For students studying to become physician assistants and preparing for the PANCE exam, there are a number of questions that arise. How to study for the PANCE, how long to study for the PANCE, how to build a PANCE study schedule, how to pass the PANCE exam — these are just some of the inquiries that can cause apprehensive students to lose sleep in the months leading up to their exams.
For individuals who have chosen UWorld, the industry leader in high-stakes licensure exam prep, the answer to all of those questions can be found in the completion of the PA QBank. Proper study, appropriate length of study, essential exam practice, and the implementation of a study guide all converge as you take the time to diligently and methodically work through the UWorld PA QBank.
Here are a few things to consider when progressing through your QBank . . .
When You Work Through the Entire PA QBank, You Will Be Able To Identify Any Areas of Academic Weakness.
With over 1,700 questions written by accomplished, practicing PAs, the UWorld PA QBank covers the many clinical scenarios that test the high-yield concepts you’ll find on the PANCE.
An added benefit for targeted study is that the UWorld PA QBank allows you to customize your practice and study by Subjects, Systems, and even Categories.
The following Subjects are available for customized study:
Upon the selection of a particular Subject, you are given the option to further customize your study by selecting particular Systems within that Subject.
The following Systems are available for customized study:
To drill down even further, you can then select the Categories under any System that you wish to study.
As you work your way through the PA QBank, the performance reporting feature will identify your areas of strength and areas of weakness. When you see a particular subject, system, or category that needs improvement, you can begin self-remediation by targeting future study sessions to focus on those areas.
Working through the entire UWorld PA QBank ensures that you have faced a broad array of questions and been able to identify any areas that need improvement. This makes your study more efficient and effective.
In Order To Work Through the Entire PA QBank, Set a Plan and Stick To It.
Consistency is key when preparing for a high-stakes exam like the PANCE. It is beneficial to develop a study plan well in advance of your exam and stick to that plan for maximized PANCE prep.
An added upside to working through the entire UWorld PA QBank is that it automatically establishes a study plan for you to follow.
When you know that you are going to complete all 1,700 questions, you can build out your study plan based upon the number of days you have until your PANCE exam.
Determining how many questions you need to complete with each UWorld study session will be different for each student preparing for the exam. It depends on how many days until your PANCE and how much time you can commit to studying each session. However, committing to work through the entire QBank is the starting point for a well-thought-out study plan.
Once you have set up a study plan, it is imperative that you stick to the plan. In order to do this . . .
- Make sure you build a realistic study plan. Planning to work through 100 questions a day may sound good in your planning, but you have to ask yourself, Is that a realistic plan? Can I do that on a regular basis? Be sure to balance your ambition with pragmatism when building your PANCE study schedule.
- Eliminate Outside Distractions. An effective study plan is about more than the number of questions you will practice or the amount of time you set aside to study; how you study is just as important as how long you study. As much as possible, set up a study space that is quiet and distraction free. Outside disturbances like a loud television, interrupting individuals, a buzzing phone, or a bustling coffee shop can chip away at the time and attention you give to focused, attentive study. Eliminating distractions not only maximizes your planned study session, it also serves as great exam practice by simulating the environment you will encounter when you sit for your PANCE.
(Note: Using your phone, laptop, or wireless device to study on the go is a convenient way to enhance your PANCE prep. It allows you to get some extra practice in while you wait for your ride, take a lunch break, or pass the time in between classes. However, when it comes to executing your study plan, aim to take advantage of a quiet, distraction-free study environment.)
- Demonstrate Your Determination. Common traits among medical professionals are ambition and determination. These are traits you have, whether you realize it or not. It took a significant measure of ambition and determination to meet the requirements to get into your PA school, and it took an even greater measure to move through didactics and your rotations. Tap into that same determination to stick to your study plan and spend the predetermined amount of time in PANCE prep. When exam day rolls around, you’ll be glad you did.
To Get the Most Out of the Entire QBank, Utilize These Best Study Strategies . . .
Because the over 1,700 questions in the PA QBank are written at application level or higher and the interface mimics the actual PANCE exam, working through the questions will give you a significant advantage when you take your exam. However, simply answering each question in the QBank isn’t the only way to study — there are other practices you would be advised to incorporate in your regular study sessions.
Reread the question and the explanation.
Rereading the questions and the answer explanations serves a twofold purpose:
- It will further familiarize you with PANCE-style questions so there is no exam schock when you take the actual PANCE.
- It will help you identify the “why” behind both correct and incorrect answers. UWorld’s detailed answer explanations and accompanying illustrations are essential to the learning process in preparation for the PANCE exam.
Look for the Clues.
If you answered a question incorrectly, it’s important to understand the reasoning behind your mistake.
Solid PANCE prep isn’t strictly memorization of medical information. The UWorld PA QBank will present you with real-life clinical scenarios, testing high-yield concepts. It is this conceptual focus on important clinical topics that both broaden and reinforce your knowledge base and increase the likelihood of your exam success.
Therefore, when you get an answer wrong in the QBank, examine the question and the answer choices to see if you recognized the essential clues. Upon reflection, you will discover that these clues will point you to the correct next step.
Take Some Longer Practice Exams as You Get Closer To Your PANCE Exam.
As we established earlier, the study plan you’ve mapped out in advance of your exam may call for you to work through 19 or 28 questions per day. This regular, systematic study is important as you build your knowledge base leading up to the PANCE exam.
However, another important practice is to set aside a few sessions to work through longer blocks of questions. The PANCE exam is a five-hour exam, administered in five blocks of 60 questions with 60 minutes to complete each block. In order to prepare yourself metally and physically for the length, stress, and time constraints of the actual exam, plan multiple study sessions prior to the exam where you work through 60 questions in 60 minutes.
Note: These exam-like sessions (practice exams) will differ from your normal study times. For example, you’ll want to work in “Timed” mode instead of “Tutor” mode (meaning that you will review the answer explanations at the end of the block of questions rather than after each question). Additionally, you’ll want to work through the 60 questions as efficiently as possible — you can re-read the questions and study the explanations upon completion of the 60 questions.
Take Advantage of the Flashcards Feature.
In addition to working through the questions in the UWorld PA QBank, another useful feature for your PANCE prep is the flashcards feature which uses spaced repetition innovation.
In your UWorld PA QBank, you have the option to make a new flashcard or add to existing flashcards when you come across information you want to revisit in future study sessions. When building a flashcard, you can transfer written and visual content to both sides of the card. Additionally, you can add your own notes and create custom tags for improved searchability. When you’re ready to review your flashcards, you can organize and edit your decks, and you can search your flashcards based on the tags you created.
Spaced repetition innovation in the flashcards feature shows you difficult information more frequently until you master it, then decreases the frequency so your brain is challenged to create long-term retention.
Utilizing the digital flashcards feature in your UWorld QBank allows you to study with new levels of efficiency. Now, in addition to challenging, PANCE-style questions and detailed explanations, you have a study feature that allows you to use learning innovation and your own marked reference materials to increase your PANCE preparedness.
Are you preparing for an upcoming high-stakes exam like the PANCE® or PANRE®? If so, check out UWorld’s comprehensive online learning tool for your PANCE, PANRE, didactics, and clinical success. Our challenging questions, in-depth explanations, and performance tracking features will have you ready for success on exam day. Start your FREE trial today.