Jump to content

Failed PANCE March 2014 :( HELP!!

Recommended Posts

Hi Everyone... i am a recent graduate and took PANCE for the first time in March and failed. I am extremely disappointed since i was not very close to passing. I was using VanRhee, Kaplan, Pancemaster, CMDT, Step up and really dont know what else i should do. I did take the NCCPA practice and was basically in the middle in all my areas. I am planning to review the 5 main topics and then work on more Kaplan, Pancemaster and Lange questions. Any and all suggestions are more than welcome. Thanks guys!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Use of multiple review materials I see to be an issues here. Not sure how long you studied for the board. Don't use CMDT. Here's what I would do. Emory PA review or Kaplan 1000 Qbank + The compreh review by O'Connell. Do practice question in real time. G/luck.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Awe man that sucks!

 

The very first thing I would do is try to blow it off.  Anxiety makes learning and testing soo much more difficult.  You need to regroup.  What I normally tell people is that studying is far less important at this point then rebuilding your confidence.  It takes a lot out of you.

 

When I prepared I did the UMDNJ course beginning to end.  I did the exam master questions for hours.   The books though are typically not the issue though I do love the O'Connell book.  

 

Usually the issues I see are more about anxiety and test taking skills then they are about content knowledge. 

 

Anxiety:

 


 

# I recommend building confidence in other areas of your life, and you start small.  Make small promises to yourself and keep them. For example decide what time you're going to get up in the morning set your alarm and get up in time. Decide you're going to begin reading novels for 10 minutes every night before bed and stick to it. You get the idea. Keep it simple. Keep it small. But stick to it, this will do surprising things for your confidence.

 

# Some people like to start an exercise program when they start studying. I think this is a great idea as it kills two birds with one stone. This works great, but start small and stick to it.

 

# Anxiety makes it harder to learn and harder to perform.  Your brain works much better when it is relaxed.  That is why I strongly recommend finishing studying a few days before the exam and playing the day before instead of studying.

 

Test Taking Skills:

#  I think a huge part of passing is test taking skills.  

 

#  I don't have a great resource to suggest. 

 

#  What I strongly recommend is that you write your own questions.  As you do this you will start to see the patterns that form.  You can't possibly write a question about a SCFE without including an overweight teen age boy.  It starts to become more and more clear how the questions have to be written.  This is my number one study tip!  Don't ignore it.

 

 

You may have been looking for more tactical plans, but this is really the most important stuff for you right now.  You may not notice it, but you have to be in shock and very low.  A friend of mine was talking about having had twins several years ago.  She said "I was completely insane for the first three years.  What's worse is that I didn't know it until they were five."  My wife and I had a significant loss in our lives, and within a month we had bought a new (expensive) home and moved.  Within a year we were smart enough to sell it.  Looking back we realize that we should have sat on the couch and done nothing for a year. At the time we didn't know that we were in as bad a place as we were.  Understand that this is hard and it sucks and thats ok.  

 

The other thing I like to point out is that YOU ARE NOT ALONE!  Lots of people fail this thing.  Nobody puts it on Facebook, but lots of people fail.   Your not alone.  

 

Deep breaths.  You will get through this.  
  • Upvote 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agreed on test taking skills and about regrouping. There are lots of prep materials out there. I suggest, stick with what fit best. I wouldn't recom exam master.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes it really does put your confidence at a very low level i agree Brian, i studied for 2 months everyday and then to find out i failed!!! I have gone to your website and plan on using it to review my 5 main areas...thank you!

Thank you KMD16 it may have been an issue like you say. I do know most people recommend sticking to just 2 study sources, i just kepT thinKing what if im missing something.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Look at the percentage placed on each area and prioritize your study. Cardiology, pulmonology, gi, etc.

 

Know the test structure.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I found questions with wrong answers on pancemaster just fyi. On the positive side, if you find them then you can be confident that you know your stuff, lol.

 

Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks guys...yes i was basically in the middle in the 5 big sections except Musculoskeletal i was a little below 50%. Any and all advice is welcome...i appreciate you all taking the time to help!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Significantly below passing indicates a serious knowledge deficit to me.

Text anxiety won't help that. I agree with exercise and even better if you can incorporate it with study/review. At this point you really shouldn't still be learning but if you are, then focus on your big deficits and RELEARN until you know those topics COLD.

