How Long Does It Take To Get PANCE Exam Results? (& What to Do While You Wait)
Congratulations, you did it! You finally took the PANCE. You hit submit and have left the testing center. Now, after months of studying and preparing, two questions inevitably arise: When will I get my score? And what should I do while I’m waiting?
In this blog, we’ll answer both questions for you! Let’s begin by taking a look at when you can expect to get your results.
How long does it take to get your PANCE exam results?
While the NCCPA reports it can take up to two weeks to receive your scores, most individuals hear back after about four business days.
For example, if you were to take your exam on a Monday, there’s a good chance you’ll know your score by the end of the week. However, don’t panic if you haven’t heard by then, as it’s not a guarantee!
What should you do in the meantime?
First things first, forget the test. If you can’t stop thinking about certain questions that were on the PANCE, look up the answers privately, but make sure you don’t share any information about the exam with anyone.
Sharing questions or topics on the test isn’t allowed. It’s considered cheating and can have serious consequences. This is definitely not how you want to start your career as a PA!
1. Find a way to distract yourself.
The main advice I have for you while awaiting PANCE results is try not to think about them. That is, of course, easier said than done. This is a stressful time for most individuals, but try your best to embrace the fact that no matter what happens, you don’t need to study for the time being.
If you’re looking for something productive to do, I recommend using this time to job search!
2. Prepare for your post-PANCE job.
If you already have a job lined up, you can use the time to get ahead of some paperwork and other pre-job necessities required by your employer. However, some employers may want to have your results in hand before continuing with any orientation paperwork.
For more information on the PA job search, I recommend starting with these helpful posts on the Rosh Review blog:
- How to Land Your First Job After PA School
- Tips for Accepting Your First Job Offer as a PA
- How to Negotiate Your Contract as a Physician Assistant
3. Focus on your physical and mental health.
After you take the PANCE, don’t feel like you need to be productive! You’ve just wrapped up one of the busiest times in your life. It’s best to relax now and focus on your mental and physical health.
For example, I had a few friends who actually scheduled a short weekend trip following their exam. Not only is this a great distraction, but it’s a fantastic way to unwind!
Remember, you may have a few months between taking the PANCE and beginning work. That means if your program ends in spring, this is technically your last summer break ever! In contrast, if your program ends in the winter, it may be your last holiday season without work commitments. You have the rest of your life to work, so make sure you value this time.
Here’s what I did after my own PANCE exam…
Whether it’s four business days or two weeks, I know the waiting time will feel like forever. In the grand scheme of things, it goes by in the blink of an eye. I took the PANCE on a Thursday, and got my score the following Tuesday!
As I waited, I tried to spend time outside and catch up with family and friends I’d neglected in the months leading up to the test. I took some time to just breathe, exercise, and live without the responsibility of having to study.
While I definitely had stress during the wait, it was blissful. I found out that I passed my boards at the end of May, and didn’t start work until October. I had a wonderful summer off. While it can be easy to wish this time away by being eager to start earning an income, try to appreciate these months. They will go by fast!
What are some good reminders while waiting for your results?
A couple of pertinent reminders for this time in your life—first, you did it!
Above anything else, be proud of yourself. You just took a five-hour test consisting of 300 questions. That itself is a huge accomplishment. You did the best you could, so don’t allow stress to take that away from you.
Second, if you’re worried about your exam performance, realize that students tend to fixate on questions they know they got wrong. But often we only recall questions we were really stuck on, which can make us think negatively about the whole exam.
Remember, according to most recent averages, 92% of individuals who take the PANCE will pass. It’s expected you’ll get at least some questions wrong!
Finally, if you didn’t pass the exam, you’ll be okay no matter what. You’ll revamp your study schedule, retake the exam, and become a physician assistant in the end all the same!
Looking for more (free!) content to jumpstart into your life as a practicing PA? Check out these other posts on the Rosh Review blog!
- 7 Tips for Communicating with Patients as a PA
- How to Recognize and Manage Burnout as a PA
- Top Questions About CME for Physician Assistants
Rosh Review is the leading Qbank provider for PA programs across the United States. Whether you’re a pre-PA student or PA-C, Rosh Review has something for you along your PA journey. Start a free trial today!