Pass NAPLEX in 7 days

Discussion in 'Pharmacy Licensure and Exams' started by aimpharm, Aug 23, 2015.

  1. aimpharm

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    Dear friends who are studying for Naplex and getting worried on what to study, how to study, etc. This is the thread for you.

    I was one of you not too long ago and I used to search SDN and google for tips but the answers I got were not consistent and skeptical. The biggest question you are still left with is how can you compare your level of education with the person who is giving you tips. So I am writing my one and only post so that it can help you in some sort.

    My background: I started of as a pre-pharmacy student and then transferred to Pharm.D. after a set of interviews, etc. My core rotations were with prestigious hospitals which were affiliated with Harvard Medical School. I hated community pharmacy and I sucked at brand and generic names. However, I believe my basics were very strong starting from general bio and chem to therapeutics. I hardly studied for any exam for more than 1-2 days. I graduated with honors at the end.

    Now lets start off with the books/materials and work our way towards the exam.

    Books I referred for Naplex: Only RxPrep. (I did get the whole package with the videos and test bank).

    How I studied:

    - RxPrep people say that we should start from calculations and study calculations almost throughout the study period 1-2 hrs a day. I DID NOT do that. I knew that calculations were my strong part so I left it towards the end. I would recommend you to start with calculations if you had a hard time with ceutics in your pharm school.

    - Think about the exam breakdown. 33% is calculations. Those are easy points, GET ALL of those points. This will put you in a very nice position to pass the NAPLEX since the passing is about 75 points (not %), but if I had to take a guess, you need to score 55-60% to pass the exam. So even if you had to guess on the rest of your exam, you need to score 50% in the therapeutics section (taking into account that you did 95-100% calculations correct). Everyone out there asks us to focus on calculations because those are the points you KNOW you got them right.

    - For calculations I only did the RxPrep book but keep in mind that it is a dangerous path to go into. The book goes one concept at a time and it is a good learning tool, NOT a practice tool. So I would recommend looking into the SDN 120 calc AFTER you are confident with RxPrep for practice. I randomly practiced 20-30 calc questions from SDN 120 the day prior to my Naplex. I would recommend you do all 120 if you aren't confident 1-2 days prior to exam. You need to be FAST and ACCURATE. Time yourself! 2 mins/question is optimal. Check your work if you have the time on exam.

    - Now lets focus on the therapeutic sections. RxPrep has a few VERY important chapters towards the front but I would recommend you to study that after all the other chapters. Those are Drug interactions and pharmacogenomics bc it will re-enfore your knowledge.

    — This is a very hard bullet point to swallow but it is the truth.— There are NO disease states that are tested more than others. I looked up many blogs to see what to focus on and it was all over the place. The key to naplex is, "Jack of all, master of some". Master of some is knowing everything about a few drugs. Dosing (yes, dosing for heparin, LMWH, Phenytoin, AMG, Vanco), DDI, Type of DDI, MOA, herbal interactions, CI, warnings, etc. Pretty much everything for these few dugs. (I might be missing some but you get the idea)

    Warfarin, PCN, amiodarone, phenytoin, heparin, LMWH, vanco, linezolid (apperently), BB's. ACE, Statins (DDI), Diuretics, PPi's, MOAi's. (and all the other famous and notorious drugs)

    - Know counseling and administrations for some drugs. Know where to inject.

    - For ID, its not that important to know the treatment regimen, but do know what bacterias are associated with particular Dx states (like meningitis, pneumonia, SSI, etc)

    - Kinetics is small part of the exam but know about some drugs who have zero order kinetics and how to calculate Vd, T1/2.

    - Know basics on how to calculate RR, ARR, NNT, NNH and what it means.

    - Note that I am not talking about Dx states in particular because it will take you to a path that you will regret it at the end. I had more questions on OAB and urinary incontinence than HTN, DM, Asthma combined. So study everything! At least have a basic idea about everything.

    No need to know the guidelines.
    No need to know opioid dose conversions. But know loop dose and steroid conversions.

    - I studied everything in 7 days. I did something like this:
    Day 1: Cardio
    Day 2: ID
    Day 3: Psych
    etc. (Go according to your own pace. If you don't know something at all then breeze over it. Don't stress too much). But know the areas to focus on.

    - Know immunology and what vaccines you would recommend based on patient case.

    - Take pre-naplex a week to 4 days prior to exam. (Try studying/breezing through the book prior to taking the exam). It will give you a good representation of your scores. Don't think that Naplex will give you 10 points higher than the pre-naplex. That is the norm but I've seen some exceptions. So just focus on passing pre-naplex and take it as a confidence booster. Anything above 100 on pre-naplex should be more than sufficient.

    For Exam—

    I know you will be anxious. You will think that you don't know everything and you will be worried. But on the last day just review brand/generics if you aren't comfortable, drug interactions lecture from RxPrep, random Calculation questions that will help you get in the mindset of calculations prior to exam. (it will come natural to use the formulas and if you have to use cm vs. inches, etc.)

