PANCE Prep Tips

March 5, 2019
Preparing for the PANCE exam can be a daunting task. The best way to succeed is smart, focused preparation.

When studying for the certification exam, the first thing to do is to identify your weaknesses. There are several ways to do that. The NCCPA offers a 120-question exam for $50. It is designed like the PANCE and offers feedback when complete. This is what that feedback looks like. Another way is an online review source like Rosh Review. An advantage to this is that you can break down the exam into sections and get more detailed feedback. Here is an example of the feedback Rosh Review provides. It has the added advantage of being available on any mobile device.

Breaking It Down

Once you have identified your weaknesses, the next step is to understand the test blueprint. On the PANCE exam, 40% of the content covers four topics: Cardiology (13%), Pulmonary (10%), Gastrointestinal/Nutrition (9%), and Musculoskeletal (8%). Endocrine (7%), EENT (7%), Neurology (7%), and Male/Female Reproduction (7%) make up the next 28% of the exam. These eight areas must be a large focus of studying if you have identified weaknesses here. There is 42% of the exam remaining and it is broken down by Infectious Disease and Psychiatry, each at 6%, and Dermatology, Genitourinary, Hematology, and Renal, each at 5%.

Timing is Everything

When preparing for test day, there are several things you can do to be prepared. It is important to develop endurance for the PANCE exam. Adam Rosh has designed a detailed study plan to get you started!

Suggested plan:

14 days before:  Take two blocks of 60 questions (2 hours)

10 days before:  Take three blocks of 60 questions (3 hours)

7 days before:    Simulate the exam. Do this at least one more time before test day.

When building your endurance, it is really important that you simulate the exam as well as the exam environment. Figure out what type of clothing you will wear to the exam (I suggest layers). No phone, no friends, and no interruptions. Identify your fatigue endpoint—this will help you decide how to use your 45 minutes of breaks. For more information about the PANCE exam see this blog.

Ready to Rock

On the day before the exam, make sure to not study. Yes, you read that right. DO NOT STUDY. Instead, on this day you should exercise, get some fresh air and stay hydrated. It is very important to make healthy eating choices and sleep well! In preparation for the next day, lay out your outfit and pack your snacks. I always choose a high-protein main with a side of fruit. Make sure you know how to get to the testing center and how long it takes to get there. Get gas the night before and check your tire pressures. Finally, arrive early!

At Rosh Review, we wish you the best of luck. Stay positive—most people pass! According to the NCCPA website in 2018, 98% of students passed the exam on the first try!

By Dawn Miller, PA-C

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