Medical Assistant Anatomy and Physiology Practice Test

Medical Assistant Anatomy and Physiology Practice Test: Try our free Medical Assistant exams (like CMA, RMA, CCMA, NCMA, CMAC) Anatomy and Physiology review question answer. You can also download it in PDF format for any Medical Assistant exams.

Anatomy is the study of the structure of the human body, and physiology is the study of the body’s functions. The exam will contain a variety of questions about basic anatomy and physiology. This chapter provides a review of the basic structure and function of the human body.

Medical Assistant Anatomy and Physiology Practice Test

Q1. Which of the following diseases involves incomplete expansion of the lung?

  • (A) Atelectasis
  • (B) Pneumonia
  • (C) Tuberculosis
  • (D) Epistaxis
  • (E) Asthma
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Answer Key:

Q2. Which hormone is NOT secreted by the anterior pituitary?

  • (A) Follicle stimulating hormone (FSH)
  • (B) Leutinizing hormone (LH)
  • (C) Thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH)
  • (D) Prolactin
  • (E) Melatonin
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Answer Key:

Q3. Which of the following is NOT a function of the liver?

  • (A) Formation of bile
  • (B) Formation of insulin
  • (C) Formation of urea
  • (D) Storage of sugar as glycogen
  • (E) Detoxification of harmful substances
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Answer Key:

Q4. A major function of the large intestine is to

  • (A) reabsorb water
  • (B) break down fats
  • (C) absorb nutrients
  • (D) excrete water and waste
  • (E) break down carbohydrates
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Q5. Which of the following describes where the blood is filtered in the kidney?

  • (A) Bowman’s capsule
  • (B) Distal convoluted tubule
  • (C) Proximal convoluted tubule
  • (D) Loop of Henle
  • (E) Renal tubule
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Answer Key:

Q6. Urine that contains blood is called

  • (A) uremia
  • (B) albuminuria
  • (C) hematuria
  • (D) pyuria
  • (E) glycosuria
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Answer Key:

Q7. Sperm are produced in the

  • (A) epididymis
  • (B) seminiferous tubules
  • (C) vas deferens
  • (D) prostate
  • (E) seminal vesicles
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Answer Key:

Q8. The structure responsible for the production of progesterone to maintain the pregnancy until the placenta forms is the

  • (A) ovary
  • (B) corpus callosum
  • (C) corpus luteum
  • (D) tinea corporis
  • (E) fallopian tube
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Q9. The body system primarily responsible for protection from foreign invaders is the

  • (A) circulatory
  • (B) lymphatic
  • (C) endocrine
  • (D) digestive
  • (E) integumentary
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Q10. Which of the following would NOT be found on the ventral side of the body?

  • (A) Nose
  • (B) Knuckles of hand
  • (C) Navel
  • (D) Patella
  • (E) Palm of hand
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Answer Key: B  

Read the following medical note to answer questions 11–14:

A patient presents to the ED complaining of lower back pain radiating to the right flank area. The patient has a history of a herniated disc at L4–L5. He also has a history of kidney stones but states that this is not the same type of pain. The doctor has ordered an MRI and an IVP to assist with the diagnosis.

Q11. What does ED stand for in this note?

  • (A) Educational deficiency
  • (B) Erectile dysfunction
  • (C) Emergency department
  • (D) Every day
  • (E) Examining doctor
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Q2. L4–L5 refers to the fourth and fifth lumbar vertebrae. How many each of cervical, thoracic, and lumbar vertebrae compose the spinal column?

  • (A) 5 cervical, 12 thoracic, 7 lumbar
  • (B) 7 cervical, 5 thoracic, 12 lumbar
  • (C) 7 cervical, 12 thoracic, 5 lumbar
  • (D) 12 cervical, 5 thoracic, 7 lumbar
  • (E) 12 cervical, 7 thoracic, 5 lumbar
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Answer Key:

Q13. What does the term herniated mean?

  • (A) Compressed
  • (B) Protruding
  • (C) Ruptured
  • (D) Compressed and protruding
  • (E) Ruptured and protruding
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Answer Key:

Q14. The patient is getting an MRI and an IVP. Which of the following statements regarding these tests is TRUE?

