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Certification Exam Statistics and Cut Scores

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Exam Statistics

This summarized statistical data is for the calendar year 2016. Aggregate data itemized for each certification program includes total number of exam candidates tested for the year, first-time pass rate for the year and total number of certificants as of December 31, 2016.


 

 Exam

Candidates
Tested

 

First Time
Pass Rate

Total
Certificants

CCRN (Adult)

     12,323

 

    79.1%

      69,567

CCRN (Neonatal)

257

 

79.5%

1,254

CCRN (Pediatric)

1,019

 

78.4%

5,182

CCRN-E

60

 

89.1%

311

CCRN-K (Adult)

107

 

86.7%

1,821

CCRN-K (Neonatal)

2

 

100%

33

CCRN-K (Pediatric)

10

77.8%

149

PCCN

3,812

 

74.9%

16,137

PCCN-K

3

 

100%

40

*CCNS (Adult)

0

 

n/a

1,049

*CCNS (Neonatal)

0

 

n/a

51

*CCNS (Pediatric)

0

 

n/a

39

*ACNPC

0

 

n/a

264

ACNPC-AG

337

 

73.4%

541

ACCNS-AG

139

 

83.3%

406

ACCNS-N

5

 

100%

15

ACCNS-P

10

 

75.0%

41

CMC

429

 

67.3%

1,805

CSC

478

 

71.4%

2,047

*Renewal Only




Exam Cut Scores

The cut score (also known as the passing score) is the number of scored questions that must be answered correctly on an exam to achieve certification. The passing score is not a percentage but a raw number that may change over time as an exam is updated based on results of the most recent study of practice (also known as a job analysis) or when the exam forms are periodically changed and equated for difficulty. 

The passing score should not be confused with the “pass rate” (see Exam Statistics above), which is the percentage of candidates testing who are successful at passing an exam. 

Passing scores for AACN Certification Corporation exams are determined using a systematic procedure known as the modified Angoff method in collaboration with professional psychometricians from our testing service, Applied Measurement Professionals, Inc. (AMP). Below are current exam passing scores and their effective dates.  

 Exam

Total # of 
Items on 
Exam

 # of Scored 
Items on 
Exam

Passing 
(Cut) 
Score

Score 
Effective 
Date

CCRN (Adult)

      150

 125

  87

10/15/2015

CCRN (Pediatric)

      150

 125

  86

10/15/2015

CCRN (Neonatal)

      150

 125

  86

10/15/2015

CCRN-K (Adult)

      150

 125

  87

10/15/2015

CCRN-K (Pediatric)

      150

 125

  86

10/15/2015

CCRN-K (Neonatal)

      150

 125

  86

10/15/2015

CCRN-E

      150

 125

  87

10/15/2015

PCCN

      125

 100

  68

06/26/2013

PCCN-K

      125

 100

  68

09/07/2016

ACCNS-AG

      175

 150

  93

07/10/2013

ACCNS-P

      175

 150

  98

07/10/2013

ACCNS-N

      175

 150

  99

02/12/2014

ACNPC-AG

      175

 150

107

01/23/2013

CMC

       90 

   75

  54

12/01/2016

CSC

       90 

   75

  52

12/01/2016

CNML

     115 

 100

  70

10/01/2008