How long before you can re-take the PTCB exam ?

by Desiree
(Knob Lick, MO)

How long will I have to wait to re-take the PTCB exam since I failed? Reply (Keith) The retake policy for the PTCE is : For the first two retakes, you are required to wait 60 days. For the third retake, you are required to wait 6 months before taking the examination again. If you fail 4 times, you will need to appeal to the PTCB and be approved to take it again.

Comments for
How long before you can re-take the PTCB exam ?

Click here to add your own comments

Jul 02, 2010
HELP! I'm taking the PTCB soon
by: Anonymous

was the test hard? I am taking it on the 10th and I'm kinda nervous. I'm not sure what to expect, can you please help and let me know what gave you a tough time? Thanks

Jul 10, 2010
failed *tear
by: Anonymous

I took it today & failed. I'm so mad because I studied so hard. It puts me back. Is it possible to take a 2nd test earlier than 2 months?

Jul 15, 2010
by: Adrian

If this will be your second time taking the exam like I did no you don't have to wait long to take it again cause now the exam is given on a continuous basis. I would just take your time with your studies and don't rush yourself. I know you can do it. What you should do if you haven't already is to go to a barnes & nobles and see what types of PTCE books they have available and don't just pick any one; open up the book and look inside at how the material looks. Also, if you have any old handouts from school that would be helpful, (but, if you don't have them you will be alright). What you really need to know when it comes down to it is: Basic Calculations (flow rates,common conversions etc..Also know your abbreviations,assisting the pharmacist with the medication,DEA Numbers,Schedule II drugs,Top 200 drugs and know your Law and all the Pharmacy reference books (Orange Book) and the test will throw some common sense stuff at you too. They will try to trick you too, they tried that crap on me and it don't work !(laughing)it took my test may 11,2010 and got 650 just enough to pass and you can do the same trust me it wasn't easy for me either just keep your head up and don't give up. Study those things and you can't go wrong. I also used this website too in preparation for the exam. On this website, they talk about Investigational drugs and that was on the test. Use this website to the fullest, get everything you can get out of it and go online and find out what people saw on their exam, to give you some idea what's on the exam. I was just like you and all the hard studying I did paid off. Also I suggest that you do studying till it becomes second nature to you. Stay on top of it and make a study schedule for yourself and stick to it!! Use Flash Cards for your Top 100/200 drugs and try to have no distractions when you study. Do the bonus test on this website. Take everything in, the more you know the better your chances are in passing the exam. I hope I was very helpful to you and I hope that you pass your exam Good Luck!!

Aug 10, 2010
Failed the Pharmacy Tech Test .
by: Anonymous

I took the pharmacy tech test back in May and failed. My test had only about 10 questions that I knew. It had 40 math questions, all compounding math. There was one brand / generic, and one sig code the rest was about investigative drugs, drug interactions and it was drugs I have never heard of. I am really freaked out about taking the test again because I don't know what to study. I went to school for 9 months, I did numerous mock exams and passed them. I got an additional book from a friend that is a pharmacy tech and studied that. my test was almost like a test somebody would take if say you were already a pharmacy tech and wanted to become a compounding tech and iv mixture tech. Has anyone else experience this type of test. Mine had nothing on how to read a prescription or fill a retail prescription. it had (I think) two questions about hospital pharmacy? my class mates who took the exam said their test was not like this. ?

Aug 11, 2010
PTCE - Pharmacy Technician Exam
by: Adrian

It's good that you are doing what you have to do cause the test can be a pain. First, the one thing you need to know that everyone takes a unique type of test. The exam I took was almost similar to yours but all I know from taking it was the stuff I told you before. I went up against on the exam some sigs,abbreviations top 100/200 drugs, common conversions. Also, basic math like Flow rates, pediatic doses, you know just the basic stuff. Is the book that you got from your friend current? Because the stuff on the pharmacy tech exam can change as far as the material goes.I'd suggest you go to your teacher and they should be able to give you some very good material in preparation for the exam. I went to the Everest Institute in Houston,TX. They had a preparation course just for Pharmacy Tech students and the coures was geared towards the Pharmacy Tech exam. it's called the Lone star review. You should try and see if something like this is available in your school. Regardless if you are done with school, also use this website like I told you before and don't worry everything will be just fine and don't be so freaked out!! Trust me you don't want to do that. Continue to keep me updated on you progress.

