Physician Assistants who currently hold NCCPA certification must pass a recertification exam before the expiration of their certificates, which occurs at the end of the sixth year of the certification maintenance cycle. The exam may be taken as early as year five. PANRE is administered at Pearson VUE Testing Centers. PANRE is a computer based examination composed of 240 multiple choice questions administered in four blocks of 60 questions with 60 minutes to complete each block. PANRE examinees must complete the exam within 4 hours. You have choices to make when taking the PANRE. While 60% of the generalist exam will cover the same content as always, the remaining 40% can be directed towards more generalist questions in one of these three areas:

  • Adult medicine
  • Surgery
  • Primary care

This option gives PAs the opportunity to focus more of the exam on their general area of practice—or continue with "business as usual" by choosing the "primary care" option. The PANRE will still be a generalist exam, you will just have the option of having more generalist questions in one of the areas listed above. No matter which option you choose, the content blueprint remains the same because it is still a generalist exam.

You may only take the PANRE once in any 90-day period and you may only take PANRE twice in your fifth year and twice in your sixth year. You have up to 180 days from the beginning of your exam timeframe to take the exam. If you apply late in your sixth year, your time frame will be shorter than 180 days.