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What’s My Number?

Update 3/11/18: It’s been several years since I first wrote this post, but it is still getting a fair amount of traffic, so an update seems in order! Looking at the three most recent reports currently available from the IBLCE:

The April 2017 test results found a pass-score of 137.55 (the total possible score is now 175), which was achieved by 83.92% of test-takers.
The October 2016 test had a pass-score of 134.99, which was achieved by 74.31% of test-takers.
The April 2016 exam had a pass-score of 139.72, with 85.00% of test-takers passing. 

If you’re getting ready to take the IBLCE exam this year, it’s a good bet you’ve wondered: “What’s my goal? What score do I need to pass the IBLCE exam?”

We wish there was a clear-cut answer to this question, but the truth is a little more complicated than you might expect. The “pass-fail score” on the IBLCE exam changes each year; it is specifically calculated for each year’s exam, based on a rubric that assesses that specific exam.

The IBLCE has a multidisciplinary committee that prepares, reviews, edits, and selects test items. This group also determines the pass-fail cut score. The score is based on “degree of difficulty” ratings the committee assigns to every answer choice for every test item. (In other words, responses that are “further from right” or “more wrong” are counted differently than those that are more credible or “the right answer.”) The cut score is determined based on these factors, by applying something called the modified Nedelsky procedure. The score is criterion-referenced, rather than curve-based.

Looking at a few years’ reports (available on the IBLCE site), we see that:

  • In 2012, the pass score was 67, and a little less than 85% of test-takers passed.
  • In 2011, the score was 66, and over 88% passed.
  • In 2010, the score was 65, and over 89% passed.

If you have additional questions about the evaluation process, we encourage you to take a look at the IBLCE site.

And if you don’t get the results you want the first time you take the IBLCE exam, don’t give up! Breastfeeding Outlook has helped many people to pass the exam, and can help you too.

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