How to Pass the NAPLEX

Instructor: Jessica Munk
To become a licensed pharmacist, you have to pass the North American Pharmacist Licensure Examination (NAPLEX). Some of the best strategies for passing the exam are presented below. Read on to learn about the Pre-NAPLEX, topics and exam format, and study materials.

Familiarize Yourself With the Topics on the NAPLEX

The National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP) offers the NAPLEX Competency Statements on their website ( Here you will find a detailed outline of the topics that will be tested on the exam. The majority of the exam tests your ability to safely and effectively deliver pharmacotherapy. You will also be tested on your ability to properly prepare, compound, dispense and administer prescription drugs.

Practice With the Pre-NAPLEX

The Pre-NAPLEX is an online practice exam that consists of 100 questions that actually come from past exams. You have 140 minutes to complete the exam, and once you have started the test, you have to complete it in one sitting. You will receive a report after taking the exam, and you can use this exam score to identify areas where you need more study.

You can take the Pre-NAPLEX twice, but you have to pay a fee each time you take it. Your school may arrange for students to take the Pre-NAPLEX in groups in a controlled, exam-like setting.

Take a Review Course

Your pharmacy school may offer a NAPLEX review course. This course could be given on-campus, or it could be a combination of live and online lectures. You can also purchase review courses that offer practice questions, study materials and the ability to view live lectures online. also offers courses and lessons that can help you review relevant material as you study for the NAPLEX. Check out some of the topics below to brush up on your knowledge for the NAPLEX:

Study With Your Portable Devices

There are a number of NAPLEX study apps that you can download on both your Apple and Android devices. With these apps, you can study from anywhere, and you can use them whenever you have a few minutes to answer practice questions or review flashcards.

Your pharmacy school may also offer eBook access. If offered by your school, you may have to sign in to your school's library to access the books, and the access may be limited to students of the school.

Know the Exam Format

You cannot skip questions on the NAPLEX Exam because the exam will generate questions for you based on your response to the previous question. This means that you will get test questions based on your skill level.

Going into the exam, you need to know that you will see several question formats. You can find samples of each format in the NAPLEX Candidate Registration Bulletin. You will see standard multiple-choice questions, as well as multiple-choice questions where there may be more than one correct answer. You will also see questions where you have to make a calculation and enter your answer into a box.

You may also have to rank answer choices based on a specific set of circumstances. Additionally, you may be presented with a diagram and have to select where on the diagram your answer choice should appear. Practicing these question types with the resources mentioned above will help you pass the NAPLEX.

Be Comfortable With NAPLEX Procedures

The NAPLEX Candidate Registration Bulletin provides detailed information about registering for the exam, requirements to sit for the exam, test day procedures and getting your score report. Making sure you know all these rules beforehand will help your stress level on exam day.

Your state may require specific forms in order to register for the exam. You will also want to make sure you're familiar with the eligibility dates, instructions and scheduling as specified on your Authorization to Test letter. Additionally, there are a number of rules that will be enforced at your testing center that you need to learn about before you go in to take the exam.

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