PANCE Pass Rates Are Down To 92% in 2022. Here’s How to Pass in 2023

March 20, 2023
In April 2019, the NCCPA announced that PANCE pass rates had dropped from 98% to 93% after the release of the newest PANCE Blueprint. After trending upward to 95% in 2020, 2021 saw a decrease to 93%, and new data reports that the 2022 pass rate further dropped to 92%.
While a 92% pass rate is nothing to scoff at, it does indicate a downward trend in PANCE performances that test-takers need to understand to strengthen their exam strategies. We want you to be a part of the 92% that pass, thus changing the trends toward showing the improvement that it needs!
Keep reading for a breakdown of this data, tips to pass the PANCE, and tools to create a more effective strategy for the PANCE and beyond.

Where is this data coming from?

The national first-time pass rate was down to 92% in 2022. This usually correlates with a change in the PANCE blueprint from the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA). Historically, these updates cause a brief drop in pass rates before performances gradually trend up again as test-takers adjust to the new exam. 

Unfortunately, there’s a problem that muddies up the waters with this data: COVID. The pandemic posed so many unique challenges to PA programs, and PA students that the usual data correlation is abnormal and likely not a fair comparison to the true trends expected. 

If you’d like to learn more about the latest changes made to the PANCE blueprint in 2019, this Rosh Review article gives a breakdown by individual category updates. 

What do lower PANCE pass rates mean for you?

So, what do these “slightly ominous” statistics mean for students like you and for your success on the PANCE?

For starters, let’s take a look at this great takeaway message by Adam Rosh: 

Stay calm. Don’t alter your study plan too much. Give yourself plenty of time to prepare for the PANCE, both mentally and physically.

You may benefit from reading the PANCE study plan they don’t teach you in PA school and learning about techniques to increase your PANCE score by 100 points… And if you are focused every day and put in your best effort, when it is time to take your PANCE, you’ll have no problem passing.”

The bottom line? There are ample resources and support for you! Most importantly, keep a level head, and don’t get into your own head and psych yourself out. Trust me, we are all very capable of the creation of the dreaded “worst case scenario” and ultimately none of the terrible things we think of ever come to fruition.

If you’re taking the PANCE in 2023 and find yourself worrying about the drop in PANCE pass rates, here are a few best practices to make sure you pass the exam—on the first try!

“Core 4” Best Practices to Pass the PANCE in 2023

Core Step #1: Regularly study with high-yield practice questions

Personally, among many mantras that guide my professional practice, one that comes to mind is “practice how you play.” In regard to the actual PANCE, why wouldn’t we use practice questions that mimic the style you’ll see on the actual exam?

When you study with the Rosh Review PANCE Qbank, you get 3,800 NCCPA-formatted questions that follow the PANCE content blueprint, all authored and peer-reviewed by PA-Cs who excelled on the PANCE. You’ll also find detailed explanations, images, and references to reinforce your knowledge—plus, 500 new questions were just added in 2022 with five multiple-choice answer choices, just like you’ll see on the actual PANCE.

The best part? The PANCE Qbank comes with a Pass Guarantee—if you don’t pass, you don’t pay (or your subscription is extended for free until you do pass).

Core Step #2: Use a study planner to schedule your practice questions

In addition to taking advantage of Qbanks composed by fellow PAs, what about a tool that organizes vast volumes of information into a study schedule, rebalances your workload, and is flexible to your personal study needs?

If that sounds like a useful addition to your study strategy, then you may want to check out this “smart” PA Study Planner that automatically schedules your PANCE prep resources into a study plan leading up to your PANCE exam date.

You can also check out this post, “4 Helpful Scheduling Tools For Your PANCE Study Plan” to view other options for creating your study plan. No matter what you choose, the goal here is to spend less time planning out what to study, and more time actually studying!

Core Step #3: Identify your knowledge gaps with a performance dashboard

This goes right along with completing daily practice questions—if you use a Qbank like Rosh Review for your PANCE prep, you’ll have access to a personal analytics dashboard to track your performance by category and view your projected PANCE score (which many Rosh Review learners have stated is “scarily accurate” to your actual exam score).

While working through your PANCE study schedule, it’s a good idea to check your performance data regularly to identify any areas of weakness. You can address these knowledge gaps by creating practice exams that focus on those specific categories (or even searching for specific terms that need additional review)!

Core Step #4: Don’t be afraid to get a tutor and ask for help!

For anyone to overcome difficulty, it does “take a village.” As I have mentioned in previous posts regarding mentoring, this can be the advantage that will tip the needle in your favor. Learn from those that have embarked on the journey before you and consider taking advice directly from a seasoned and experienced PA.

If you find yourself in need of more individualized support while preparing for the PANCE, consider looking into personalized tutoring that matches your learning preferences and meets you where you are in your PANCE prep.

On top of these PANCE strategies, don’t forget that I am available by email if you have any other questions! You’re not alone, and I hope that these resources and insights put you on the path to excellence for all your future exams.

Here’s to looking forward to the continued 2023 PANCE data—and to your success!

All the best,

Frank Ritz, PA-C, DScPAS, MPAS

Interested in joining a live course for accelerated review? Look no further—the 4-day Rosh Review PANCE Review Course is now open for enrollment to help you pass the exam on the first take!

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!

By Frank Ritz, DScPAS, PA-C, MPAS

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