Welcome to the Be a PA Resources, a curated list of the tools I recommend for building and optimizing your pre-PA plan. I have tested every recommendation on this page, and I think you'll find them helpful. 


Before digging into the awesome resources I know and trust, an important disclosure:

Some of the links below are affiliate links, which means that if you choose to make a purchase, I will earn a small commission. This commission comes at no additional cost to you. I have tested every recommendation on this page and recommend them because I believe they can help you to achieve your goals. 


Grammarly is a service that goes way beyond your average spell checker. The program finds and corrects over 400 kinds of grammatical mistakes as well as poor grammar and can seriously improve the quality of your writing. They have free and premium versions, with a 7-day, no-questions-asked 100% money back guarantee on the premium version. 

Best use: grammar and spelling

The Hemingway Editor evaluates your writing for readability. If you are a frequent perpetrator of run-on sentences or flagrantly overuse commas, you'll find it incredibly useful. The app also flags when your writing sounds weak and points out when you use passive voice. You can copy and paste your work into the free version and have access to all of the perks, or there is a desktop app available for purchase that you can also use offline. 

Best use: readability, avoiding too-long sentences

5 Keys to an Effective PA School Essay: Super Simple Guidelines for Writing an Impressive Personal Statement

Yep, I wrote this one, but it walks you through exactly how I've editing and revised papers for PA school candidates and is overall, well, fabulous. You'll learn what to avoid in your essay and gain insight into one of the most important aspects of the personal statement—how to gracefully describe how your experience relates to a future as a great PA. I think it's a steal ;)

Best use: content creation and essay planning


Free Resources


GregMAT is both a website and a YouTube channel with simple, easy to follow videos on the concepts and questions encountered on the GRE as well as a breakdown of the exam itself.

Khan Academy

Known for their easy-to-follow, self-paced, free courses, Khan Academy has plenty of video resources to help you prep for the quantitative reasoning portion of the GRE. In fact, ETS (the GRE creators) has a suggested math prep sequence using Khan Academy videos.

Vince Kotchian Test Prep

Created by a San Diego-based test-prep tutor with over a decade of experience, this website includes a free blog with plenty of instructional videos and specific GRE prep advice, including 1-month2-month3-month, and 4-month GRE study plans full step-by-step of how to prepare to succeed on the GRE.

GRE Prep Books


ETS The Official Guide to the GRE General Test

According to experienced GRE tutors, resources from ETS are the only ones to be fully trusted for sample questions and practice tests. This guide includes what exactly to expect on the test, how the test is scored, and includes hundreds of authentic practice test questions. You’ll also get two practice tests in the book (in addition to the two practice tests available online).


ETS Official GRE Verbal Reasoning Practice Questions

For verbal-focused prep, this Official ETS guide Includes 150 official verbal reasoning questions unique to this book.


ETS Official GRE Quantitative Reasoning Practice Questions

For math-focused prep, this quantitative prep guide includes 150 official ETS math questions not found anywhere else.


Manhattan Prep 5 lb. Book of GRE Practice Problems

Manhattan Prep’s 5lb. Book of GRE Practice Problems can be used as an essentially endless bank of GRE questions that allows you to focus in on particular styles of questions that might be tricky for you. Especially useful for quantitative prep when you need to build skills with a certain type of math question.

Recommended Program

Vince Kotchian’s GRE Verbal Precision®

In this expert-guided video course, learn concepts using official GRE verbal questions, understand the big picture of success, and learn how to make the most of your study time.

GRE Verbal Precision® guides you through the process of answering each type of verbal question and helps you learn how to write both types of GRE essays. And, you can add on some personalized coaching if you like as well.

I'll admit, I'm a stark raving fan of each of these books. Given the smallest window of opportunity, I will tell strangers who are trying to buy groceries, board airplanes, or have a moment's peace in the park about why they need to pick one of these up. Deep Work changed my life, and that isn't me being dramatic. Learn to work smarter, produce more, and be happy doing it with the help of these gems. 


Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World
by Cal Newport

Get more done in less time by focusing your efforts where they are most needed. I made everyone I know read this book, or at least lie to me that they had. It's that important.  



How to Become a Straight-A Student: The Unconventional Strategies Real College Students Use to Score High While Studying Less
by Cal Newport

One of the top two questions I get is about how to get into PA school with a low GPA. If you need to excel in your upcoming courses, this is a goldmine of practical advice that actually works. 

Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience
by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

You know how you lose track of time when you're doing something that you love? This book beautifully breaks down how we can find that "flow" in our every day and use it to be better in every realm of our lives. 

The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business
by Charles Duhigg

Everyone has the same hours in the day and days in the week. Some people just use them better. Those people develop habits and rituals to make important work happen so they don't need to "get around to it" at some point in the future. Make your life easier by learning how to implement good habits.