Blueprint & Sample Questions

The following table represents an approximation of the breakdown of questions on the PA Entry to practice certification examination. This is intended as a guide only and the actual PA Cert Exam may vary slightly from this ideal.


DOMAINS                                                   %
Medical expert 68-72
Communicator 4-6
Professional 5-7
Health advocate 6-8
Collaborator 4-6
Leader 4-6
Scholar 1-3


Cardiovascular 6-8
Dermatology 3-5
Eyes, Ears, Nose, Throat 4-6
Endocrine & Metabolic 5-7
Gastrointestinal 6-8
Genitourinary 4-6
Immune and Hematology 2-4
Infectious Disease 2-4
Mental Health 5-7
Musculoskeletal 6-8
Neurological 4-6
Obstetrics 4-6
Respiratory 6-8


The following are sample questions which are provided to give the candidate an indication of the style and level of questions on the Exam. They do not appear on the exam.

1. What produces a blowing, high-pitched, decrescendo diastolic murmur along the left sternal edge toward the apex?
(1)  aortic stenosis
(2)  aortic regurgitation
(3)  mitral stenosis
(4)  tricuspid regurgitation

2. A 60-year-old male presents to your office with a 2-week history of palpitations. His physical exam was unremarkable except for his pulse rate, which was irregular at 76 bpm. The EKG showed irregular supraventricular rhythm with absent P-wave. What is the most likely diagnosis?
(a)  atrial fibrillation
(b)  second-degree heart block
(c)  supraventricular tachycardia
(d)  ventricular fibrillation

3. A 35-year-old male presents to the medical clinic with a 1-day history of severe epigastric pain.  He has anorexia, nausea, and vomiting.  His abdomen is non-rigid, and there is no rebound tenderness.  The laboratory work done is remarkable only for a serum lipase of 2300 mmol/L. What is the most likely cause of this patient’s pain?
(a)  acute pancreatitis
(b)  acute cholecystitis
(c)  acute myocardial infarction
(d)  acute peptic ulcer disease

4. What is the drug of choice to treat pneumonia caused by Legionella pneumophila?
(a)  penicillin
(b)  amoxicillin
(c)  ceftriaxone
(d)  erythromycin

5. Which indices on CBC would you expect to be elevated in a person with a parasitic infection?
(a)  monocytes
(b)  neutrophils
(c)  eosinophils
(d)  lymphocytes