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7+ Year Member
Mar 12, 2013
  1. Resident [Any Field]
Hi, I plan on taking the naplex exam for the third time on December 14th. I've been studying for a couple of months now from the passnaplexnow book. What should I be focusing on at this time when I have less than a month to take the exam? How should I organize my final review before the exam day? Also, any other tips or advise on how to handle my mental stress at this point? Because I'm feeling overwhelmed and very nervous and the idea of failure for the third time is filling my head with doubt!!! I don't have 100% grip on the material YET! So as I'm reviewing the chapters, I'm taking notes of everything I'm not memorizing completely to go back and memorize it again. Does any one who have taken the test notice what the majority of the questions was about? Was the math portion ( and calculus) very hard or just straight equation and straight answers? Thank you
I think you would get the best advice from students who have recently taken the exam. Post this in the public forums.


Moderator Emeritus
15+ Year Member
Feb 20, 2002
  1. Pharmacist
  2. Academic Administration
1. Calculations (Ansel especially is helpful)
2. After the metric test, focus on the areas of coverage in pharmacology/therapeutics that tested poorly.
3. Yes, there is calculus on the exam. No, you do not calculate any Michaelis-Menten non-linear kinetics, but you have to understand the reaction orders. You will have to calculate zero and first-order and they are covered in your calculations.
4. Calculations (notice a pattern here?)
5. You are testing very late in the season, honestly, with two failures, you need to look at your diagnostics. Reschedule the exam if you are not prepared, because you will have to redo a year should you fail this time.
6. If you do not intern, you should be. That helps immensely with getting the practical material down.


Moderator Emeritus
15+ Year Member
Feb 20, 2002
  1. Pharmacist
  2. Academic Administration
Thanks for the feedback lord999. I just found out that the naplex exam competency statements and scoring has changed. Its on the naplex website. Here is how its going to be calculated starting January 2021 : should I reschedule my exam at this point from December 14th to next year????? Please advise!

NAPLEX Competency Statements
The North American Pharmacist Licensure Examination® (NAPLEX®) Competency Statements provide a blueprint of the topics covered on the examination. They offer important information about the knowledge, judgment, and skills you are expected to demonstrate as an entry-level pharmacist. A strong understanding of the Competency Statements will aid in your preparation to take the examination.

Area 1 – Ensure Safe and Effective Pharmacotherapy and Health Outcomes (Approximately 67% of Test)

1.1 – Obtain, Interpret, Assess, and/or Evaluate:

  • 1.1.1 – Information from patient interviews
  • 1.1.2 – Patient medical records
  • 1.1.3 – Results from instruments and screening strategies used to assess patients
  • 1.1.4 – Laboratory and diagnostic findings
  • 1.1.5 – Signs and symptoms associated with diseases and medical conditions
  • 1.1.6 – Patients’ need for medical referral
  • 1.1.7 – Risk factors relevant to the prevention of a disease or medical condition and the maintenance of wellness
  • 1.1.8 – Information from interdisciplinary health care providers

1.2 – Develop and Implement Individualized Treatment Plans, Taking Into Consideration:
  • 1.2.1 – Specific uses and indications and dosing for drugs
  • 1.2.2 – Purported uses and indications for dietary supplements and complementary and alternative medicine
  • 1.2.3 – Lifestyle and self-care therapy
  • 1.2.4 – Pharmacologic classes and characteristics of drugs
  • 1.2.5 – Actions and mechanisms of actions of drugs
  • 1.2.6 – The presence of pharmacotherapeutic duplications and/or omissions
  • 1.2.7 – Drug interactions
  • 1.2.8 – Contraindications, warnings, and precautions
  • 1.2.9 – Allergies
  • 1.2.10 – Adverse effects and drug-induced illness
  • 1.2.11 – Pharmacodynamic, pharmacokinetic, and pharmacogenomic principles
  • 1.2.12 – Pharmacokinetic data to determine equivalence among drug products
  • 1.2.13 – Pharmacoeconomic factors
  • 1.2.14 – Routes and methods of administration, dosage forms, and delivery systems

1.3 – Assess and Modify Individualized Treatment Plans, Considering:
  • 1.3.1 – Therapeutic goals and outcomes
  • 1.3.2 – Safety of therapy
  • 1.3.3 – Efficacy of therapy
  • 1.3.4 – Medication non-adherence or misuse

1.4 – Techniques for Effective Communication/Documentation of the Development, Implementation, and Assessment of Individualized Treatment Plans to:
  • 1.4.1 – Patients and/or patients’ agents
  • 1.4.2 – Interdisciplinary health care providers

1.5 – Advocate Individual and Population-Based Health and Safety, Considering:
  • 1.5.1 – Best practices, scientific literature evaluation, and health-related resources
  • 1.5.2 – Quality improvement strategies in medication-use systems
  • 1.5.3 – Processes, evaluation of, and responses regarding medication errors
  • 1.5.4 – Role of automated systems and technology in medication distribution processes
  • 1.5.5 – Emergency preparedness protocols

Area 2 – Safe and Accurate Preparation, Compounding, Dispensing, and Administration of Medications and Provision of Health Care Products (Approximately 33% of Test)

2.1 – Employ Various Techniques to Calculate:

  • 2.1.1 – Patients’ nutritional needs and the content of nutrient sources
  • 2.1.2 – Drug concentrations, ratio strengths, and/or extent of ionization
  • 2.1.3 – Quantities of medication to be compounded, dispensed, or administered
  • 2.1.4 – Quantities of ingredients needed to compound preparations
  • 2.1.5 – Rates of administration

2.2 – Compound Sterile and Nonsterile Products, Considering:
  • 2.2.1 – Techniques, procedures, and equipment for drug preparation, compounding, and administration of sterile products
  • 2.2.2 – Techniques, procedures, and equipment for drug preparation, compounding, and administration of nonsterile products
  • 2.2.3 – Physicochemical properties of active and inactive ingredients
  • 2.2.4 – Identifying the presence of, and the cause of, product incompatibilities or degradation and methods for achieving stability
  • 2.2.5 – Physiochemical properties of drugs that affect solubility and stability

2.3 – Review, Dispense, and Administer Drugs and Drug Products, Considering:
  • 2.3.1 – Packaging, labeling, storage, handling, and disposal of medications
  • 2.3.2 – Commercial availability, identification, and ingredients of prescription and non-prescription drugs
  • 2.3.3 – Physical attributes of drug products
  • 2.3.4 – Specific instructions and techniques for administration

Most of the changes are de-emphasizing some older content that is not practice relevant. It is unlikely you will face in-depth pharmaceutics questions (I had wet roll tablet manufacturing questions on my NAPLEX 16 years ago which definitely were taking out of the question bank). It has not changed so much that your preparation should change very much. You need to read your diagnostics from your previous failures.
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