Not everyone can afford the tuition and the time to sit around in a college classroom to get into their desired field–we get it. You want to know how you can gain the knowledge and experience necessary to become a bonafide, certified pharmacy technician.
To overcome this daunting challenge, you must remain dedicated and willing to undergo hours of flipping through textbooks and writing notes. When you complete this guide, nothing will stop you from passing the PTCB Exam!
How Long Does it Take to Study for the PTCB Exam?
If you are taking the PTCB Exam, you are likely doing this of your own accord. That is to say, you do not have the benefit of following a teacher’s lecture notes like a pharmaceutical student can. If you wish to pass the PTCB Exam, you will take a drastically higher workload.
Do not be frightened by this, however. Studying is more about the method than the All things are considered, studying for the PTCB Exam will take you months spread over good one-to-two hour periods.
Is it Difficult to Pass the PTCB Exam?
You must complete the PTCB Exam with a score of 1200 points out of the possible 1600 to become a certified pharmacy technician, putting your chances of success on the lower end of the scale. Only 80 of the 90 multiple-choice questions available on the test are graded, but you’ll never know which, so you need to spread your pharmacy technician knowledge evenly.
Passing the PTCB Exam is ultimately a matter of preparedness. So how, exactly, do you prepare?
What is the Best Way to Study for the PTCB Exam?
You study for the PTCB Exam like you would any other test: after a period of intense book reading, question answering, and taking risks.
Once you arrive at your designated Pearson test center, you will have no help; you have to rely entirely on your knowledge of pharmacology pharmaceuticals in this certified assortment of 90 randomly selected questions. Studying for this exam means acquiring extensive technical knowledge, such as knowing the specific terminology and practical experience and knowledge.
Can You Self Study for the PTCB Exam?
As an aspiring pharmacy technician, you can earn your CPhT certificate and become a certified pharmacy technician through nothing but your grit and inexhaustive effort. The path to becoming a pharmacy technician outside of physical or online pharmacy tech schools involves training, dabbling into textbooks, reading materials, and existing examples, and, if necessary, some actual real-world experience.
You will have to put yourself through a lot of work in a shorter amount of time than any college student. Still, on the other hand, without having to spend hours traveling to campus to endure droning lectures or spending thousands on student debt and tuition, you are more accessible to study and go about it at your own pace.
Instead of asking if we can self study for the PTCB Exam, what we need to ask is how.
How to Self Study for the PCTB Exam?
We have assembled ten quick tips to help you prepare for the PTCB Exam. These will not require any physical or online pharmacy tech school, though be warned that this doesn’t mean you won’t have to put any effort into these exercises!
Read a Good Book
You can take up reading material and other pharmacy-based textbooks. The material on the exam is highly technical; it relies on strict terminology and jargon often ripped straight from a manual, so this tip gives you great insight on how questions on the exam may be presented and what they’re asking for. Sometimes the difference between a tricky or easy question is how much you understand what it is looking for. Read textbooks particularly to understand the technical details as other pharmacy technicians understand them.
Practice the Practice Tests
The PTCB Practice Test is made precisely to give prospective test-takers a good idea of the test’s questions. It is an excellent way to see how your knowledge of the material works practically, and who knows; if you’re lucky, you might run into a practice problem on the exam! Of course, don’t put too many expectations on that. The Pharmacy Technician Test is an assortment of randomized questions to avoid this very thing!
Research the Exam
Research the “knowledge domains” of the PTCB Exam and what the test could want out of you. Take notes on each knowledge domain, like the measurements and specific instructions for particular duties or ideas. Look for past examples of the exam and the experiences of test-takers who failed and succeeded.
Complete a Training Program
You can undergo a PTCB-Recognized Education/Training Program and gain some experience. These training programs are designed for the exam; the same board that certifies pharmacy technicians also decides what questions and material appear on the exam. Think of it as being told directly what the test will be like!
As stated before, you need to complete a PTCB-Recognized Education/Training Program take the PTCB Test as of 2020. You can sign up for one in your state at a local university or through an online pharmacy tech school.
You can substitute some technical knowledge and expertise for equivalent real-world experience working as a pharmacy technician (a minimum of 500 hours). However, gaining experience and training before the exam puts the cart before the horse and asks quite a lot from you. Still, experience adds a new layer of knowledge and preparedness for the test.
Suppose you have already gotten yourself acquainted with the work of a pharmacy technician, toiling in the back rooms of a pharmacy and fulfilling prescriptions. In that case, I dare say you’ve already done the bulk of the study work for completing the exam! You may still miss some technical knowledge and intuition that you can only get through formal training or study.
Create Your Own Study Regimen
You should take time every day to review your notes and whatever knowledge you’ve gained. Come up with inspired questions or situations to answer, like “how many pills are in a bottle of x milliliters?” This exercise will help you anticipate unexpected or rare questions on top of flexing your understanding of more conventional questions and enables you to turn your litany of knowledge without using or needing cheat sheets. The exam cannot be any more challenging than what you choose to put yourself through!
Create a Schedule for Your Study Time
Come up with a specific plan or schedule to regulate your study time. Start the training program on Mondays, research exam questions on Tuesdays, do a practice test or two on Wednesday, read a chapter of Pharmacology Made Simple on Thursday, and top it off with a review on Friday.
Study for one to two hours every day. Regular study time is more valuable than cramming as much information as possible in your head. The essential task is adhering to a schedule and staying consistent.
Take a Break
Over-studying is not just hazardous to your study habits but also to your health. Take breaks between study sessions; stretch your fingers, adjust your eyes, take a breather, and eat a snack. Much like exercising your muscles, the bulk of your improvement and change is between the resting work-out periods. When your brain muscles repair themselves, and you look at the material with new, fresh eyes, you can come back to your notes and see if you can clear them all yourself.
Repeat the Cycle
Repeat the cycle as much as you can, taking the notes and absorbing them until they are practically irremovable from your skull. And when you have completed the first day/week/month, you start the next day/week/month, for every day/week/month until you can do all of the material in your sleep.
Get Fresh and Ready for Test Day
When exam day arrives, remember to get a good night’s sleep, eat a fine meal, take some quick material to give a look over while at the testing center, and psyche yourself up for the test. Don’t cram: cramming relies too much on memorization, and in a panic, you can easily forget the most minor or most essential details when you need them the most. You need to have come to the test with days or weeks of knowledge prepared in advance so that approaching the test is less like marking a checklist of things and more proving your worth as a pharmacy technician.
Do not worry if you end up failing; you can retake the test after sixty days, though if you fail up to four times, you may need a justification to retake it. Remember, though, that you only need to pass it once to get your pharmacy technician certificate!
Wrapping Things Up: Can You Self Study for the PTCB Exam?
It is not easy to develop the exact skillset you need to prepare for the PTCB Exam. But if you are willing and ready to shoulder the task of studying, define your research ability, and pass the Pharmacy Technical Certified Board Exam, you can, in fact, self-study your way into the world of medicine and pharmaceuticals!