In 2003 the number was just over 50,000 which represents a 43% increase in just 14 years!
In most years the number of those taking the PANCE has risen.
In 2016 there were 8,025 test takers (first time and repeat) with an overall pass rate of 93%. Again, to give you some historical perspective, in 2003 there were 5,480 test takers (first time and repeat) with an overall pass rate of 80%. In the same year, there were 1,140 repeaters of the PANCE, and only 44% of them passed.
As you can see the chances of passing your PANCE the first time has risen dramatically.
Current PANCE Pass Rates
The Changing Nature of PANCE pass rates
Historically, since the PANCE was initiated, the pass rate has fluctuated between 69.0 and 94.6 percent.
Since the PANCE was introduced in 1973, there has been a shift in the number of test takers and the pass rate. In 1973 there were 880 PANCE test takers (770 passed, 110 failed; 87.5% pass rate), and in 1983 the number was 1,238 (1,605 passed, 367 failed; 79% pass rate).
In 2003, the number of certifying examinations administered totaled 5,480, with 4,340 candidates attaining certification. The failure rate was 20.1%; 1104 candidates were unsuccessful.
In 2016 the number of certifying examination administered totaled 8,631 with 8,025 attaining certification. The failure rate was less than 4%, and only 549 candidates were unsuccessful.
I am unable to find more recent data on PANCE repeaters and pass rates.
Current PANRE pass rates
For those of you (myself included) who are in the recertification cycle, the future looks bright as well.
Not only has the recertification cycle been extended to 10 years but the overall first attempt pass rate is 92% with 97% of recertifying PAs passing after one (or multiple attempts)
PAs have up to four attempts to pass PANRE during the last two years of the certification maintenance cycle.
The data provided above is based on the year in which a PA was due to take and pass PANRE, and it includes those who took advantage of the opportunity to take the exam a year early.
For example, the data for 2016 includes all PAs who were required to pass PANRE by the end of 2016, regardless of whether they took the exam in 2015 (a year early) or 2016 (certification expiration year).