Are you aspiring to write the PTCB exams but wondering how long adequate preparation would take? If yes, this article has everything you should know. The PTCB exam is not the easiest exam, but you can ace it with adequate preparation. Unfortunately, not many people understand what it takes to prepare for this exam, and that’s why we’ve written this article to help. Here, we’ll discuss everything you should know to prepare for the PTCB exams adequately. But before we start, let’s talk about how difficult the exam is.
Is The PTCB Exam Difficult?
Like every other exam, the PTCB exam would be difficult for some and relatively easy for others. Whether it is difficult or easy for you would depend on several factors, including how much effort you dedicate to studying, how good you are at taking tests, and the question contained in the exam.
However, with an average pass rate of 72% between 1995 and 2020, it’s easy to conclude that the test is relatively easy for people that prepare well. You shouldn’t be worried about passing the exams – as long as you study hard and prepare well. We are here to help.
The PTCB exams contain 90 multiple-choice questions. These questions are usually randomized, meaning that each test taker would encounter different questions. Of course, luck plays its part. If you are lucky, your exam may contain very easy questions. On the other hand, you may get more questions on areas of your weak point.
The randomized structure makes preparation even more valuable because nobody wants to be caught unawares with questions they’ll struggle to answer.
Another vital point to note is that 10 of the 90 questions would be unscored. This means that the ten questions would not affect your score, irrespective of how well or badly you do in them. Unfortunately, test-takers are generally unaware of the unscored questions during the test. So it’ll be better to attempt all questions during the allotted time for the exam.
Can You Self-Study for the PTCB Exam?
One question that keeps popping up every time we look at exam preparation forums is whether it’s possible to self-study for the PTCB exams. Yes, you’ve registered for the exams and bought the necessary preparatory materials, including the PTCB exam study guide. Now, you wonder whether it’s worth it to pay for some expensive online course or if it’ll be the same outcome if you choose to sit down and study independently.
The truth is that baby people can study for the PTCB. In fact, many aspiring professionals like the flexibility that self-study offers. So, if you are simply aspiring to pass the PTCB exams and think you can go through everything on your own, then why not? As long as you can start early enough and put in the right level of focus and work. Here are questions you must answer before deciding whether it’s right to choose self-studying for your exam preparation.
- Do I learn well by studying on my own?
- Do I have the needed motivation to approach preparations by myself?
- Can I self-assess myself without bias to know my current level and when I’m ready for the exams?
If your answer to these questions is “yes,” you may be able to self-study for the PTCB exams. Another section of this article covers all the useful steps you can adopt to prepare for the PTCB exams.
How to Study for the PTCB Exam?
Now that it’s clear you can self-study for the PTCB exams, you’re probably asking questions like, “how should I study for the PTCB?” Don’t worry; this section offers practical tips you can try. However, bear in mind that you must choose these tips according to your strength and fashion them to suit your style. Here are helpful tips you can adopt to make your study easier and more efficient with that clear.
Know what to study
This is where it all begins. You’ll be lost in a sea of preparatory materials if you don’t have directions. The PTCB exam covers nine broad knowledge areas. Each of these areas contains its sub-topics, and you can find a detailed list of the topics and sub-topics to expect in the exams on the PTCB website. The knowledge areas include:
- Law and regulations
- Medical safety
- Quality assurance
- Order entry and medication filling
- Inventory management
- Information systems
- Billing and reimbursements
Familiarize yourself with the exam format
Once you’re sure of what topics and subtopics to expect in the exam, the next step would be familiarizing yourself with the exam topic. You’ll want to walk into the exam hall knowing that you’re sure of how questions would look. PTCB exam is a computer-based exam that students can sit for in any Pearson VUE testing centers nationwide. The exams typically contain 90 questions which you must complete within two hours. There’s also a survey section that you’ll need to complete when you’re done with the questions.
The PTCB website contains helpful tutorials to acquaint you with the exam structure. Fortunately, you can access tutorials and answer practice questions from your computer.
Consider signing up for a review course
Several preparatory websites offer in-person reviews and prep courses to help potential exam candidates prepare for the PTCB exams. Most of these courses have information that suits the knowledge areas contained in the exam. Take the courses seriously and ask for clarification where necessary, as it can be the piece that helps you complete the puzzle.
Take practice tests
We’ll never overemphasize the importance of taking practice tests as you prepare for any exams. So many exam resources offer access to tons of PTCB practice tests. The practice tests are the best real-world pictures of what the exams would look like. These resources allow you to practice on your computer and usually include 90 questions, just like the actual PTCB exams. Every time you finish the mock exam, you’ll receive your score and an analysis of the correct answer to each question.
You can find free practice tests across different exam preparatory websites. Some sites even offer quizzes in addition to practice tests.
Try additional study resources
Yes, you’ll find a detailed PTCB exam study guide and practice tests on the board’s website. But those are not the only materials you can try. There are so many others that you’ll lose count if you want to list them. You can download some of these materials on your phone and computer. Some of them are available as apps and can be used anywhere. If you love physical books, you can talk to your book vendor to offer recommendations on options you can try.
How Long Should You Study for the PTCB Exams?
Studying for the PTCB exam may not be as difficult as many people think, but it still requires dedication and discipline. The amount of time you’ll need to prepare would usually depend on the information available for you. A total newbie who’s ready to put in the necessary work can expect to be prepared in about 1 to 2 months. If you fail the exam on your first attempt, you’ll have a grace period when you won’t be allowed to take the exams. We recommend using time wisely to study topic areas and question formats that you struggled with. Irrespective of your experience with the exams, we still expect you to study for at least three weeks before sitting for the exam.
Are you wondering why you need so much time to prepare? The truth is that it’ll take you some time to read through the bulky material, especially if you do not know so much about algebra already. You’ll also need to learn so many word problems and how to solve them. Getting through these things takes time, so one or two months of preparation for a total newbie is just fine.
Throughout this time, you want to ensure that you are also taking practice tests. These tests are crucial, considering that they help you figure out how ready you are. Practice tests can also help you develop confidence because you can see that you are improving after every study time. You’ll also know areas you need improvement in so that you can go back and study. That alone would give you the confidence you need to jump out there and take the test.
Wrapping Things Up: How Long Should You Study for the PTCB Exam?
Let’s get this straight – it’s impossible to pass the PTCB exam without adequate preparation. However, this shouldn’t scare you, considering the difference that adequate study can make. One question many people ask when preparing for the PTCB exam is how long they should study for the exams. Fortunately, you don’t have to spend a whole year studying for the exams. A month or two of adequate preparation can brace you up for every challenge the exam will throw at you. But remember, you have to be fully dedicated to preparing, and that includes studying the PTCB exam study guide and taking PTCB practice tests.
We’ve provided tips that’ll make your study more efficient in this article. You’ll find almost all the materials you need on the PTCB website, but don’t forget to seek advice from people that have passed through this stage before.