Sep 02, 2010
broken hearted
by: Result: fail

I spent a half a year in this Pharmacy Tech program, paid over $1500.00 I passed the class with straight A's. I had confidence in taking the exam after Aceing the class but no it didn't work out that way. Everything on the exam was totally different from what was taught to us. How can they do that to people that do great in a program that is made and intended for you to be certified and fail the exam. I'm pissed because all my hard work and studying and money is going down the tube over this stinking exam. There should be no reason why people fail it for all the dedication put into prepping us for this exam. I took it Aug. 31, won't get my scores to see what my difficulties and challenges were until Sept. 17. What do I do? I can't throw all my work away over this exam it stresses me out though already not being able to pass it the first try. How do I pass this I know my drugs, I know my laws I'm so-so with the math until they start tricking you with with mg or ml you even need to bother with to solve the problem. Flow rates yes that should be a know how. What do I do any suggestions.

Sep 04, 2010
by: Adrian from Philadelphia

I'm sorry about you failing your exam but don't give up trust me I know how it is to be dedicated to your studies but you have top just stick with it.You seem very passionate about becoming a Pharm. tech and you can do it!.From what I hear you seem to have a good ideal about the material.What suggest you do is go to a book store and get a very good book on the ptcb exam it's quite a few out their so you might want to get one that is easy for you to learn.Next if you had gotten any handouts from your class keep those cause they will help to.Another thing that you should do if you had already or haven't is to self study cause that is what I had to do just to fully understand the material alot better and study alone without any distractions!!.It also would be a good ideal to use this website and get everything you can out of it cause it helps it help me pass my exam and you would also want to go online like google and and type in the bar like :example what is on the ptcb or who took the ptcb exam that helps to just to get a feel from other people and their experiences on the exam.Everything I'm telling you I basically did the same thing and it work most importantly do your studies almost to the point till it becomes like second nature to you and you can go wrong.The test can be tricky they tried it on me and it didn't work you basically have to be on top of your game and look at all the answers that it is giving and just don't go with the first one I had that problem and I had to break it cause it's not good.Also they have common sense stuff on the test so that shouldn't be a problem for you.It would be great if the test never changed but it does but you just got to just be prepared for anything they throw at you and don't be nervous cause you will lose focus.Hey here are some things that help me and they also help you too:

2.Pediatric Doses
3.Common conversions
4.Common Elements:Cl=Chloride K=Potassium...
5.Schedule 2,3&4 Drugs
6.Investigational Drugs :It talks about that on this site that is a need to know!! especially for the exam.
7. Reference Books:Red Book and The Orange book and their is also other books as well so study all of the books that's a need to know!!
8.DEA Numbers that's a need to know!!
9.Use Flash cards for top 100/200 drugs
10.Know drugs Interactions that's a need to know!!
11.Basic Math that's a need to know!!
12.Common principles that on in a pharmacy
13.Assisting the pharmacist with the patient.

Please get back to me on your progress and Good luck and never give up!!

Nov 05, 2010
by: Anonymous

i took the pharmacy tech exam and failed, so many people said that its a pretty easy test but to me it was very hard. i would like to take it again but I'm lost on what to study. it seems like everything i studied for my first test wasn't on the test. i don't know what to do. so lost...

Nov 23, 2010
Hope I'm not alone
by: Anonymous

i took the ptce today and of course failed it... i studied forever had everything in my head. But I went in there and bombed it.... I just wanna know do i have to pay another $129 to retake it again and as I'm seeing I have to wait 2 months... is that 2 months from today?? anybody have any input on what to study as well?