I very strongly advise test banks. Unfortunately I don't know the PA test banks out there very well. I haven't heard rave reviews about any of them. I almost never recommend in-person butt-in-seat review courses but if you learn well from lecture (and ONLY if you learn well in this format) you should strongly consider it. A good teacher will be able to point out high-yield topics and reinforce what you know and augment what you don't.

If there are topics that you did very well on (>80 %ile) don't waste any time reviewing those. You know it.

Same with lectures--skip those you know and attend every one you don't with full attention. Study the topics in which you scored poorly and learn to understand, not to regurgitate. There is very little on PANCE or PANRE that is purely recall. Almost all of it requires critical thinking and strong clinical reasoning. Remember there may be 3-4 "correct" answers for each question--your job is to choose the BEST answer. You can't do this well unless you know the topics inside and out.

I imagine failing the first time was quite a scare. Let me be absolutely straightforward here: you cannot afford to fail again. Statistically those who fail a second time have an exceedingly low pass rate for future exams, so get yourself ready and in the very best position to do well--don't just pass--the second time.

Best wishes. We are pulling for you.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd agree with all above posts! Great Ideas everyone!

 

I used Kaplan QBank online & after every 60 q block I did in test mode & test conditions!

I'd review each & every answer!

Why was this answer correct & that one wrong! If I didn;t understand what they were talking about I'd look it up!

If I did poorly in a section (GI) I'd review that section, What did I not understand! Then I'd take q's only in that section b4 doing a general test.

 

I agree with the above posts & here's some of my suggestions:

1. Take your results & place them in order of worst results & Highest %.  Start there & proceed to lower %

 

2. you cant pass unless you understand the material! Because you will need to interpret doing the exam!

If you are having time constraints you need to improve your speed. Check your time every 15 questions only! Then you know if you are behind or on time.

If you feel you are struggling with any one question. Flag it & move on! Answer them at the end.

 

3. If you studied with someone in PA school, contact them! Study with them! If n/a; try teaching the material to someone! If you can teach the material chances are you understand it!

 

4. I also used a dry eraser board, after studied some material; I'd try and recall that material! Because just looking at the same stuff over and over again; you can give yourself a false sense of "I know that"; when in fact you don't!

 

5. What worked for me, may not work for others;

As it's against what they say to do for taking exams, but it worked for me!

I read the stem question 1st!

I need to know what I'm looking for! A drug/Test/Dx etc. then I read the stem!

Since I already know what I'm looking for (drug,etc);

for whatever reason this technique puts me at ease!

 

6. Lastly, go and do something that is fun! exercise, go out.  It's really ok to take a weekend off!

 

Good Luck! That's My .02

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Look at the percentage placed on each area and prioritize your study. Cardiology, pulmonology, gi, etc. Know the test structure. Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

This is great advice you should heed. I am surprised how many students I talk to that really have no focus in studying once they are out of the classroom, focus on what they are comfortable with and ignore the deficiencies even when it is pointed out to them.

A general word of advice to any student reading this, if you perform poorly on pretests, unless you correct that deficiency, you will likely do poorly on the pance/panre.

 

One game plan:

 

Go to nccpa.net and print out the organ system lists and the task areas.

You have to be able to correlate a topic in the organ system list with a task area.

For example, atrial fibrillation from the cardiovascular system.

You need to know what the ekg will look like, that your patient will have an irregularly irregular pulse, the pt may be asymptomatic or sob and near syncopal. That your job is to slow their rate down with a b blocker or ccb if tachycardic, that an assessment of their stroke risk and start of anticoagulants should be considered, your eval will include checking their thyroid function, etc, etc, etc.

 

Then when you have that knowledge, then the practice questions but only if you a) are not a good test taker b) are not getting through an exam in a timely manner in order to sharpen your time management. Personally, I think that spending a lot of time on questions is useless without a plan to benefit from them. They should be a guide to go back to the knowledge base and develop further.

 

To save time, you need to figure out the unknown unknown, that way you can turn it into the known unknown and fix it.

 

Have you gone back to your program and told them that you failed? Programs have a lot of skin in the game concerning their graduates and this test. They want you to pass it, they may be able to provide you with tutoring or other assistance. You paid them a lot of money to get to this point, get your money's worth. They may be able to get a better break down of deficits from the nccpa to guide you or they may be able to review the prep exams you took and give you guidance on what would be high yield for you.

 

Also, know the challenge you are up against. I find this to be immensely helpful:

 

http://www.nccpa.net/pdfs/Test%20Committee%20Handbook.pdf

 

http://www.paeaonline.org/index.php?ht=action/GetDocumentAction/i/25372

 

Last, failing at something and then having to face it again in a short period of time, especially something that will determine your future after several years of hard work, will cause anxiety in the chillest of people. Consider talking to your dr about anxiety at test time. This is a life changing moment. You would not be the first person on inderal in that exam room.

