Anatomy and Physiology Questions

Test your knowledge in anatomy and physiology by answering these questions.

Also, test your knowledge in medical terminology.

Note: None of these questions will appear on the CMA (AAMA) Certification/Recertification Examination and answering them correctly does not guarantee that you will pass the CMA (AAMA) exam.

Read these instructions before taking this practice exam.

  1. Download, open, and print out the answer form.
  2. For each multiple choice question listed below, read the question and then circle the answer that you think is correct under the same number on the answer form.
  3. After answering all 50 questions, go to the answers, which are listed directly after the questions, and compare your answers against them.


1) Which of the following terms describes the body's ability to maintain its normal state?

(A) Anabolism
(B) Catabolism
(C) Tolerance
(D) Homeostasis
(E) Metabolism

2) Each of the following is known to help prevent infection EXCEPT

(A) hair in the nose
(B) mucous membranes
(C) osteoblasts
(D) saliva
(E) tears

3) Each of the following mature cells has a nucleus EXCEPT

(A) lymphocyte
(B) monocyte
(C) erythrocyte
(D) basophil
(E) neutrophil

4) Which of the following is flexible connective tissue that is attached to bones at the joints?

(A) Adipose
(B) Cartilage
(C) Epithelial
(D) Muscle
(E) Nerve

5) Each of the following is located in the mediastinum EXCEPT the

(A) aorta
(B) esophagus
(C) heart
(D) pancreas
(E) trachea

6) Which of the following is the body cavity that contains the pituitary gland?

(A) Abdominal
(B) Cranial
(C) Pleural
(D) Spinal
(E) Thoracic

7) Which of the following closes and seals off the lower airway during swallowing?

(A) Alveoli
(B) Epiglottis
(C) Larynx
(D) Uvula
(E) Vocal cords

8) Which of the following is located beneath the diaphragm in the left upper quadrant of the abdominal cavity?

(A) Appendix
(B) Kidney
(C) Liver
(D) Spleen
(E) Stomach

9) Which of the following anatomical regions of abdomen lies just distal to the sternum?

(A) Epigastric
(B) Hypochondriac
(C) Hypogastric
(D) Lumbar
(E) Umbilical

10) Which of the following cavities are separated by the diaphragm?

(A) Abdominal and pelvic
(B) Cranial and spinal
(C) Dorsal and ventral
(D) Pericardial and pleural
(E) Thoracic and abdominal

11) Which of the following terms describes the motion of bending the forearm toward the body?

(A) Abduction
(B) Eversion
(C) Flexion
(D) Pronation
(E) Supination

12) In which of the following positions does a patient lie face down?

(A) Dorsal
(B) Erect
(C) Lateral
(D) Prone
(E) Supine

13) If the foot is abducted, it is moved in which direction?

(A) Inward
(B) Outward
(C) Upward
(D) Downward

14) The anatomic location of the spinal canal is

(A) caudal
(B) dorsal
(C) frontal
(D) transverse
(E) ventral

15) Which of the following is a structural, fibrous protein found in the dermis?

(A) Collagen
(B) Heparin
(C) Lipocyte
(D) Melanin
(E) Sebum

16) A patient has a fracture in which the radius is bent but not displaced, and the skin is intact. This type of fracture is known as which of the following?

(A) Closed, greenstick
(B) Complex, comminuted
(C) Compound, transverse
(D) Open, spiral
(E) Simple, pathologic

17) Which of the following is the large bone found superior to the patella and inferior to the ischium?

(A) Calcaneus
(B) Femur
(C) Symphysis pubis
(D) Tibia
(E) Ulna

18) The physician directs the medical assistant to complete a request form for an x-ray study of the fibula. The procedure will be performed on which of the following structures?

(A) Heel
(B) Lower leg
(C) Toes
(D) Thigh
(E) Pelvis

19) Which of the following is a disorder characterized by uncontrollable episodes of falling asleep during the day?

(A) Dyslexia
(B) Epilepsy
(C) Hydrocephalus
(D) Narcolepsy
(E) Shingles

20) The point at which an impulse is transmitted from one neuron to another neuron is called the

(A) dendrite
(B) glial cell
(C) nerve center
(D) synapse
(E) terminal plate

21) Which of the following controls body temperature, sleep, and appetite?

(A) Adrenal glands
(B) Hypothalamus
(C) Pancreas
(D) Thalamus
(E) Thyroid gland

22) Which of the following cranial nerves is related to the sense of smell?

(A) Abducens
(B) Hypoglossal
(C) Olfactory
(D) Trochlear
(E) Vagus

23) Which of the following is a substance that aids the transmission of nerve impulses?

(A) Acetylcholine
(B) Cholecystokinin
(C) Deoxyribose
(D) Oxytocin
(E) Prolactin

24) The carotid pulse is located

(A) in front of the ears and just above eye level
(B) in the antecubital space
(C) in the middle of the groin
(D) on the anterior side of the neck
(E) on the medial aspect of the wrist

25) A patient sustains severe blunt trauma to the left upper abdomen and requires surgery. The body organ most likely to be involved is the

(A) appendix
(B) gallbladder
(C) pancreas
(D) urinary bladder
(E) spleen

26) Where is the sinoatrial node located?

