North American Pharmacist Licensure Examination (NAPLEX) is a certification exam conducted by National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP). It is one of the requirements for getting license to practice pharmacy in United States. There are 48 boards of pharmacy which also require qualifying Multistate Pharmacy Jurisprudence Examination (MPJE) as well for getting licensed. The states where MPJE is not needed are Arkansas, Guam, California, Virgin Islands, Virginia, and Puerto Rico.
The eligibility for taking NAPLEX is determined by the state board of pharmacy. The board of pharmacy informs NABP, if a candidate is eligible to take this exam or not.
According to the NAPLEX blueprint, following skill areas are tested in this exam-
- Pharmacotherapy to assure safe and effective therapeutic outcomes: – This area forms 56 percent of NAPLEX test.
- Safe and accurate preparation and dispensing of medications: – This area forms 33 percent of test.
- Assess, recommend, and provide health care information that promotes public health: – This area forms 11 percent of the test.
Most of the questions in NAPLEX are scenario based. A patient profile is presented to the examinee and questions related to it are asked. There are also stand alone questions.
There are 185 questions in test, of which 150 are scored and 35 are unscored. The unscored retest items can not be identified and are placed to collect statistical data for future administration of the exam. The questions included in this test are selected response and constructed response types. The test is administered in computer based and computer adaptive format. The first question is of moderate level of difficulty. The difficulty level of questions increases as the previous question is answered correctly and decreases as the previous question is answered wrong.
The result is a scaled score lying between 0 and 150. The passing score is 75. The examinee must have attempted at least 162 questions to pass this exam. The scores are reported to state board of pharmacy by NABP. For those states which have participated in online score interface, scores are made available at NABP website after 7 days from the examination. The candidates can request for licensure and score transfer (to any state) from the board of pharmacy.
This exam is administered at Pearson Professional Centers (PPCs) of Pearson-Vue from Monday through Friday each week. Once the board of pharmacy finds an applicant eligible, Pearson sends an Authorization to test (ATT) letter. This letter contains details of how to schedule a test appointment with Pearson and other important information like eligibility period. The appointments can be done online (www.pearsonvue.com/nabp) or by phone (1-888/709-2679).
The test fee for NAPLEX is $485. There are additional charges for change in state of eligibility ($50), rescheduling ($50), missing of appointment ($140 deduction from paid fees), score verification ($100), Pre-NAPLEX ($50), and score transfer ($75).