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Took the PTCB exam today, it was really difficult!

Discussion in 'Pharmacy Licensure and Exams' started by pharmerted, Jul 23, 2005.

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  1. pharmerted

    pharmerted Member

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    I took the PCTB exam this morning (Saturday, July 23rd). Man was it a difficult exam!!

    I went to my local library and checked out the 2 most popular pharmacy technician books available, Delmar's and Moini's Pharmacy Technician book. I even spent $85 to purchase materials at Pharmacytrainer.com.

    I went through the entire pharmacy trainer manual, did over 500 practice questions and memorized a majority of the top 200 drugs, their generic & trade names and functions.

    Then upon taking the exam, AT LEAst 25-30% of the questions are no where to be found in any of these 3 books. Questions using drugs i have never even heard of, detailed questions about insulin, and a question regarding which DEA
    form is needed to dispose of controlled drugs (is it 40 or 41? And no it is not the 222!!!)
    And off the wall questions that i was lucky to get correct just from knowledge i gained in my chemistry, biology and anatomy classes that helped me.

    Did i miss some essential book or test material in my studying for the PCTB?

    It reminded me of exams where you study everything they give you and and you know cold and you can only answer about 60% of the questions with good certainty. I guessed on at least 20-25% of the questions.

    What is the deal? Have they made it SAT like? Scores are 300-900 or something, with a 650 to pass, and they scale based on how others performed.

    This reminds me of the math section on the PCAT. It was impossible. i never finished the math section and just flat out guessed on 35-40% of the questions. I walked out of the exam feeling horrible. Then six weeks later i get my scores and i get an 85%??? WTF???

    I hate exams that are too difficult and then curved!!!
  2. crossjb

    crossjb Senior Member

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    How long does it take before you get your results back? I'm using the 2005 version of Reifman's book and it's really detailed.

    Anyone else taking it on September 17? I'll be taking it in Chicago.
  3. dana92085

    dana92085 **dana adell**

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    I took the test in March and I walked out not feeling too confident either. I didnt get any questions that I thought were too off the wall but I didnt have time to memorize drug names or what they are good for so I was nervous. I ended up with a score of a 750 and you needed a 650 to pass. :D
  4. b*rizzle

    b*rizzle Master of Useless Info

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    Reifman = Good
  5. b*rizzle

    b*rizzle Master of Useless Info

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    I dig ya, man. I didn't feel too terribly hot about it either, but same deal with the PCAT...I walked out thinking I failed the sh!t out of it, then got 94%. Go figure. :D

    We'll just keep our fingers crossed!
  6. DownonthePharm

    DownonthePharm Chillin' n Fillin'

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    Any totally off the wall questions might be experimental ones, which are not graded. Remember that there are quite a few on the test. My mother took it this weekend and said much of the same reaction as you, in particular that 40/41? question.

    I walked out of it in March thinking I did badly and ended up with a great score. As long as you did well on the math you should be fine.
  7. b*rizzle

    b*rizzle Master of Useless Info

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    That's what I like to hear! I did pretty well on the quantitative section of the PCAT without a calculator, surely I could not have done much worse with one! :laugh:
  8. rougemarie

    rougemarie Member

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    thank you for sharing this. I'm going to take one in September and posted an inquiry on how difficult the test is, too bad most of the responds that I've got are along the line of "you'll be fine they're so easy." I study from Delmar's too and will see if there are newer books available out there.

    Were there a lot of questions about the top 200 drugs/drug names, substitution etc? Do you remember the percentage? many thanks in advance for your help :)
  9. I know this is an old thread, but I was just wondering...how diffcult is the math portion??? College alegbra level or cal? I want to know so that I can prepare cause math isn't my strongest.
  10. Scrubs Fan

    Scrubs Fan Member

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    i don't think there were any calc questions. I took it in march.

    fractions, percents, multiplication. hardest math calc was when you were doing compounds of creams of two different percents, and once you learn the trick to it, easy.
    Although, i guess the biggest challenge to the math is that it's applied math. What i mean is, they won't ask you what's 3 times 7. It'll be a question like 'a patient has a scrip for XXX drug T1 PO tid for seven days. how many pills are there total?
    i forget the sigs for '7 days', but questions will be like that, or insurance billing stuff. i reviewed the math stuff the night before the test and i did alright.
    good luck, cheers.
  11. FlippinChink

    FlippinChink Junior Member

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    Are there any good study aids for this exam, that I could buy at a Barnes or a Borders and at similar bookstores?

