Introduction to NAPLEX


The North American Pharmacist Licensure Examination (NAPLEX) is designed to evaluate general practice knowledge and is taken by recent college of pharmacy graduates shortly after they receive their degree. The exam is also taken by foreign-educated pharmacists who have earned FPGEC Certification.

It is a computer-adaptive test. These questions measure the prospective pharmacist’s ability to measure pharmacotherapy and therapeutic outcomes, prepare and dispense medications, and implement and evaluate information for optimal health care. 

NAPLEX Test Procedure

The computer adaptive exam tests a candidate’s knowledge and ability by assessing the answers before presenting the next test question. If the answer is correct, the computer will select a more difficult question from the test item pool in an appropriate content area; if the answer is incorrect, an easier question will be selected by the computer. 

A majority of the questions on the NAPLEX are asked in a scenario-based format (i.e., patient profiles with accompanying test questions). To properly analyze and answer the questions presented, the candidate must refer to the information provided in the patient profile. Some questions appear in a stand-alone format and should be answered solely from the information provided in the question.

NAPLEX Scoring

The NAPLEX score is based on the difficulty level of the questions answered correctly. It is a six-hour exam with 250 questions. Only 200 questions are used to determine your result; 50 questions have no bearing on your result and are merely experimental. It is impossible to determine which questions are experimental and which are not, so candidates are advised to do their best on every question. Once an item is attempted and your final answer is submitted, you cannot go back to review or change your answer. An item cannot be skipped during the exam.

Please note that the NAPLEX is just one component of the licensure process and is used by the boards of pharmacy to assess a candidate’s competence to practice as a pharmacist.

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