Are you a student thinking of pursuing a career in the pharmaceutical industry? One of the easy routes into the industry is applying to work as a pharmacy technician. However, you’ll need to earn the necessary qualifications to work as a pharmacy technician. A very important step that qualifies you is acing the PTCB exams. If you’ve applied for the exam or you are preparing to sit for it, you should read this article attentively. Here, we’ve explained everything you should know about how the PTCB exam is scored. We’ve also provided tips to help you get a high PTCB exam score. But first, let’s find out what the exam is about.
What is the PTCB Exam for?
Candidates who are aspiring to become Pharmacy technicians are expected to write the PTCB exam. However, beyond counting it as a compulsory requirement, many potential candidates do not know what the exam is for or why it’s designed the way it is. It is an examination that is nationally accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA).
To become a full-fledged pharmacy technician, you must first earn a certificate, which is the formal examination required for it. The PTCB exam qualifies you for a CPhT role in the healthcare system. It’s an essential first step for anyone looking to become a pharmacy technician.
This examination tests your ability to provide effective support to the pharmacy team, and patient care supports in the healthcare system.
What to Know about CPHt
The CPHt is the certification you earn when you have qualified and passed your Pharmacy Technician Certification Board exam. It guarantees your authenticity as a bonafide Pharmacy tech.
The certificate contains your name, the education/ training program title, and the date of qualification.
What Does the PTCB Exam Consist of?
As a potential pharmacy technician, the first step to preparing for the PTCB exams is knowing what the PTCB exams consist of. The Pharmacy technician certification board exam consists of 90 multiple choice questions subdivided into nine different knowledge categories, and candidates typically have only 120 minutes to attempt all 90 questions.
The exam is computerized and administered across all the 50 states in the United States. Some other important things to note about the PTCB exams include:
- Only 80 questions are scored out of the 90 questions answered.
- The exam is a multiple-choice exam, and each question has four answer options for you to choose from.
- You can use calculators for the PTCB exam; however, there is an examination board-approved calculator, and you can’t come into the exam hall with another.
- The application fee for the PTCB exam is $129.
- The exam fee is forfeited if the candidate does not show up for their exams.
- The official exam score is posted online 2-3 weeks after exams.
- There is a 5 minutes post-exam survey.
Topics Covered in the PTCB Exams
The PTCB exam covers nine knowledge domains. They are.
- Pharmacology for Technicians (11 questions)
- Pharmacy Law and Regulations (10 questions)
- Sterile and Non-Sterile Compounding (7 questions)
- Medication Safety(10 questions)
- Pharmacy Quality Assurance (6 questions)
- Medication Order Entry and Fill Process(14 questions)
- Pharmacy Inventory Management (7 questions)
- Pharmacy Billing and Reimbursement (7 questions)
- Pharmacy Information System Usage and Application (8 questions).
How Hard is the PTCB Exam?
While preparing for the PTCB exam, students often ask questions like, “how hard is the PTCB exam?”
In 2019, the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board recorded that only 58% out of the 100% of students who sat for the PTCB exams passed it. This little data shows that the PTCB exam can be tough or easy, depending on how well a student prepares for the exam.
How to Ace the PTCB Exam
The one great trick to passing any examination is consistent practice. The need for adequate preparation and consistent practice is even more pronounced in the PTCB exam. While the PTCB exam might have its challenges, preparation makes it easier for students to glide through these challenges. Waiting until the last minute to start preparing for your PTCB might not guarantee you the success you need in your exams.
PTCB is an exam that touches various knowledge areas, and adequate preparation means that you’ll cover each of these areas enough to answer questions on them.
What is a Good Score on the PTCB Exam?
Every professional exam has a grade score that qualifies you for certification in that field of study.
Before you can get certified as a Pharmacy Technician, you must have aced the board certification exam with a good score.
If you’ve ever asked questions like, “how is the PTCB scored, What is the PTCB exam score, or the PTCB passing score percentage,” we’ll try to answer your question in this section. Firstly, the PTCB exams are not graded in percentage like most other exams you’ll encounter.
Instead, the PTCB exam uses a scale scoring method to score candidates, and a good passing score for the PTCB certification exam is 1,400. To have a good score, you have to pass at least ⅔ of the set questions, although 10 out of 90 questions in the exam are not scored.
How Many Times Can You Take the PTCB?
Like in most other exams, the PTCB certification exam board provides candidates with chances to retake their failed exams. Regardless, this is limited to only four chances. After failing the first PTCB exam, candidates can prepare and register again for the exam after 60 days. If the candidate fails again after the third trial, the candidate must wait for an extra six months before taking the last one. Although four times may seem like plenty of times, exam experts still advise that it’s best to prepare well and pass the exams in one sitting.
