Nephrology Certification Exam Pass Rate Drops Sharply

Decline sparks search for the reasons behind it and discussion of how community should respond

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The initial pass rate for the nephrology certification exam dropped by 9% in 2019, setting off concerned discussions on Twitter and a search for explanations by many in the nephrology community.

The decline in the pass rate to 74% represents a precipitous drop from the 90% rate of 2016. The rates in both 2017 and 2018 were 83%. For the 15 subspecialties tested under the aegis of the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) in 2019, the average pass rate was 90.5%.

Although the size of the decline raised questions about a problem with the test, ABIM is steadfast in