    How difficult do you rate this exam? I have no previous Pharm Tech experience, but do you think I could pass with just studying the books?
  12. The Kernal

    The Kernal

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    There are 8 different exams for the PTCB. Each one has different content. I would imagine if you scored 85% on PCAT, you should easily pass the PTCB. 650 is not that tough of a score to get, you'll be fine!!!
  13. Chemist

    Chemist

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    I thought it was DEA form 222. It's not?
  14. npage148

    npage148 Senior Member

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    Form 41 is used to dispose of controlled 3-5. A 222 is needed for 1's and 2's
  15. the_labrat

    the_labrat Hot Tamale

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    Basic math. I wouldn't worry about it.
  16. Kay51

    Kay51

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    I know this is old but i was wondering if anyone had any newer materials they used to prepare for the test and how they did on it when using that material?????
  17. bamobrien

    bamobrien

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    remember there are questions on the ptcb that are not scored (they're used as basis for future questions). you'll be surprised at your score when you get it back; in general if you were able to answer most of calculation and prescription reading questions and maybe a few of the other ones you should pass with no problem. i bought one book and studied maybe a week for it and passed. don't bother memorizing drug names unless you happen to be really good at it.
  18. Da Alchemist

    Da Alchemist

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    some are not scored? how many of them? I remembered i commented on those hard questions some i think should not even be for pharmtech for example, what disease is this? those type of qs i just said "not sure, ask the physician or pharmacist." It is good to know what those are but pharmacist assistant werent trained to know all kinds of disease. I left the test thinking they might fail me for writing comments like that lol. and it sucks that I spent most of the time memorizing the generic/brand name and didnt even use 90% of them. Other test might be different but the one i took were mostly calculation.
  19. bamobrien

    bamobrien

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    i can't remember for certain how many are not scored, sorry. the questions where you answered 'ask the pharmacist' are correct; thats pretty much the answer for all questions regarding safety, a mistake, or trouble in the pharmacy in general. It sounds like you'll be fine, if you went out of your way to go memorize the names it sounds like you spent more than ample time to pass. Also most (if not all) the tests are overwhelmingly populated with calculation questions so if you retake it for some reason (again i doubt you'll have to) just study the pertinent arithmetic.
  20. Farmercyst

    Farmercyst Lowest common denominator Moderator Emeritus

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    Moved to licensure and exams. My guess is this subforum didn't exist when this thread was created.:rolleyes: I don't think the PTCE is nearly as difficult as the original poster suggested. My guess it has to do with recent changes in format, but that's just a guess.
  21. Avrelian

    Avrelian

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    200 drugs to memorize?!!! Seriously how many of them out there on the test?
    Also, how hard is to learn to read prescriptions??
  22. Farmercyst

    Farmercyst Lowest common denominator Moderator Emeritus

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    Probably 10 drugs that it would be important to know what type of drug it is.
    Depends on how easily you can memorize abbreviations as to how hard it would be to read scrips (not including handwriting issues, but that's not tested.)
  23. parabolic

    parabolic One of many

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    Just took it today, and the top two things I'd classify as absolutely need-to-know before taking the PTCE are conversions (lb-kg, mL-oz-tsp, etc) and abbreviations (bid, tid, qs, etc) since there are a lot of math problems. I found this online, and it was helpful: http://www.emcp.com/product_catalog/resourcefile.php?ID=1457 The book itself is probably helpful too, but I didn't buy it.

    So far as memorizing everything about the top 200 drugs... well, I guess you need to know them eventually as a pharmacist (right?) but if you don't have time before the PTCE, don't stress over it. There were only a few 'what class of drug is this' and 'match brand to generic' type of questions (though I will admit that the ones I didn't know stressed me out a bit).

    It would also help to know about the workings of a pharmacy, both hospital (hood use, cart protocol, etc) and retail (insurance billing, drug pricing, etc).

    I'll find out how I did three weeks from now and post it here, so that's when you'll know if this advice was worth anything. :)
  24. Avrelian

    Avrelian

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    I am taking it today. :scared: Was postponing it for awhile then decided that one cant get enough breath before the death anyway. (Sorry for crippling a nice russian proverb)
  25. rockerstone

    rockerstone

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    i just took the ptcb exam on 5/19, it was hard:oops: i use up all 120 mins with a lot of quess answer it my 1st exam in long time home study 3 months but i study math before i have cd from ebay and get to online practice it help but a lot on exam not in there and i have no idea what they asking. mainthing is i get nervous first 30 min i read question too long have to skip some forget all drug i did answer a lot of math but the other who know. here recommend if you going to take exam you should study a lot and a lot of pharmacy math, some hospital/retail pharmacy management, little bit drug:confused: . remember 100 question only 2 hr it seem a lot of time but for me that mean 1.2 min per question, and some take more time. if you have to guess do it right away, answer in order you dont have time to go back and change everythings. for me only 2-3 min left to check unanswer about 5-6 question. so be prepare, i hope this is useful information for you. bye:sleep:
  26. sakigt

    sakigt Junior Member

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    Since I had a Chemistry exam today, I didnt study too hard for the PTCB exam I took 5/19. I have no pharmacy experience and read a book by some guy whose name I cant remember nor pronounce. It was okay, but the drug names were IMPOSSIBLE to memorize.

