Passing the NAPLEX (North American Pharmacist Licensure Examination) is necessary to become a pharmacist in the US.
The exam contains 185 questions that must be completed within 4 hours and 15 minutes. There is an optional 10 minute break after the first 2 hours. The questions are multiple choice and some have a K-Type format. A 75 or higher score is required to pass.
The 3 main competencies that the NAPLEX tests you on are your abilities to:
- Assess pharmacotherapy to assure safe and effective therapeutic outcomes (56% of exam)
- Assess safe and accurate preparation and dispensing of medications (33% of exam)
- Assess, recommend, and provide health care information that promotes public health (11% of exam)
More information about the exam can be found at the NABP.
Although the exam usually has a high pass rate for pharmacy students who recently graduated, it doesn’t hurt to get an exam guide since those who fail will need to wait an entire 91 days before retaking the exam. Don’t risk putting your job search on hold while waiting to retake the exam!