As you work to prepare for your Pharmacy Technician Certification Examination (PTCE), please use this guide as a starting point. This guide contains information and lists various resources to assist your preparation and success in taking and passing the PTCE.
The Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) is the organization that has created, oversees, and manages the Pharmacy Technician Certification Examination (PTCE) that many Pharmacy Technician employers seek their employees to have and a number of states Boards of Pharmacy require for practicing Pharmacy Technicians. Taken from the PTCB’s website (2018), the mission of the PTCB is “advances medication safety by certifying technicians who are qualified to support pharmacists and patient care teams in all practice settings.”
Passing the PTCE will grant you a status of Certified Pharmacy Technician (CPhT) from the PTCB.
The PTCB is an advocate for the Pharmacy Technician profession and seeks to maintain a superior level of quality, professionalism, and safety within the Pharmacy Technician profession.
To learn more about the CPhT certification and its benefits, please visit the PTCB's webpage:
The PTCE stands for Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam and is a national certification for the Pharmacy Technician profession. It is managed and overseen by the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board.
The PTCE is different from individual state Board of Pharmacy certification. Each state has its own Board of Pharmacy that provides requirements and guidelines for a Pharmacy Technician to practice and work within that state. Some states require that their Pharmacy Technicians pass the PTCE exam to be able to practice in their state and others do not. It is recommended that you look up your individual state Board of Pharmacy- Pharmacy Technician requirements by utilizing this website:
The PTCE is a two-hour, multiple-choice, exam that contains 90 questions (80 scored questions and 10 unscored questions). Each question is shown with four possible answers, only one of which is the correct or best answer. Unscored questions are not identified and are randomly distributed throughout the exam. A candidate’s exam score is based on the responses to the 80 scored questions. One hour and 50 minutes are allotted for answering the exam questions and 10 minutes for a tutorial and post-exam survey.
It is taken within a proctored environment at one of Pearson’s testing facilities. There are testing facilities located throughout each state. You can read more on the PTCE Testing Site rules at this site:
Within your PTN2050 Pharmacy Technician Capstone course, you will be given instructions on how to receive a voucher number to take the PTCE. This voucher number provided to you by the College will allow you to attempt the PTCE free of charge (the College pays for your attempt). If you fail or are a no-show to your scheduled PTCE date/time, you will be responsible for covering the cost of the PTCE re-test.
Once you receive your voucher number, follow the instructions on the document link below to register with the PCTB to take the PTCE.
The voucher number to register for the PTCE doesn’t expire, but once you register with the PTCB using your voucher number, you have to pick a date/time to take the PTCE that is up to 90 days from the date you registered. Once you register with the voucher number provided, you will be able to pick a date, time, and location to take your PTCE. Remember, you can pick a date to take the PTCE that is up to 90 days from the day you register. For example, if you register with your voucher number on January 1st, the latest date you can choose to take the PTCE is 90 days from the 1st of January.
If you have a scheduled a date/time to take the PTCE and need to reschedule your testing date/time, you will have to go through the process of withdrawing your application to take the PTCE. There are detailed instructions in the PTCB Candidate Guidebook (link to it on the PTCE Resources tab) on how to withdrawal your application. You will also need to reach out to the Department Chair of the Pharmacy Technician program and inform her/him. Once the Department Chair confirms your application withdrawal, a new voucher number can be issued to you to register to take the PTCE again. The PTCB requires you to withdrawal your PTCE application at least 24 business hours prior your scheduled test date/time.
If at any point in the registration process you experience any complications or issues, the customer service number for the PTCB is: 1-800-363-8012.
There are a lot of study prep resources available online for the PTCE. Rasmussen College offers a number of resources, there are official PTCE study resources offered by the PTCB, you can find various resources online, and even through Amazon.com. The resources that Rasmussen College offers are free, but many other study resources that are available have a fee associated with them. Rasmussen College does not reimburse students for third party (outside) resources that are purchased. Also, this guide highlights a few free and paid for resources offered by the PTCB, but we don't endorse these resources. Our aim is to inform you of these options.
Free PTCE Practice Exams
Rasmussen College's Library offers a database called the Learning Express Library which provides free practice exams, online flash cards bank, and a study prep book for the PTCE. Make sure you check out the “Free Practice Exams in the Library” tab- it has a video demonstrating how to access the Learning Express Library database and its resources.
Free PTCE Exam Prep eBooks
Rasmussen College's Library database offers three PTCE exam prep ebooks to be able to be electronically checked out. These ebooks contain more practice exams and review content for the PTCE. The "PTCE Exam Prep eBooks" tab in this guide will provide you links on how to electronically check these books out.
Make sure you download the “Candidate Guidebook” has everything you need to know about registering, scheduling, taking, and getting your test results for the PTCE. You can access it here:
The Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam (PTCE) Blueprint provides you with a detailed description of the various content topics (knowledge domains) and objectives covered on the PTCE along with the overall percentage of the exam dedicated to each area. You can download this information by clicking on this link:
PTCB Math App
Check out the “PTCB Math App” tab. It is an official PTCB Math app that contains 90 math questions to help you review and prep for math questions on the PTCE. The tab provides information on how to download this mobile app on your Google or Apple device. There is a fee associated with downloading this app.
Official PTCB Practice Exam
The Official PTCB Practice Exam is designed to familiarize candidates with the Pharmacy Technician Certification Examination (PTCE). The Official PTCB Practice Exam is the only practice exam authorized by PTCB. PTCB offers two different Practice Exam versions and each is built to the same content specifications as the PTCE. The newest version was released on September 1, 2017.
The Practice Exam is priced at $29 each, or at the discount price of $49 for both versions. The College does not reimburse you for these purchases.
To get more information on the Official PTCB Practice Exams, please use this link:
The Certified Pharmacy Technician (CPhT) Toolkit is a valuable resource to have after you take the PTCE:
Blog Posts related to Pharmacy Tech Exam Prep:
The College’s Library and Learning Services has free PTCE practice exams for you to take to further assist your preparation and success in taking the PTCE. Again, passing the PTCE and gaining a status of Certified Pharmacy Technician (CPhT) will immensely help you gaining a job in the Pharmacy Technician field. It is not required in all states that Pharmacy Technicians must have the CPhT, but it definitely helps your possible employer know you are a qualified candidate.
These books are available through the Rasmussen College online Library for you to view or check out and utilize in your preparations and studying for the PTCE.
A new app for mobile devices, the PTCB Official Calculations Practice Questions App, is available for iOS and Android devices. The app features 90 calculation questions that have been asked on the actual PTCE and focuses on calculations commonly used by pharmacy technicians. In order to provide the best preparation experience, questions were selected from previous live PTCE exam questions based on a variety of calculation types, strong item performance, and similar style to the current PTCE.
Although the exact practice calculations questions are no longer on the actual PTCE, this app will help users develop a feel for the types of calculations they will encounter when they take the real PTCE, and strengthen their math skills. Test takers can take advantage of step-by-step explanations provided at the end of the practice questions to further enhance their study routine.
This official PTCB Math app has a cost of $14.99 and can be found in the Apple and Google mobile app store.