    I basically remembered the few equations the book gave and also unit conversions. I made myself familiar with the drug suffix of each class but thats about it. I never guessed on any of the math but I did guess on a couple of drug related questions. I will post what my grades were once I know.
  27. Farmercyst

    Farmercyst Lowest common denominator Moderator Emeritus

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    Based on your post I'd assume ESL and reading comprehension difficulties with the 2nd language. It would explain the long reads and lack of time. It sounds though that your math skills are okay. If my assumptions are correct I'd say you'll do okay. As you said, most of the exam is the pharmacy math.
  28. rockerstone

    rockerstone

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    :D i just check my ptcb exam result online today, i passed but i don't know my score yet. i wish you have a good luck too.:hardy:
  29. dxb8307

    dxb8307

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    Is 650 out of 900? Or is it based on percentiles? I did 2 practice exams without much of studying and had about 60% correct. Is that enough to get that 650?
  30. parabolic

    parabolic One of many

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    I passed too, curious about the score though. :) Congrats rockerstone!

    Edit to add scores:

    Assist RPh: 811/900
    Maintain inventory: 755/900
    Admin Management: 847/900

    Composite: 803/900

    Woohoo!
  31. sakigt

    sakigt Junior Member

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    I passed as well.
  32. Pharm2012

    Pharm2012

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    That pctb exam was hella hard, omgg. I took it on the 22nd and still havnet received my score or the result. I am worry guys :((((.
  33. Farmercyst

    Farmercyst Lowest common denominator Moderator Emeritus

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    I seem to recall it can take up to 3 weeks, you may be able to get results online by now though. Check the PTCB website, if the score/results aren't posted, it should at least have the date posted by which they'll be ready.
  34. TBS5280

    TBS5280

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    I took the PTCB on May 23 and after the exam they gave me a sheet that said my results can be viewed online on June 15 and results sent around that time too.
  35. dxb8307

    dxb8307

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    I took my PTCE on the 5/25 and just got the results today. I passed it but I don't even know how. I only studied for total of two days before the exam. I didn't even attempt to memorize all of the names. For all of those who worry about passing it, please DON'T, BECAUSE YOU'LL DO JUST FINE.
  36. Pharm2012

    Pharm2012

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    what is your score for the test dxb??
  37. sakigt

    sakigt Junior Member

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    I feel the same way. :D
  38. lak04

    lak04

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    Hi All,

    I am a new member here. I like to get the pharmacy technician licence for california. Basically I am a foreign pharmacy graduate. But I don't know how to apply for the technician licence exam.

    Please tell me what application I should fill up and what are the transcripts I need to send to take the exam?Totally, I know nothing about the pocedure and I like to know the application process from who already in the same boat.

    Thank you in advance.
    Lak.
  39. Farmercyst

    Farmercyst Lowest common denominator Moderator Emeritus

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    Go to PTCB.org and follow instructions for registering for the PTCE (Pharmacy Tech Certification Exam) Once you've passed you can go to the California Board of Pharmacy's website (google.com will bring it up if you can't find it any other way) Print out the application for Pharmacy tech and follow the instructions.
  40. PharmDstudent

    PharmDstudent

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    If you're a pharmacy graduate, why would you want to be a pharmacy tech? It sounds like you should try being a PHARMACIST!

  41. lak04

    lak04

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    Thanks for the reply. My case is different I think...as a foreign graduate we have to take FPGEEC exam and toefl Ibt to qualify as PHARMAD here.

    Toefl IBT is the main problem here. National association of pharmacy board is asking foreign graduates to get 26 out of 30 for the speaking part in toefl....So someday after passing my toefl...I will be a registered pharmacist by passing Naplex and CPJE.

    But writing pharmacy technician exam is the alternative for me to enter into job field....Anyway what are the book I should study for the technicain exam.

    I mostly see DELMER is the one everyone recommending. Is any other books I should read?

    Thank you.

  42. bubblechasincat

    bubblechasincat New Member

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    omg yeah, i felt the same way; i am not sure how i passed even. i studied from 5 am til 9 am on the day of the exam, then went out to take the test (i realized i couldnt change the test date so i just had to take it =/ ) for those who are stressing about the exam - make sure you know the math! i am relatively decent with math/conversions, crammed some important drug names last minute - i think that is how i passed it. just make sure you know the units and how to do the conversions if you cant memorize all the drug names
  43. Green Apple

    Green Apple Defenestrator

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    Can you bring a calculator?
  44. dgroulx

    dgroulx Night Pharmacist

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    The place where I took the exam gave me a calculator. There's also the calculator built into Windows, if you prefer to use that one. You're not allowed any scratch paper because you could write stuff down and carry it out. They give you a dry erase board, a marker, and an eraser. You can't carry anything else in, you put everything in your locker except your drivers license for ID and your clothes (obviously).
  45. FlippinChink

    FlippinChink Junior Member

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    I just took the exam today. Not really studying much for it except looking at the math conversions, and I felt really good about the calculation part of the exam. But I had no clue about some drugs and some procedures that occur in the pharmacy. I bought Mosby's Review for the PTCB, and I was overwhelmed thinking that I had to memorize these few hundred drugs. But in reality there were only a handful questions about drugs and their classifications, schedules or generic brand names. I'm kinda glad I gave up last night when I tried memorizing the drugs about 5 drug names in. :) All in all, I felt the exam was easier than what my Review book made it seem. I just hope I passed, so it'll finally be somewhat easier trying to find a Pharm Tech job.

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