Top 17 Questions About Qbanks for PA-Cs & the PANRE

December 1, 2023
Researching the best Qbanks for PA-Cs and study methods and details about the PANRE can be overwhelming. Rather than doing the time-intensive searching yourself, you’ll find the answers to common questions here. This post will help clarify what types of study options exist, which one(s) are right for you, and what you need to know while researching PANRE Qbanks. Is there a question you’d like to see? Let us know and we’ll get the answer for you.

What does PA-C stand for?

The C in PA-C stands for certified! It means your years of clinical experience, hard work, and studying have paid off. Now rather than thinking about the PANCE, you’ll focus on the PANRE (but only every 10 years).

What is the PANRE?

It’s the PA recertification exam, which can be taken in your final 2 years of certification (years 9 and 10) and must be taken by the end of your 10th certification year. The PANRE is shorter than the PANCE, with 240 multiple-choice questions administered in four blocks of 60 questions. You have 60 minutes to complete each block.

Beginning in 2023, NCCPA also launched the option to take the new, online PANRE-LA exam. The PANRE-LA is a quarterly exam that you can take anytime, anywhere over the span of 2-3 years. You can find more information about the new PANRE-LA in this blog post, “PANRE vs PANRE-LA: Which Exam Should You Take?

Should I use a Qbank to study for the PANRE?

There are many ways to study, such as live courses, self-directed study, and PANRE Qbanks. You need to choose the option that’s best for you. We’re a Qbank company, so we (not surprisingly) think PANRE Qbanks are an excellent way to prepare for the exam. The article How to Select the Best PANCE Review will help you answer these questions:

  1. Do I need to use a Qbank?
  2. What criteria should I use to make a decision?
Which PANRE Qbanks should I compare?

If you don’t have the time to read through the “How to Select a Qbank” article but know you’re interested in a Qbank, these are the companies we suggest trying. Compare these PANRE Qbanks by signing up for a free trial and see which one is right for you:

  • BoardVitals
  • Exam Master
  • Hippo Education
  • Kaplan
  • NEJM Knowledge+
  • PA Exam Prep
  • Rosh Review
  • UWorld

If you can’t decide which Qbank to use after trying out a few, pay attention to the details. Do you receive a response when you contact customer support? Do the company’s values align with your own? Will your subscription be extended if you don’t pass the exam?

How do I study for the PANRE with a Qbank?

The detailed article How to Boost Your PANCE or PANRE Score by 100 Points includes our favorite study tips. Spoiler alert: you should target your “unknown unknowns.” Here’s how you do that:

  • Answer a Qbank question
  • If you answer incorrectly, read the explanation
  • Take notes about why the correct answer is correct, and make sure to take notes on anything in the explanation that you didn’t already know

If you do this for every question you answer incorrectly, and if you regularly review your notes and add information to topics as you do more questions, you’ll eventually determine your unknown unknowns. In return, you’ll uncover most of your blind spots that questions on the board exam can ask about. 

The “How to Boost Your Score” article also includes day-of exam tips like which grammatical mistakes to keep an eye out for to help you narrow down answer choices. Our goal is to help you succeed, so read as many of these tips as you can before exam day.

If you’re looking for even more tips and strategies, try these out:

  • The Rosh Reveal vodcast, where you’ll learn the thought process behind answering board exam questions
  • Adam Rosh’s interview by Jessica Veale, PA-S, on her podcast The PA Process discussing test-taking strategies, overcoming failure, and building confidence
  • This highlight reel from Adam Rosh’s 28-lesson Peak Performance course reviewing the strategies, routines and tactics of test-takers who score in the 99th percentile:
How do I prepare for a general exam like the PANRE when I work in a specialized field?

Don’t worry! According to a 2004 study, PAs in specialized practice areas have similar PANRE pass rates. So regardless of your area of practice, your chances of passing the PANRE are still high. Just make sure you closely review the PANRE Content Blueprint topics.

For example, if you practice in dermatology, note that only 6% of the exam covers the dermatologic system. The five topics that make up 51% of the PANRE are cardiovascular (13%), GI (11%), pulmonary (10%), musculoskeletal (9%), and EENT (8%), so pay attention to the order of importance of these topics when you’re studying.

And if you use Rosh Review, here’s how to target specific categories when you study.

Help! I haven’t studied for 10 years. What are the latest PANRE studying tools?

For your last PANRE, you may have used an in-person review course or a review book with online, noninteractive questions. But with COVID, in-person courses may no longer a possibility. Try out some of the PANRE Qbanks suggested above and see if one (or more) is right for you.

Some of the advances that Qbanks have made over the years include detailed teaching images, the ability to choose specific categories within each specialty (shown in the video above), features such as test mode (timed, no explanations included) and tutor mode (not timed, explanations included), tools to highlight and cross out information, and a search function to easily look up content in all the questions you’ve taken (shown below). And if you’ve traded in your iPhone 4 and original iPad since the last time you took the PANRE, you can use your updated devices to study on the go.

If you’re not interested in a Qbank, you can always self-study by following the PANRE Content Blueprint. Or if you’re still most comfortable with a live course, many of them are doing webinars rather than in-person review. Whatever you choose, make sure it’s the method that works best for you so you’re confident before exam day.

How is the PANRE scored?

Scores are scaled using statistics. The minimum scaled score is 200, and the maximum score is 800.

What’s the passing score for the PANRE?


What happens if I fail the PANRE?

Life happens. Between practicing medicine, studying for the boards, having a personal life, and dealing with a global pandemic, there is always the possibility that you might not pass the exam. We believe in you, which is why your subscription comes with a pass guarantee: your subscription is extended for free until you pass your exam. Even if you didn’t use Rosh Review before taking your exam and you didn’t pass, you get a complimentary subscription until you succeed. We’re here to stand with you throughout your career—not just sell you a product and move on.

How many times can I take the PANRE?

In your final 2 years of certification (years 9 and 10), you can take the PANRE four times total (twice in year 9 and up to three times year 10). Like the PANCE, the PANRE can only be taken once in a 90-day period.

What is a CAQ?

A Certificate of Added Qualifications (CAQ) is a way for PAs to show their dedication to their specialty. There are 7 CAQs: Cardiovascular & Thoracic Surgery, Emergency Medicine, Hospital Medicine, Nephrology, Orthopaedic Surgery, Pediatrics, and Psychiatry.

Learn more about CAQs and eligibility requirements on the NCCPA website

How many questions are on the CAQ exams?

Each exam has 120 multiple-choice questions.

How do I earn CME with Rosh Review?

If you sign up for an account that is linked to CME, here’s what you need to do:

  1. Complete 1,000 questions in your Qbank

Once that’s complete, here’s how to claim and download your certificate:

  1. Go to the Account Settings tab (only on desktop/laptop)
  2. Select Claim next to the subscription package name (see an example)
  3. Complete the survey
  4. Download your certificate

You’ll earn up to 100 AMA PRA Cat 1 CME credits.

Are Qbanks worth the money?

Depends on who you ask! Some people do better with live courses, while some swear they wouldn’t have passed their exam without a Qbank and that the cost was reasonable and well worth it. Your best bet is to try a free trial and determine what’s right for you. And if you choose Rosh Review, we’ll be with you every step of your career.

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

More than 85% of PA programs in the U.S. use Rosh Review Qbanks to help their students prepare for the PANCE. Whether you’re looking for a free trial or a PANRE Qbank, Rosh Review has something for you along your PA journey.

By Dawn Miller, PA-C

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