Tips on Passing the PANCE and PANRE Exams-Board Vitals

The Physician Assistant National Certifying Exam (PANCE) and Physician Assistant National Recertifying Exam (PANRE) can be intimidating tests. The PANCE is composed of 300 multiple-choice questions completed over five hours, while the PANRE is four hours and composed of 240 multiple-choice questions.

It is important to understand the components of the test and the number of questions to expect from each topic. Be sure to study each topic, but focusing more time on heavier-weighted subjects will yield the best results.

The following is a breakdown of the percentage of exam content on each subject.

Medical Content Categories

  • Cardiovascular System: 13%
  • Dermatologic System: 5%
  • Endocrine System: 7%
  • Eyes, Ears, Nose, and Throat: 7%
  • Gastrointestinal System/Nutrition: 9%
  • Genitourinary System (Male and Female): 5%
  • Hematologic System: 5%
  • Infectious Diseases: 6%
  • Musculoskeletal System: 8%
  • Neurologic System: 7%
  • Psychiatry/Behavioral Science: 6%
  • Pulmonary System: 10%
  • Renal System: 5%
  • Reproductive System (Male and Female): 7%

Task Categories

  • History Taking and Performing Physical Examination: 17%
  • Using Diagnostic and Laboratory Studies: 12%
  • Formulating Most Likely Diagnosis: 18%
  • Managing Patients
    •    Health Maintenance, Patient Education,
      and Preventive Measures: 10%
    • Clinical Intervention: 14%
    • Pharmaceutical Therapeutics: 14%
  • Applying Basic Scientific Concepts: 10%
  • Professional Practice: 5%

The key to doing well on the exam is be preparing with practice questions. The BoardVitals PANCE question bank includes more than 1,000 questions to help you prepare for your test. Getting used to the style and content of the questions is essential to your success.

Preparation for a test of this size and scope requires weeks and months of planning and studying. Use all available resources, including books, the internet, your peers, and review courses. The exam, while daunting, is just one more obstacle in the Physician Assistant career path, and one that many before you have overcome.