Jan 01, 2011
by: Anonymous

In what state did you take the exam? What kind of math did you see?

Jan 14, 2011
Regarding Books for the PTCB exam
by: Anonymous

Which is the best book to buy for the PTCB Exam? which edition is the best to study from to pass the pharmacy tech exam?

Feb 25, 2011
How long before i can re-take my PTCB test
by: Anonymous

I took my test two times 2 years ago,and i just took it again after 2 years this will be my third time, do i really have to wait 6 months before i can re-take my test again?

Apr 13, 2011
so scare to start
by: Anonymous

with all the comments that I read, I'm scared already and I've just started Pharmacy Tech school. This means that is going to be a long bridge to cross... well wish me luck because I'm not going to stop, I'm going to try my best.

May 05, 2011
by: Anonymous

somebody PLEASE recommend what book(s) to study for the pharmacy tech. exam. please, please, please...just recommend some books that u found helpful. thank u.

May 09, 2011
by: Adrian from Philadelphia

Hi and yes their are some books out their that can help you prepare for the exam. The tricky thing about looking for a book is knowing which ones you feel would be easy for you to use and you just can't buy any one book. The best thing I would recommend is go to a book store like Barnes & Noble and there will be a section for these types of books (or just about any book store where you live). If you want to save money you can even go to a library and get books you need to prepare for the exam. They should have them, my library does. Also, it would be good if you had any old hand-outs from school. And, another thing you could do is use this website cause it's a very good website. Trust me, by me getting the full use out of this free website helped me pass my exam just, so use it to your advantage!!. Another important thing is to know what to study and don't try spending to much time on things that will have nothing to do with the test. I mean it's good to study everything cause the more you know the better. I couldn't stress enough if you don't already know, work on time when doing practice exams cause you will be timed on the exam. Here is a list of things that you should see. I'm just giving you a heads up:

2.Pediatric Doses
3.Common conversions
4.Common Elements:Cl=Chloride K=Potassium...
5. Schedule 2,3&4 Drugs
6. Investigational Drugs :It talks about that on this site that is a need to know!! especially for the exam.
7. Reference Books:Red Book and The Orange book and their is also other books as well so study all of the books that's a need to know!!
8. DEA Numbers that's a need to know!!
9. Use Flash cards for top 100/200 drugs
10. Know drugs Interactions that's a need to know!!
11. Basic Math - that's a need to know!!
12. Common principles that on in a pharmacy
13. Assisting the pharmacist with the patient.

With this info, it's no way you should go work and study study study!! anyway let me know how everything goes.

May 24, 2011
Pharm Tech
by: Anonymous

After reading this I wanted to let you all know, DO NOT WASTE YOUR TIME/MONEY ON PHARMACY TECH CLASSES! I got hired at a retail pharmacy and was trained on the job. Actually, the pharmacists I work with laugh when people apply who took classes. It is not necessary at all because they train you on the job. Huge waste of money considering any pharmacy will do on the job training. I live in Maryland so it may be different in other states, but here you do not need to have taken classes to be a pharmacy technician as it is not a career; just an hourly job. There are 22 techs at my work all of whom have never paid for outside classes and all passed the PTCB exam.

May 24, 2011
by: Adrian

That may be true. But, most places like hospitals, pharmaceutical companies and other types of pharmacy places are going to want some type of educational training as well. Maybe not where you work, but those places that I just mentioned are going to want that, and I heard the same thing you are saying. I heard it before and I'm one of those people who paid for classes and I don't think it was a waste of money cause with that degree and where I completed my pharmacy tech program it will be on my resume cause to me that is what the employer will be looking for and trust me when I say this I have found a quite few of pharmacies that want's you to have some general education like being in school and plus experience in previous pharmacies like you have witch is good also I check around the in Baltimore area for types of pharmacies which I will be moving down there soon and like I said; Most places are going to want you to have some program training.