(A) Between the left atrium and the left ventricle
(B) Between the right atrium and the right ventricle
(C) In the interventricular septum
(D) In the upper wall of the left ventricle
(E) In the upper wall of the right atrium

27) Blood flows from the right ventricle of the heart into the

(A) inferior vena cava
(B) left ventricle
(C) pulmonary arteries
(D) pulmonary veins
(E) right atrium

28) Oxygenated blood is carried to the heart by the

(A) aorta
(B) carotid arteries
(C) inferior vena cava
(D) pulmonary veins
(E) superior vena cava

29) The thoracic cage is a structural unit important for

(A) alimentation
(B) menstruation
(C) mentation
(D) respiration
(E) urination

30) Exhaled air, when compared with inhaled air, contains more

(A) carbon dioxide and less oxygen
(B) nitrogen and less carbon dioxide
(C) oxygen and less carbon dioxide
(D) oxygen and less carbon monoxide
(E) oxygen and less nitrogen

31) In the lungs, gas exchange occurs in tiny one-celled air sacs called

(A) alveoli
(B) bronchi
(C) bronchioles
(D) capillaries
(E) pleurae

32) Bile enters the gastrointestinal tract at the

(A) gastroesophageal sphincter
(B) duodenum
(C) ileocecum
(D) jejunum
(E) pyloric sphincter

33) Each of the following is a segment of the large intestine EXCEPT the

(A) ascending colon
(B) cecum
(C) ileum
(D) sigmoid colon
(E) transverse colon

34) Which of the following conditions is characterized by incompetence of the esophageal sphincter?

(A) Crohn's disease
(B) Esophageal varices
(C) Gastroesophageal reflux disease
(D) Pyloric stenosis
(E) Stomatitis

35) Which of the following organs removes bilirubin from the blood, manufactures plasma proteins, and is involved with the production of prothrombin and fibrinogen?

(A) Gallbladder
(B) Kidney
(C) Liver
(D) Spleen
(E) Stomach

36) Which of the following is an accessory organ of the gastrointestinal system that is responsible for secreting insulin?

(A) Adrenal gland
(B) Gallbladder
(C) Liver
(D) Pancreas
(E) Spleen

37) Which of the following is the lymphoid organ that is a reservoir for red blood cells and filters organisms from the blood?

(A) Appendix
(B) Gallbladder
(C) Pancreas
(D) Spleen
(E) Thymus

38) The process whereby the stomach muscles contract to propel food through the digestive tract is called

(A) absorption
(B) emulsion
(C) peristalsis
(D) regurgitation
(E) secretion

39) Saliva contains an enzyme that acts upon

(A) starches
(B) proteins
(C) fats
(D) minerals
(E) vitamins

40) In men, specimens for gonococcal cultures are most commonly obtained from which of the following?

(A) Anus
(B) Bladder
(C) Skin
(D) Testicle
(E) Urethra

41) The cluster of blood capillaries found in each nephron is the

(A) afferent arteriole
(B) glomerulus
(C) Loop of Henle
(D) renal pelvis
(E) renal tubule

42) Which of the following conditions is characterized by the presence of kidney stones (renal calculi)?

(A) Glomerulonephritis
(B) Interstitial nephritis
(C) Nephrolithiasis
(D) Polycystic kidney
(E) Pyelonephritis

43) Urine flows through the urinary system in which order?

(A) Bladder, kidney, ureter, urethra, urethral meatus
(B) Bladder, urethra, kidney, urethral meatus, ureter
(C) Kidney, ureter, bladder, urethra, urethral meatus
(D) Kidney, urethra, urethral meatus, bladder, ureter
(E) Urethra, bladder, ureter, kidney, urethral meatus

44) In men, which of the following structures is located at the neck of the bladder and surrounds the urethra?

(A) Epididymis
(B) Prostate
(C) Scrotum
(D) Seminal vesicle
(E) Vas deferens

45) Male hormones are produced by which of the following?

(A) Glans penis
(B) Prepuce
(C) Prostate
(D) Testes
(E) Vas deferens

46) Which of the following are mucus-producing glands located on each side of the vaginal opening?

(A) Adrenal
(B) Bartholin's
(C) Bulbourethral
(D) Corpus luteum
(E) Parotid

47) Fertilization of an ovum by a spermatozoon occurs in the

(A) cervix
(B) fallopian tube
(C) ovary
(D) uterus
(E) vagina

48) Calcium, potassium, and sodium are classified as which of the following?

(A) Androgens
(B) Catecholamines
(C) Electrolytes
(D) Estrogens
(E) Prostaglandins

49) Which of the following is the master gland of the endocrine system?

(A) Adrenal
(B) Pancreas
(C) Pineal
(D) Pituitary
(E) Thyroid

50) Patients with which of the following diseases are treated with injections of vitamin B-12?

(A) Bell's palsy
(B) Crohn's disease
(C) Diabetes mellitus
(D) Graves' disease
(E) Pernicious anemia


1) D

2) C

3) C

4) B

5) D

6) B

7) B

8) C

9) A

10) E

11) C

12) D

13) B

14) B

15) A

16) A

17) B

18) B

19) D

20) D

21) B

22) C

23) A

24) D

25) E

26) E

27) C

28) D

29) D

30) A

31) A

32) B

33) C

34) C

35) C

36) D

37) D

38) C

39) A

40) E

41) B

42) C

43) C

44) B

45) D

46) B

47) B

48) C

49) D

50) E