    Exam is not a breeze. It will go from 0-100 in a matter of few questions. Keep our calm. Students who fail are the ones who lose hope half way through the exam. Keep time in mind. If you are doing well on that, DON'T relax. They can bombard you with 10 calculation Qs at the end. Try to be strong throughout the exam. YOU CAN DO IT. Think about the idiots who have passed the exam and who are practicing (pardon my language, but it is meant for confidence boosting).

    There is a 10 min break but that will be over before you know it since you have to check out and check in again. Its good to go to restroom, wash your face and have a granola bar. Drink some lemonade or redbull. Eat before your exam!!

    I am in no way too smart but I tend to study smart.

    Some comments:
    -RxPrep is a good source but if you are a visual learner then you might have to go through the videos or youtube to brush up your concepts.
    -There is a youtube video for HIV and cephalosporins from KISSPharm to look at.
    -For onco, there is a man drown with side effects at the end of RxPrep chapter that is good. Try adding in MESNA, Leucovorin, etc with those drugs and SE for better picture and understanding.
    -Oh and about 35-40% of my questions were select all that apply.

    My prenaplex score (before I started studying was 103 (but I knew calcualtions). Naplex 131))

    I hope this helps. Please let me know if you have any more questions.

    GOOD LUCK for your NAPLEX!! Go kick some NABP a**.
     
  2. Pharma.Prince

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    Thank you so much Aimpharm for this useful post! I am really happy for you, was the questions of the real Naplex hard as those on Rxprep quiz bank? What do you think about prontopass? I am having a difficulty studying from Rxprep, and the quiz bank is really hard.

    Congrats and good luck
     
  3. naplex destination 2015

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    Thanks a lot for giving such a valuable advise.
     
  4. aimpharm

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    I wouldn't say that questions on NAPLEX were easier or harder than RxPrep. The overall level of questions in RxPrep Q bank is harder than the complete NAPLEX test. Think about it this way, Naplex will have as hard or harder questions than RxPrep but the number of those questions are less. So if you are having a hard time with RxPrep Q bank, then don't worry too much. Aim for 60-70% on the RxPrep test and you should be good for that particular topic. I hope this helps.

    Thank you!! and Good Luck!!
     
  5. aimpharm

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    You are welcome! Good Luck!!
     
  6. aimpharm

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    Also, I haven't read pronto-pass to give you any opinions. Sorry.
    If you have the video lectures, then that might be a good option since the prof. highlight some important areas. Focus on the underlined and bolded information from RxPrep.
     
  7. Pharma.Prince

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    Thank you so much for the quick reply ... Good luck
     
  8. prepharmanon

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    I also passed the Naplex (got my score today!) and pretty much would agree with everything aimpharm stated. I feel like aimpharm's post is really great and accurate advice in regards to everything I have also seen on this forum (in my own personal opinion!).

    I pretty much focused on ID, HTN, DM, anticoagulation, epilepsy, and HIV for the most part, giving about a day for each of them. I also took some time to look at which drugs could react with sulfa allergies and drugs that can only be reconstituted in NS or D5W. I also paid special attention to certain drugs such as warfarin and phenytoin.
    I also left calculations for the last part because I was always good at calculations (just cancel out the units!) in school.

    In addition to that, I would also try to make little mnemomics to help remember things from RxPrep such as:
    First generation cephalosporins = The K's (Keflex; Kefzol; random Cefadroxil)
    Second genereation cephalosporins = The one Z and the NMMT (Zinacef; Cefotetan, which has NMTT side chain) - didn't bother with rest of second generation
    Third generation = Cef, Ax, An, In (Brand names that end if cef like Omnicef or Spectracef, then Cedax; etc.) with some of the random third generations
    Fourth and Fifth - only one each...

    I know there is a 120 SDN calculations posted on this site, which I did, and it is a really good resource, but after taking the exam, RxPrep calculations are all you really need.
    As for the RxPrep test bank versus Naplex exam, I was also scoring around 70-80% on the test bank because the questions sometimes are really specific, which isn't really going to be a majority of questions on the Naplex, at least from what I feel. Also, there are a lot of questions in the test bank, and my mind would wander after a bit...
    I also did end up purchasing the APhA review book, but literally stopped using it after trying to get through the ID chapter because I hated the formatting...
    I ended up using RxPrep solely for studying, which is all you really need.

    I also did do the pre-naplex exam since I got 2 test vouchers for free.
    So before studying - 94
    After studying and right before exam - 119
    Actual Naplex score - 117
     
    bbypeach and aimpharm like this.
  9. aimpharm

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    Congratulations for Naplex!! Thank you for taking the time out to help our colleagues. Your nmeumonics are great! I wish I knew them before the exam :D

    Moreover, I agree with you on RxPrep covering all the calculations.
     
  10. nLua

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    anyone located in SoCal looking for a study partner for CPJE? im located in korea town of los angeles and pm me if interested!!!!
     

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