Pharmacy technicians are a very valuable part of pharmacies and in the healthcare field overall. Demand for pharmacy technicians is growing every year.
And this year alone, the demand for pharmacy technicians is slated to grow 9%. That’s higher than the average of any profession.
The PTCB examination is a leading national certification test. Pass it and you will become a Certified Pharmacy Technician and have the distinguished “CPhT’ credential.
Having earned this certification you will be very respected in the pharmaceutical industry – giving you the best chances for getting a great pharmacy tech job and a higher earning potential.
You just need to be prepared.
Below you will find everything you need to pass the PTCB.
Study With PTCB Exam Guides and Practice Exams
Even though you’ve probably taken all the required training to take the exam, the first thing to do it get your hands on a couple of great PTCB exam guides.
The best exam guides will describe the format and structure of the PTCB exam, as well as sample questions and practice exams that you need to help reinforce your training and boost your confidence for success.
We’ve selected the top PTCB guides here – you’ll most definitely increase your odds of getting a higher score than you would without these!
Pass The PTCB By Knowing How To See Word Problems
Are you paying attention? Because that’s exactly what a word problem is there to test. Can you see the trees in the forest? If you can, you can ace every word problem on the test.
If your high school English teacher received a PTCB word problem, there would be red pen marks all over that section. Fortunately, you have a mental red pen. And this red pen is the tool you will use on your exam.
Let’s look at a sample question and break it down for you:
“At your hospital pharmacy, a red brick building ensconced with stone gargoyles that peer effortlessly down at you, a Pediatrician, orders Ampicillin 60mg/Kg/24hr to be given in equally divided dosages every 8 hours.
The child, a small child for his age, is six years old and weighs 44 lbs. Your pharmacy stocks Ampicillin 250 mg/5ml/SUSP 100ml.
How many milligrams will be needed for each dose?”
Alright, time to pull out your mental red pen. What information would you cut out?
Take a moment to look it over.
Here’s the paragraph after we “red-penned” it.
At your hospital pharmacy, a red brick building ensconced with stone gargoyles that peer effortlessly down at you, a Pediatrician, orders Ampicillin 60mg/Kg/24hr to be given in equally divided dosages every 8 hours.
a small child for his age, is six years old and weighs 44 lbs. Your pharmacy stocks Ampicillin 250 mg/5ml/SUSP 100ml.
How many milligrams will be needed for each dose?”
As you can see some things we red-penned are obvious while others are not. Our advice: look at the final question first, then go back to the paragraph.
What information in the paragraph answers that question?
Pass The PTCB Exam By Knowing How To Parse Multiple Choice Questions
Some people love multiple choice questions and other people hate them. As you progress through your schooling, multiple choice questions tend to become harder. The professor seems hell-bent on trying to trick you.
The great thing is that multiple choice questions come with a strategy. If you know the strategy, you can beat the questions.
You may have only a certain amount of time to finish your test. But you need to take your time on multiple choice questions.
You could easily skim a multiple choice question. The answers are organized in list form and our brains have been trained to quickly skim lists to find information.
But we don’t catch all the information when we skim. Speed reading might get you through a text faster, but your comprehension goes the way of the dinosaur pretty fast.
Read every question and all the answers carefully. Then write out the math.
If you can write legibly, do so. You need to go back over your problems to make sure you have them correct.
Don’t Stay In One Place
If you get stuck, don’t linger. Your brain will still work the problem in the background while you move on to the others.
Sometimes you just need to open up new neural pathways just to link whatever was missing before.
Leave Nothing Blank
Here’s a little factoid: blank questions will be counted against you more than wrong questions.
It seems that pharmacy board wants completionists. So, what do you do if you run out of time? Pick a letter.
Just pick a letter, go down the list, and mark all those letters. You will get partial credit for this.
Guessing As A Last Resort
William Poundstone tests are created by humans and are therefore not random.
If they are not random, then you can find the flaws and exploit them. Don’t tell your professor, but we’re teaching you how to hack your test by finding exploits.
You can sometimes rule out an answer by its pure ridiculousness.
If there is a word in there you’ve never seen before, chances are you’re seeing a trick answer.
Most people choose the middle number out of a set. Your test writer may not be cognizant of their own middle set bias. Choose a middle answer.
Sometimes test writers will give you two extremely similar answers. Hint: it’s probably one of those two.
Look for grammatical errors in sentence completion question answers. The one with poor grammar is probably wrong. Cross it out.
How To Pass The PTCB By Preparing Yourself
You can easily self-sabotage before a test if you don’t take care of yourself. Remember, this isn’t college or high school anymore. You can’t expect to pull an all-nighter and ace the exam.
This is a whole new level in examination.
You need at least two good nights rest before the exam, so rest up.
Take some melatonin before bed. Eat a banana a day. And stay hydrated!
Not only will this be good for your overall health, it will lower your stress levels. You will think much more clearly.
The early bird gets the worm. Getting there early won’t guarantee you pass the exam, but it will give you time to get comfortable in your seat and spread out a little. Being relaxed is key.
Make sure you have everything you need to pass the PTCB exam. Pack it in the night before. You don’t want to show up tired and low on energy.
Lastly, visualize success. Look yourself in the mirror and tell yourself that you’re going to pass. This will boost your confidence.
We always tell students that they can only prepare with the time they have. Do what you can in the time provided.
That’s all you can do. You will never “feel” prepared enough.
And that’s okay. You are always more prepared than you feel.
What are some ways you get ready for exams? Let us know in the comments below. And, as always, be prepared.