Because many of the PA certification study resource tips I see on this site are related to PANCE, I wanted to share a few takeaways from my PANRE study resource experience from when I tested in December of 2019.
As a PA practicing in dermatology (nearly exclusively since becoming a PA), I had previously sought study resource suggestions on this forum in advance of preparing for my third PANRE. I landed on the ones listed below. There are other resources I wanted to try such as Kaplan and CME4LIFE which were also recommended. This is by no means a comprehensive list of the best resources. It is simply a list based on my own limited experience.
List of resources used for 2019 PANRE Prep:
Rosh Review question test bank (took about 2,200 questions). Rosh provides a very convenient app which allows one to drop in any time and utilize the study mode for immediate feedback with a good review of rationale provided for answers. Tests can be set up in a variety of ways and can be timed or untimed. Final “projected PANCE score” turned out to be about 15 % lower than my PANRE score but I know others have reported experiencing the opposite scenario. Note: I am unaware how or if this is supposed to correlate to PANRE (vs. PANCE) projected score. I found the best price for Rosh Review test question banks on this forum and purchased access through two members whose dates of access overlapped which worked out great. I highly recommend Rosh Review questions.
Joe Gilboy, PA-C test booklet and SoundCloud audio files (https://paboardreview.org). Joe is a rather entertaining speaker who moves through various system lectures in a way that keeps you engaged, although he can go off topic a bit. In his lectures, he covers system topics without exhaustively discussing a given system all the way through and then comes back to it later. His theory is that he loses people's interest if he covers a subject cover to cover. He sells access to members only SoundCloud lectures that follow a book outline which he will send to you within days of your order. Total cost is $125. Joe called back from the phone number I called listed on his site and was very willing to answer any questions. He seems to have a genuine passion for helping PAs pass the boards and I greatly respect this. Cardiac Pharmacology is his number one ranked SoundCloud lecture. I highly recommend his Hepatitis lecture as well. Test questions are in his book and some of them are discussed in his lectures. The questions are rather limited in number overall. The lecture and book served as a great resource which should probably be supplemented with a more comprehensive review book when preparing for the boards. He provides a list of suggested additional study resources in his book.
HIPPO PA video series and test bank (https://www.hippoed.com/pa/). There is access to experienced video lecturers through HIPPO PA but honestly, I did not enjoy this one as much. IMO, some of the lecturer’s back and forth was a bit annoying. Also, not all of the speakers held my attention equally, nor did they always stay on topic. However, I have read alot of positive feedback about this resource, so to each their own. HIPPO PA seems like it is more than adequate as a stand alone resource to pass PANRE because they definitely cover the NCCPA Blueprint and there is alot of content overall. The test bank was good and I liked the breakdown of feedback as to weaknesses and strengths in various categories. I felt that Rosh questions more closely resembled the questions I experienced on the PANRE.
Smarty PANCE Membership (https://smartypance.com). This seems to be one of the most economical choices and actually includes access to Joe Gilboy’s lectures with a visual aid of the pages of Joe’s book as it follows his audio lectures. Separately, there is a link through this site for Joe’s members only SoundCloud audio lectures. In comparing this to Joe’s site, I think the only advantage to using paboardreview.org to purchase lectures is if one wanted to purchase his book in addition to the SoundCloud lectures. I don't feel this is necessary but I liked the idea of supporting Joe directly by purchasing through him, so that’s why I chose to do both. I think Smarty Pance is an adequate stand alone resource for passing the PANRE. There are lots of questions (although currently weaker than Rosh) and many system oriented and comprehensive mock tests here as well.
PANCE Prep Pearls: A practical Comprehensive Study and Review Guide for the PANCE and PANRE by Dwayne Williams, 2nd Edition. (https://pancepreppearls.com) List price is currently $47. Lots of algorithms and thorough content overall. Of note, a currently priced $50, 2 volume third edition was recently released on the site above. It is promoted as “more user friendly” and “in line with the 2019 blueprint.” In my research, this book is often recommended for PANCE and PANRE test prep. I would recommend using this resource to supplement another source for test prep. There is also a related app that can be purchased but I have not tried it.
Now that I have taken and passed my PANRE, I would recommend the following if I was preparing for the PANRE in 2020: Rosh Review question bank access (per negotiated or Rosh direct purchase rate), Smarty Pance ($65 one year all access pass is the current rate), Joe Gilboy SoundCloud lectures accessed through Smarty Pance for on the go, and I would purchase the two volume 3rd Edition of PANCE Prep Pearls ($50). Part of my rationale for this is that one could probably get access to all of the above in 2020 for around $200 total (give or take a bit) which I think is reasonable. The price paid for CME resources varies widely and can be much more expensive, so please do your research on that.
The 2019 PANRE was different from past PANRE tests and perhaps a bit more difficult for me in that buzz words are gone compared to the previous tests. Also, I found myself reading through a question while thinking, “Oh cool, I know this diagnosis," only to be asked about a subtle lab or exam finding nuance. My overall score was the highest I have had for PANRE thus far but I also prepared more this time than in the past. I definitely recommend being thorough in test prep because relying on question banks but not knowing the material on a deeper level will only lead to unnecessary stress. Begin test prep months out, if possible. Remember that NEARLY everyone but not every single one person passes PANRE. This should be reassuring for those who are worried about passing the PANRE. This is a link for PANRE pass rates that goes through 2018 as of the date of this posting: http://prodcmsstoragesa.blob.core.windows.net/uploads/files/PANREPassRates.pdf.
I cannot speak to PANCE Prep since I know PANCE and PANRE present different challenges and degrees of difficulty.
I hope this is helpful. If you would, please comment with your preferred board prep resource and reasons as to why. I am happy to respond by DM with specific questions regarding this post. Thank you for reading it.
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