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Discussion in 'Pre-Pharmacy' started by GATTACA CTAATGT, May 8, 2008.


    GATTACA CTAATGT 2+ Year Member

    Oct 24, 2007
    For people who have taken the PTCB exam, what is the breakdown of the exam. For example, approximately what percentage of the exam is involved in math and what percentage covers generic drugs. What is considered passing? Finally, has anyone found these books helpful or knows of any decent review book.​

    1) Prentice Hall Health's Question and Answer Review for the Pharmacy Technician (2nd Edition) (Prentice Hall SUCCESS! Series) (Paperback)

    2) Mosby's Review for the PTCB Certification Examination (Mosby's Review Series) (Paperback) by James J. Mizner.

    3) The Pharmacy Technician: A Comprehensive Approach (Paperback)
    by Jahangir Moini.

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  3. mrblah

    mrblah 2+ Year Member

    Feb 27, 2008
    there are three parts to the test:
    1. simple conversions between scientific units. Its pretty easy stuff.
    2. classification of drugs. It wasn't too difficult if you've worked in pharmacy
    3. pharmacy law (i.e. class 1 through 5). You have to review this.

    I cant tell you the breakdown percentages are, because ptcb has multiple tests. I never studied for the test and passed. If I were to study for the test it would be this one:

    TextbooK (it is a bit overkill, and simplified):

    workbook (recommend this and only this):

    I'd buy the workbook and skip the textbook. I found the workbook's problems are extremely close to the ptcb test exam questions.
  4. Psycho_Hedgehog

    Psycho_Hedgehog New Member 5+ Year Member

    Jun 18, 2005
    If you are good at math, it isn't too much of a worry on that end. If not, then brush up on it, because you can get a fair amount of math questions no matter the version of the test.

    The main thing to study are those things listed above (calculations, law, basic pharmacology), but also don't forget information about hospital pharmacy, if you haven't worked in one. I recently completed a work study program where many people took the test, and no one was really prepared for this area. The is things like flow hoods, mixing IVs, etc... So definitely research that, because some tests entirely focus on it.

    We used this book - which was ok, but like I said, left you unprepared for questions that pertain to the hospital, and also many of the answers in the book are wrong for the math section. So I can't really recommend it, but it was free :)

    Good luck. Really it isn't that bad, especially if you do some studying for it.
  5. mrblah

    mrblah 2+ Year Member

    Feb 27, 2008
    Yea, I forgot about the hospital pharmacy, especially the questions on IV, and preparation of IV's. Luckily I only had one or two questions when I took it a few years back.
  6. s1lver

    s1lver ☠☠☠☠☠☠☠☠ Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 10+ Year Member

    Aug 18, 2007
  7. b*rizzle

    b*rizzle Master of Useless Info 5+ Year Member

    Nov 25, 2004

    I think the best advice for prepping for the PTCE is to take a review class (check your state pharmacy organizations for them...for example, in NC...NCAP offers a great one that's reasonably priced) and bank on your work experience.

    For content of the exam, what better place to check than the website of the PTCB?
  8. lilmisskrissyo9

    lilmisskrissyo9 2+ Year Member

    Apr 4, 2008
    How important is the drug classification part? Its hard to memorize every drug because I have not worked in a pharmacy...
  9. Gitana

    Gitana 5+ Year Member

    Mar 23, 2008
    Looking forward to the answer to this... I'm in the same boat.
  10. MarkCPhT


    May 14, 2008
    Study the top 200 drugs for the test, brand & generics, classifications, and indications are important.. it's not that hard.. commit yourself to 30 to 45 minutes a day and you should do well! you can get started with a few of the drugs here
  11. jmcfa002

    jmcfa002 UCSF SoP c/o 2014 2+ Year Member

    Oct 16, 2007
    Behind you
    If you have ever worked in a pharmacy, you should be fine. Math is the main part. Mine was about 1/3 math. Familiarize yourself with the laws. Learned brand/generic is a tedious task, and imo is best done in the workplace if possible. I studied a few hours for two days before the test, and i got a 750 I think on it. Just make sure you can do the math! Its easy points
  12. lilmisskrissyo9

    lilmisskrissyo9 2+ Year Member

    Apr 4, 2008
    I am taking my test next tuesday. If i study all the math and the laws... will i be able to pass? I am starting to study the drugs. I am kinda familiar with some of them. I am going to start studying like 4-5 hours a day until tuesday...
  13. anb

    anb Accepted Pharmacy Student 2+ Year Member

    Feb 18, 2008
    Its not too bad... I didnt study until right before it... as long as you know the math side of it you will be fine! Dont stress~
  14. Misspharm09


    Feb 20, 2008
    Dallas Tx
    Just curious to know what book you are studying I plan on taking the test sometime in the summer.
  15. jmcfa002

    jmcfa002 UCSF SoP c/o 2014 2+ Year Member

    Oct 16, 2007
    Behind you
    I found this thing on ebay that was a .pdf file, it covered all the main points and walked you through all of the math, it helped out alot. Not that expensive either
  16. rxgrl08

    rxgrl08 1st Year Pharmacy Student 2+ Year Member

    Sep 8, 2007
    Florida, now Georgia
    If you are completing pre-reqs now and are in school then you really do not have to study or worry about the test too much. I took it in less than and hour and passed and my co-worker took it after 3 months of working in a pharmacy and passed it even though she thought she didn't do well.

    I would just practice calculations and equivalents (like how many lbs in a kg, etc). And I would just review the top 200 and hospital (not many questions at all). I found it to be a joke and easy. Don't stress.
  17. Sparda29

    Sparda29 En Taro Adun Pharmacist Classifieds Approved 7+ Year Member

    Mar 25, 2008
    New York, New York
    The main formula that you have to remember well is converting pounds to kilograms, because they love that. I didn't remember the exact formula (I thought it was 2.5 lbs/kg, but it is more like 2.2/kg, but the answers were different enough so that you could tell which one was right even if your numbers were a bit off.

    I found the law part of the exam hard, like stuff about recalls, correct DEA numbers. I mean, while working at the Pharmacy, we never dealt with anything about recalls, and we never scrutinize a script to the point of checking how to tell what a DEA number should be other than 2 alphabet and 7 numbers.

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