- The pharmacy technician certification exam (PTCE)
- The Exam content
The pharmacy technician Certification Exam (PTCE) is a computer-based exam administered by Pearson VUE.
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The pharmacy technician certification exam (PTCE) is a computer-based exam administered by Pearson VUE. The PTCE is used to certify that candidates have the knowledge to perform the duties of a pharmacy technician
There are 90 multiple-choice questions on the exam, and candidates have one hour and fifty minutes to complete the exam. The PTCE is divided into four sections:
-Foundational Knowledge (20%)
-Sterile Compounding (17%)
-Medication Order Entry and Dispensing (37%)
-Pharmacy Inventory Management and Quality Assurance (26%)
Candidates must achieve a passing score of 70% to earn their certification.
The pharmacy technician certification exam (PTCE)
The PTCE is a computer-based exam that consists of 90 multiple-choice questions. The exam is administered by Pearson VUE. You will have 2 hours to complete the exam. The passing score is 70%. The PTCE covers eight content areas: pharmacy law and regulations, patient safety, medication safety, pharmacy quality assurance, pharmacy calculations, pharmacy inventory, pharmacy operations, and pharmacy billings and reimbursement.
Who is eligible to take the PTCE?
Any person who has graduated from a pharmacy technician program accredited by the American Council on Pharmaceutical Education (ACPE) or has completed a training program that is at least 600 hours in length and has been approved by the Board is eligible to take the PTCE. Individuals who are currently certified as pharmacy technicians by a Board-recognized credentialing body may also take the PTCE to transfer their certification to another state.
What is on the PTCE?
The PTCE is a computer-based exam that consists of 90 multiple-choice questions. Eighty of the questions are scored, and 10 are unscored. The unscored questions are used to gather data for future versions of the exam and do not affect your score. You will have 1 hour and 50 minutes to complete the exam, which includes a 15-minute tutorial and a 5-minute survey at the end.
How is the PTCE scored?
The PTCE is a computer-based exam that consists of 90 multiple-choice questions. Candidates are given 2 hours to complete the exam. A passing score on the PTCE is 70%.
The PTCE is scored by analyzing the number of questions answered correctly and dividing that number by the total number of questions on the exam. There is no penalty for guessing, so candidates are encouraged to answer every question even if they are unsure of the correct answer.
Candidates who do not pass the PTCE will be allowed to retake the exam after a waiting period of 45 days. There is no limit to the number of times a candidate can take the PTCE, but candidates are encouraged to review the content outline before retaking the exam.
How do I register for the PTCE?
The PTCE is a computer-based exam offered year-round at Pearson VUE testing centers nationwide. To register for the PTCE, follow these steps:
1. Create an account on the Pearson VUE website.
2. Log in to your account and select “Register for Exam.”
3. Choose “Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam” as your exam and select your testing center location and date.
4. Pay the exam fee and schedule your appointment.
You will need to bring a valid, government-issued ID to the testing center on the day of your exam. For more information on what to expect on exam day, check out the Pearson VUE website.
The Exam content
The Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam (PTCE) is a computer-based exam administered at Pearson VUE testing centers nationwide. The PTCE is developed by the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) to evaluate entry-level pharmacy technicians’ knowledge and skills.
Domain I: Medication History
Domain I: Medication History covers the following topics:
-Taking an accurate medication history
-Reconciliation of medications
-Adverse drug reactions
Domain II: Pharmacy Law and Regulations
The pharmacy law and regulations domain covers your knowledge of federal and state laws governing the practice of pharmacy. You will be tested on your understanding of the different roles of pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, and other members of the pharmacy team. You will also be asked questions about the different types of licenses and permits required to practice pharmacy.
Domain III: Patient Safety
Domain III: Patient Safety (22 questions)
– Understands hazardous materials and their proper handling/disposal (e.g., sharps, chemotherapy, cleaning solutions)
– Understands how to prevent and control infections (e.g., Standard Precautions, Transmission-Based Precautions)
– Understands basic principles of aseptic technique
– Understands general principles of safe medication administration
– Understands importance of medication history in identifying potential drug interactions and allergies
– Knows the rights of patients regarding their medications (e.g., informed consent, right to refuse medication)
– Understands conditions that require special handling/monitoring of medications (e.g., pregnancy, geriatric drug therapy, home care)
Domain IV: Medication Order Entry and Fill Process
The medication order entry and fill process domain contains 35 questions and accounts for 20% of the total exam score.
This domain includes tasks related to:
-Receiving and verifying prescription or refill orders for accuracy
-Entering patient information into the computer system
-Selecting the correct pharmaceutical product
-Packaging and labeling medications for dispensing
-Collecting payments for medications
Domain V: Medication Order Review
Domain V: Medication Order Review covers the following topics:
-Accurate interpretation of prescriptions and other medication orders
-Detecting omissions, errors, and inconsistencies in prescriptions and other medication orders
-Initiating appropriate actions to resolve identified discrepancies
-Identifying allergies, intolerances, and contraindications that may impact drug therapy
-Utilizing available resources to resolve uncertainties in drug information
-Recommending the most appropriate formulation based on patient factors (e.g., age, weight, kidney function, etc.)
-Determining the most appropriate route of administration based on patient factors (e.g., age, weight, kidney function, etc.)
The PTCE covers a wide range of topics related to pharmacy technician practice, including:
-Pharmacy operations and management
-Patient care and communication
-Medication order entry and fill process
-Compounding sterile preparations
-Federal and state laws and regulations governing pharmacy practice
A comprehensive review of all these topics is beyond the scope of this article. However, you can find more information on each of these topics in the other articles in this series. Good luck on your exam!