  • (A) MRI stands for magnetic resonance imaging; IVP stands for inverted pyelogram.
  • (B) Both MRI and IVP use radiation to produce images.
  • (C) In an IVP, the patient takes an oral medication that is used as a contrast medium.
  • (D) The dye used in an IVP may cause a reaction in patient who is allergic to shellfish.
  • (E) There is no risk involved in taking an MRI.
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Answer Key:

Q15. A patient’s chart has the following information: “Patient presents with a history of GERD and colitis.” Which body system is being discussed?

  • (A) Circulatory
  • (B) Respiratory
  • (C) Nervous
  • (D) Gastrointestinal
  • (E) Immune
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Answer Key:

Q16. Which of the following is the basic unit of life?

  • A. Organ
  • B. Tissue
  • C. Cell
  • D. Organism
  • E. Body system
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Answer Key: C

Q17. The directional term that means the opposite of medial is

  • A. posterior.
  • B. anterior.
  • C. proximal.
  • D. lateral.
  • E. distal.
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Answer Key: D

Q18. Which of the following organs would be found in the thorax?

  • A. Lungs
  • B. Femur
  • C. Spleen
  • D. Pancreas
  • E. Thyroid
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Answer Key: A

 Q19. Which of the following planes divides the body into superior and inferior portions?

  • A. Midsagitttal
  • B. Sagittal
  • C. Frontal
  • D. Transverse
  • E. Costal
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Answer Key: D

Q20. The maintenance of a relatively stable internal environment in the body is known as

  • A. anabolism.
  • B. catabolism.
  • C. metabolism.
  • D. homeostasis.
  • E. peristalsis.
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Answer Key: D

Q21. The posterior portion of the knee joint is known as the ___________ region.

  • A. crural
  • B. digital
  • C. femoral
  • D. plantar
  • E. popliteal
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Answer Key: E

Q22. Organs found in the lower right abdominopelvic quadrant include the

  • A. sigmoid colon, left ureter, and small intestine.
  • B. stomach, spleen, left kidney, and small intestine.
  • C. gallbladder, liver, duodenum, and small intestine.
  • D. appendix, cecum, ascending colon, and small intestine.
  • E. liver, gallbladder, duodenum, and head of pancreas.
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Answer Key: D

Q24. Moving your arms away from your body so that the letter “T” is formed is known as

  • A. adduction.
  • B. abduction.
  • C. inversion.
  • D. eversion.
  • E. dorsiflexion.
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Answer Key: B

Q25. A coronal MRI would section the body into

  • A. superior/inferior sections.
  • B. anterior/posterior sections.
  • C. medial/lateral sections.
  • D. sagittal sections.
  • E. proximal/distal sections.
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Answer Key: B

Q26. While examining a slice of tissue, you note several characteristics. There are numerous cells packed tightly together, one side of the cells opens into a cavity, and the other is attached to a thin layer of extracellular material. Several of the cells are in some stage of mitosis. Which primary tissue type do you think this is most likely to be?

  • A. Cartilage
  • B. Connective
  • C. Nervous
  • D. Muscular
  • E. Epithelial
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Answer Key: E

Q27. Which of the following tissues provides the greatest protection from mechanical injury?

  • A. Simple squamous epithelium
  • B. Simple cuboidal epithelium
  • C. Stratified squamous epithelium
  • D. Simple columnar epithelium
  • E. Transitional epithelium
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Answer Key: C

Q28. As cells are pushed from the deeper portion of the epidermis toward the surface,

  • A. they become part of the hypodermis.
  • B. their supply of nutrients increases.
  • C. they become dermal cells.
  • D. they degenerate and die.
  • E. they do not divide.
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Answer Key: D

Q29. Which of the following cells would be expected to be most active in replacing bone matrix lost due to an injury?

  • A. Osteoblasts
  • B. Osteoclasts
  • C. Osteocytes
  • D. Both A and C are correct.
  • E. Both B and C are correct.
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Answer Key: A

Q30. The atlas bone

  • A. is a lumbar vertebra.
  • B. is the first cervical vertebra.
  • C. has the largest spinous process.
  • D. articulates with the hyoid bone.
  • E. is also known as the axis.
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Answer Key: B

Q31. How many vertebrae make up the cervical region of the body?

  • A. 5
  • B. 7
  • C. 8
  • D. 9
  • E. 12
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Answer Key: B

Q32. Which of the following bones forms the upper jaw?

