Pharmacy Technician Test: PTCE Requirements, Cost and Score

How to Get Pharmacy Technician Certification?

In order to become a pharmacy technician certified by the PTCB, candidates must complete a PTCB-approved 60-day training program or have a minimum of 500 hours of work experience as a pharmacy technician.

Experienced technicians who are not able to enroll in a PTCB-recognized program can take advantage of this alternative secondary path.


Other Requirements

In addition to passing the training program, the candidate must meet the following requirements.

The candidate is required to:

  • Be a resident of the United States or one of its territories (US).
  • Provide a detailed description of all criminal and licensing actions taken by the State Board of Pharmacy.

  • Adhere to PTCB Certification policies.

  • Obtain a passing grade on the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam.

Note: A preparation for the Walgreen Pharmacy Technician position is available.


What Is the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam?

The PTCE is a 2-hour computer-based assessment test consisting of 90 multiple-choice questions (80 scored and 10 unscored) and includes four parts: Medications(40%), Federal requirements (12.5%), Patient Safety and Quality Assurance (26.25%), and Order Entry and Processing (21.25%).

The 2-hour exam consists of a 5-minute tutorial, 1 hour and 50-minute exam, and a 5-minute post-exam survey.

The exam was created by the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) to test applicants who wish to receive the pharmacy technician certification.

On the following page, you can test your skills against PTCB-style practice questions.


PTCB Exam Format Outline

Questions on the PTCB exam are divided into four sections that have been created by the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board to assess whether the applicant has the necessary knowledge about pharmacy practice settings and policies.


Part 1 - Medications (40% of exam questions)

  • Knowledge of the brand and generic names, as well as the classification of these medications.
  • Knowledge of therapeutic equivalence drugs - medications with similar active ingredients, dosage forms, and strength.
  • Understanding of life-threatening drug combinations and contraindications.
  • High-level understanding of dosage strength and forms, administration routes, and drug therapy duration.
  • Understanding medication allergies, side, and adverse effects, as well as identifying side effects from the combination of dietary supplements and medications.
  • Drug stability.
  • NTI medications.
  • Physical and chemical compatibility issues related to non-sterile compounding and reconstitution.
  • Proper medication storage.


Part 2 - Federal Requirements (12.5% of exam questions)

  • The safe handling of dangerous and harmless pharmaceutical substances.
  • Making prescribing decisions for controlled substances and DEA controlled-substance schedules.
  • Handling controlled substances, including receiving, storing, dispensing, ordering, and labeling.
  • Knowing the federal requirements for restricted medication and related drug processing programs, including risk evaluation and mitigation strategies.
  • Knowledge of FDA recall requirements.


Part 3 - Patient Safety and Quality Assurance (26.25% of exam questions)

  • Knowledge of high-alert risk medications, as well as their LASAs.
  • Error prevention strategies for incorrect prescription, inventory, bar code usage, etc.
  • Knowledge of issues that necessitate the involvement of a pharmacist.
  • Understanding incident reporting procedures such as medication errors and adverse effects.
  • Being aware of the different causes of prescription errors.
  • Keeping clean and hygienic practices.


Part 4 - Order Entry and Processing (21.25% of exam questions)

  • Non-sterile product compounding.
  • Processing of formulas, proportions, sig codes, conversions, ratios, medical terminology, and symbols.
  • Drug administration required items and devices.
  • Entry of NDC numbers, expiration dates, and lot numbers.
  • Locating and returning expired supplies and medication.

In the exam, you can leave comments and challenge any questions that you believe are incorrect. In addition, you have 30 days following your examination date to submit a written challenge in accordance with the Certification Appeals Procedures.


How is the PTCB Scored?

A total of 90 multiple-choice questions are included in the certified pharmacy technician exam, of which only 80 are scored, leaving the remaining 10 questions which are not scored to be randomly distributed throughout the exam.

The final score you receive will not be affected by these unscored questions but will be determined by the answers you give to the remaining 80 scored exam questions.

For a better understanding of how the test is constructed, make sure you practice a demo test before taking the actual exam.


The Passing Score and Range

The minimal passing score for the PTCE is 1400 or above, with a possible score range of 1000 and 1600.

A panel of PTCB experts developed this score utilizing the modified-Angoff model. The logic behind the model involves evaluating each individual test item to determine how many pharmacy technician candidates are capable of answering the question correctly. The passing score was then calculated by averaging these predictions.

PTCB exam score reports include scores for each test section. Based on this information, the board can evaluate your strengths as well as areas that need improvement.


Getting Your PTCB Exam Score Report

Following your exam, preliminary score reports appear on your computer screen. Although they provide an indication of your performance, they do not constitute official results. The official score report will be sent to your PTCB account two to three weeks after your exam.


Is It Possible to Take the Exam Again?

Should you not achieve a passing score, you will be able to retake the test. If this is the case, review your exam scores carefully to identify difficult sections and refocus your efforts on them.

JobTestPrep PTCB Test Online Preparation

Getting hired as a pharmacy technician is easy with the following preparation.

