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PT School Summer Final Exams and Practicals

Finals happened three weeks ago, and Fall semester started last week!

We had 2 practicals the week before written exams started. I studied super hard for the practicals, and then I didn’t have as much time to study for the 4 written exams and 1 practical the following week. Procrastinating is still hard to manage, but finals went well nonetheless.

This semester was my lowest GPA so far, so that was a little disappointing. I’ve been struggling with getting over my perfectionism, and worse grades is helping with that. I also compare myself with my classmates far too often, and I really should have just been focusing on my own improvement. I learned a lot this semester, and I hope to get back on track over the Fall.

Intro to Exam & Differential Diagnosis

We had to do an upper or lower quarter exam, so practicing was pretty fun. I ended up in a group of three because my class has an odd number of students, so I had two classmates to work with.

I got the upper quarter exam, which I was hoping for, and it went really well! I didn’t forget to do anything during the exam, and it was a great learning experience. The written exam was pretty tough, though. It definitely forced everyone to think clinically, so I kept second-guessing myself and thought I was completely wrong for a few questions. I compared answers with classmates after the exam and I was correct for those questions, so I learned that I need to work on being more confident.

Tests and Measures

Everyone was pretty anxious about this practical before we took it. We practiced our goniometry measurements and manual muscle testing, among a lot of other skills. I missed a couple things that I knew how to do properly, so that was frustrating. The written exam didn’t go as well as I hoped for, but I didn’t study as much as I should have for that exam. I was just exhausted, and needed a high A on the final to get the grade that I wanted, so I didn’t put as much effort into studying as I probably should have.

Acute Care

My clinical practicum was in acute care, so it was helpful to be learning and practicing my skills on actual patients. The practical involved an evaluation of a patient, doing bed mobility, testing reflexes and dermatomes, choosing the proper assistive device, and doing gait training.

It was challenging to piece everything together and not be awkward about it, and I struggled on one thing that really slowed me down. The written exam was similar to the midterm in that there were some clinical questions, and I thought this was one of my better finals.


Oh man. This exam was rough because it was a lot more cumulative than the professor let us to believe, so nobody was prepared for this final at all. I thought I did a lot better than I actually did, and that’s always frustrating.


We had to interview someone with a disability, and write a 5-7 page paper about their life and the struggles that they have overcome. I chose to interview my cousin who has Landau-Kleffner Syndrome, and I was so excited to video chat with her! I haven’t seen her since Christmas break, so it was nice to be able to talk to her and my aunt.

What was your first PT school practical? What did you learn, and what would you have done differently?

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