Please see the COVID-19 PACKRAT Updates
PACKRAT (Physician Assistant Clinical Knowledge Rating and Assessment Tool) is an objective, comprehensive self-assessment tool for student and curricular evaluation. It is a 225-question, multiple-choice online examination. A new version of PACKRAT is created each year by PA educators and exam experts from an extensive topic list and blueprint of content and task areas. More information can be found at PACKRATexam.org
All exam items go through a rigorous, multi-level peer-review process to ensure that questions are up to date and of high quality. The questions are vignette-style, with detailed history, lab values, and some images.
PACKRAT is designed in accordance with DSM-5, and the high standards of assessment according to the Association of Test Publishers. Medical standards are current as of publication (November each year).
By default, students are allowed three hours and 45 minutes to take the PACKRAT with no scheduled break. That equates to one minute per question. Students may apply to their program for accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to receive time and a half (5 hours 38 minutes) or double time (7 hours 30 minutes). Proctors may also implement a break, if needed, by pausing the exam from the proctor screen. Programs may also extend the time at their discretion at the time of scheduling.
The exam may be administered with or without a proctor, depending on the objectives of the exam administration. To model typical standardized test practices, a proctor may be preferred. For a simple self-assessment, you may not need a proctor. Nonproctored exams may be administered in the standard one-sitting arrangement, or in the students' own time over an extended period.
PACKRAT is not intended to be used as a summative evaluation of a student's knowledge, per ARC-PA accreditation guidelines (C3.04). It is a tool to help students and programs understand where they stand in their training.