Monday, May 19, 2014

  • Test item writers for the PANCE and PANRE commonly use certain terms or phrases for consistency and clarity in presentation. How well you know these terms or phrases will make you more comfortable while taking the exam. Here are five key tips for understanding what experienced test writers do and what you can learn from it.

    Tip #1: PANCE PANRE Common phrases -

    The PANCE PANRE question writer often shows the patient has the symptoms rather than uses the “complains of” phrase.  They essentially mean the same thing.  When discussing findings they tend to use “Examination shows” to reveal the patient exam.

    Tip #2: Differentiation
    Test item writers generally write questions to force you to pick between two diseases.  Which of the following differentiates osteoarthritis from rheumatoid arthritis?
    A. Joint pain
    B. Joint deformities
    C. Pleural effusion
    D. Gelling
    Knowing Rheumatoid arthritis is a systemic disease and osteoarthritis is not, leads to pleural effusion as the answer.

    Tip #3: Distractors
    There are 4 distractors and one best answer.
    a. Best answer
    b. Answer relates to the disease is correct but not best answer
    c. Answer relates to the disease but is not the correct answer
    d. This answer word harm the patient
    e. This answer has nothing to do with the question or is isolated to one part of it.

    Knowing this, when taking the exam you will get the question narrowed down to two answers. This is when detail pays off.

    Tip #4: The PANCE PANRE Blueprint
    Cardiovascular            16%
    Dermatologic                5%
    EENT                            9%
    Endocrine                      6%
    GI                                  10%
    Genitourinary                 6%
    Hematologic                   3%
    ID                                   3%
    Musculoskeletal             10%
    Neurologic                      6%
    Psych                              6%
    Pulmonary                      12%
    Reproductive                  8%
    Total:                           100%

    Note the orange highlighted sections make 57% of the exam.

    This is a “what do you know” exam, it is not trying to sort out your ability to reason or make good medical choices.  The exam does not know or care if you have a great bedside manner.  The test has no tricks, they put only in the question what is needed to answer the question.  DO NOT add more information to the question in the form of “what if’s”.  Look at each question for face value only.

    Did you know – the question more often than not tells you what they are looking for in the first line of the question.

    Tip#5   If you do not know, guess.  There is no penalty for guessing, and no answer is no credit.  If you are approaching one minute on a question and do not know the answer, a guess gives you a 1 in 5 chance (better than 0).  Mark your "guessed" question and go back to if you have time.  That way at the end if you run out of time it is at least marked with something.

    Would you like to read more? Here is a link to an old article written by a test writer
    Want to use the best PANCE PANRE online PA Exam Review available?