Top 19 Questions About PA Qbanks, the PANCE, PANRE, & Rotation Exams

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September 10, 2020
Researching the best PA exam review methods and details can be overwhelming, so we’ve done the time-intensive searching for you to answer common questions. This will help clarify what types of study options exist, which one(s) are right for you, and what you need to know to prepare for your didactic year, rotation exams, PANCE, and PANRE. Did we miss a question? Let us know and we’ll get the answer for you.

Should I use a PA Qbank?

There are many ways to study, such as live courses, self-directed study, and Qbanks. You need to choose the option that’s best for you. We’re a Qbank company, so we (not surprisingly) think Qbanks are an excellent way to prepare for your test. We’ve detailed How to Select the Best PANCE Review, which will help you answer these questions (regardless of whether you’re studying for your rotation exams, the PANCE, or the PANRE):

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

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

  • BoardVitals
  • Exam Master
  • Hippo Education
  • Kaplan
  • NEJM Knowledge+
  • PAEasy
  • 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?

Can I use a Qbank in didactic year?

Absolutely! The Rosh Review Didactic Qbank helps PA students tame the whirlwind of first year, build a strong foundation for clinical year, and ace the subject exams. Doing 10–25 Qbank questions at home after attending a lecture and reviewing your notes will help you reinforce what you learned earlier that day. Plus it teaches you study habits for your rotation exams and the PANCE!

How do I study for the PANCE or PANRE exam with a Qbank?

We have a detailed article about How to Boost Your PANCE or PANRE Score that includes our favorite study tips. Spoiler alert: we recommend targeting your “unknown unknowns.” Here’s how you do that:

  • Answer a question from a Qbank
  • 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. 

Our “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:

How do I study for the rotation exams?

Find a strategy that works for you. Use the tips above to figure out your unknown unknowns, and read our blog series about how to Rock Your Rotation Exams to learn about the podcasts, resources, and note-taking strategies 4 PAs swear by. And remember to pay attention to the topic lists and blueprints for each rotation exam because the content changes for each one.

How many questions are on the rotation exams?

Each rotation exam has 120 questions.

How do I register for the PANCE?

You must graduate from an accredited program to qualify for the PANCE. According to the NCCPA website, you can apply for the exam anytime within 180 days before your program completion date. The soonest you can take the exam is 7 days after your program completion date. For more information, read Everything You Need to Know for the PANCE Exam.

How hard is the PANCE?

That’s a subjective question—everyone’s experience is different! In January 2019, the NCCPA updated the Content Blueprint, which resulted in lower pass rates for first-time test takers. This doesn’t mean the test is harder (just different), so keep studying, and remember that you’ve been preparing since day 1 of PA school.

How many questions are on the PANCE?

There are 300 multiple-choice questions, which you will take in 5 blocks of 60 questions each. You have 60 minutes to complete each block.

What is a passing score for the PANCE?

350. The minimum score is 200, and the maximum score is 800.

How is the PANCE scored?

A panel of PA experts reviews the test questions to determine whether someone with the minimum qualifications could answer each question. The panel’s ratings affect how each question is scored. Read more on the NCCPA site.

How long does PA certification last?

For five 2-year cycles, or 10 years total. Read more about maintaining certification.

What is the PANRE?

The PA recertification exam, which must be taken by the end of your 10th certification year. It’s shorter than the PANCE with 240 multiple-choice questions administered in 4 blocks of 60 questions. You have 60 minutes to complete each block.

The Alternative to PANRE pilot recertification program is currently closed for application and is ongoing through December 2020. In this program, PAs answer 25 test questions each quarter for 2 years rather than taking the traditional PANRE. Check the NCCPA site for more information.

What happens if I fail the PANCE or 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 we extend your subscription until you pass. Even if you didn’t use Rosh Review before taking your exam and you didn’t pass, we will give you 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 PANCE?

Once in a 90-day period, 3 times per calendar year, and up to 6 times within 6 years after you’ve graduated from an accredited program. Once you’ve taken the PANCE 6 times or have reached 6 years since you’ve graduated and you haven’t passed the PANCE, you are not eligible to retake it unless you complete an accredited program again. 

How many times can I take the PANRE?

In your final 2 years of certification (years 9 and 10), you can take the PANRE 4 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.

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
  2. Score 70% or better (you can use either tutor or test mode)
  3. Retake questions as needed until you achieve 70% correct
  4. Email us at cme@roshreview.com for your certificate

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

How do I get a discount on Rosh Review?

If you’re part of a group purchase or program purchase, we offer a discount based on the number of people in your group or program. We also offer discounts to active military and to attendees of certain conferences. Otherwise, we do not offer individual discounts. We believe in what we offer, and we strive to continually elevate our Qbanks rather than racing to the bottom with constant discounts. You can read about Rosh Review’s Discounts, Promo Codes, and Coupons for more details. 

Are Qbanks worth the money?

Depends on who you ask! Some people do better with live courses, 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.


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