May 25, 2011
What book to pass the PTCB
by: deena

Can anyone advise me on which book I should read for the pharmacy tech exam?

Jun 11, 2011
PTCB exam *
by: Jessica

I took my exam today June 11th and of course I failed :/ I can't blame it on being sick with strep and having to take the test but I'm sure it had something to do with it. I studied and studied and there were things on there I didn't even know and I've worked in a pharmacy for 3 years and did compounding. I don't know how much I missed, by but I had lots of compounding questions which I should have known but they were difficult and the pharmacist usually do it for you so I never had to learn. For example, if you had 0.5% hydrocortisone cream and 2.5 and want to make a 1.5% how many parts of each would you use I have no idea how to figure that out? And there were lots like that with liquids as well. One of the questions was if you have acetlcistane 20% how much would you use to get 3ml that made so since at all? I guess im gonna take a good couple months and study and try again.

Aug 18, 2011
wanting to become certified
by: Anonymous

hello, i live in Omaha, Nebraska and i have been an infusion pharmacy tech for about 6 months now. I'm not trying to rush myself but I know that someday in the near future I'd like to become certified. having only infusion experience and no other type of pharmacy tech experience will that make the test harder? or is it all pretty relative?

Sep 07, 2011
Of course, I Failed!
by: Beth

The exam was completely different from what I have taught/studied.. As what everybody said, it's true! I was really prepared for it and I know I can do the math. The alligation math, it didn't come out. I think 3 questions only asking for the Generic/Brand of the drugs. By the way, do we have to pay another $129 for the re-take? Thanks

Oct 15, 2011
*Failed* the PTCB
by: Anonymous

I took my PTCB Exam today and I failed. I was kinda hurt but it's ok, I'm not going to give up. I was in a training class but it seems that some of the things we went over, weren't on the exam. I really wanted to see my total score so that I can see how far I was from passing.

Nov 09, 2011
by: Anonymous

taking my PTCB test this Saturday. Been studying for 5 months using all tactics. I'm good in math, but had to study alot in law. Haven't really done any drugs, just a few. But my question for the most recent is WHAT WAS MORE HARD FOR YOU??? OR WHAT KIND OF QUESTIONS WERE THERE LOTS OF ON THE PTCB?

Nov 25, 2011
I took the PTCB yesterday and failed
by: Anonymous

I'm not going to blame anyone except myself. I did study but not to the extent that I felt 100% comfortable. One main thing I noticed was not much of what I studied were on there. However, I am not going to have an excuse to stop here. I will study hard and pay more attention without giving up. I'm giving myself only one other shot. Yes, it's very discouraging and frustrating failing, but it's not the end of the world. To whoever failed this exam do not give up. It's part of life. Living life you go thru so many challenges including failing a PTCB exam. But get up brush them off then work hard for it. I'm sure I will pass it. Thank you for all encouraging wonderful comments. Let's go to work...!!!

Dec 10, 2011
by: Kimmie

Hi Everyone! I took the Pharmacy Tech Test back in October. I failed the test. It had me a little down at first, but hey, it's life. I studied as much of the material as possible but when it comes to that compounding I freak out. My score was a 621. Just short by a few points :-/. Can anyone help me please. I test again next month I have to pass this test.

Dec 17, 2011
by: LM

I've been a pharmacy tech for almost 20 yrs. I also tried for two years applying to pharmacy school but was unsuccessful. However, since I took all the chemistry & math classes, that helped me passed the test. You can study your brains out, but unless you actually totally understand what you are studying, then it's useless. For those who are thinking about spending lots of money for pharmacy tech school, please don't .. You need hands on experience to understand & learn what is needed to pass the exam. From what I remembered.. Math was not so easy, know brand and generic drugs, know the top 100 drugs & their uses. Know pharmacy laws like new Rx / refill Rx , DEA narcotics laws, what the role of being a tech & what we can / cannot do. Retail pharmacy experience is very helpful toward the exam. Good luck ! Hope I helped to ease someones mind.

