Licensure passage rates are important for students who are about one year into their college career and are ready to commit to a major that requires licensing. They are also important for college graduates that decide to continue their studies at graduate level and are ready to invest a significant amount of time and money in education for their future career.
Licensure is required in different fields, but not all fields require it. Licensing tends to be related to education, health (nursing, pharmacy, medicine, physical therapy, etc.), social work, law, etc.
National benchmarks or averages. Passage rates are important and many fields have national benchmarks or averages. Therefore, if you plan to enter a field that requires licensure try to find the national benchmark or average for that field and see how the school you are planning to attend tallies against it. Here are the benchmarks for nursing: https://www.ncsbn.org/Table_of_Pass_Rates_2016.pdf
Licensure exams measure the success rate of first time test takers. Licensure passage rates should be read a certain way because they indicate how many of the first time exam takers passed it. Therefore, independent of how many students take the exam and how many times they take it the licensure passage rates track only the students who took the exam and succeeded during their first attempt.
Not all states requires licensing for the same fields. While for teaching, nursing, medicine, and law things are clear for other fields things tend to vary a bit. Therefore, if you are deciding to pursue a major that may require licensing start researching the state’s licensing requirements early on.
Students can take the licensure exam more than one once. Almost all licensing exams have a fee associated with them. As long as you don’t mind that you can take the exam as many times as you need to until you pass it. Research the state’s requirements to see whether a state has limitations on how many times one can re-take the exam.
Schools offer assistance with and preparation for these exams. Licensure exams are not easy, but schools typically provides a plethora of services that can help with exam preparations, expectations, and scheduling. So check with the school on what resources are available to ensure your success. Also, as you read through all this keep in mind that the school has a vested interest in your success so use all the resources you have at your disposal.
Some licensure passage rates may not be publicly available. While this information is important, certain licensing agencies don’t make their exam results public, not even national averages. One way you can get access this info is by paying for it or through the school you are attending. Personally, I think that paying for this information may be a good investment since it can inform your school attendance decision. Because you may not want to spend money and time on a school that has low licensing passage rates.
Not passing the licensure exam. Licensure exams typically have fees associated with them and anyone can retake the exam provided they pay the fee. However, individuals that cannot pass the licensure exam will likely be unable to work in the career of choice at the desired level.
Question: Did you have to take a licensure exam? If so what was your experience with it? What do you know now that you wish you knew prior to taking it?