  • A. Maxilla
  • B. Mandible
  • C. Ethmoid
  • D. Frontal
  • E. Sphenoid
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Answer Key: A

Q33. Which bone is superior to the fibula and inferior to the ischium?

  • A. Tibia
  • B. Humerus
  • C. Ulna
  • D. Radius
  • E. Femur
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Answer Key: E

Q34. Joints are lined by which type of membrane?

  • A. Serous
  • B. Mucous
  • C. Meninges
  • D. Filtration
  • E. Synovial
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Answer Key: E

Q35. Which of the following may be the basis for the name of a muscle?

  • A. The direction of the muscle’s fibers
  • B. The size of the muscle
  • C. The shape of the muscle
  • D. The location of the muscle
  • E. All of the above may be used to name a muscle.
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Answer Key: E

Q31. Which large muscle separates the thoracic cavity from the abdominal cavity?

  • A. Trapezius
  • B. Pectoralis major
  • C. Latissimus dorsi
  • D. Diaphragm
  • E. Deltoid
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Answer Key: D

Q32. The type of muscle that is attached to the bone of the skeleton is called

  • A. smooth.
  • B. cardiac.
  • C. skeletal.
  • D. respiratory.
  • E. involuntary.
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Answer Key: C

Q33. The contractile unit of a myofibril that lies between two successive Z lines is called a

  • A. sarcoplasm.
  • B. sarcolemma.
  • C. myofibril.
  • D. sarcomere.
  • E. retinaculum.
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Answer Key: D

Q34. In synaptic transmission, the postsynaptic neuron is stimulated to form an impulse by a neurotransmitter released from the

  • A. axon tip of the presynaptic neuron.
  • B. dendrite tip of the presynaptic neuron.
  • C. axon tip of the postsynaptic neuron.
  • D. dendrite tip of the postsynaptic neuron.
  • E. None of the above.
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Answer Key: A

Q35. Cerebrospinal fluid is located in the

  • A. pia mater.
  • B. dura mater.
  • C. arachnoid mater.
  • D. subarachnoid space.
  • E. cerebellum.
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Answer Key: D

Q36. Interpretation of sensory impulses occurs in which part of the cerebrum?

  • A. Precentral gyri in the frontal lobes
  • B. Postcentral gyri in the parietal lobes
  • C. Premotor areas
  • D. Association areas
  • E. Occipital area
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Answer Key: B

Q37. Select the response that is NOT regulated by a control center in the hypothalamus.

  • A. Sleep
  • B. Body temperature
  • C. Appetite
  • D. Memory
  • E. Fluid and electrolyte balance
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Answer Key: D

Q38. The impulse pathway in a spinal reflex is

  • A. receptor – motor neuron – interneuron – sensory neuron – effector.
  • B. effector – sensory neuron – interneuron – motor neuron – receptor.
  • C. receptor – sensory neuron – interneuron – motor neuron – effector.
  • D. receptor – interneuron – sensory neuron – motor neuron – effector.
  • E. effector – sensory neuron – interneuron – receptor – motor neuron.
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Answer Key: C

Q39. Select the response that is NOT regulated by the autonomic nervous system.

  • A. Heart rate
  • B. Urine secretion
  • C. Respiration rate
  • D. Speech
  • E. Digestion
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Answer Key: D

Q40. The neurotransmitter released at the neuromuscular junction is

  • A. epinephrine
  • B. dopamine
  • C. endorphins
  • D. norepinephrine
  • E. acetylcholine
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Answer Key: E

Q50. The term that refers to areas of myelinated axons is

  • A. gray matter
  • B. white matter
  • C. horns
  • D. Nissl bodies
  • E. chromatin
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Answer Key: B

Q51. The area of the retina where the nerve fibers leave the eye and there is a blind spot is known as the

  • A. optic disc or optic nerve
  • B. pupil
  • C. iris
  • D. fovea centralis
  • E. cornea
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Answer Key: A

Q52. The hormones regulating blood calcium levels are

  • A. insulin and glucagon.
  • B. glycogen and PTH.
  • C. inhibiting hormones.
  • D. PTH and calcitonin.
  • E. estrogen and progesterone.
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Answer Key: D

Q53. Oxytocin:

  • A. is a neurotransmitter.
  • B. exerts its most important effects during menstruation.
  • C. controls blood pressure.
  • D. stimulates uterine contraction.
  • E. is released by the pancreas.
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Answer Key: D