 

Good luck.

George Brothers PA-C

  • Upvote 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

FWIW ...

 

1.  Pain is part of growing.

2.  Everything in life is temporary.

3.  Worrying and complaining changes nothing.

4.  Your scars are symbols of your strength.

5.  Every little struggle is a step forward.

6.  Other people’s negativity is not your problem.

7.  What’s meant to be will eventually, BE.

8.  The best thing you can do is to keep going.

V5ASHpa.gif

 

Failure is a prerequisite for great success.  If you want to succeed faster, double your rate of failure.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi!

I too have failed the PANCE just as I was beginning to go on interviews. I applied to positions informing companies that I had taken the PANCE and was waiting on my certification. Now that I have not passed the exam, should I cancel the interviews?  A few of the positions are looking to hire soon.  Knowing that I will not be able to retake the exam until three months from now, I do not want to waste their time.  What is your advice on this?

Thank you!

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi!

I too have failed the PANCE just as I was beginning to go on interviews. I applied to positions informing companies that I had taken the PANCE and was waiting on my certification. Now that I have not passed the exam, should I cancel the interviews?  A few of the positions are looking to hire soon.  Knowing that I will not be able to retake the exam until three months from now, I do not want to waste their time.  What is your advice on this?

Thank you!

Does your state have provisional licensing allowing you to work until you pass? If not, you won't be licensed to work and employers need to understand that.....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

go to an in-person board review courses put on by one of the pa programs.

I second that. There are many courses out there. For the PANCE 6 years ago I went the the CME resources course for 5 days. They predicted my score at the end after grading the tests and it ended up being just 20 points lower than their prediction when I took the exam.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello,

          Every few months I post my website address to let people know of my tutoring service as I only carry 3-4 students at a time, and will be accepting 2 new students in early September.

          I have a success rate % in the mid 90's for students who have failed the PANCE 2-3 times.

I have references from former students, such as Dean who recently wrote me;

 

"Hey Dr. Athas!

I sent you a text but emailing you just in case you don't get it. I would call but I'm sure your tutoring someone right now. You're more than welcome to call me later in the day. I scored a 417, my score went up 115 points! Thank you so much for all your help and guidance. You really got me on the right rack and your confidence in me made a huge difference. Thank you again!

 
Sincerely, Dean"
 
      I worked with many PAs over the years, and am fully confident in the PA philosophy and to the success of my students. Students gain an average of 100 points on the PANCE after working with me. I've been teaching now for some 20 years.
    
     You may visit my website at  www.pancetutor.com
                                                                                             Sincerely,
                                                                                         John Athas MD (retired 2002)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Answer many many questions to data banks. I found that after doing a few thousand questions over several months, from several source, patterns begin to emerge....synthesize, eliminate wrong answers, dont over think it. Also you start to catch the mistakes in questions bc you just answered a similar question or looked something up, go through the questions, check your answer each question, jot down subject areas you miss, but dont research each wrong answer on the spot unless it totally foreign or you are sure your right, or youll waste time and never get through the questions. You start to get faster. I studied with a partner about two hours every sunday (give or take one) just doing questions for about three months. We were still in school. You can condense a little. Break if you start to feel,panickynor frustrated. My partner scored an 800, I scored lower 680.... But "we did good". I feel the questions were very beneficial for reasons above and he agreed. You can do it!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's been a few months since you've posted, so perhaps you've already re-taken and passed the PANCE.  If so, congrats!  

 

If not, I had a suggestion.  I second using the NCCPA Blueprint as a tool.  I took it and wrote a definition, causes and/or types, symptoms/signs, diagnostics, and treatments for every single condition listed.  Yes, this took foooorever, but it ensured I had a complete set of notes to work from.  (Actually, we made them into note cards which took even longer!)  If you're short on time, there are books that do this for you; you can even rent one on amazon.com for $20.  

 

The biggest thing that was helpful for me was reviewing the underlying pathophysiology.  When you hear "pneumonia" for example, you should have a mental image of what's going on; this will help you remember symptoms and diagnostics.  Having a thorough understanding of concepts will be more helpful than rote memorization with no real clue of what's going on. 

 

Anyhow, best of luck on your retry!  

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Welcome to the Physician Assistant Forum! This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Learn More