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Katie Iverson, PA-C, MPAS
By Katie Iverson, PA-C, MPAS on March 05, 2024

A Quick Dance Through the New PANCE Content Blueprint

When the clock strikes midnight on New Year’s Eve and 2025 is ushered in, PA students everywhere will also usher in a new era as NCCPA just released the new PANCE Content Blueprint. Here is what you need to know about the changes to help you prepare for your exam if you take it in 2025 and beyond. 

Firstly and most importantly, we need to remind ourselves what NCCPA prints right on the front page: “The examples provided for each medical content and task category are indicative of the types of information that will be provided on the exam. It's not possible to include all topics on a single exam, and it may be possible that some questions on the exam cover content that is not listed in the examples.” 

Bottom line: They can’t ask everything, but they can ask anything, even if it's not on the list.

In saying that, it's more likely to have questions asked about topics on the list. I have taken one PANCE, two PANREs, and am currently taking the PANRE-LA (perhaps I’m a seasoned NCCPA test taker by this point, or I’m just old, or both 🤣), but this has been my experience. It's essential to pay attention to new topics to make sure they get covered in your studies. Some topics have simply moved around, like pyelonephritis, which has been removed from the Renal System list but is now on the Genitourinary System list. G6PD deficiency has moved from the Gastrointestinal System/Nutrition list to the Hematologic System list. New topics like Postpartum pituitary disorders, Prion disease, and Polio have been added. 

Medical content comprises 94% of the exam (decreased from 95% on the previous 2019 PANCE Content Blueprint) and 6% related to Professional Practice (increased from 5% on the last Content Blueprint). The content percentages have all changed a little. The big three, however, remain the same: Cardiovascular, Pulmonary, and GI. 

Content Category 2019 PANCE Blueprint 2025 PANCE Blueprint Expected # of Questions/Exam Overall Change
Cardiovascular System 13% 11% 33
Dermatologic System 5% 4% 12
Endocrine System 7% 6% 18
Eyes, Ears, Nose, and Throat (EENT) 7% 6% 18
Gastrointestinal System/Nutrition (GI) 9% 8% 24
Genitourinary System 5% 4% 12
Hematologic System 5% 5% 15 ↔︎
Infectious Diseases (ID) 6% 7% 21
Musculoskeletal System (MSK) 8% 8% 24 ↔︎
Neurologic System 7% 7% 21 ↔︎
Psychiatry/Behavioral Science 6% 7% 21
Pulmonary System 10% 9% 27
Renal System 5% 5% 15 ↔︎
Reproductive System 7% 7% 21 ↔︎
Professional Practice 5% 6% 18


Another interesting percentage change found on the new 2025 PANCE Content Blueprint states that surgical topics will cover 8-10% of the exam, down from “up to 20%” on the 2019 PANCE Content Blueprint. Also, the new PANCE Blueprint outlines that 12-15% of the questions will focus on conditions seen in pediatric patients, which I can’t remember being laid out specifically on any past blueprints. 

The Task Categories have also seen some changes. Each question, except the Professional Practice questions, is tagged with a Medical Content Category and a Task Category, i.e., NSTEMI and Clinical Intervention.

Task Category 2019 PANCE Blueprint 2025 PANCE Blueprint Expected # of Questions/Exam Overall Change
History Taking and Performing Physical Exam 17% 16% 48
Using Diagnostic and Lab Studies 12% 10% 30
Formulating the Most Likely Diagnosis 18% 18% 54 ↔︎
Managing Patients: Health Maintenance, Patient Education, and Preventative Measures 10% 11% 33
Managing Patients: Clinical Intervention 14% 16% 48
Managing Patients: Pharmaceutical Therapeutics 14% 15% 45
Apply Basic Science Concepts 10% 8% 24


None of these updates are earth-shattering, but being informed about changes to this high-stakes exam is crucial for success. Don’t be like the San Francisco 49ers, not knowing the changes to the playoff overtime rules. Sorry? Too soon? 😬

When it comes time to start studying for your PANCE, whether taking the 2024 version or the new 2025 and beyond version, Hippo Education has you covered with our AAPA PANCE/PANRE Review. This course has over 60 hours of video and 2250+ practice questions to prepare you to dance through your PANCE all the way to receiving your PA-C. The Hippo Education PA team is working hard to prepare our products for the changes in the new blueprint. Remember, NCCPA can’t ask you everything, but they can ask anything. We’ve got you. Please reach out with any questions you may have at pa@hippoeducation.com.

Published by Katie Iverson, PA-C, MPAS March 5, 2024
Katie Iverson, PA-C, MPAS