Dec 20, 2011
by: Anonymous


Jan 29, 2012
Passed :)
by: Anonymous

For those of you that have mentioned not to waste money by taking any classes I disagree. If you have never worked as a pharmacy technician you have not learned the necessary skills in order to help you pass the exam so by you enrolling yourself into a class is very beneficial especially when it comes to the math portion other things such as laws and management you can read and comprehend from a textbook. Personally I hate math and to sit and study a textbook on my own to learn alligation and dilution would have been difficult for me to do. I took a two month course paid $800 and passed the PTCE within three weeks after completion of the course in January. If circumstances allow you to, do take a course it doesn't have to be a year long and a half but do not be against the idea, for it may help greatly.

Jan 30, 2012
Courses for pharm tech
by: Anonymous

Where did you take classes for two months and pay $800? Please tell me the website because I'm thinking I want to study by myself for the ptcb exam.

Feb 09, 2012
Don't cheat yourself out of a great future!
by: Anonymous

Many of you want to take 2 month training classes and then take the Board exam. That's fine, but so is taking a full fledged Pharmacy Technology program.

The thing that people fail to mention about the program is; not only do you get information to pass the exam, and training to work in the pharmacy, but in the "2-year" program, you also earn your Associate's in Applied Science (AAS) degree. The college degree is what takes the extra time, not the certificate!
You do NOT earn a degree with a 2 month program. You only get information on how to study for the exam, but you will find that employers look more favorably at those who earn a degree.
You will find technicians already working who did not take the program, and they will try to tell you that you won't make any more money than they do, and that you are wasting time and money by getting into a program. This is not true.
Ultimately, it's up to you to decide what you want from this.

Feb 27, 2012
PTCB / PTCE in California
by: JJ

Hello everyone. After reading all the comments, I am kind of afraid (x_x) my parents will kill me if I don't pass the PTCB in August... I am at school for a pharmacy tech program. I'm just wondering if anyone here took the PTCB in CA (Sacramento)? And, is really that hard (x_x)
I know my drugs and other kinds of things, like the Law Regulations. But, have no idea what you guys talking about with the investigation drugs, etc... where can I read or study that ?

Thanks so much in advance


Mar 27, 2012
Just read all the comments
by: Anonymous

I just passed the test this afternoon. This test is more or less common sense. Learn your drug suffixes- olol,-pril, etc, in regard to classification. Make sure your not completely ignorant when it comes to antineoplastic drugs and the safety issues that revolve around them. Know some random facts, i.e. class 3 recall is the end of the line, anything numerically past that is made up, or the DEA 222- order form is vary distinct from say..form 41,106, and 224, and that warfarin and aspirin don't pair like bonnie and Clyde.I cannot speak on behalf of hospital/alt. pharmacy personal, but listen close....if you are taking a course/paying money to a school/trainer and you are geared toward working in the retail pharmacy area, don't waste your money. It's the same thing as those cut-co/vector marketing scams. The reality of the matter is you need first hand on the job experience. That's where you find out the alternative reason to why people come in with scripts for low doses of finesteride. or what exactly an Imiquimod script means. And if you think I'm wrong think pay money to learn, while i make money to learn. Life's about making some short cuts, i had no prior training and became a tech and certified by going to a retail chain (for the most part pharmacies are not just hiring walk in-s, formal training or not the people running these pharmacies are mostly bogged down but the monotonous, yet always busy work flow to actually take the time to scout prospective employees). I did my time working the front store and after a few months was able to charmingly coerce myself behind the counter of the pharmacy. I am not telling you all this story simply for adulation though. The point is this; As a rational unbiased third party to this website, i must say that a good portion of the test mirrors the information on this website, if you watch the videos that are on this website, it will have been more beneficial than wasting you cash on a program. There's even a double alligation problem on here, something most likely too complex to put on the PTCB Exam (a nation test that has to be averaged throughout the states on a collective curve. Link to:
Good Luck folks.

Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How?
Simply click here to return to Ask a Question