Adult Laboratory Values
NCCPA ADULT LABORATORY VALUES (Normal values for healthy adults)Download
If you graduate from a PA program accredited by the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA) or its predecessors, you can take the Physician Assistant National Certifying Examination® (PANCE) for certification. The multiple-choice exam assesses basic medical and surgical knowledge. You will need to submit an application and payment in advance and can choose from over 200 testing sites.
After passing PANCE, PAs are issued NCCPA certification and can use the PA-C designation until the certification expiration date (approximately two years).
Read NCCPA’s Code of Conduct for Certified and Certifying PAs, which explains the ethics and professionalism expected of all PAs seeking or holding NCCPA certification.
To be eligible for PANCE, you must graduate from a PA program accredited by ARC-PA. PA program graduates will be deemed to have graduated from an accredited program if their PA educational program was accredited at the time of their matriculation.
Individuals who have never been certified and who graduated from an ARC-PA accredited PA program on or after January 1, 2003, will be eligible to take PANCE for up to six years after completing the requirements for graduation from that program.
During that six-year period, PANCE may be taken a total of six times. When either the six attempts or six years are exhausted, whichever occurs sooner, the individual loses eligibility to take PANCE. The only way to establish new eligibility is to complete an unabridged ARC-PA accredited PA educational program again.
You must submit an application and $550 payment in advance to take PANCE. You may schedule your exam anytime (depending on testing center availability) within the 180 day timeframe established for you based on your expected graduation date and the successful submission of all required materials to NCCPA. The five-hour PANCE exam includes 300 multiple-choice questions administered in five blocks of 60 questions with 60 minutes to complete each block. There is a total of 45 minutes allotted for breaks between blocks and you will be responsible for managing your break time. You will have 15 minutes to complete the PANCE tutorial.
Before registering for PANCE, be sure to review the policies and procedures.
When registering for PANCE, please consider the following requirements:
NCCPA’s exam questions are developed by committees comprising PAs and physicians selected based on both their item writing skills, experience and demographic characteristics (i.e., practice specialty, geographic region, practice setting, etc.). The test committee members each independently write a certain number of test questions or items, and then, each item then goes through an intense review by content experts and medical editors from which only some items emerge for pre-testing. Every NCCPA exam includes both scored and pre-test items, and examinees have no way of distinguishing between the two. This allows NCCPA to collect important statistics about how the pre-test items perform on the exam, which informs the final decision about whether a particular question meets the standards for inclusion as a scored item on future PANCE or PANRE exams.
Learn more about NCCPA’s exam development process and scoring here.
You can also access more information about the PANCE passing rates.
To view a tutorial of PANCE, go to www.pearsonvue.com/nccpa.
When preparing for PANCE, you will want to familiarize yourself with the content blueprint. Want to see what the PANCE is like and focus your exam preparation? Check out our Practice Exams.
Every two years during the certification maintenance cycles and when a PA applies for an NCCPA exam, they are required to answer three background questions which are listed below.Download
This document defines the specific knowledge, skills, and attitudes that physician assistants (PA) in all clinical specialties and settings in the United States should be able to demonstrate throughout their careers.Download
The content blueprint for PANCE is used as a guideline when items are selected for the Practice Exams. However, because the Practice Exam has fewer items than PANCE, the content areas contain a smaller number of items than on PANCE.Download
Exam Development and Passing Standards The content blueprints for NCCPA’s exams are based on scientific analyses of PA practice conducted approximately every five years. Exam questions are written by clinically practicing Certified PAs and physicians.Download
The National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA) endeavors to assure the public that certified physician assistants (PAs) meet professional standards of knowledge and skills. Additionally, NCCPA attempts to ensure that the PAs it certifies are upholding appropriate standards of professionalism and ethics in practice. The NCCPA’s Code of Conduct for Certified and Certifying PAs and PAs with the PA-C Emeritus Designation (the "Code of Conduct") outlines principles that all certified or certifying PAs and PAs holding the PA-C Emeritus designation are expected to uphold.Download
To take any NCCPA exam, examinees must present two forms of ID at the testing center; a primary and secondary ID or two primary IDs.Download
Successfully graduate from an academic program accredited by ARC-PA or one of its predecessors. Today, there’s no other way to gain PANCE eligibility.
All applicants can take PANCE once in a 90-day period or three times a year, whichever is fewer.
Individuals who graduated from an ARC-PA accredited PA program on or after January 1, 2003, are eligible to take PANCE for up to six years after completing the requirements for graduation from that program. During that six-year period, the examination may be taken a maximum of six times. When either the six attempts or six years is exhausted, whichever occurs sooner, the individual loses eligibility to take PANCE. The only way to establish new eligibility to take PANCE is to enter into and complete an unabridged ARC-PA accredited PA educational program.
There is a 90-day waiting period between retakes of the same examination.
To request an eligibility letter, sign in to your online record and choose Certification Info Release from the left-hand menu bar and email us your request (including your name, NCCPA ID number and to whom it should be sent).
1-3 days after your application is processed and completed, you’ll receive an exam acknowledgement email from NCCPA with instructions on how to schedule your exam.
A list of available exam dates will not be available until you have received your exam acknowledgement email. However, a list of Pearson VUE exam locations is available at https://www.pearsonvue.com/nccpa/.
They are given in both.
Yes, the normal labs value for healthy adults comes up in a separate screen when the examinee clicks “Lab Values”. Some questions may contain laboratory values that are not included in the separate “Lab Values” screen. In those cases, the appropriate normal range is provided in parentheses within the text of the question.
The generic name of a drug is always provided. The trade name is provided in parenthesis after the generic name of the drug only if it is deemed necessary by NCCPA.
No, K questions are no longer on the exam.
You will be notified by email when the results are posted to your online record (approximately two weeks after your exam date).
No. You must graduate from a PA program accredited by ARC-PA or one of its predecessors.
**Even if you have earned a medical degree from another country, you must still graduate from an accredited PA program to take PANCE.