Physician Assistant National Certifying Exam (PANCE)

When a PA (physician assistant) gains initial certification they begin a six-year certification maintenance cycle to remain eligible to use their PA-C designation.

The exam is administered by the National Commision on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA).   To maintain their certification they would have to follow take re-certification exams. They have to acquire a log of at least 100 hours of CME within a two-year cycle. At the end of the sixth year maintenance period, they have to take and pass a re certification exam. Among the certification exams to take are PANCE, PANRE or Pathway II.

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About the PANCE Exam

The Physician Assistant National Certifying Exam (PANCE) exam comprises of 360 questions all in multiple choice format. The questions are designed to assess surgical and medical knowledge. The questions are divided into 4 sets of 90 questions. Each section is allotted 90 minutes to complete. The questions are set as short, single-best correct option to some relatively longer clinical vignette style questions having just one best option correct answer. A lot of the questions contain pictures, images such as EKGs x-rays, diagrams and photographs. To pass the PANCE test you have to answer 55-60% of the questions correctly. There is no penalty for wrong answer or for guessing. The fail rate for first time PANCE takers is 15% and for repeat takers is 25%.

The Physician Assistant National Certifying Exam (PANCE) test is administered via computer in over 300 Sylvan Prometric testing centers around the United States. The exam is conducted all year round. Candidates select a desired three month eligibility window to take the test and then call their choice Prometric test center to schedule a test date within the three month test window. There are about 5,000 candidates who take the PANCE test annually.

Pathway II exam is a web based open exam. The PA can take the exam from home and is allowed and advised to use research materials. The PANRE exams takes place in various centers around the United States and are multiple choice questions designed to test knowledge of general medical and surgical practice.

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Also check out our Multiple Choice Secrets Ebook – Comprehensive tips and strategies for multiple Choice exams with practice questions. Answering Multiple Choice

This is a Computer based exam (CBE).  Help and study strategies for CBE >>>

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How to Prepare for a Test

Everything you need to know to increase your score on any test! Test Preparation Secrets



pance-coverPANCE Study Guide & Practice Test Questions

Complete PANCE study guide prepared by a dedicated team of expert researchers.

Includes sample questions, how to make a study plan, test tips and complete review.

PANCE Study Guide & Practice Test



PANCE Flash Cards

Flash Cards are one of the best was to study for this type of test. Repetition and practice make memorization easy.

Our staff have taken all the possible material included in the PANCE, and refined it down to 552 essential concepts.

 PANCE Flash Cards






The Test Preparation web site is a service to visitors interested in the PANCE and is not affiliated with the National Commission on Certification for Physical Assistants (NCCPA).


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