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For the Pediatric Board Exam, 2012 Might Be the Best Year Ever!

So the keyword is MIGHT, but I'm hopeful that it WILL be the best year to take the board exams in a very long time. The American Board of pediatrics has changed the way it grades and passes it's test-takers. From now on, it seems that as long as you correctly answer at least 70-75% of the exam questions, you will pass. This will be the first year but the American Board of pediatrics is trying this out. Many other specialty board exams have been using the system for very long time.

So what does this mean for you? Well, given that there is so much on the line this year for the American Board of Pediatrics (e.g., ABP scoring changes, grading changes, new computerized tests, etc.), I believe that the American Board of pediatrics will want to be as cautious as possible.

While they have a tremendous amount of data from previous years to guide their determination of  passing percentage (i.e., will you need a 70% or a 75% score to get a passing grade of 180), they have already stated that they expect minimal of variation in the overall pass rate. I believe, however, that given the stakes they will want to error on the side of caution and allow for a slightly higher passing percentage this year.

Of course, things could go the other way… but I'm an optimist. Plus, I'm sure they are expecting some fluctuations in their numbers as pediatricians move to the Prometric testing centers to take the pediatric certification exams on computers for the very first time. So keeping all of this in mind, I think it would be in their best interest to err on the side of caution.

So study hard, use questions for practice and use the best study material on the market because this could be the best year ever to take pediatric board exam!

Would love to hear your thoughts. Do you think the 2012 pass rate will be better or worse than that of previous years? Would love to know so post a reply below!

Ashish Goyal, M.D.

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Craig -

Have you found out the passing rate for 2012? Sadly, it’s not 100% as I failed, 179/180 for passing and I’m losing it….

Ashish -

Hey Craig,

So sorry to hear that you failed, and by so little. I’m working with pediatricians that have failed over and over and over again and have come nowhere close to passing. I think that is one thing that you should look at has a so reminding, because with a little bit more work and a few tweaks to your systems, you should be able to pass next year without any problem.

As far as what to do next, here are some of my thoughts (in no particular order):

The PBR materials are not lacking in content, so I would not start using other materials unless you felt like this was just not a good fit. There are plenty of people who have actually failed previously using other materials and then passed using the PBR materials.

So if the PBR materials aren’t the issue, where does that leave you?

Ask yourself a few questions:
1. Did you spend enough time studying? I spent well over 300 hours studying when I took it the second time. Any idea how many hours you spent?
2. How many times did you get through the material you used? I emphasize that all PBR members should get through my material 4-5 times in order to make sure that you have enough exposure to it. Going through it only once or twice is just not enough for the initial certification exam.
3. Did you divide your attention by using multiple study materials? My strict recommend is that all PBR members use my materials and AAP PREP questions. That’s it. Nothing else, unless it’s for clarification.
4. Did you go through about 3 years of PREP questions to “practice the art of answering questions?”
5. Have you struggled with standardized exams in the past? If so, it may not be a matter of actually knowing the information, but more about figuring out HOW to approach questions. If that is the case, you definitely need to consider taking the Coach Peggy course. In fact, if I was in your position I would definitely take the course and take it as soon as I can. While I’m sure you’re not really interested in too many other people’s success stories, I did just receive the following emails from students who took the coaching course this summer:

“Thank you so much! And than u to Peggy-ill email her too! 3rd time taking the boards and I’m so relieved! I’m def glad I spent time with Ms Peggy for a weekend, I know it contributed to my success!!! Thank you thank you!!!”
– Dr. Trish


“I took the pediatric boards 3 times and PBR material had everything that I need to know and Peggy is this amazing person that helps build confidence and assure that everything will be fine as it turned to be… Thanks a lot for all the help. I finally passed on my boards (3rd is the charm)… I am really grateful for all the support from you and Peggy in those difficult years.”
– Dr. Isabella

I’m not showing these to you in order to be “salesy” or to make you feel bad, it’s just that I truly do believe in the course and I almost get frustrated when slots go unfilled because I feel like it’s terrible waste. Believe it or not, I even had my own cousin take the course (and she paid full price). She found out that she passed yesterday. Had she not taken the course, it’s possible she wouldn’t failed by just a few points.

Again, I’m trying to think of everything I can that might help. Feel free to ask questions so that we can dialogue. Again, really sorry you’re going through this. I’ve been there and I remember how it feels. Please remember, though, this is a test and it is NOT a reflection of you as a person or as a physician. Yes, it’s a hurdle… but I KNOW it’s one you can definitely overcome. Will be in touch by email too.
– ashish


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