Physical Therapy Class Achieves Remarkable 100% First-Attempt Pass Rate on Board Exams

By David Wise

All six graduating classes in the UAMS program have had an overall pass rate of 100%, but this is the second time in the program’s history that a class earned a perfect first-attempt pass rate. The inaugural class achieved the same feat in 2018.

From a national perspective, in 2023 the first-attempt pass rate for all PT programs in the U.S. was 85.4%. The UAMS PT program was 29.8 points higher on the first-attempt exam scores than the average score for all other programs. The UAMS PT programs also leads the state in board exam scores compared to other Arkansas doctoral physical therapy programs.

“The journey to becoming a licensed physical therapist is arduous, demanding rigorous academic preparation, practical skills and clinical experience,” said Angel Holland, PT, DPT, Ed.D., associate professor in the UAMS College of Health Professions and chair and program director of the UAMS PT program. “Board exams serve as a crucial milestone in this journey, assessing students’ competency and knowledge in various aspects of physical therapy practice. Achieving a perfect first-time pass rate on these exams is a rare accomplishment, symbolizing the highest level of proficiency and readiness for professional practice.”

The success of this class can be attributed to a combination of factors, including the rigorous curriculum, hands-on training and unwavering support from faculty mentors. The program’s emphasis on evidence-based practice, patient-centered care and interdisciplinary collaboration has equipped students with the skills and mindset necessary to excel in their field.

For the students themselves, achieving a perfect first-attempt pass rate is not only a validation of their hard work and dedication but also a source of immense pride and confidence as they embark on their careers as licensed physical therapists. They are now poised to make meaningful contributions to the field, improving the lives of patients and advancing the practice of physical therapy.

“The success of this class speaks volumes about the commitment of UAMS to uphold the highest standards of education and to equip future physical therapists with the knowledge, skills and ethical principles necessary to excel in their profession,” Holland said. “By nurturing a culture of excellence and continuous improvement, the program has empowered its graduates to make meaningful contributions to the health and well-being of their communities.”