Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam (PTCE) is a standardized test conducted by Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB). It is a national level certification and helps in demonstrating competence, on knowledge and skills required to work as pharmacy technician.
The candidate must be at least a high school graduate or its equivalent. He/she must not have any criminal background or drug/alcoholic addiction.
The content of the examination is based on a national level practice analysis study. The exam is breakdown into three domains- Assisting the pharmacist in serving patients (66% of test), Maintaining medication and inventory control system (22% of test), and Participating in the administration and management of pharmacy practice (12% of test). Each domain is a set of specific job skills and tasks pertaining to practice as pharmacy technician. However, the exam itself is not divided into sections. The questions are randomly positioned in the test.
There are 90 multiple choice questions in PTCE exam, of which 80 are scored and 10 are unscored pretest items. The unscored questions are placed randomly in the exam and can not be distinguished. These pretest questions help in collecting data for future administration of PTCE exam. PTCE is administered in a 2 hours time period. The exam begins with a pre-exam tutorial and a post exam survey of 5 minutes each. The examinee gets 1 hours and 50 minutes to complete the test.
The result of PTCE is a scaled score lying in range from 300 to 900. The passing score is determined by modified Angoff method. In this method, each test question is evaluated by subject experts to find percentage of candidates who will be able to answer it correctly. This data is analyzed and averaged to determine the passing score. The current passing scaled score is 650. There is no penalty for wrong answers, so guesses can be tried.
PTCE is conducted at Pearson Professional Centers (PPC) of Pearson Vue and at DANTES sites for military candidates. The applications for taking the exam are accepted throughout a year. The candidates can apply by filling an electronic form online at PTCB website or sending a paper application to it. The eligible candidates are notified by Authorization-to-Test letter containing information related to scheduling of PTCE. The applicants can take the exam within 90 days eligibility period. If the test taking of a candidate is sponsored by his/her company or organization, then, eligibility period is determined by the same.
PTCE can be taken at most, three more times if he/she does not pass. The candidate requires waiting for 60 days in first two reexaminations and for 6 months in third reexamination.
PTCE examination fee is $129. There are additional charges for duplicate score report ($25) and review of exam score ($50). The fee can be paid by credit card (MasterCard, VISA, American Express, or Discover only) or e-check.