Practice Exam Week 1

Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

Day 4

Day 5

Day 6

Day 7


Practice Exam Week 2

Day 1

Day 2
Online Exam by Sullivan and Siegelman

Day 3

Day 4

Day 5

Day 6

Day 7


Practice Exam Week 3

Day 1

Day 2

Day 3
Online Exam by Sullivan and Siegelman

Day 4

Day 5

Day 6

Day 7


Taking the Exam

What to Expect on the Day of the Exam.

Taking the Exam

4. Bring your PASSPORT and ANOTHER GOVERNMENT ID at the Testing center of your choice. 5. Print out and bring your Conrmation letter from PROMETRIC. 6. Bring water, juice and some snacks that you MUST TAKE A BITE OF SNACK and a SWIG of BEVERAGE after nishing every section of your exam. Some sugar in your system will help keep you awake. For me, I had water, orange juice, a banana, some rice krispy treats and an almond sneakers bar. 7. Do some jumping jacks in the bathroom during your bathroom break. 8. Always bring your PASSPORT WITH YOU WHEREVER YOU GO. 9. Dont Stuff your pockets with anything but your passport. 10.USE THE PAPER/ WHITEBOARD to RULE OUT EVERY OPTION IN THE EXAM. 11. Always listen attentively to the instructions given by the Testing Center employees. 12. Dont forget to PRAY for yourself and for your co-test takers as well.

What to Expect Before the Exam

Try not to study anymore a couple of days before your examination. It might just confuse your brain. Give yourself a pat in the back for making it this far for reviewing for the National Physical Therapy Examination. For this two days, do everything that you can to relax. Just watch TV, sleep and clean the whole house! Cleaning actually helps me relax my mind, as make my body tired with scrubbing and vacuuming around the house. :)

On the Day of the Examination:

1. Arrive an hour before your exam schedule. 2. Have a PROTEIN RICH BREAKFAST in the morning. Take it easy with the coffee too. 3. There are some testing centers that do not allow test-takers to wear bulky sweaters. Try layering instead, to keep you warm and to help keep you mobile.



Visit the Pass the NPTE website, Facebook page and Twitter @PasstheNPTE to keep yourself updated with NPTE related news and information. Please send an email at for any questions, comments and anything that will make the PASS THE NPTE CALENDAR GUIDE BETTER. :) This Guide is dedicated to everyone who dreams of a better future for themselves and their families. For God, Jesus and Mama Mary; for guiding me all throughout my Physical Therapy journey. For my parents and my siblings, who supported me through my bouts of tears and craziness. For my son Sky, who continually INSPIRES ME TO BECOME A BETTER MOM.

*This guide is written and created by Gigi Lampa-Alcantara. At the moment, she is just waiting for her immigrant visa interview as led by her employer. She is a writer and blogs on Embracing Everyday and The Fit Mommy Now. She also contributes to hubpages with topics on reviewing for the NPTE, working from home topics and anything else that fancies her interest. You can also nd her tweeting as @HuggingFitMum on twitter.