Physician Assistant Exam Blueprint

While no one can be sure exactly what questions and information will appear on the Physician Assistant National Certifying Exam (PANCE) and Physician Assistant National Recertifying Exam (PANRE), the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants, or NCCPA, does provide a blueprint of exam content. Our panel of Physician Assistants and Physician Assistant educators have carefully reviewed the NEJM Knowledge+ Family Medicine Board Review content and deemed it highly relevant to what PAs need to know for the PANCE and PANRE.


According to the NCCPA, the subject matter covered in PANCE and PANRE is the same, but there are some differences in terms of the specificity of questions. With its wide breadth of information, NEJM Knowledge+ Family Medicine Board Review can help PAs at all stages of their careers prepare for PANCE and PANRE. For more information on the PANCE/PANRE question subject matter, see the NCCPA website.

PANCE/PANRE Composition

The PANCE/PANRE cover two segments of information you’ll need to know as you practice as a PA: organ systems and the diseases, disorders, and medical assessments affecting them; and knowledge and skills that PAs will need to demonstrate when dealing with diseases, disorders, and medical assessments.

Content Blueprint for PANCE & PANRE

The exam blueprint (shown below) contains a list of the categories of medicine that appear on the exam, along with approximate percentages, so that you can see how much of the exam is devoted to each specialty. It’s important to note that all PANCE/PANRE psychiatry-related terminology will be updated in 2016, due to the publication of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5).

Organ SystemPercent of Exam Content
EENT (Eyes, Ears, Nose and Throat)9%
Infectious Diseases3%
Neurologic System6%