Not only does it include full PTCB practice test-like exams to help you assess your readiness level in real-time and before taking the actual exam

but it also gives you all the extra practice you need to show to your potential employer that you have the necessary skills for the job.


Appointment Scheduling for The Pharmacy Technician Test

Candidates can schedule an exam within their PTCB Account at PTCB.org or by calling Pearson VUE directly.

As soon as a confirmation email is received, it is the candidate's responsibility to ensure that the time, date, and place listed are correct.

If you're unsure where to take the test, visit the Pearson VUE website or call (866) 902-0593.

There are also Military Testing Sites for Military Applicants Only. Candidates who qualify should contact their local military center or visit Pearson VUE's website: pearsonvue.com/military.


Reschedule or Cancel the Test

In the event that you need to cancel or reschedule your exam appointment, you must contact Pearson VUE at least 24 hours in advance. There are no cancellation or rescheduling fees, but you will forfeit all exam-related fees if you fail to reschedule or don't arrive for your appointment on time.


Cost of the Exam

You must pay $129 to take the exam and apply for certification. After you pay the required amount, you will receive an email from the PTCB confirming your authorization to schedule the assessment.


Day of the Test

On the day of the test, make sure to arrive 30 minutes early and bring a valid form of identification.

Taking the examination will not be permitted without proper identification matching your PTCB account information. Items of personal property must be stored in a locker and are not permitted in the testing room.

Prior to taking the examination, it is mandatory for you to read and agree to all National pharmacy technician certification policies. Among these regulations are the test center rules and the Code of Conduct.

A tutorial will be presented to you at the beginning of the test. Therefore, if you are unfamiliar with the layout of the PTCB test, this is your chance to familiarize yourself with the format and question types before starting the actual exam.

As mentioned previously, it is a 2-hour exam consisting of a 5-minute tutorial, 1 hour and 50-minute exam, and a 5-minute post-exam survey.


Pharmacy Technician Training

The following PTCB-style remote training program includes questions that will show up on the actual PTCB exam as well as other necessary job-related skills that can be required:

  • Typing skills.
  • Computer/data entry skills.
  • Strong verbal and communication skills.
  • Basic math skills.
  • Reasoning abilities.
  • Detail orientation.
  • Understanding of specific state and federal regulations.
  • Drug and pharmaceutical terminology and calculations.

FAQs


What is the Salary of a Pharmacy Technician?

According to Indeed, the average pharmacy technician's salary is 18.6$ an hour, and it varies depending on the worker's level of experience: Mid-level and senior-level pharmacists earn 20-22 dollars an hour, while entry-level workers make around 17 dollars.


What Is a Pharmacy Technician?

Pharmacy technicians work under the supervision of licensed pharmacists. Their responsibilities include dispensing drugs and medical devices to patients and informing them how the medicines are used. Pharmacy technicians may also review prescriptions with both doctors and insurance companies. Furthermore, technicians may also make phone calls to patients to ensure that they are taking their medications daily, that there are no reactions, and to answer any potential questions.


What Is the Hiring Process Like at The Biggest Store Chain Pharmacies?

If you are applying for a job as a pharmacy technician, you need to demonstrate to potential employers that you possess the necessary abilities and that you have good interpersonal skills. To that end, many companies require applicants to pass online assessments. In addition to the PTCE preparation, JobTestPrep offers preparation resources for two company-specific pharmacy technician tests—Walgreens and CVS.

The Walgreens Pharmacy Technician hiring process requires you to complete an online application and then take an online assessment. The assessment test is fairly short and consists of a range of question types. These include math, customer service, situational judgment, pharmaceutical and drug terminology and procedures, and reading comprehension. Typically, the assessment is timed, and if you pass, you are asked to return for an interview.

The CVS Pharmacy Technician hiring process first requires you to complete an online application form administered by Brassring, an applicant tracking system (ATS) that automatically scans your CV and resume for keyword-specific terms. Then, you are asked to complete an assessment test administered by Virtual Job Tryout. This test consists of personality and situational judgment questions (SJT).


What Is the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board?

The PTCB was created by pharmacy organizations to create a single standard for pharmacy technician certification. PTCB offers credential programs tailored to the pharmacy's evolving practice and helps create qualified pharmacy technicians capable of delivering high-quality care.

The PTCB has a Board of Governors that is comprised of six members, including its CEO and Executive Director, William Schimmel, as well as representatives from each of the main five pharmacy governing organizations:

  • American Pharmacists Association.
  • American Society of Health-System Pharmacists.
  • Illinois Council of Health-System Pharmacists.
  • Michigan Pharmacists Association.
  • National Association of Boards of Pharmacy.

JobTestPrep is a leading test prep company that offers accurate practice simulations for hundreds of pre-employment tests. Since 1992, it has helped 1M+ candidates. If you have any additional questions about the Pharmacy Technician Test, feel free to send us an email, we usually reply within 24 hours.

 

Pharmacy Technician Certification Board, PTCE, and other trademarks are the property of their respective trademark holders. None of the trademark holders are affiliated with JobTestPrep or this website.