Answers to Common Questions About Studying for the MPJE

Studying for the MPJE can be daunting. Numerous online threads offer advice on where to start

Whether you’re a 2018 PharmD graduate or a currently practicing pharmacist looking to get licensed in a different state, knowing where to start studying for the Multistate Pharmacy Jurisprudence Examination (MPJE) can be a challenge.

Where do I start?

Before you read anything else, read the MPJE competency statements, commonly referred to as the exam’s 'blueprint,' that are posted on the NABP Candidate Application Bulletin. This document is an excellent guide on what to study for the exam, as it will list topics that you may otherwise overlook. There are 3 competency areas: pharmacy practice; licensure, registration, certification, and operational requirements; and general regulatory processes.

In addition to the bulletin, check the websites of your state’s Board of Pharmacy (BoP), pharmacy associations, and its rules and regulations. They may have some guidance or suggested study materials. If you can, reach out to pharmacy programs and attend review sessions if any are offered.

What should I get?

Personally, I purchased 1 federal resource, 1 state resource, and a state question bank. My federal resource was the 9th edition of Guide to Federal Pharmacy Law by Reiss and Hall. This book supplemented my studying as it familiarized me with the main federal acts that are relevant to pharmacy practice (e.g., Controlled Substances Act). My state resource was a book sold by the pharmacy association in my residency program’s state, recommended to the incoming class by current residents.

The interpretation of this advice should not be to purchase every text available or the exact resources that I used. The important thing is that you at least cover major federal acts (including a thorough understanding of the Controlled Substances Act of 1970), cover your state laws, and have a repetition method of some sort. For me, this repetition came in the form of the question bank at the end of the federal pharmacy book, and the separate question bank that I purchased to review the state laws. For others, this may have been recent and reliable Quizlet sets relevant to their specific MPJE.

What else do I need to know?

This is a good question to ask yourself as you study. The point of this test is to make sure that you can practice pharmacy according to federal regulations and the laws of the state in which you wish to practice, with a portion of the focus being on the community practice setting. This includes concentrations limits of substances, which drug schedules they belong to, and what type of storage is permitted for stock bottles, files, and other records, according to their drug schedules. Additionally, it’s important for pharmacists to know how to address patient requests for over-the-counter Schedule V substances, and how this information is logged.

Careful reading and attention are required as you read the rules and regulations. One example of an easily missed distinction is the one between 'personal charge' and 'supervision.' Another is the distinction between 'delegation' and 'designation.' Paying attention to these words as you are reading will prevent mistakes on the exam.

Do I get a calculator?

According to the MPJE bulletin, a calculator is not necessary, and will not be provided by the Pearson testing center if requested.

Final thoughts

This can be frustrating to hear when looking for MPJE advice, but it rings true: the most important thing that you can do is to study. When repeating some of the readings, and practice questions, I noticed nuances in rules and regulations, as well as important differences in 'must' or 'should' situations. In the end, using common sense, and imagining yourself in the situation that the question presents can be very helpful, and point you to the correct answer. For example, does it make sense that a pharmacist 'must' do what the answer option is suggestion?

Just as importantly, make sure that you have the appropriate identification documents prior to leaving for the testing center. The acceptable types of ID are available in the MPJE bulletin.