Becoming a certified pharmacy technician is a great accomplishment. Although it involves several hours of studying, the benefits are worth it. To get the license, you need to pass the PTCB exam.
While this exam can be challenging, you need the right mindset, strategies, and attitude to pass these exams. Thus, you need to prepare well.
The following piece covers fantastic tips to help you understand and pass your PTCB exam.
Let’s get into the details.
What Is the PTCB Exam?
The pharmacy technician certification exam is a computerized test offered by the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB). The exams test the applicants’ knowledge of pharmaceutical drug interactions, uses, and effects.
The goal of the exam is to promote more efficient pharmacy technicians to ensure safe patient care for all pharmacy customers. It advocates for the improvement of pharmacy technician standards.
The exam is designed for two groups of pharmacy technicians. These are:
Recent graduates of pharmacy tech programs who need to pass the exam to become licensed professionals.
Pharmacy techs without certification who want to become certified to improve their job prospects and strengthen their resume.
If you don’t pass the PTCB exam for the first time, you can always retake the exams after 60 days. After the second attempt, you’ll have to wait for six months before retaking it. Fortunately, you can always take a free PTCB practice test and be conversant with questions.
Is the PTCB Exam Hard?
Some people find PTCB exams hard, while others find it easy. It all depends on how prepared you are. The result depends on different factors. For instance, how knowledgeable you are, the hours you put in studying, and the questions you’ll get in the exam.
According to their website, the exams usually have 90 multiple-choice questions. You need to dedicate time to study as the 90 questions are randomized. The experience is different for each test taker. Lucky you if you receive only questions that you are conversant with.
10 of the 90 questions are unscored, and it doesn’t matter if you get them correctly or not. However, you won’t know which of them are unscored. You should answer all of them diligently.
The test takes two hours. Five minutes are for reading a tutorial and five minutes for the survey at the end of the paper.
How Can You Pass PTCB Exams?
Now that you know what PTCB exams are, it’s time to learn how to ace it. Here are some tips to help you out.
Know What to Expect
Knowing what to expect helps you prepare for the exams better. Below are some of the topics covered in this exam
Pharmacology / medications
Order entry and processing
Patient safety and quality
To pass the test, you need to be knowledgeable in all areas. Read the candidate bulletin provided by the PTCB to get detailed information on the format and content of the test. The pharmacy tech guide is free, and it won’t hurt to peruse through.
Take more time studying medications, as most of the questions are set from here. Focus on the top 100 drugs as you need to be knowledgeable to handle the daily work at the pharmacy. Look for the most prescribed drugs and work yourself up from there.
Nevertheless, don’t neglect the other sections as they are equally important.
There is no shortcut to passing these exams. You need to study for them. Don’t wait until the last minute to read for the exams. Here are some tips to help you study smart.
Break down the topics into manageable chunks to get the most out of them. You want to retain as much information as possible.
Read your textbooks and class notes. Read different pharmacy manuals focusing on drugs, regulations, and procedures. You can take the PTCB online course for free.
Sharpen your math skills. Several PTCB questions involve formulas, conversions, and calculations. Understand the maths to work your way through.
Have a consistent daily study schedule. Try studying at the same time every day to help you commit to a routine.
Avoid distractions. Study in a well-lit area free from distractions like televisions, computers, cell phones, constant chatter, and music.
Try different studying methods. How do you process the information? Is it when you read silently, noting things down, using charts, or probably when somebody speaks it. Find a method that works for you. Also, study in groups to help each other memorize different concepts.
It’s best to break the study hours and take breaks in between. This will help you retain information more, as you give your brain time to rest and regroup.
The only way to ensure you’ve grasped what you’ve learned is by practicing it. Through practice, you can determine your strengths and weaknesses. The PTCB offers optional practice exams to assist certification applicants in preparing for the actual exams. Take this pharmacy tech practice test online to gauge your competency.
Alternatively, make or purchase flashcards to test yourself on the different exam topics. Update the flashcards and quiz yourself with different questions throughout the day.
Try keeping the cards with you and every time you have free time, take the chance to study. You can always track your progress.
Get in the Zone
You should have the right state of mind when studying and doing the exams. It can be difficult to remember concepts and retain information when stressed or distracted. Get rid of any errors that may hinder you from performing well.
Before the test, ensure you have plenty of rest. Eat a balanced diet beforehand. Avoid caffeinated drinks and sugary drinks to ensure that you are fresh when tackling the test.
Know your exam location and arrive there early. Review your notes for the last time.
Try meditating for a couple of minutes to calm down and get focused.
During the test, pay close attention to exam instructions. Read each question carefully before settling on a response.
As much as the PTCB exam seems daunting, you can pass it with enough preparation and the right strategies. The exams are comprehensive, and there’s a lot of things to be read. Read widely and take a free pharmacy technician practice test while preparing.
During the exam, believe in yourself. Remember, you have to pass your exams to get your license.
Good luck in this endeavor!