Would You Benefit From a PA School Tutor?

February 24, 2023
Whether you’re just starting physician assistant school or you’re knuckling through your PA clinical year, surviving PA school can be a tricky chapter of your educational journey. But you don’t have to tackle these challenges alone! If you’re struggling with any of the following obstacles during PA school, a tutor may just be your new favorite resource to prepare for your next exam.

1. You need assistance with test-taking skills.

Do you find yourself getting stuck between two answers and then repeatedly choosing the wrong one? Or, do you often feel like you are rushing at the end of the exam to meet the time requirements? Have you had a hard time predicting the topics you’ll see on your exams? These are all signs that you may need to strengthen your test-taking skills.

Test-taking skills are the bread and butter of PA school. They are crucial to establish early to ensure your success throughout the program, given the large volume of exams. There is undoubtedly an art to taking tests that you can learn with practice! 

How can a PA tutor help?

Tutors are able to walk you through various test questions and analyze where you may be going wrong in your thought process. Your tutor can work with you to address any weaknesses they find, and help you make changes to succeed on your future exams.

2. Despite your best efforts, you are not able to fully grasp the material.

Underperforming may be the most obvious reason to get a tutor, and it is important to act quickly when noticing this to avoid falling behind. To matriculate into PA school, you have already proven yourself academically. However, the studying and exam-prep skills you developed during your undergraduate years may not cut it for a graduate program.

How can a PA tutor help?

Working with a tutor allows you to have someone review exactly what you are doing to prepare for tests and see how you can do better. In addition, if there are any specific topics you wish to review, your tutor can help ensure that you are understanding the material the way you need to in order to be successful. Whether you need help grasping the material, directions in establishing study skills, or both, tutors work with students to evaluate their current situation and meet their needs.

3. You struggle with test anxiety.

Do you ever feel like you are studying more than enough, but you freeze when it comes time to take the exam? Perhaps you end up doubting yourself, which leads you to answer questions incorrectly that you would not normally think twice about outside the test environment.

These may be signs of test anxiety, which is an issue for many students. You are not alone in feeling distraught when faced with exams, especially in a setting like PA school where every test you take is important. While the reasoning is different for each person experiencing this, it may be possible that you just need to practice and gain confidence to curb pre-exam stress

How can a PA tutor help?

Working with a tutor is the perfect way to enhance your confidence and understanding of the material. In addition, it is a great way to practice thinking through questions on the spot and working through any anxiety you may associate with those situations. 

Your tutor is your cheerleader, who can offer you support and validation all while helping you find ways to de-stress before an exam. As you adapt and learn, they can help boost your confidence and ensure that you know the material at the level you should.

4. You do not study well in groups.

PA school is difficult, and oftentimes students lean on each other to help them succeed. Working with a group can be very helpful to allow you to hear information in a different way that can further your understanding. Reciting material in a group setting is an active way of learning, whereas reviewing material alone is an example of passive studying which has been proven to not be as effective in long-term retention. 

However, in the group setting it is easy for your specific needs to be overlooked. For example, the group may spend time reviewing a topic you are comfortable with and not go over something that you really want to review. In addition, some students who may need more time to think through topics or questions, might not thrive in the group setting. If others are responding too quickly, you may be unable to complete your thought prior to the group moving on.

How can a PA tutor help?

Think of tutoring as group studying that is tailored to you and your needs. You will have someone trained to present material and help you understand it, and you get to dictate what material you are spending your time on. You also can spend as much time on a topic as you need, or as little. This allows you to make the most of your time while studying.

5. You are struggling with balancing all of your responsibilities.

Are you struggling to create a study plan for your upcoming exams? Or, have you created a study plan but are now falling behind in your previously set schedules? Are you finding it difficult to manage studying for the PANCE along with long clinical days, end-of-rotation exams, and graduation preparation?

It may feel like you need all 24 hours in a day (and then some) to complete your to-do list. Life happens and you may have responsibilities both inside and outside of the classroom. While it is ideal to limit any other responsibilities you may have, it is not always feasible. Schedules fluctuate and it can be difficult to balance day-to-day changes while maintaining an adequate study schedule.

How can a PA tutor help?

Working with a tutor can be very helpful to organize and plan your schedule. Tutors are able to help you create personalized study plans that are adaptable to your everyday life. That way if you fall behind, your schedule can be updated to help make up for lost time and you are not the one spending valuable time updating it. 

The key to time management with PA school is starting your exam preparation early. That’s what makes tutors such a valuable resource in balancing your time—an effective tutor will know what to expect to help ensure you stay on track.

If you resonate with any of the above examples, you most certainly would benefit from working with a PA tutor! Tutors are trained to be adaptable to each student’s specific needs, so whether it be for your didactic year, PANCE prep, or your entire PA school journey—we are here to help! 

Interested in joining a live course for accelerated PANCE review? 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 a Blueprint Test Prep company. To get matched with a PA tutor that fits your unique needs, schedule a free consultation with one of Blueprint’s PA school tutors today!

By Olivia Graham, PA-C

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