ABR releases Core Exam scores that show 'fail' rate rising

2019 08 16 00 03 5037 Fail Pass 400

The American Board of Radiology (ABR) on August 15 released results of the Core Exam to radiology residents who took the test in May and June. But the ABR figures indicate that the percentage of test-takers who failed the 2019 board exam rose to the highest level in seven years.

The Core Exam is a computer-based test administered over two days that evaluates the knowledge and comprehension of candidates in areas key to becoming a radiologist, such as anatomy, pathophysiology, physics, and other elements of diagnostic and interventional radiology. Passing the test is a major milestone in becoming a full-fledged radiologist.

The ABR on Thursday afternoon released results from the June board exam, along with the test's rates of pass and fail. In all, 1,191 candidates took the 2019 exam, with 84% passing and 15.9% failing. A small percentage -- 0.1% -- received a "conditional" grade on the test.

The 2019 fail rate is the highest since 2013, according to data on the ABR's website.

ABR Core Exam pass/fail rates for 2013-2019
Year Pass rate Fail rate
2019 84% 15.9%
2018 86.2% 13%
2017 93.5% 6.3%
2016 91.1% 8.5%
2015 86.8% 12.9%
2014 91% 8.3%
2013 87.2% 11.6%

In the Twitterverse, several pundits were disappointed in the high fail rate for this year's test.

Page 1 of 64
Next Page