In order to help current and aspiring technicians prepare for the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam (PTCE), the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) has released an updated version of its practice exam, as well as a new study app.
The Official PTCB Practice Exam, the only practice test authorized by the certifying organization, was developed by pharmacy subject experts and designed with the same look and feel of the PTCE, allowing test-takers to accurately simulate the experience of taking the actual test. With this latest update, the practice exam is now better aligned with industry best practices, according to a PTCB press release.
Individuals who take the practice exam have 110 minutes to answer a total of 90 questions, just as they would while taking the PTCE; these questions are comparable in their content to those that appear on the actual test. However, those who take the practice test multiple times will see the same 90 questions each time, albeit in a randomized order.
Upon completing the practice exam, test-takers will have access to their results and explanations for each question for up to 24 hours within a 90-day period. These 24 hours do not need to be consecutive, as test-takers are allowed to log out of the review and resume it at any time until the full 24 hours have been used.
Those interested in purchasing the Official PTCB Practice Exam can do so on the Pearson VUE website for $29, although bulk discounts are available to pharmacy technician educators and employers who participate in the PTCB Advocate Program.
To supplement the practice exam, PTCB has also unveiled its first official app. The Official PTCB Calculations Practice Questions app provides users with 90 calculation-based questions that appeared on previous versions of the PTCE, as well as step-by-step explanations for each question. The app is currently available for iOS and Android devices.
Technicians who have yet to take the PTCE or another certifying exam may want to consider doing so, as national certification is increasingly becoming a standard to which technicians are held. Notably, certification is currently a mandatory or optional license requirement for technicians in 29 states.
“Employers place a considerable value on certification because it demonstrates your knowledge as a technician and your commitment to your role in the pharmacy,” PTCB associate executive director William Schimmel previously told Pharmacy Times. “As we see things change in the profession and advanced roles for technicians open up, certification will open a number of new opportunities.”
Schimmel encouraged those planning to take the PTCE to enroll in a technician training course, especially one accredited by an organization such as the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists or the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education. In addition to taking advantage of practice tests and apps, candidates can also make use of study books and flashcards, he explained.
Finally, guides on pharmacy abbreviations and measurement conversions are available for current or aspiring technicians.