What To Do Before The Step 1 Exam: Prepping The Mind And The Body

7 Do’s and Don’ts for PAs To Pass the PANCE


When you’re studying for the PANCE, everything feels like a stressor. Studying is more difficult when you’re anxious, not having much free time can actually be detrimental to your health, and there’s still all this pressure to get a kick ass score.

Picmonic can make the stress a little easier with Picmonic for PAs. It’s the best way to study and keep your sanity, but there’s a lot that goes into doing well on the PANCE. Here we bring you some dos and don’ts for acing the big test.

Don’t procrastinate

Do: Be prepared for the PANCE

Walking into the PANCE exam without much of a plan is a waste of time (not to mention, money). Being prepared enough to only take the exam once is key. Who wants to stress over this exam twice? Not to sound like a mom (sorry if we sound like your mom), but the best way to get through the PANCE is to be prepared. Here are a few basic tips:

  • Don’t put off studying until just before the exam. This won’t work. Study a lot and study often.
  • Understand the format of the PANCE before you take the exam.
  • Find your testing center early so you know where it’s located and won’t arrive late
  • Understand the testing rules, such as how you can’t bring personal items into the test with you and how or when you take breaks.

The more you know about the PANCE the easier it will be to conquer.

Don’t study ‘when you have time’

Do: Make time to study for the PANCE

The PANCE isn’t a test you can just take on a whim. It takes a great study schedule. If this sounds stressful, well, it is, but a schedule allows you to make time for personal stuff like seeing friends and family and important study routines. If you have trouble getting motivated to study regularly on your own, look into study groups or grab a buddy from class to meet a few times a week. Not only will they keep you on track, but as a bonus, they can also help you with lessons you may not understand.

Don’t sit on Youtube all day watching cat videos

Do: Check out Picmonic’s Youtube channel

When you’re stressed it’s super tempting to head to Youtube for a cat video binge or even a sloth or two. Those are great stress relievers (more about breaks later) but you can’t let cute kitties take over your life! Get back to learning with Picmonic’s awesomely educational Youtube channel. Picmonic helps keep you entertained while you learn. What more could you ask for?

Don’t work until you burn out

Do: Take thoughtful breaks

Guess what? Taking a strategic break is good for you. Even MIT agrees. Studies show that if you take thoughtful breaks and get a good night’s sleep, you’ll retain way more information than if you pulled an all-nighter. So don’t become a working stiff! Make time for important things like eating a well-balanced diet, resting up, and maybe some exercise. It’ll help you do your best!

Don’t get messed up

Do: Stay organized leading up to the PANCE

It’s kind of hard to study when you can’t find your notebook or Picmonic login. Yes, there’s a lot going on and you may feel overwhelmed but a great way to keep stress at bay is to stay organized. Keep materials well marked by making good use of highlighters and organize notes by sections so when you’re studying you can flip right to your problem areas. It may seem like a ton of effort but, we promise it will pay off in the end.

Don’t watch medical dramas and call it studying.

Do: Study while having fun

Grey’s Anatomy isn’t exactly required reading, but we get that sometimes in order to actually learn, you have to be stimulated. If you find it difficult to get your reading done because sometimes textbooks make you want to close your eyes and sleep (especially when you’re sleep deprived), try Picmonic for PAs which keeps studying fun and interesting. Learning without the boredom sure has its perks. Like crazy good test scores. Try it for free today!

Don’t freak out

Do: Stay calm (don’t let the PANCE freak you out!)

Lots of people get anxious. That’s normal. But, when you begin to panic so much you can’t concentrate, it’s hard to learn facts and even harder to recall those facts for super important tests like the PANCE. When you get into the exam, don’t get too worried. Take a moment to collect yourself. Yes, this is an important exam and critical for your career, but if you’ve kept to a study plan, came prepared, and used all your study options, you’ll do fine! Make sure to breathe and tell yourself you’ve totally got this.


What should I do to help me pass the PANCE?

  • Be prepared
  • Make time for studying and create a study schedule
  • Watch our educational videos on our YouTube channel
  • Take thoughtful breaks (proven to help!)
  • Stay organized
  • Stay calm
  • Keep having fun throughout your study time

What won’t help me pass the PANCE?

  • Procrastinate
  • No adhering to a strict study schedule
  • Get distracted
  • Burn yourself out

At Picmonic, we’re always looking out for you. The PANCE can be stressful, but these dos and don’ts can at least help you stay on track so you can do your best! Good luck on your test and don’t forget that you can start your free trial of Picmonic for PAs at any time!


Download our mobile app and take Picmonic on the go!

Click Here to Get Our Free iOS Mobile App for PANCE prep

Click Here to Get Our Free Android Mobile App for PANCE prep

(Visited 1,285 times, 1 visits today)