NEW YORK: After a low pass rate sparked a review of the Accredited in Public Relations (APR) exam earlier this year (PRWeek, March 1), APR candidates achieved the highest pass rate in over five years on the spring 1999 exam.
Of the 213 candidates, 144 passed the Universal Accreditation exam, representing a 68% success rate that far exceeded the 51% achieved by the fall 1998 class. The normal rate is around 60%, and the highest in recent years was the fall 1994 test's 75%.
Christine Gronkiewicz, Universal Accreditation Board chair, attributed the increase to several factors: returning to a single textbook, and having a new APR study guide and an online study course for local accreditation chairs.
'It's a combination of things, but we think the chairs at a local level had a lot to do with it,' she said. 'What this points to is that candidates were better prepared to sit for the exam.'
After almost half the candidates failed the fall 1998 exam, PRSA president and COO Ray Gaulke told PRWeek that changes would be made to make the test easier to prepare for. For the first time, local accreditation chairs had access to an online study guide, and the test was once again based primarily on Cutlip et al's Effective Public Relations.
Gronkiewicz said the pass rate for the seven partner organizations was 66%, just below the PRSA rate.