PANCE Passing Score and Scoring Guide

To become a certified physician assistant, it is required that candidates take and pass the PANCE exam upon graduation from an accredited PA program. Due to the high-stakes nature of this licensure exam, PA students have many questions about PANCE passing scores, PANCE pass rates, and how the exam is actually scored. In this article, we will cover frequently asked questions about the PANCE and how it is scored.

How Is the PANCE Scored?

The NCCPA selects a diverse panel of PA content experts to determine the PANCE passing score. Charged with identifying core competencies an entry-level PA should be able to demonstrate to be trusted as a capable clinician, the panel reviews and rates each PANCE question in a meticulous process, determining its point value.

PANCE scores range from a minimum of 200 to a maximum score of 800. The PANCE pass score is 350 or above.


How many questions do you need to answer to pass the PANCE?

Your PANCE exam score is based on the number of questions you answered correctly. Points are not deducted for incorrect or blank answers. Therefore, it is recommended that you answer every question on the exam in order to achieve your highest PANCE score possible.

How are scores calculated on the PANCE?

Performance on the PANCE is reported on a scale-score metric where scale scores are used to place all scores on a unified scale regardless of any specific test form’s difficulty. This standard means that PA students with the same level of ability will achieve the same score on the PANCE irrespective of the test form taken.

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How to Know If You Have Passed The PANCE

The NCCPA will email you after your PANCE when your results are ready. The email will have instructions on how to find your PANCE score in your online account. In order to find out your exam results, be sure that the NCCPA has your correct email address.

When are PANCE scores released?

It can take up to two weeks to receive your PANCE exam results; however, most results are reported within four business days.

What is a good PANCE score?

The PANCE exam is scored on a scale that ranges from 200 to 800. A score of 350 or greater is a passing score. Even though a 350 is a passing score, we believe that students should strive to understand the concepts tested on the PANCE versus settling for just a passing score. Healthcare is an essential industry and PA’s are a crucial part of the healthcare landscape. PA’s are trusted to provide adequate health care and will encounter a variety of clinical scenarios. Sometimes the stakes are high, and can involve making judgment calls on matters of life and death. With those reasons in mind, we recommend students strive for excellence.

Pass Rates for the Physician Assistant National Certifying Examination (PANCE)

What if my PANCE score is less than 350?

Any PANCE score below 350 is a failing score. If you want to ensure a PANCE passing score on your first attempt, prep with UWorld’s premium exam-like questions and in-depth answer explanations. Working through quality PANCE practice questions builds confidence and increases exam readiness, contributing to your success on test day.

What happens if a candidate fails the PANCE?

If your PANCE score is less than 350, you will have to retake the PANCE exam at a later date in order to pass and gain licensure as a physician assistant. If you want to retake the exam you will have to wait 90-days before your next attempt. While you wait, we strongly recommend using a Qbank that includes robust performance tracking. UWorld’s PA QBank includes detailed performance tracking by subject and system. This allows you to identify your areas of weakness and remediate accordingly.

How often can you take the PANCE?

If you fail the PANCE, you can retake it; however, there is a limit to how many times you can attempt to pass the exam. You may take the PANCE up to a maximum of six times within the six years following the date of your graduation from PA school. If you haven’t passed the PANCE after six attempts, or if you don’t take the PANCE before your six-year window has ended, you will no longer be eligible to take the exam.

How to Get a 500+ PANCE Score

In order to earn your highest possible PANCE passing score, it is important to prepare in advance for your exam with UWorld’s industry-leading PANCE exam prep.

UWorld’s PANCE prep is written by accomplished, practicing PAs at or above exam level. The challenging PANCE practice questions are identical to those you will face on your PANCE exam. Additionally, UWorld provides in-depth answer explanations, vivid medical images, tables and graphs, and innovative study features to further instruction and aid in retention.

“UWorld offers challenging questions on par with PANCE level questions which helped me prepare for the board exam. The explanations are detailed and provide feedback on wrong answer choices as well which is helpful in understanding why an answer is wrong. Highly recommend this question bank!” - Morgan

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What Is a PACKRAT Score?

The Physician Assistant Clinical Knowledge Rating and Assessment Tool (PAKRAT) is a practice test written by the Physician Assistant Education Association® (PAEA®). It is a 225-question exam that most PA programs provide for students after their didactic phase and at the end of clinicals. It is primarily used as a self-assessment tool. Your score on the PACKRAT can be used as a predictor of your performance on the PANCE exam.

Read More About the PANCE

Find out everything you need to know about the PANCE exam in this informative article. PANCE summary, exam information, frequently asked questions, and more — it’s all here.
Wondering what to expect on your PANCE and how to prepare for the exam? This helpful study guide provides exam information, including what types of questions you will encounter.
When do I register for the PANCE exam? Am I eligible to sit for the exam? When should I take it? How much does it cost to register? Find the answers to these questions and more here.
Discover important exam details and begin your PANCE prep by acquainting yourself with the exam blueprint. This article will give you a behind the scenes look at this licensure exam.
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