The Ultimate NAPLEX Study Guide Review

FEBRUARY 18, 2016
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the official policy or position of Pharmacy Times. The review herein is the author's opinion and not official rankings.

The North American Pharmacist Licensure Examination (NAPLEX) is a challenge that pharmacy students must face on their journey to become a pharmacist. Like any other licensing exam out there, the NAPLEX can be a little scary, especially if you’re not a good test taker.  
The good news is you can overcome the scare factor with careful preparation. With that, you may wonder which study guide offers the best NAPLEX review. Are the more expensive study guides really worth it, or will a free or inexpensive option suffice?
To help you select the best NAPLEX review guide, I’ve rated 23 NAPLEX resources based on information derived from websites and user reviews. Each study guide is rated on a scale of 1 (lowest) to 5 (highest) and listed in order of rank.
RxPrep Course Book: A Comprehensive Course for the NAPLEX and Clinical Content for the CPJE (2016 Edition)
Rating: 4.5
Price: $168 (if you purchase directly from RxPrep; may be available cheaper or used on other websites)
Summary: The RxPrep Course Book was developed as an in-depth companion to the RxPrep Online Review Course. The text matches the updated NAPLEX competency statements and is complete for all topics tested. The book can be purchased separately or as part of the online package.
●     Updated essential background sections (Exam Overview, Sterile and Non-Sterile Compounding, Drug Interactions, Patient Charts, Assessment and Healthcare Provider Communication, Drug Mechanisms, Classes and Structures)
●    Expanded calculations section with case-based (exam-style) formats, and answers explained step-by-step
●     Includes exam-style practice cases for many of the major topics
●     Covers most therapeutic areas and topics such as cystic fibrosis and multiple sclerosis
●     A good overview without too much detail
●     Charts and practice questions are helpful
●     More affordable than the complete RxPrep Online Review Course
●     Multiple authors and inconsistent writing style
●     Expensive for a textbook

Kaplan NAPLEX 2016 Strategies, Practice, and Review with 2 Practice Tests: Online + Book
Rating: 4.5
Price: $45.05 (pre-order)
Summary: This step-by-step guide provides Kaplan's test-taking strategies with review and guidance.
●      Two full-length practice tests (1 in the book and 1 online)
●      More than 200 comprehensive tables summarizing must-know drugs at a glance
●      27 end-of-chapter practice question sets, including more than 35 calculation problems
●      Detailed answer explanations
●      Test-taking and study strategies
●     Affordable
●     Offers online component and test-taking strategies
●     Helpful answer explanations
●     Not as well-written as RxPrep book, according to online reviews

Lippincott Williams & Wilkins Comprehensive Pharmacy Review for NAPLEX (8th edition)
Rating: 4
Price: $43.99 (eTextbook); $19.93-$64.42 (used or new paperback)
Summary: This book provides a knowledge base necessary for pharmacy students, instructors, foreign graduates, and professionals to excel in their practices and be fully equipped to tackle the NAPLEX competency test.
●      Updated to conform with USP 797 regulations
●      Expanded coverage of practice areas including pain management, hepatic disorders, migraine, women’s health, prescription dermatologic agents, geriatrics, and pediatrics
●      More than 60 print and online chapters presented in outline form
●      Practice questions
●      Guidelines and tips for taking the NAPLEX, along with the NAPLEX blueprint
●     Highly rated on Amazon
●     Useful tool during pharmacy practice
●     Concise and clearly written
●     Inexpensive
●     Some chapters only available online

McGraw-Hill NAPLEX Review Guide
Rating: 4
Price: $37.95-$80 (used or new paperback)
Summary: NAPLEX study material and 2 practice exams in 1 student-reviewed package.
●      Organized around the NABP competencies and designed to sharpen problem-solving skills, put must-know information at your fingertips, and improve exam-taking ability
●      Includes more than 1400 case application questions, each with a detailed explanation of both correct and incorrect answer choices
●      CD-ROM with 2 complete practice tests, each with 185 questions
●     Lists takeaway points at the end of every chapter that summarize key concepts
●     Includes practice questions with answer explanations
●     Inexpensive
●     Highly rated on Amazon
●     CD-ROM seems outdated
●     Not sufficient as standalone NAPLEX prep resource

NAPLEX Easy by McGraw-Hill
Rating: 4
Price: $249 for 6 months, $189 for 3 months, $149 for 2 months, $99 for 1 month, or $59 for 2 weeks
Summary: NAPLEX Easy includes 1000 questions and powerful personalized prep features.
●     Practice tests
●     Adaptive preparation
●     Personalized dashboard
●     Study plan
●     Skill report
●     Personalized reporting
●     Customizable features
●     Portable and compatible with most devices
●     Free trial available
●     Helps you develop a study plan
●     Affordable
●     Fewer questions than some other NAPLEX resources

PharmacyExam NAPLEX Review Products
Rating: 4
Price: Pricing varies depending on selected product or combination of products
Summary: PharmacyExam offers a range of NAPLEX review products, including books, audio CDs, practice tests, review posters, and flash cards. Combo packs are also available, and students can select individual materials to build a customized combo pack.
●     CD and downloadable options available
●     Combo packs provide discounted pricing
●     Wide range of price points and product combinations
●     Different delivery methods of content appeal to all types of learners
●     Downloadable products compatible on most devices
●     Free upgrades for a year
●     Can work at your own pace
●     Portable
●     Some combo packs include 2014-2015 study guides
●     Downloaded products expire 1 year from purchase date

Alex Barker, PharmD
Alex Barker, PharmD
Alex Barker is the founder of The Happy PharmD, which helps pharmacists create an inspiring career, break free from the mundane "pill-flipping" life. He is a Full-time Pharmacist, Media Company founder, franchise owner, Business Coach, Speaker, and Author. He's also the Founder of Pharmacy School HQ, which helps students get into pharmacy school and become residents.