PANCE/PANRE Test Taking Tips

PANCE/PANRE Test Taking Tips

Please review our NCCPA Frequently Asked Questions
Many of our attendees have asked us questions about either preparing to take the PANCE/PANRE or specifics about the tests. We have put together the following information to help.

NOTE: The number of questions have DECREASED in 2011 from the original 360-PANCE, 300-PANRE

The PANCE is a five-hour exam that includes 300 multiple-choice questions in five blocks of 60 questions with 60 minutes to complete each block. There is a 15 minute computer tutorial before starting the actual test and a total of 45 minutes allotted for breaks between blocks.

PANCE Cost – $475

Attempts – Only SIX attempts in the first SIX years after graduation (after Jan 1, 2003). If you still do not pass you must complete any ARC-PA accredited PA Program AGAIN (that’s right, the entire program!!!). You may schedule your exam anytime (depending on testing center availability) with the 180 day timeframe established for you based on your expected graduation date and submission of required materials.

Other NCCPA Requirements:

  • There is no testing between Dec 20-23, 2011
  • You may only take PANCE once in any 90-day period or three times in a calendar year
  • The earliest date you’ll be able to test is SEVEN days after your program completion
  • Applications will not be accepted until 90 days prior to your expected program completion

The PANRE is a four-hour exam that includes 240 multiple-choice questions in four blocks of 60 questions with 60 minutes to complete each block. There is also a 15 minute computer tutorial before the starting the actual test and a total of 45 minute allotted breaks between blocks.

PANRE Cost – $350

Attempts – You may ONLY take the PANRE twice in your 5th year and twice in your 6th year (waiting at least 90 days between tests)


Primary Care – 100% of all the types of questions we know and love!

Adult Medicine – 60% general exam, 40% adult medicine questions

  • Remember, 40% of these questions may be written by SPECIALISTS in RHEUMATOLGY, ENDOCRINOLOGY, PULMONARY, HEPATOLOGY/GI, CARDIOLOGY, NEUROLOGY, PSYCHIATRY, and other possible specialties
  • Also remember, you will still have 60% of your tests questions in primary care, including; PEDIATRICS, WOMEN’S HEALTH, etc.

Surgery – 60% general exam, 40% surgery questions


Other NCCPA Requirements:

  • There is no testing between Dec 20-23, 2011

Studying Tips
 After taking our 3-Day 100% Guaranteed Board Review Course, we advise that you review a reference source like Current Medical Diagnosis and Treatment. At an absolute minimum, focus on the main four areas; Cardiology, Pulmonary, Gastroenterology and Musculoskeletal (Orthopedics & Rheumatology) as well as any additional areas you are deficient in. If you then have available time, review some practice questions, giving yourself ONLY ONE MINUTE PER QUESTION. We recommend splitting up your questions into 15 or 30 minute sessions 3-4 times per day rather than studying questions only for a straight 4 hour period. 

Night Before the Exam
 DO NOT CRAM. Stop reviewing our conference lectures, CME Summary Review Sheets, etc. by 6pm and eat a GOOD dinner. Make sure you get at least 7 hours of sleep and drink plenty of fluids (water, not alcohol!). Also print out the EXACT directions to the testing site. I made this mistake just 2 months ago, but luckily for me the correct testing site was only 2 miles from the wrong one I initially went to. Make sure the gas tank is full, you have extra cash in your wallet (if needed), your 2 forms of valid & current IDs are ready (another mistake I made by struggling to find my passport)and that your cell phone is fully charged WITH ADDED PHONE NUMBERS OF THE NCCPA ( ) and TESTING CENTER ___-___-____. 

Day of the Exam
 Remember you must present two forms of valid and current ID at the testing center. One ID must contain a permanently affixed photo with your printed name and signature (drivers license, passport, etc.). The second ID must contain your printed name and signature.

Arrive at least 30 minutes before your scheduled time. You may not be admitted if you arrive late and may LOSE YOUR ENTIRE EXAM FEE. 

Exam Day Study Materials & Personal Belongings
 You may ONLY access your study materials and personal belongings in provided storage lockers or your vehicle during your scheduled breaks but you may NOT bring any of these into the actual testing room. We strongly recommend that you use your 45 minutes of schedules breaks to not only use the bathroom and grab a drink of water but also that time to quickly review our CME Summary Review Sheets™

Exam Final Results
Most people claim to receive their results in approximately 3-5 days but it may take approximately two weeks. You will be notified by email and please call the NCCPA if you do not receive an email within approximately 2 weeks. If you feel that your test was graded incorrectly you MUST contact the NCCPA with your concerns. Recently, there was a grading error and some PA’s who took the PANRE in 2011 were notified by the NCCPA that actually they had passed, despite being told they initially failed earlier in the year. We recommend that you send a certified letter with your concerns in addition to documenting your phone conversations. 

Good luck with your exam!!

Certified Medical Educators

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