About the PANCE
Exam Format and Structure
Why Take The PANCE Exam and Who Can Take It?
In 1974, the American Medical Association® (AMA®) and the National Board of Medical Examiners® (NBME®) formed the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants® (NCCPA®), an organization that would be responsible for the requirements for PA eligibility and setting the passing standard for initial certification and periodic recertification. The PANCE was first administered by the NCCPA in 1975.
When do you take the PANCE?
If you are a graduate of an accredited PA program, you are eligible to take the PANCE as soon as seven days after you graduate. You are eligible to take the PANCE for up to six years after your graduation. Most students take the exam shortly after graduation because the content they learned in their didactics and clinicals is still fresh in their memory.
How many times can you take the PANCE?
What Is on the PANCE Exam?
The PANCE is developed from the NCCPA’s content blueprint and tests your knowledge in two different categories:
- Knowledge of the diseases and disorders PAs encounter
- Knowledge and skills related to tasks PAs perform when treating patients
Medical Content Categories % Allocation
(Male and Female)
(Male and Female)
Task Categories % Allocation
Patient Education, and
Are PANCE practice exams worth it?
PANCE Exam Format and Structure
You are given a total of 45 minutes for scheduled breaks in between blocks of questions during the exam. Any break time taken beyond the allowed 45 minutes will be deducted from your exam time. During your scheduled break time, you are permitted to visit your locker at the testing site and access any personal items stored there.
How many questions are on the PANCE?
The PANCE consists of 300 multiple-choice questions. Due to the challenging nature of these questions and the rigor of the lengthy exam, it is important to practice with similar questions ahead of time. UWorld offers over 2,000+ challenging PANCE practice questions, in-depth explanations for every answer choice, vivid medical illustrations, flashcards with spaced repetition, and precise performance tracking. If you prepare in advance for the exam with these premium tools, you will be ready for the 300 multiple-choice questions you will encounter on exam day.
Is the PANCE hard?
The PANCE is a difficult exam. For PA students wondering “why is the PANCE so hard?” The answer is simple: the PANCE is a licensure exam that tests medical and surgical competency. The exam determines which candidates are ready to begin practicing medicine as certified PAs and which candidates are not yet ready to be licensed. Multiple competencies are tested, and there is a large volume of content tested on the exam. The added pressure of needing to pass the exam for licensure can also make the exam more stressful.
Is UWorld’s PANCE prep hard?
Fantastic thus far. Challenging questions that are often 2nd and 3rd order require more in-depth reasoning.
Very similar to actual PANCE questions. Incredibly helpful for studying to retake the exam. Much better than other resources I've used in the past.
Tips for Passing the PANCE on the First Attempt
You will need to bring two forms of valid and current identification to your testing site. One form of identification must contain your printed name, signature, and a permanently affixed photograph. The second form of identification must contain your printed name and signature.