How Hard Is the Pharmacy Technician Exam?
When you’re on your way to becoming a licensed pharmacy technician, one of the most vital steps in your career is passing the pharmacy technician final exam.
Given its importance, it is normal to feel a little anxious and wonder just how challenging this test might be.
This article addresses common concerns and provides important insight into what you can expect from the exam and how to best prepare.
Do You Need Formal Training to Take the Pharmacy Technician Exam?
The Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) administers the PTCE (Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam), which is the primary exam for evaluating pharmacy technicians’ competence. It covers various topics related to a pharmacy technician’s job responsibilities.
To meet eligibility requirements for the PTCE, you need to have a high school diploma or an equivalent qualification.
You will need one of these two before taking the exam.
- Training from a PTCB-recognized training program, or
- Work experience as a pharmacy technician (for a minimum of 500 hours)
Preparing for a multi-subject examination like the PTCE requires an organized and systematic approach to learning. A formal training program such as FVI’s Pharmacy Technician program provides that structure and incorporates essential theoretical knowledge into each lesson.
Additionally, employers often prefer candidates with formal training, considering them better prepared to handle the demands of a busy pharmacy environment.
What Is on the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam?
The Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam (PTCE) evaluates a candidate’s competence and understanding of the core responsibilities and activities of a pharmacy technician.
The exam has 90 multiple-choice questions with a 2-hour limit and covers four main areas:
- Medications: This section covers 40% of the exam. It assesses your knowledge of various medication classifications, drug interactions, side effects, and medication storage.
- Federal Requirements: This part of the exam (covering 12.5%) tests your knowledge of drug scheduling, handling, and disposing of substances, restricted drug programs, and FDA requirements on recalls.
- Patient Safety and Quality Assurance: Pharmacy technicians play a vital role in ensuring patient safety and medication accuracy. This component (covering 26.25% of the exam) evaluates your understanding of error prevention strategies, risk medications, look-alike/sound-alike medications, pharmacist intervention incidents, and event reporting.
- Order Entry and Processing: This covers 21.25% of the exam. You will be tested on your knowledge of compounding non-sterile products, calculations, formulas and ratios, drug administration equipment, the National Drug Code, as well as lot numbers and expiration dates.
Familiarizing yourself with these key areas and practicing sample questions can significantly boost your confidence and performance on the pharmacy technician final exam.
What Is the Passing Score for the Pharmacy Technician Exam?
The Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam (PTCE) employs a scaled scoring system. The score for the exam ranges between 1,000 and 1,600. To pass this credentialing examination, you need to attain a scaled score of 1,400 or above.
While this may seem challenging at first glance, the pharmacy technician final exam actually has an average pass rate of approximately 71%. This means that with the right preparation and dedication, candidates can achieve this score and get started on their careers in the pharmacy industry.
Partner With FVI and Boost Your Exam Performance
If you want to avoid feeling overwhelmed by the challenges of the pharmacy technician final exam, you need to partner with the right training institution.
At FVI School of Nursing and Technology, our comprehensive Pharmacy Technician program will help you achieve mastery in each exam component while giving you essential practical skills to excel in your profession. We also offer a test prep course matching the topics that will be tested on the exam.
Guided by seasoned instructors, you’ll have access to the latest resources and support to ensure you don’t just pass the exam but excel at it.
Check out our Pharmacy Technician program today and learn more about how to get started.