5 Great PANCE and PANRE Prep Books

Studying for the PANCE or PANRE requires a lot of self-study and independent learning. For both students and practicing physician assistants, time is extremely valuable. Having the best PANCE and PANRE prep books to guide and maximize your time is extremely important.

As a student, you’re already studying for your end of rotation exams. following the NCCPA Blueprint for whatever specialty you’re in while also spending some time on general questions allows you to maximize your time studying. There’s no reason not to kill two birds with one stone.

As a practicing PA, there’s a good chance you have other obligations like family. If you’re like 80% of practicing physician assistants, you’re also in a specialty. As of now, the PANRE is still a general test so maximizing your study time to focus on your weak areas is extremely important.

I recommend a good mix of Blueprint-focused outlined material as well practice test questions. For the first-time PANCE taker and the seasoned PANRE applicant, it’s important to understand and know concepts, but also how to answer questions.

I had several very intelligent classmates who did not pass the PANCE, not because they weren’t smart enough, but because they weren’t good “test takers.” There’s some skill behind answering multiple choice standardized questions.

The strategy behind multiple choice questions is usually to give

  • The correct answer
  • An “almost correct” answers
  • An answer that is related to the question base but not correct
  • An answer that is wrong and potentially harmful

So even if you don’t know the answer, you can attack the question strategically to narrow down the choices and make an educated guess. This takes practice and can significantly improve your scores. It takes “guessing” out of most of the questions you don’t know.

There are many great resources available that include reading material and practice questions. Studying for the PANCE or PANRE is all about maximizing your time. YOU DON’T NEED EVERY RESOURCE AVAILABLE. Pick one or two that complement your natural study method whether that’s outline form, studying by system, or by symptoms. Make sure you have plenty of practice questions. Good luck!

Here are 5 great resources available to help you through your self-study.

A Comprehensive Review for the Certification and Recertification Examinations for Physician Assistants

This is the only resource developed and endorsed by the American Academy of PAs (AAPA) and the Physician Assistant Education Association (PAEA). This is the resource I personally used for studying. I utilized it for the PANCE and my first PANRE.

While it does have a nice question bank of approximately 200 questions with answers and explanations, the well-written content is why it’s such a great research. Following the Blueprint, each chapter focuses on a body system and outlines in a concise, easy to read format everything you need to know.

Purchase of the book also includes online access to additional questions and a self-assessment CME post-test for 20 Category 1 self-assessment CME credits.

LANGE Q&A Physician Assistant Examination, Seventh Edition (Lange Q&A Allied Health)

This is the resource I recommend for practice test questions because there are so many. You’d be surprised how fast you memorize few hundred questions that come with some of these review books. And while they’re helpful, once you’ve run through them a few times you know the answers.

Lange Q&A has over 1,300 exam-style questions with answers and explanations. The questions are organized by organ systems and specialty areas which is helpful for students studying for end of rotation exams or if you’ve pinpointed a particular area of weakness.

Purchase of this book comes with online access to a free practice test as well.

Davis’s PA Exam Review: Focused Review for the PANCE and PANRE

The format is a question, followed by several correct answers. This is followed by a detailed explanation of why each answer is correct or not correct and what you should know about both the question stem and the answer choices. This allows you to extensively cover the subject matter and different ways the question could be asked.

Another popular study guide, this is a good option if you’re looking for a one-stop-shop clinical review with ample study questions. The format is also a little different, grouped by signs and symptoms instead of categories and systems like most others. This is a creative approach because most PANCE and PANRE exam questions give you a clinical scenario.

This review is divided in two sections. The first “Essentials” section details clinical topics by signs and symptoms. There are questions and detailed explanations throughout. The second “Performance” section is supposed to simulate the exam experience.

Pance Prep Pearls 2nd Edition

Pearls are an effective way to study large quantities of information. They’re light in the quantity and heavy on the quality. Pance Prep Pearls offers succinct information for Blueprint content as well as easy to follow algorithms and charts to maximize how much you retain.

Be aware, there are numerous reports of fake copies of this book being sold on Amazon. Your best option is to buy directly from the publisher.

PANCE and PANRE Question Book: A Comprehensive Question and Answer Study Review Book for the Physician Assistant National Certification and Recertification Exam

Written by the same author as PANCE Pance Prep Pearls, this book is a great adjunct for additional test question. Practice tests come at a price. A 50 question practice test from NCCPA is $50. This has over 600 additional questions with detailed explanations for each answer. While not categorized by system or subject, it’s a nice sized question bank to keep you busy. I recommend purchasing this with PANCE Prep Pearls.

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