1. Master Pharmacy Calculations – “Like Riding a Bike” – 17.5% of the Exam
To say that Pharmacy math is the most difficult aspect of the PTCB Exam, isn’t an overstatement. If math isn’t your strong suit, you’re going to need to put in some work to make sure that you are prepared. As a Pharmacy Technician Instructor, calculations are my favorite subject to teach. In middle school and high school, you were probably taught some things that you haven’t used since. Many of the students that I have taught over the years told me on Day One that this is what they fear the most. The math skills you need to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam require memorization, problem solving, and your ability to adapt. After just a few weeks practicing those techniques you’ll find it’s just like riding a bike.
2. Know the Top 100 Drugs – 13.75% of the Exam
Many schools and Pharmacy Tech Programs will have you believe you need to know the top 200 drugs. Doesn’t sound too tough right? Well what do they mean by “know”? The PTCB Exam tests your ability to recognize and have memorized the brand name, generic name, indication, classification, schedule, and interactions. That’s SEVEN pieces of information for each of those 200 drugs?!?!? If you haven’t mastered calculations yet, let me help you: 7 x 200 = 1400 pieces of information! Because it’s likely you won’t be able to hold on to that much information as well as everything else that you need to know, it’s our recommendation you focus on memorizing the Top 100 Drugs. But that’s still 700 pieces of information right? Well, yes, but who said this was going to be easy? An additional step that you can take, that will dramatically decrease the amount of time necessary for all of that memorization, is to group those medications by class. For instance, medications ending in –zepam and –zolam are benzodiazepines, they are used for anxiety, are schedule IV, and all interact with opiates, alcohol, and MAOI’s. Lastly, don’t spend too much time focusing on all of the interactions between medications, ultimately that is the Pharmacist’s Job and even they have a computer program that identifies drug interactions and contraindications.
3. Concentrate on Federal Pharmacy Law – 12.5% of the Exam
The PTCB Exam is a national exam, not specific to any state. Most states have additional regulations and laws that apply to the practice of pharmacy. State Laws and regulations are not tested on the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam. What is specifically tested is your ability to recognize major laws and their impact on the practice of Pharmacy on a national level. You should know how to handle a recall, what to do with hazardous waste, infection control, repackaging requirements, and about Restricted Drug Distribution Programs.
4. Accuracy is King – Medication Safety – 12.5% of the Exam
Last November, the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board restructured their exam and put a specific emphasis on Medication Safety. If you’re already certified as a Pharmacy Tech, you probably know that now, you are required to obtain a continuing education unit each re-certification period on Medication Safety. There have been too many (granted one is too many) incidents where lack of training, lack of regulation, and sheer oversight have led to some pretty terrible consequences for patients. More than 100,000 Americans die each year of adverse drug reactions – Journal of the American Medical Association. The ability of a Pharmacy Technician to prevent errors assists the Pharmacist tremendously. Many medications have very similar names like glipizide & glyburide. Others have a different release structure like Depakote ER & Depakote DR. Some medications have a large number of drug-drug interactions and/or contraindications, those are known as “high risk” medications and should garner additional attention on your part.
5. RxTechExam.com – 100% Money-Back-Guarantee
We, here at RxTechExam, take a lot of pride in the online course that we have created. We’ve practiced in pharmacy for decades, and we’ve helped hundreds of people pass the PTCB Exam. There is a huge amount of material that you must know to pass the national exam, and you can learn it right here, at your own pace, on your schedule, from the comfort of home. Don’t waste your time and money at a local school or career college. Don’t take out student loans. Our courses are reasonably priced and our money-back guarantee assures you that if you don’t pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam, you don’t pay! What are you waiting for? Start studying today!