So, you are ready for pharmacy school! Congratulations are in order! If you have obtained your bachelor’s degree, the next step is the acceptance into a PharmD program. How do you do that? You must first pass an exam given by the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP). The examination is called the Pharmacy College Admission Test (PCAT). Typically, the minimum score requirements for getting into your desired school will vary. You will need to check with them for specifics.
The PCAT examination is given to analyze the student’s general knowledge learned in their previous educational program. As you enter a PharmD program, are you truly ready to endure the rigorous academic journey ahead of you? The PCAT exam will test your knowledge and proficiencies that you have mastered thus far in your educational endeavors, specifically to see if you are ready to attend pharmacy school in hopes of earning your Doctor of Pharmacy degree.
The PCAT exam is computer-generated consisting of approximately 232 questions presented in multiple-choice, discussion writing and problem-solving formats. You will have 3½ to 4 hours to complete. The PCAT test is divided into five portions consisting of a writing assignment, a biology section, a chemical processes segment and a critical reading portion to test comprehension, in addition to, a section on quantitative reasoning.
After you have been accepted into a PharmD program and upon receiving your online Doctor of Pharmacy degree, you are eligible to sit for licensure in your state to begin your career as a pharmacist. You will need to check with your state’s regulations to see which examinations are required, however, typically, two tests are required.
First, passing the North American Pharmacist Licensure Examination (NAPLEX) is imperative for the prospective pharmacist. It is a computer-generated exam required by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy organization. This examination is designed to test your capabilities, knowledge and skills in all pharmacy-related matters and practices.
The NAPLEX exam consists of 250 questions. You will have six hours to complete your exam and it will cost you $575 to take. You must score 75 or higher to pass, however, if you fail, you may take the test again once the waiting period of 45 days has passed. You may re-sit for the test up to five times before special consideration is required to re-take.
Secondly, most states require you to also take the Multistate Pharmacy Juriprudence Exam (MPJE) to gain licensure. This test is also known as the Pharmacy Law Test. If your state does not require this particular exam, they may have another comparable test in place that meets their own requirements. Whichever the case, the MPJE or its equivalent, it will test your knowledge about the legalities and ethical practices of working in the field of pharmaceuticals, especially rules regulating drug distribution and licensure.
The MPJE test consists of 90 multiple-choice questions and should be completed within a two-hour timeframe. If you relocate to another state while practicing as a pharmacist, you will need to re-take the examination that is applicable to the state you transfer to.
As all of these examinations are challenging, you may want to consider taking online practice tests when you are ready. We have compiled a list of the Best Online Schools for Doctor of Pharmacy degree programs for those who are interested in this field.