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Took PANRE today. Speechless and nauseated!!!

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Well I re-certified for the second time today and oh my!


I don't have words to express the nauseating feeling I had during and when finished. The first time, no big deal. Now, with a mortgage, wife and a child I'm like duhhhh!


i used the Davis review book and blew it out of the water in review scoring in the 90%'s in almost everything. I knew it back and forth and could pull topics out of the air and discuss with my staff on a whim! I felt great about it. Then, I go in to take the exam and I was like "what the heck's this?" I mean really? There was med terms on there I had never heard of in 12 years of practice. And the questions were way more complicated (intentionally?) than need be in my opinion. I'm not an idiot nor do I need/want it spoon fed to me, but I thought it absurd.


Well, we'll see what happens in a few days. I prayed to The Lord and have left it in his hands. I trust He will take care of me.


What do those of you who have been to the "Chicago review course" think about it? If I don't pass I have one more chance to take it before my license expires this year.


Oh yeah, thanks for the vent time. Feel just a little bit better now. Much better when I get my results and I've passed!




Chris :sadface:

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Chris, the test sucks -- no two ways about it -- and it changed two years ago to make it even worse.


Visit my blog site (it's FREE --- really really it is) and see if those blog posts help you --- I was a lecturer at the Chicago course (be careful, there is an imposter calling himself the Chicago course from Certified Medical Educators -- don't go to that one).....CME Resources is the best course in town. I don't lecture for them anymore as I have left to do individual help now with PA's.

Chances are you have passed --- it is absurd but you only probably need about 60% correct to pass -- and the reason you are nauseated is because NO ONE feels good getting 40% of the Q's wrong -- it makes one feel like a medical idiot!

but it is what it is............... let me know if you pass --- I am certain you will --- post it on the blog -- -I LOVE to see PAs pass this test.


There is also a FB page pance panre exam preparation --- we now have 16 PAs who had not passed before who passed with the blog and a couple other study things --- only since July 3rd!!! So, it's working....


Best of luck -- I'll say a little prayer for you tonight too :) you probably got a 540!!! :)



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  • 10 months later...



Several things PANCE and PANRE test takers need to remember:


To pass either test, one does not have to pass a certain percentage of questions like you did in school. No one is expecting you to get an 85% on a 300 question test. You instead are determined if you pass based upon comparison to others whom also took the test, the reference group. A mean is determined and from there a minimum passing score is determined. It is interesting to see that the mean of the reference group in 2011 was in low 500s but the minimum passing score was over a 100 points less at 379. So you are measured against your peers and not necessarily based upon your own knowledge base. You do get assigned a raw score based upon questions you answered correctly. There is a standard error of measurement that amounts to +/- 25 point margin. When I look at my score report from 2011, I see that essentially only 1% of test takers did not meet the minimum passing score. I imagine a lot of angst was felt prior to becoming part of that 99% that passed the test.


There are questions on your test that are there to be validated if they are a good question. In order for the NCCPA and the National Board of Medical Examiners to ensure a question on the test is a good indicator of knowledge, they have to statistically validate this. The only way to do that is to put it in front of a test taker and have them answer it, then compare that to your peers who also answered the question. Where the statistical cut off is is probably known to anyone with the spare time to know statistics but if a high percentage answer it correctly then it actually is not a good question. Same consideration if too many answers are incorrect. It is either a bad question or the knowledge is too esoteric or too common to accurately test one's knowledge base. If the question passes muster than it is added to the question database and makes an appearance on future exams. But it does not count towards your score, it is all part of validation.


Since there is a change in testing cycles, moving from 6 years to 10 years, there is insight that this test is an indicator of a certain breadth in knowledge base but more importantly regular self assessment and improvement in practice are more concrete goals in the interim in the practice of medicine. In particular self assessment done on a regular basis over 10 years will usually lead to better performance on testing rather than the last minute cram that takes place every 5 years.


Overall I think a common sense insight is that the organizations that hold this type of exam are not in the business of flunking a large percentage of individuals, especially with a small membership such as the NCCPA. While a shocking case is heard periodically of a long time PA failing, the likelihood is that if a significant amount of PAs started flunking this exam, then the sponsoring agency would be losing its guaranteed membership and associated revenue stream. We are mutually coexisting organisms, PAs and the NCCPA. They provide a means of proving legitimacy and we provide a reason for them to exist and perform that function. What do you think the NCCPA would look like if during a testing cycle 25% of test takers failed?


The individual whom started this thread many months ago scored a 606 which likely put he or she above the 80th percentile, close to the 85th. Quite a result based upon an initial feeling that performance was terrible and possibly failing. Regardless, dont take my comments above as a reason to not study or review. It is worthwhile to further the knowledge base and while you may not use some knowledge tidbit to answer a test question you could actually use it in practice!! Go figure.


Still I have walked out of both my recerts saying wtf.



G Brothers PA-C

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  • 1 year later...

thank you, I take the PANRE tomorrow, and get bad anxiety. I failed the PANCE twice by 1 point. I do well on home tests but tend to do poorly when I'm trying hard. I looked at what you said, and realized once I got past that fear, I scored really well. Reading this is helping me go into the PANRE tomorrow with more confidence.

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  • 2 weeks later...


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