7 Test Preparation Tips for the PTCB Exam
Preparing for the PTCB exam can often seem like an overwhelming task. With so many topics to study and many past questions to practice, some students may get discouraged during this phase. If you are preparing for the PTCB exams, you don’t have to get discouraged at any point. As we’ve explained above, consistent practice can help put you in top gear before the exams, but you have to also ensure that you are reading the right thing. Here are helpful tips that can help you are the PTCB exams.
Research the Best PTCB Exam Materials
When preparing for any exams, nothing beats adequate research. Once you’ve made up your mind to write the PTCB exams, you should begin research. Start by researching to know what the exams stand for and how to register. Next, move on to buying valuable materials that will help you prepare better. Most people prefer to get books that provide detailed information on the different topics you’ll expect in the exams. You can ask for recommendations from your school’s counselor or from trusted people that have written the exams before.
Get PTCB Study Guides from Approves Websites
The PTCB official website contains several study guides and materials that you can use to prepare for the PCTB exams. These guides are not just comprehensive, they are also easy to understand and cover all the areas you need. Apart from the PTCB website, there are several other websites that you can access useful materials from. You just gave to do a simple research to find tons of such websites online. Some of these platforms have detailed study guides and past exam questions that you can study with. If you have the discipline, you can leverage these online platforms for adequate preparations.
Make Sure Your Math Skills are Solid
We can’t overemphasize this – math is an integral part of the PTCB exams. It’s not surprising that many PTCB questions involve formulas, conversions, and other types of calculations. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to solve these math topics with calculators as you cannot come in with that. Therefore, you must master basic formulas and calculation steps before stepping into the exam hall. The good part is that the math section contains several basic questions that you can simply use your knowledge of formulas to answer.
Ask any pharmacy technician out there, and they’ll tell you that flashcards are a must when preparing for the PTCB exams. With flashcards, you can condense large information into small manageable pieces to learn basic concepts and principles. You’ll especially find them helpful when trying to learn drug names and their effects.
Flashcards are also great pieces for studying on the go and reviewing information irrespective of where you are. You can order PTCB flashcards from your bookstore or simply do it online on reputable PTCB resource websites.
Enroll for PTCB Mock Exams
Another helpful tip for preparing for the PTCB exams is enrolling and taking mock exams. The PTCB website has a section dedicated to mock exams and practice questions to help students acquaint themselves with the exam procedures beforehand. You can find the most relevant mock exams online and register for them. Taking the PTCB online mock exams will help prepare your mind for the test. The bonus point is that most of the online PTCB mock exam questions turn out similar to those you might encounter during the exam. So you’ll not only develop the required confidence for the exam; you’ll also familiarize yourself with the question formats.
Take Time Out to Rest
This may seem like a deviation from the other points above, but adequate rest is also essential. The last few weeks before your exams will be very hectic, as you’ll be torn between trying to finish off several different textbooks. However, you shouldn’t be too engrossed in your preparation that you forget to rest. Proper rest before an exam helps refresh your memory and put you in the right mind-frame for the exam.
If you started preparing early enough, by now, you should have covered all the topics. Take some time off after your revision before going to bed to do something you enjoy. It could be writing a journal, talking to your family, or playing simple games. Just do anything that will not stress your brain before sleeping.
The main reason for this is to help you wind down before bed, making it easier for you to get a good night’s sleep so your brain can adequately process the information you’ve spent the day studying. Additionally, it also refreshes your brain and gets it ready for the task of the next day.
Lastly, it’s vital to shun procrastination during your preparatory phase for the exams. Remember, nothing limits a student from achieving greatness like procrastination. While procrastination may seem like the easiest thing to do most times, it often has grave consequences. It’s better to over-prepare than to be under-prepared for the test.
Therefore, we often advise students to draw out a feasible study plan from the start and stick to it. Many people fall into the trap of procrastination because they draw out bogus plans that they can not achieve. Tell yourself the truth about how much work you can complete daily or weekly. You’ll enjoy the peace of mind that comes with knowing you don’t have to engage in a last-minute rush to complete your study. This character does not only help you pass the PTCB exams – but it also helps you become more organized in the long run.
Wrapping Things Up: How is the PTCB Scored?
There you have it, everything you should know about the scoring system used for the PTCB exams. As always, you’ll need to score well to qualify for certification in the exams. The first step to scoring well is knowing how the exam is scored and preparing adequately. To help, this article provides all the details you’ll need to know the scoring system adopted by the exam board. We’ve also included all the necessary information you’ll need before sitting for the exams, including preparation tips. Let’s be clear; the PTCB exam is not the easiest of exams out there. However, adequate preparations will help you ace the exam, irrespective of how difficult it is. You can also refer to online study platforms to get the best book to study for the PTCB exams.