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Pediatric Board Exam Results – Pediatrics Board Review (PBR)



New Pediatric Board Exam Results

Pediatric board exam results have varied over the years from the mid 70s to the high 80s due to changes in the ABP's scoring. Higher pass rates are achieved through planning and structure. For me, I am SO glad that I had this year's “results day” off. There was no warning at all; just BAM! It was such a roller coaster of emotions as the emails started pouring in that I’m sure I would not have been able to give my patients the attention they deserve.


I was flooded with emails thanking me for creating PBR, and also for making myself so available this past year. For many, it was their first time taking the exam, I’m still collecting the numbers, but almost everyone passed if it was their first attempt.

I’d love to know you did so PLEASE submit your results HERE (should take less than 30 seconds):

For others, it was their first time PASSING the exam after MULTIPLE attempts. Given that a “failed peds board exam” email always triggers sadness as I'm reminded of my own first experience with the boards, I especially felt connected to these docs' emails.

Although the ABP has refused my request to release statistics on how likely it is for repeat test-takers to pass the initial certification exam, my guess is that the PASS RATE for physicians who have failed once is probably around 30-40%, and for those who have failed more than once the pass rate is likely 10-20%. Given these estimations, emails and testimonials like this one hold so much value for me:

“Dear Ashish,

I just wanted to let you know that I have passed my boards. I used your book and your questions and all your suggestions as well as peggy's method and it truly made a difference.  You should know that your resources are quite valuable and you should be proud of what you have created. 

I would totally hug you right now (don't mean to be inappropriate), just feel very grateful and happy 🙂

Be well,


Suresh had failed the peds boards 3x prior to finding PBR and PBR Coaching.


Here’s another email:

“Put the test off because of a busy fellowship… failed twice… Passed after discovering your book a month before. Worked two weeks straight then got through it 4x in 2 wks.

 Thank you!

– FM”

(FM had failed 2 times and has now PASSED using just PBR, no coaching)

If you have a similar story to share, I’d love to hear from you! Just submit your results and comments HERE or through the PBR contact page.


Failed Pediatric BoardsIt has truly been heartbreaking to hear and read some of the emails from folks who worked so hard to try to pass the exam but missed the mark.

It was especially tough to hear about some of the scores that just missed it by a few points.

I've been asked by some of these docs what they could have done differently, and what they can do to pass next year. I’ve decided to share my email response with them here:


Here are some of my thoughts:

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 material isn’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. Try to figure out if you spent about that much time.

2. Was it “quality” studying time? Or were you studying after a long day of work, or when you were already exhausted?

3. How many times did you get through the material? I emphasize that all PBR members should get through my material 4-5 times in order to make sure that they have enough exposure to it. Going through it only once or twice is just not enough for the initial certification exam. You must know the PBR and the Q&A book inside and out.

4. Did you divide your attention by using multiple study materials? My strict recommendation is that all PBR members use my materials and AAP PREP questions. That's it. Nothing else, unless it's for clarification.

5. Did you go through about 3 years of PREP questions to “practice the art of answering questions?” There’s a lot to this point, but were you just going through questions, or were you trying to get into the minds of the question writers? and trying to figure out where YOU fall into traps as a test-taker?

6. 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. The pediatric board exam was the first board exam I ever failed, and that’s a common story that I hear. If that is the case, you definitely need to consider taking Ashish's TEST-TAKING Strategies & PBR Coaching Secrets 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. She passed and now she never has to take it again. Had she not taken the course, it's possible she would have failed by just a point or two.

Again, I'm trying to think of everything I can that might help and I’m 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. To some degree, this standardized exam is a “game,” and I need you to take a fresh look yourself to figure out how you can master it.

Yes, it is a hurdle… but I think it's one you can overcome.

– Ashish


For me it's also time to buckle down again and start another year of aid to pediatricians across the country looking to pass next year's initial certification exam and maintenance of certification exam (MOC). I had a little sigh of relieve as the 3rd edition of Pediatrics Board Review was published a few weeks ago. In the upcoming year, I've scheduled more time off from practicing as a physician to concentrate on PBR, restart my nonprofit organization and spend time with my family.

While the PBR is doing extremely well for first-time and repeat test-takers of the initial certification exam, it’s not quite at 100% (yet). Even though that's to be expected, it's still upsetting to me because I really do want everyone to PASS! But… I do get some relief as I look over the numbers and realize that as of December 2012, PBR has hit a 100% pass rate for EVER MOC recertification exam  taker, and is probably well over 90% for first-time time test-takers of the initial certification exam.

I'd still prefer 100%… maybe next year?


If you took an ABP exam this year, or are going to take it next year, I’d love to hear about your experience and or concerns in the comments section below. If you already got your results, don’t forget to submit your results here (please)

Ashish Goyal, M.D.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 2 comments
Dr. B -

I have used your material in the past, however I have yet to pass the Pediatric Boards. I plan on enrolling with Coach Peggy in the late spring. This is my last attempt at the exam given the ABP regulations and deadlines for taking the exam. I have been unsuccessful at passing the exam more times than I can remember now (atleast 5). Clearly, frustrating and disappointing. I would love to be your next success story and a voice of encouragement for others. Any comments, recommendations, etc is welcomed.

Ashish -

Hey Dr. B.

As per our email conversation, it seems you had my book confused with Laughing Your Way to Passing the Pediatric Boards. My series of books is called PBR, or Pediatrics Board Review and is unrelated to the LYW series that you’ve used in the past.

As you mentioned in your comment, it would be great to have you as my next success story and I feel that the combination of PBR + Coach Peggy is the best option for you towards reaching that goal. There’s really nothing like this combo on the market and I’m hopeful that after you know my books inside and out for the CONTENT of what’s most high-yield on the boards, and you learn and religiously apply Coach Peggy’s test-taking TECHNIQUES to all of the practice questions and test questions that you encounter in 2013, that we’ll be able to finally get you pass this awful experience.

Wishing you the best of luck and skill this year!

– Ashish


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