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What is PTCB certification?

You're about to take the PTCB and there's still some questions you do not really know? Read on as we take a closer look at what you can expect from the exam.

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The Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) develops, upholds, promotes, and controls the high-quality certification program for pharmacy technicians. The Pharmacy Technician Certification Examination (PTCE) was designed by PTCB to establish a baseline assessment to indicate a pharmacy tech having the expertise essential to do works within the field. PTCB certification demonstrates that pharmacy technicians have the ability to effectively support pharmacists to make better quality customer service and valuable vocational training. Certification develops the overall experience and service for healthcare providers, customers, and industry personnel.

How many questions are on the PTCB Exam?

The PTCE is a nationwide computer-based examination that is administered at Pearson VUE test centers. The PTCE lasts two hours with 90 multiple-choice questions: 80 scored and 10 unscored questions. Each question concludes 4 possible answers, only one is correct. You will not know which questions are not scored and they are randomly distributed throughout the exam. Candidates have 110 minutes to answer all exam questions and 10 minutes for a tutorial and post-exam survey.  


PTCB Passing Score

As mentioned above, only 80 of the 90 questions are scored.  Your final score will be based on these 80 questions. To get familiar with the exam format, make sure to test yourself with at least one PTCB practice test before your big day.

The possible range of PTCB is between 1000 and 1600. You must score a minimum of 1400 to pass your exam. This score has been set up by a panel of subject-matter experts based on a modified-Angoff method. Through this method, the panel members are required to evaluate each individual test question to determine the percentage of qualified pharmacy technicians who would be capable of correctly answering the question. These estimates were then analyzed and averaged to calculate the passing score. 

Is the (PTCE) required?

The answer to this question is it varies from state to state. But even if your state does not ask for the certification, it is worth getting a PTCB cert. According to a survey carried out by the PTCB, the public wants pharmacy technicians to be certified. Actually, 85% said certification is “very important” in the study. Additionally, it is an excellent way to impress employers and shows that you have qualifications for your work.

Topics covered in the PTCB exam

The PTCB poses the exam into nine “knowledge domains” in the area of pharmacy. Here is a list of them and an approximate percentage of questions on the real exam that deal with each:

Pharmacology for Technicians (13.75%)

Pharmacy law and regulations (12.5%)

Sterile and non-sterile compounding (8.75%)

Medication safety (12.5%)

Pharmacy quality assurance (7.5%)

Medication order entry and fill process (17.5%)

Pharmacy inventory management (8.75%)

Pharmacy Billing and reimbursement (8.75%)

Pharmacy information system usage and application (10%)

How many times can you retake the PTCB?

You have four chances to pass the PTCB exam. If you fail your first PTCB, you can retake and pay for the second and third exams within 60 days from your most recent attempt. You have to wait 6 months before attempting the fourth exam. If you fail all 4 attempts, you will not be able to apply until you show evidence of your complete preparation activities.

PTCB exam prep resources

If you’re going to take the PTCB, then you’ll need to get in some serious study time. Fortunately, there are several good resources for students, both from the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board and external sources. Here are some options to consider:

PTCB exam prep resources

If you’re going to take the PTCB, you should test your Knowledge by taking as many free PTCB practice tests as possible. Through your results of these PTCB practice exams, you will be able to identify which areas need to be invested time on. Fortunately, there are various good study resources for students, both from the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board and other sources. You can consider the following options:

Official PTCB Practice Exam

What practice exam is out there better than the one released by the PTCB itself? The PTCB has created a practice exam that mimics the actual exam in both content and format. This helps candidates familiarize themselves with the type of questions and the look of the real exam. The practice exam has a special rate of $19 through December 31 2020.

Free PTCB Practice App and website

Have some spare time while riding the bus or relaxing at home? Simply take out your PC, tablets or even your phone try out our free PTCB Practice Questions—available for both Apple and Android devices. Both the app and web version let users practice typical calculation questions found on the exam, giving candidates a very realistic look at what they will meet during the real thing. Both study and test modes are available. The app also contains the full answers and detailed explanations of why your option is correct and incorrect. 

Let's try our PTCB practice exam to pass on your first try!

Take more practice questions for other Pharmacy exams on our website HERE!

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