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PANCE and How to study.

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I recently took the pance and didnt pass on my first attempt, i felt all the emotions that accompany failure but i came to this site and used it to review make a plan and study for the exam.

Books used .

1) Step up to medicine.

2) Appleton and Lange Q &A.

3) Currents 2011.

4) Harrisons

5) Bates (the phycial exam book)

5) cecil.

6) AAPA ( only good for PSY and maybe derm)

7) Kaplan


9) Datachem

10) 2 WEEk subscription to Exam master.

11) Wheelless (dukes ORTHO site)

12) Youtube any disease it usually has a 2 minute video animation on the patho of a disease.





Basically i studied the major topics from the harrisons and cecil. like CHF, MI, Cancers from harrisons and Cecil since they are meticulously comprehensive with their info. It was tough reading and very thick but it was necessary.


The smaller average sized topics i used currents and step up to medicine to study from.



1)If going through step up to medicine (which is 1000000000X better then the aapa book) u should know every FIRST AND SECOND line TX to everything mentioned in the blueprint.


2) Know Every DRUG class and their general mechanism or ACtion and MAJOR ADRs.


3) I have been on this site for a while and havent seen people mention Bates guide to physical exam but its an excellent book to use to study.

Each section, at the end of the section breaks down MAJOR Most common physical exam stuff that is often tested on the boards/ relavant to real life encounters such as hernias.


4) EKGs ( know how to tx all EKG stuff)




I believe the test is very fair. WHen taking the test for the first time i tried to assimilate as many loose facts as possible without any deep connections or attachment to it. (WRONG MOVE) the best way to pass the test is to really learn this stuff so that no matter what way they ask a question u can get the correct answer by thinking.




WAY to study

given the three months i covered all the topics back and forth. After i was done with a topic i did all the questions SPECIFIC to that topic from every book of questions i had.


Last 2.5 weeks before exam i did PURE questions and studied here and there.

theres much more to say but i dunno what exactly to write if anyone has questions u can write them here ill check back in a day and continue checking. i just wanna help u guys (new to pance or 2nd 3rd 4th, 5th etc)



oh as far as progression i was getting

Original packrat 141

original score 320 PANCE

Data chem consistant with 75s ish.

Kaplan book 75s

AAPA qs ....80

exam master 55-77

PANCe score 706



OHh also read the cardi review on here plus the section of triggger words on phrases

again plx comment if u have a question

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PANCE score: 706

Well done, charle007! You killed it the second time around... congrats on being a PA-C!


I too failed the PANCE in August -- took the PANCE 10 days after graduating, didn’t take it seriously enough). And hallelujah, I just passed it earlier this week! I am so happy that monkey is off my back. A person should only have to take the PANCE once in life, but the stressful yet humbling experience of failing and starting over again has made me a better person, and surely a better provider.


I came on the forums to share my thoughts about this too. These forums have helped me a lot to come up with a plan to pass, and I want to repay the favor. Hopefully this will be helpful to anyone about to sit for the PANCE or PANRE.


Here’s how I more than doubled my previous score:


First, realize that everyone has different learning styles. My academic advisor recommended this quiz to see what my learning style is. I found that I am an audio learner, and that I learn best by teaching and doing. This helped me formulate my plan: http://www.engr.ncsu.edu/learningstyles/ilsweb.html


Everyone has their preference for resources. Here’s how I approached it:


Study guides/course (the first stage of preparing for the PANCE, but not the only stage!):

1. A Comprehensive Review for the Certification and Recertification of Physician Assistants – Has good pretest in the book, and the pretest and posttest questions on the online component that comes with the book, which is key.

2. Clinical Pharm Made Ridiculously Simple – My greatest weakness was Pharm, which is 18% at least of the PANCE – 1 out of 5 questions are about drugs! This helped me break down thick areas like Cardiology and Antibiotics.

3. Emory Board Review DVD/CD – My favorite resource; this helped me out a whole lot. Since I am an audio learner, I liked listening to lectures while driving and at the gym. I also spent many hours taking notes on index cards from watching these video lectures.

4. My PA school notes and lectures.

5. Lange Outline Review – Just another way to look at #1 above.


Practice questions (I can’t stress enough how important this is! Just keep doing questions until you’re blue. When you take the PANCE, it will feel automatic, because you will have seen these questions already, or ones like it):

1. Exam Master: Highly recommended! The questions are harder, and longer, but it prepares you better for critical thinking. I would try for 65%

2. Packrats: My other favorite question bank. I used the ones from the previous 7 years. Ask your classmates – someone will know where to find them floating around cyberspace. The cool thing about some of these is that the answer is right after the question, so you get instant gratification. I think some of my questions on the PANCE were on these.

3. The online pre/post tests from A Comprehensive Review for the Certification and Recertification of Physician Assistants (mentioned above). I think some questions on the PANCE were from this too, or very similar.

4. Lange Q&A – I didn’t like this one too much, because the questions are not like the ones on the PANCE (weird questions on stats, matching, true/false). Would not recommend.

5. NCCPA Practice Exam – $35 to see where you’re weaknesses lie. You don’t get answer to the questions, but you get a nifty bar graph that tells you what you should already know. I did this 2 weeks before the PANCE retake, and it correctly predicted what I ended up doing the worst on despite my best efforts!

6. Emory course: comes with 2 practice exams and a subscription to Exam Master.


Other thoughts:

1. I planned out my weeks with what I wanted to study, what exams I would do, and what goals I wanted to meet percentage-wise. I would constantly reassess myself and my schedule, and try to stick with it. It was a constant struggle to use my time wisely.

2. A typical schedule would be:

a. Reviewing things from the day before

b. Studying new materials

c. Questions on that material when I felt ready

d. Grading myself, and going back to what I missed and why

3. I found out that I’m a flashcard guy! Try it out as you study, and look over them in bed at night.

4. About the PANCE: It’s a different test for everyone, and sadly, sometimes they can feel unfair. As much as I prepared, I felt like if I just learn a dozen topics really well, I could have passed. As wide as medicine is, I was surprised to see the same questions asked 3-4 different ways in a 300-question test. But having said that, be prepared for anything!


I hope that helps! But like I said, it is different for everyone. Good luck to all, and remember that you’ll make it through the PANCE if you accomplished getting through PA school!

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ive been using the certification and rectification book along with the van rhee (green book). i have the datachem questions which i do after i study each chapter and using pareview.com which is qustion bank from van rhee book online. also the cert and recert book comes with a cd of question bank which i use.... any other recommendations? i have used the kaplan question book as well, but found that the questions are not similar to the board type questions at all....

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