Finally passed the PANCE! It has been a looong road. I wanted to tell you guys some info about the exam to give you a little less anxiety, because some posts that I was reading freaked me out. But there is seriously no reason to freak out. The passing rate for first time takers is 94%. So congratulate yourself because you passed :) When I walked out of the exam I said to myself there is no way I failed that test. Just be confident, your school and self-studying prepared you for the exam.
The questions I would do are PA easy, Kaplan, and LANGE. My exam was comparable to PA easy questions. I would definitely do the 2 NCCPA exams they provide you on their website. They are 120 questions each, and cost $35 each. It is worth the money. They are retired PANCE questions. As a grade they give you where you fall on a bar graph in each topic, so you don’t get a number score back. If you feel comfortable doing those you are set. It is KEY that for all the questions you do, read the explanations as to WHY you got it wrong. Also do that for questions you were not sure of but guessed correctly. I had a notebook and wrote information down to questions in each topic that I wanted to remember or did not know. Also do a practice full length exam so you can get the feeling of how long the exam really is. However on your actual test day it will go by so fast you won’t even feel it or care about the time :) It is just an adrenaline rush for 5 hours.
Focus on the big topics: Cardio, pulm, GI, musculoskeletal, ENT, and Ob/gyn. Pharmacology is a big percentage also. They love drug-drug interactions and side effects to watch out for. If you know these topics well then you will be set. Know basic EKG and X-ray readings. I made index cards for the Drugs. Cardio, psych, GI, GU, drugs, and antibiotics are big.
The book I used to mainly study from was PANCE Prep Pearls by Dwayne Williams. He was my professor and my emergency medicine preceptor. He is amazing and his book is just as amazing. It has everything you need to know, including the drugs, MOAs, Side effects and contraindications. I would also look at surgery recall for the anatomy and surgery questions.
It really helped me during the exam and as I was studying to look at the answer choices first before answering the questions. I wish I did this throughout PA school. It helped me figure out what they were asking and what they were looking for in the correct answer.
A mix of reading and questions is the best way to prepare. Questions, questions, questions!! Do blocks of 60 questions at a time. You can start off as doing the questions un-timed, but once you get closer to the test date you should be doing them timed. You will do very well ! Happy studying :)