How Do I Study for the PTCB Exam? A Step-by-Step Guide

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Are you thinking of becoming a pharmacy technician?

Pursuing a career as a pharmacy technician offers you the chance to make a real difference in the lives of many people while doing a job that is truly fulfilling, challenging, and diverse.

Those that have an interest in healthcare, possess great problem-solving skills, and love working with people, may want to consider this career path.

There are a variety of routes you can take. However, regardless of which you choose, you’ll likely need to become certified by passing an exam from either the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) or the National Healthcareer Association.

Today, we’ll be talking about the more widely recognized of the two: the PTCB exam. We’ll run through everything you need to know about the PTCB, from what it entails to how you can properly prepare for it.

What to Expect From the PTCB Exam

The PTCB exam is made up of nine sections, each covering a different area of knowledge. These are:

  • Pharmacology
  • Law and Regulations
  • Compounding
  • Medication safety
  • Quality Assurance
  • Order Entry and Medication Filing
  • Billing and Reimbursement
  • Information Systems

Each section is further broken up into different subtopics. Some sections make up a larger portion of the exam than others, and it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the exam format before you actually take the test.

Your exam will be administered on a computer at a testing center, and you will have 2 hours to complete all 90 questions. The questions are all multiple choice.

Before the exam, you may complete a tutorial to prepare yourself for the exam format. After you have completed the exam or your 2 hours are up, you will be given a short survey to complete.

How to Study for the PTCB Exam

There are a number of ways to study for the PTCB exam. Everyone has their own style of study that will suit them best, and it is a good idea to keep this in mind when deciding how to prepare.

It is possible to purchase a PTCB exam study guide in book form. These are particularly good if you tend to study best by reading text and memorizing facts.

It is also possible to sign up for a PTCB prep course. This may be a more expensive option, however, it can be beneficial if you learn best in a classroom setting.

There are now also apps available to download, for both Apple and Android phones. This option may not be enough to fully prepare you for the exam, but it is a good supplement if you want to do some of your learning on the go.

Finally, no matter how you choose to study, it is highly advisable to take a PTCB practice test before you apply for the exam.

This is vitally important, as will help to familiarize yourself with the exam format. It can also let you know how much more study you need to do, or if you’re ready to take the test. 

Your PTCB Certification Awaits

With the correct preparation and planning, there’s absolutely no reason you shouldn’t be able to pass the PTCB exam. Especially considering the abundance of helpful resources out there to suit every study style.

If you’d like to learn more about this or any other certification and what it could mean for your career future, take a look at some of our other content.


James Sullivan
the authorJames Sullivan