Free Athletic Trainer Practice Test

1. A basketball player who weighs 250 pounds (114 kg) is eating a regular, balanced diet. He is trying to build muscle and has started supplementing his diet with a commercial protein shake. What is a good range of daily total protein intake for this athlete?

A. 90-100 grams
B. 100-135 grams
C. 135-195 grams
D. 230-340 grams
E. 250-300 grams

2. During a high school basketball training camp, a young boy complains of knee pain after landing from a jump shot. He reports hearing a popping sound when the injury occurred. Which of the following is the most likely explanation?

A. Fractured tibia
B. Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tear
C. Sprained knee
D. Herniated disc
E. Jumper's knee

3. What is the medical term that describes a dangerous increase in pressure within the muscles?

A. Fracture
B. Compartment syndrome
C. Tendonitis
D. Bursitis
E. Muscle strain

4. In the initial treatment of an athlete with a suspected spinal cord injury, which of the following is NOT an appropriate step to take? (More than one answer is possible)

A. Ensure open airway and adequate breathing and circulation.
B. Stabilize the neck with a soft cervical collar.
C. Use a shovel stretcher if available.
D. Ask the athlete to move the neck through normal range of motion.
E. Stabilize the neck with a rigid collar.

5. A tennis player experiences a moderate hamstring strain. A week later, he is ready to begin rehabilitation. Which of the following are appropriate suggestions for the first week in rehabilitation? (More than one answer is possible)

A. Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation (RICE) protocol
B. Static stretches 5 times per day
C. Running on the treadmill for 20 minutes at a time
D. Ice to the hamstring muscle
E. Light sports massage to the hamstring muscle

NATA-BOC Exam Questions

Answers and Explanation

1. C: Protein is an extremely important nutrient, especially for athletes. Protein helps to build and repair muscle tissue and plays a role in many other functions within the body. A normal person requires approximately 0.8 grams per kilogram of protein per day. An athlete has a slightly higher protein requirement of approximately 1.2-1.7 grams per kilogram per day. For the basketball player described in the question, this would be approximately 135-195 grams per day. The majority of athletes can meet their protein requirements through a normal diet. There is no scientifically sound evidence showing that extremely high levels of protein will help build muscle faster. Excessive amounts of protein in the diet will make the kidneys have to work harder to metabolize the protein and may cause the body to lose water in this process. Too much protein can also impact the bones. The athlete's normal diet should be evaluated by a dietitian to determine if additional protein is required.

2. B: An injury to the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is common in individuals participating in basketball, skiing, soccer, and football. Injury to the ACL typically involves a hit to the side of the knee, landing from a jump, hyperextending the knee, pivoting the knee, or a quick change in direction when running. The common symptom that helps to distinguish this injury is a popping sound made at the time of injury. This sound occurs as the ACL is torn either partially or completely. Significant knee swelling will occur within a few hours of injury. Initial treatment should include elevating the leg so the knee joint is above the heart, applying ice, and administering pain relievers such as ibuprofen. The individual should be directed to obtain medical care from a licensed physician.

3. B: Compartment syndrome is the medical term used to describe an extremely painful condition that occurs when pressure in the muscles increases to a dangerously high level. Compartment syndrome can be acute or chronic, but an acute case is considered a medical emergency. It can occur with acute trauma to a muscle because the fascia (or thick tissue) that surrounds and separates muscle groups is not able to expand. This increase in pressure or swelling within the fascia stops the muscle and nerve cells from receiving oxygen and nutrients and can lead to permanent nerve damage. Chronic compartment syndrome can be caused by activities that utilize repetitive movements, such as running. The symptoms of this syndrome include loss of sensation to the area, severe pain, and weakness. The skin will appear pale. On physical examination, the individual will experience pain in the area if the muscle compartment is squeezed or attempt is made to move the area.

4. B and C: In the case of a suspected spinal cord injury, it is imperative that the neck and spine be immobilized to prevent additional damage. The first step is to always ensure that the individual is breathing. The ABCs-airway, breathing and circulation-should be verified. The neck should be stabilized with a cervical collar of the rigid type, not a soft collar. The individual should not be moved if possible and when ready for transfer, a scoop type or shovel stretcher should be used. It is best to wait for first responders to assist with treatment but it is important to know how a possible spinal cord injury should be handled.

5. B and E: Initial treatment of a moderate hamstring strain should include the RICE protocol: rest, ice, compression, and elevation. After a week, however, the athlete should begin to start rehabilitation at some level. Static stretches, like the hamstring stretch, are most appropriate. Strengthening the hamstring muscle should also commence and this can be accomplished using a resistance band. Range of motion exercises that gently begin to work the injured muscle- such as light jogging, stationary bike or water activities-can gradually begin. These activities should only last a few minutes with a goal of building endurance. Running or excessive use of the injured hamstring should wait until there is no pain with previous exercises. After gentle exercise, ice should be reapplied.


Last Updated: 04/18/2018

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