Pharm Tech Test Strategies

Studying for the pharmacy tech test is obviously the most important strategy you'll use to pass the exam. However, there are other things you can do to mentally prepare for the PTCB or ExCPT exams. Both tests are both multiple choice, timed and proctored exams. The strategies listed here will help you prepare to get through some of the obstacles people commonly confront on test day.


#1 Biggest mistake people make on
the Pharmacy tech test:

De-coding word problems

•Always de-code or decipher MATH based word problems. The person who wrote the question is trying to see if you are paying attention. Let's look at an example:

Example Question:

At your hospital pharmacy, a Pediatrician orders Ampicillin 60mg/Kg/24hr to be given in equally divided dosages every 8 Hours. The child is 6 years old and weights 44 Lbs. Your pharmacy stocks Ampicillin 250mg / 5mL / SUSP 100ml. How many Milligrams will be needed for each dose?

Now, decipher what you need to just answer the question:

At your hospital pharmacy, a Pediatrician ordersAmpicillin 60mg/Kg/24hr to be given in equally divided dosages every 8 Hours. The child is 6 years old and weights 44 Lbs. Your pharmacy stocks Ampicillin 250mg / 5mL / SUSP 100ml. How many Milligrams will be needed for each dose?

A fairly simple question after you remove all of the filler put in to confuse you.

More Multiple Choice Exam Strategies

1) Read all of the questions very carefully - Read every word and know exactly what the question is asking. One little detail missed can make you miss the whole question. On math questions you should read the question at least twice and write down the setup as each factor is mentioned.

2) Write out all math work legibly - Write out your math setups and work as legibly as you can. You might need to re-work them and you'll find any mistakes much sooner. On the Pharmacy tech test you can go back if you get done early and re-calculate questionable math problems.

3) Do all the easy questions first - If you get hung up on tough questions too soon they will shatter your confidence and waste your time. When you get the easy ones done, go back and conquer the more difficult ones. If you get short on time you will be extra happy for doing this.

4) Mark your answers very carefully - It would really suck to miss a question because the mouse slipped when you clicked your answer.

5) Check your answers - If you get done early, check your answers. Make sure you actually answered every question and re-work math problems to verify them.

6) If you run out of time - If you only have a few minutes and have several questions left, pick a letter (ex. A,B,C or D) and mark all the remaining questions with that one letter. On the Pharmacy Tech exam, answers left blank are counted against you. This technique is statistically better than randomly marking answers quickly.

7) If you come back across a question that you have absolutely no clue about and still have some time left, you want to try and make the best possible guess. Here are some strategies to do that:

- Try to first rule one out. Sometimes exam writers will think they are comedians and throw in a funny word you've never heard, or is obvious it doesnt belong.

- Choose a middle number. If the answers are numbers, choose a middle one.

- If two answers are written very similar it's most likely one of those.

- If two quantities are very similar it's most likely one of those.

- If a sentence is required to complete the answer look for sentence answers that sound grammatically wrong and eliminate those.

Before the pharmacy tech test

- Get a good night's sleep the 2 nights before. You will always perform better on a test if you are rested.

Arrive to the testing center early. You don't want to be late because of traffic or feel stressed when you arrive at the test center.

Take everything you need to the test center. Make a checklist of what you'll need when you get there. (ex. Drivers Lic, Candidate #, acceptance letter, etc.)

Avoid conversations with other test takers. Stay confident, focused and relaxed. Talking with someone in the test site lobby about your studying or the test can lead to unnecessary anxiety or doubts. It's highly unlikely anyone else is there to take the pharmacy tech test, since the testing centers proctor 100's of different exams.

Visualize yourself doing very well on the test. Avoid any negative thoughts. After all, you're going to do an excellent job on the test.

IMPORTANT When you first sit down in front of the computer, before you hit the button to start the exam, write down as many conversions as you can remember on the dry erase board they provide.

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