Rebecca DePalma, PA-S2 and pre-PA mentor, shares her advice for avoiding the mistakes keeping you from taking studying to the next level.

5 Mistakes You’re Making When Preparing for PANCE [WEBINAR]

From starting early to selecting the right study tools and resources, for PA students preparing for board exams like the PANCE and PANRE can seem overwhelming. Rebecca DePalma, PA-S2 and pre-PA mentor, shares her advice for avoiding the mistakes keeping you from taking studying to the next level. 

Originally from Seattle, Rebecca attended undergrad at Loyola Marymount University in LA. After she took a gap year working as an MA in Los Angeles while applying and interviewing for PA school. After three interviews she was accepted at Pacific University, starting her PA student career during the COVID=19 pandemic. She recently finished her didactic year and is currently in her clinical year on rotation two in inpatient cardiology. Rebecca has a popular Instagram account, @rebeccawestcoastpa, on which she chronicles her life as a PA student and provides mentorship for future Physician Associate students as they apply for school and as they begin PA school.

Rebecca broke down the mistakes you can avoid for successful PANCE prep.

Watch now!

Mistakes You’re Making When Preparing for PANCE

If you don’t have the time to watch her entire webinar, here’s a quick summary of Rebecca’s advice.

Mistakes You’re Making When Preparing for PANCE

Mistake #1: Using too many resources

Too many resources can work against you when taking the test. It can become difficult to pinpoint what you learned and where. Rebecca recommends two to three tools, including at least one content learning and review tool—like Picmonic—and a question bank. Rebecca’s go-to QBank was Rosh Review, and of course, our go-to QBank for the PANCE is the TrueLearn SmartBank featuring 800+ questions written to accurately mirror questions on the PANCE.

Mistake #2: Using only one resource

In juxtaposition to mistake one, Rebecca’s mistake number two is using only one resource to study for the PANCE—or the PANRE, for that matter. One resource puts all your eggs in one basket and may not encompass all you need. Again, she stresses it’s important to use a content tool and then review with a QBank.

Mistake #3: Going too in-depth

Rebecca reminded webinar watchers to avoid getting too in the weeds. Sure the nuances of information can make you a better PA, but it won’t serve you on the PANCE to get so deep you’re studying factoids that questions would be on the board exam. 

Mistake #4: Studying your worst subject first

A lot of students plan their PANCE study priority by starting with the subject they struggle with the most. They study and study, and then move on. Now, that subject that isn’t your best, is the thing you studied furthest from the exam. Giving you time to forget. She cautions PA students to be strategic when planning their studies.

Of course, with Picmonic’s spaced repetition algorithm, you can keep all subjects top-of-mind, learning, quizzing, and remediating throughout PA school, all in preparation for the PANCE.

Mistake #5: Timing

Taking the PANCE too soon after graduation doesn’t give you enough time to study, but wait too long, and you might forget everything. Studying from day one of PA school helps to build a solid foundation of knowledge, meaning post-graduation PANCE prep will be easier.

And, speaking of timing, Rebecca reminds attendees to plan for about one minute per question when taking the PANCE. If you’re struggling past this, move on, or you may just run out of time.

Resources to Prepare for the PANCE & PANRE at the Click of a Mouse

And, just because we like to be helpful, here are a few resources for studying in Physician Assistant school:



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