Many of our attendees have asked us questions about preparing to take the PANCE and specifics about the tests.  Here is some information to help you. 


PANCE Overview – The PANCE is a five-hour exam that includes 300 multiple-choice questions in five blocks of 60 questions.  Sixty minutes is allotted to complete each block. There is a 15-minute computer tutorial before starting the actual test and a total of 45 minutes allotted for scheduled breaks between blocks. Before signing up for a specific day and time to take your test with the testing center you will need to first register with the NCCPA and pay their fee. 

PANCE Cost – $550

PANCE Attempts – Graduates from accredited PA programs are allowed SIX attempts to pass the PANCE in the first SIX years after graduation.  This rule was put into place January 1, 2003. If you still do not pass your PANCE after six attempts you must complete any ARC-PA accredited PA Program AGAIN (that’s right, the entire program!!!). 

Other NCCPA PANCE Requirements:

  • You may only take PANCE once in any 90-day period or three times in a calendar year
  • Testing is available throughout the year except late December
  • 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
  • Applications will not be accepted until 90 days prior to your expected program completion

PANCE Studying Tips

After taking our “GOLD STANDARD” 3-Day 100% Guaranteed PANCE Review Course, we advise that you review our CME Comprehensive Binder, our CME Study Review Sheet Booklet, and a reference source like Current Medical Diagnosis and Treatment. We strongly recommend you focus on the main four areas: Cardiology, Pulmonary, Gastroenterology and Musculoskeletal.  Reviewing questions will be helpful but remember to give yourself only 45-60 seconds per question.  This will help you better succeed on the exam. Consider 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.   As a great additional resource click here to access our incredible 200 question “CME Challenge Exam.” 

Night Before the Exam

Stay Positive!

You have successfully prepared and now is the time to focus on positive thoughts.  The night before your exam plan on eating a good dinner, drinking plenty of fluids (water, not alcohol!), and going to bed a little early to get some extra quality sleep. 

Please also remember to make sure you have enough gas in your car, write down the phone number and directions to the testing site, and have your 2 proper forms of identification for the testing center. 

Day of the Exam

Happy PANCE Day.  Wake up by not one but two alarms just to be safe.  Eat a healthy meal before going to the test center and remember to bring your two forms of valid and current identification. One ID must contain a permanently affixed photo with your printed name and signature (driver’s license, passport, etc.). The second identification must contain your printed name and signature. A photo, signature, fingerprint and/or palm vein image will be digitally obtained at the test center.

We recommend you bring a sweatshirt as an extra layer of clothing, but we have heard that hoodies will not be permitted.  After you get checked into the testing center, your proctor will eventually walk you into the testing room where you will be allowed to only use:

1.) Small erasable white board – take advantage of this and as soon as you are able, write down as many “PEARLS” including “Systolic vs Diastolic vs Continuous Murmurs” that is almost guaranteed to help you get a few extra questions correct.  This white board cannot be removed from the room at any time.  

2.) Noise cancelling devices – The testing site will provide you will a small bag of ear plugs and larger headphones if you are in need a quieter experience. 

Finally, plan on arriving to the testing center at least 30 minutes before your scheduled exam time.  Individuals who arrive late could lose their exam time and exam fee.  

Exam Day Study Materials & Personal Belongings

Please plan on keeping all your personal belongings and study materials in your vehicle or in the testing site provided storage locker.  According to the NCCPA website – no personal belongings (i.e., brimmed hats, bookbags, handbags, books, notes, study materials, calculators, watches of any kind, electronic paging devices, recording or filming devices, radios, cellular phones, outerwear, or food and beverages) are allowed in the testing room. 

During your 45-minute scheduled break time you will be permitted to review study materials.  Some people choose to take a small break after each of the blocks while others choose to do 2-3 blocks back-to-back and then take a full 45-minute break – your choice.  

Exam Final Results

Most people say they receive their PANCE results about 5 business days after taking their exam, but the NCCPA website states it could take up to two weeks. When your results are available, you will receive an email from the NCCPA telling you to long onto their portal to view your report.  If you had any issues at the testing center, we recommend that you contact the NCCPA as soon as possible via phone and certified letter.  

Click here to see the full NCCPA Policy & Procedure document

Categories:: Education