How to study for the PANCE

Filed Under (General Talk) by Dave on 05-11-2010

I think the title of this post says it all, but let me also say that THIS METHOD OF STUDYING MY NOT WORK FOR YOU!

Basically what I’m trying to say is that you have to find your own studying method for the PANCE, but this is what worked for me.

First I sat aside a good 4 weeks to do nothing but study for the PANCE.

Ok, so to study I really used one book.  That book was “A comprehensive review for the certification and recertification examinations for physician assistants: published in collaboration with AAPA and PAEA.”

I basically went chapter by chapter reading every word.  When I hit a subject that I didn’t know much about or felt that there wasn’t enough info provided, I would use the Lange Current medical diagnosis book.

My warning with the AAPA review book that I used is that it is a REVIEW book.  It does a great job of covering almost all topics, but does not dive into great detail.  If you feel you need more details you will have to look for another book.

In my opinion the AAPA review book is just what you need.  If you have made it to the point of taking the PANCE,  you shouldn’t have to look up every single detail.  Your reviewing should be more of an overview.  A lot of the material you should already know, but just need a refresher and kick to remember all that you have learned.

Now don’t get me wrong.  There were tons of things that I read during my review and didn’t remember learning at all during my 2 years in PA school.  In that case I read the review and then used Lange and the internet to learn the important stuff.

I know what a lot of people say doing tons of questions is the right thing to do…and I think I have to agree with them.  Do as many questions as you can…be it the Kaplan online question banks or a book such as Davis’s Review book.

I actually liked Davis’s.  It starts with a bunch of questions that can have multiple correct answers.  At first it is frustrating when you don’t get all the answers, but as time goes on you figure out that it is actually a help.  It does a great job of explaining why each answer is right or wrong and the questions are labeled with the organ system they accompany so you can get an idea of what subjects you aren’t doing well in.

So that is how I studied in a nut shell. 

I spent about 4-6 hours a day for the 3 or so weeks reading.

I also spent the day before the exam having fun.  I think I went out to the beach and ate some good food before returning home to watch a movie and then hit the bed.

And make sure to get enough sleep!

Another word of advice I can give is to check out the testing location before you go.  Mine was actually kind of hidden, so it was a good thing I checked it out a few days before hand.

And my biggest advice of all is this…