Major Competency Areas for NAPLEX Preparation

All NAPLEX questions are based on competency statements that are reviewed and revised periodically.

The NAPLEX competency Statements describe the knowledge, judgment, and skills that the candidate is expected to demonstrate as an entry-level pharmacist. 

A complete description of the NAPLEX Competency Statements is published on the NABP website and is reproduced, with permission of NABP. A strong understanding of the Competency Statements will aid in your preparation to take the examination.

The following topics gives you a broad overview of the major competency areas for NAPLEX preparation:

Area 1: Obtain, Interpret, or Assess Data, Medical, or Patient Information
  • Screening & Diagnostics
  • Treatment adherence
  • Signs or symptoms
  • Risk factors

Area 2: Identify Drug Characteristics
  • Pharmacology
  • Mechanism of action
  • Therapeutic class
  • Brand & generic names
  • Black box warnings
  • Pregnancy or lactation

Area 3: Develop or Manage Treatment Plans
  • Drug dosing and dosing adjustment
  • Duration of therapy
  • Drug contraindications, allergies, and precautions
  • Adverse drug action, toxicology, and overdose
  • Drug interactions
  • Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacodynamics

Area 4: Perform Calculations
  • Dose conversions
  • Rates of administration
  • Drug concentrations, ratio strengths, osmolarity, osmolality, and extent of ionization
  • Biostatistics
  • Pharmacokinetic parameters

Area 5: Compound, Dispense, or Administer Drugs, or Manage Delivery Systems
  • Compatibility, stability, delivery, absorption, onset, duration, distribution, metabolism, and elimination
  • Delivery systems

Area 6: Develop or Manage Practice or Medication-Use Systems to Ensure Safety and Quality
  • Interdisciplinary and collaborative practice
  • Risk prevention programs
  • Pharmacy informatics

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