PANCE Review

PANRE Preparation : Questions are not the Answer!

John Bielinski, MS PA-C By February 6, 2015June 3rd, 20224 Comments
PANRE Preparation : Questions are not the Answer!

PANRE preparation why only doing practice questions is not the right answer. 


We have been teaching PA Board Review for PANCE and PANRE for years and as we have started mentoring and coaching PAs studying for their PANRE, it occurred to me yesterday why so many people are failing their PANRE. This is becoming a huge problem to our profession. Catastrophic. The PAs that are used to taking the pathway two to pass their PANRE are failing in droves – but why?

What is the biggest mistake in preparing to take your PANRE?

People are studying shallow and not deep. How are they doing this? Test questions. It’s a faulty strategy. I am hearing time and time again, people preparing for their PANRE are buying huge test banks of questions and spending a majority of time there. This is plain out the wrong way to study, you need a multi-sensory approach.

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PANRE Prep - Questions are not the Answer.




I don’t see this as the primary problem with the PANCE. Why? These are students that are used to studying heavy content. They have their own unique problem, but that will be in a future blog.

Test questions for PANRE preparation are designed to target the focus of your studies. It was like when I used to be a ring kick boxer; Sparring was designed to assimilate all that I learned and isolate where I was weak so I could correct it with out of ring training and drills. If I had a lousy uppercut (which I do) that would be isolated during sparring, so I would spend time hitting a pad with uppercuts. The questions for PANRE preparation are designed to do just that, isolate weakness to focus your studies. The NCCPA’s pretests are perfect for that. These tests give you a printout of where you are weak. This faulty strategy that is hurting you, not helping you.

So, here is the solution to better PANRE Prep, stop the huge test bank of questions. It’s a huge mistake. Study content that is driven by testing yourself using tools like the NCCPA pre-test. Find out your weak areas and focus on them, use questions as a second or even third line of studying, AFTER you have isolated your weak areas.
If you need help is preparing for your PANRE, we can help. If you have failed your PANRE already, what are you doing differently? Contact to arrange a free 15-minute coaching session.


  • Michael Nutt, MS, PA-C says:

    I disagree. I am a commercial pilot and believe in simulation. The repetitive drills program out any anxiety that you might face. I have used Kaplan on each PANRE and have done well, in fact, better each time -and FAR better than I did on my PANCE (which I prepared for with a test prep conference). Using Kaplan and taking test after test, which are in the same format as the PANRE, simulates the actual exam. Any time I had a break between cases, I might knock off a 25 question simulated exam. The day of my exam I have felt that I was prepared. When I sat down at that computer to actually take the exam, it was just another exam -exactly like the hundreds that I have already taken in order to prepare for this. The practice exams, and their explanations of the answers when you review them, are the perfect preparation.

    • Heather says:

      Michael, so you think Kaplan helped? For my PANCE I failed the first time and passed the second time. The second time I pretty much did Kaplan questions repeatedly. This time for the PANRE, I watched all the lectures with HIPPO, did all the questions, then did all the Kalplan questions and tested well. Then I did a NCCPA practice exam and it seemed completely different so I am panicking. I wrote down some of the questions and tried to look up the answers. I can’f find them in any review book and can’t even google them.

  • Daniel Gavin says:

    I have been board certified x 25 yrs praise Jesus never failed , if I do not pass the PANRE x2 in the 6 th yr how do you get certified again please???

    • Marc says:

      How did you do? I think that I bombed mine last weekend and I am depressed. I’m 13 years into the PA gig and think that this PANRE business is ridiculous. If you can’t do your job, your employer would know for G-D’s sake. Seems very unfair that no else but PA’s have to deal with this requirement. Should have been an NP.

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