Q54. The hormone erythropoietin increases the production of

  • A. neutrophils.
  • B. basophils.
  • C. eosinophils.
  • D. platelets.
  • E. red blood cells.
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Answer Key: E

Q55. Insulin is synthesized by the beta cells of the pancreas. This hormone is released

  • A. in excessive amounts in obese people.
  • B. in response to severe physical stress.
  • C. when the body’s glucose level drops.
  • D. when the body’s glucose level rises.
  • E. without regard to glucose level in the body.
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Answer Key: D

Q66. Which of the following endocrine organs is sometimes known as the “master” gland because it makes hormones that control several other endocrine glands?

  • A. Thymus
  • B. Spleen
  • C. Thyroid
  • D. Adrenal gland
  • E. Pituitary gland
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Answer Key: E

Q67. An individual who is blood type B

  • A. has B antigens on the red blood cells and A antibodies in the plasma.
  • B. has A antigens on the red blood cells and B antibodies in the plasma.
  • C. has A and B antigens on the red blood cells and no antibodies in the plasma.
  • D. has no antigens on the red blood cells and A and B antibodies in the plasma.
  • E. can donate blood to all blood types.
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Answer Key: A

Q68. Which blood cell aids in clotting?

  • A. Basophil
  • B. Eosinophil
  • C. Lymphocyte
  • D. Thrombocyte
  • E. Neutrophil
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Answer Key: D

Q69. The valve located between the right atrium and the right ventricle is the

  • A. tricuspid valve.
  • B. bicuspid valve.
  • C. aortic valve.
  • D. semilunar valve.
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Answer Key: A

Q70. Which portion of the heart has the thickest myocardium?

  • A. Left atrium
  • B. Right atrium
  • C. Left ventricle
  • D. Right ventricle
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Answer Key: C

Q71. Blood transported by the pulmonary veins returns to the

  • A. left atrium.
  • B. right atrium.
  • C. left ventricle.
  • D. right ventricle.
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Answer Key: A

Q72. Parasympathetic innervation of the heart is mediated by cranial nerve

  • A. V
  • B. VI
  • C. VIII
  • D. X
  • E. III
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Answer Key: D

Q73. The specialized area in the heart that initiates each heartbeat and sets its pace is the

  • A. SA node.
  • B. AV node.
  • C. bundle of His.
  • D. bundle branches.
  • E. Purkinje fibers.
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Answer Key: A

Q74. By secreting hormones, the thymus causes what cells to become immunocompetent?

  • A. Basophils
  • B. Monocytes
  • C. Lymphocytes
  • D. Macrophages
  • E. Neutrophils
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Answer Key: C

Q75. The redness and heat of an inflamed area are due to a local hyperemia caused by

  • A. vasoconstriction of vessels.
  • B. production of complement and interferon.
  • C. phagocyte mobilization.
  • D. vasodilation of vessels.
  • E. All of the above.
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Answer Key: D

Q76. The thoracic duct:

  • A. receives lymph from the left side of the head, neck, chest, left upper arm, and entire bodybelow the ribs.
  • B. receives lymph from the upper right side of the body.
  • C. receives lymph from the whole right side of the body.
  • D. is NOT the most important lymphatic duct.
  • E. is part of the arterial system.
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Answer Key: A

Q77. Worn-out and damaged red blood cells are destroyed in the

  • A. thymus.
  • B. tonsils.
  • C. spleen.
  • D. lymph nodes.
  • E. bone marrow.
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Answer Key: C

Q78. The exchange of gases occurs in small air sacs called

  • A. trachea.
  • B. terminal bronchioles.
  • C. alveoli.
  • D. primary bronchus.
  • E. vocal cords.
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Answer Key: C

Q79. Surfactant helps to prevent the alveoli from collapsing by

  • A. warming the air before it enters.
  • B. reducing the surface tension of alveolar fluid.
  • C. humidifying the air before it enters.
  • D. protecting the surface of alveoli from dehydration.
  • E. stimulating the phrenic nerve.
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Answer Key:  B

Q80. The structure that closes off the larynx during eating is the

  • A. vocal cords.
  • B. thyroid.
  • C. epiglottis.
  • D. tongue.
  • E. trachea
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Answer Key: C

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