PTCE and ExCPT Guide

PTCE and ExCPT Summary
What: The PTCB and ExCPT are optional certification exams for pharmacy techs.
Who: Candidates for certification must have a high school diploma.
Where: The PTCB is offered at PearsonVUE test centers, and ExCPT is offered at PSI/LaserGrade test centers.
When: Tests are available year-round.
How: Questions are multiple choice.
Type: Both tests are computerized.
Why: Tests lead to pharmacy tech certification
Time: 110 minutes for the PTCE and 130 minutes for the ExCPT
Language: English
Preparation: Many different materials are available to help candidates study
Cost: There is a fee.

The Pharmacy Technician Certification Examination (PTCE) and the Exam for the Certification of Pharmacy Technicians (ExCPT) are two exams taken by pharmacy technicians to become certified professionals.  The two examinations are optional, yet beneficial, to individuals seeking employment as pharmacy technicians.


 The PTCE is taken by pharmacy technicians. Though it is not a required aspect of working as a pharmacy tech, it may allow individuals to work more effectively side-by-side with pharmacists, not to mention opening up promotion opportunities and the possibility of a higher salary.  It is developed and administered by the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) and taken at PearsonVUE test centers.

 The PTCE is a computerized exam consisting of 90 multiple-choice questions, ten of which are classified as pretest questions and do not count towards scoring.  The exam must be completed in 110 minutes.  Individuals are given two hours to complete the PTCE.

The PTCE has nine areas of focus:

1.  Pharmacology for Technicians
2.  Pharmacy Law and Regulations
3.  Sterile and Non-sterile Compounding 
4.  Medication Safety
5.  Quality Assurance
6.  Medication Order Entry and Fill Process
7.  Inventory Management
8.  Billing and Reimbursement
9.  Pharmacy Information System Usage and Application  

Online registration for the PTCE is available at ptcb.org.  In order to be qualified to take the PTCE, individuals must have a high-school diploma or its equivalent, have no felony convictions, no drug- or pharmacy-related convictions, and no denial, suspension, revocation, or restriction of registration or licensure, consent order or other restriction by any state board of pharmacy.

PTCE scores range from 1000 to 1600, but only scores of 1400 and above are considered passing.

ExCPT – Exam for the Certification of Pharmacy Technicians

The ExCPT is another exam for pharmacy technicians in any type of practice in the United States.  It is developed by the National Healthcareer Association and taken at a PSI/LaserGrade test center.

The ExCPT is computer-based and made up of 120 multiple-choice questions.  Only 100 of these questions are scored, and two hours and 10 minutes are given to complete the test.  Individuals interested in taking the ExCPT must pay a fee.  Exam candidates may register by calling the toll-free LaserGrade phone number at 800.211.2754 to arrange a test date, time and location.

The questions on the ExCPT cover three major areas:

1.  Regulations and Pharmacy Duties
2.  Drugs and Drug Therapy
3.  Dispensing Process

Individuals sitting for the ExCPT will be given an official report at the conclusion of their exam which will let them know their score and whether or not it is considered to be passing.

For both exams, a government-issued I.D. is required to be shown at the test center.  Sometimes two forms of identification are required.  Scrap paper or a white board is often provided, and individuals can consult exam administrators as to other rules and regulations.

Prepare to get Certified

Tests.com has worked with Dominque Culpepper, RPht, CPht, an instructor in pharmacy technician studies, and Brad Gillespie, PharmD, who currently works with the NIH and is a former reviewer for the FDA, to design a Pharmacy Tech Practice Test to help you prepare for your certification exam.  Tests.com's TestSim online interactive platform allows you to tailor your tests to the subjects you want to study and to form tests that fit your study schedule.  Form tests of 30, 40, 50, 100 or even hudreds of questions.  Get instant scoring and review.  The answers are fully explained for ideal study.  You can even simulate the actual exam by setting the number of questions and timer to the time period allowed for the actual test.  Get experience reading multiple-choice questions and taking timed tests.  Tests.com will help you pass your certification exam and set you on your way to a successful career as a pharmacy technician.

To learn more about the PTCE and ExCPT, please visit the PTCE and ExCPT Directory.

Pharmacy Technician Practice Exam

Pharmacy technicians may take the PTCE and ExCPT to become certified as a pharmacy technician. The two examinations are optional, yet beneficial, to individuals seeking employment in the field of pharmacy.  To learn more about the PTCE and ExCPT, see our PTCE and ExCPT Guide.

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