The Pharmacy Technician Certification Board exam is challenging, and not everybody is going to pass. Despite your best efforts, you may receive a failing score. You might be upset and frustrated, wondering how this could have happened after all of your hard work.
Fortunately, you are allowed to retake the exam – however, you need to change something in your study habits if you want to set yourself up for success on your next attempt.
How can you make sure you pass next time? Read on – we have plenty of tips from students who’ve been in exactly the same position as you!
How Do I Know If I Passed The PTCB?
The PTCB exam is an electronic, computerized test that will be scored automatically as soon as you are done. Once you have completed your survey following the exam, a preliminary exam result will appear on the screen. Even though this result is not final, it is an indication of your performance. This unofficial score should give you a good idea of whether you have passed or not.
Your score has to be confirmed before it is posted to your account. You should see your exam score appear in your PTCB Portal within three weeks of your exam date.
In addition, your result will display how well you performed in each knowledge domain. Therefore, you can figure out where your strengths and weaknesses lie. If you do not pass the exam, you will know what subjects you need to focus on as you study for the next attempt.
Why Might You Have Failed?
It can be difficult to see a failing score appear on the screen. You may feel a sense of shame, shock, and confusion regarding what you are going to tell your family members and friends. After all, you worked hard to study and prepare for that exam.
Even though it’s painful to think about, it’s important to analyze why you might have failed – because that’s the key to making sure you pass next time.
A few common reasons why people fail the PTCB exam include:
Not Enough Study
Without a doubt, this is one of the most common reasons why students fail the exam. Taking the PTCB exam is not like preparing for a quiz or test in class. This is a comprehensive, standardized exam that is going to test everything you need to know in your career as a Pharmacy Technician.
Therefore, even though you may feel like you can learn everything the night before the exam, this is simply impossible. If you did not give yourself enough time to prepare, this could have been the reason why you failed the exam.
Wrong Study Style
Plenty of study, but it just didn’t stick? It’s important to realize that everybody learns differently. Your friends may have a different learning style from your own. Therefore, you may have been preparing in a way that is not conducive to the way you learn material.
For example, some people are audio learners. They may be able to listen to a lecture and learn everything. Other people might be video learners. They may be able to watch a few videos and learn what they need to know. Some people learn best by reading book chapters. Other people learn best by working problems. You need to figure out what your learning style is. Then, you need to develop a study habit that aligns with that.
You may have developed a lot of anxiety on the day of the test. It is not unusual for people to get nervous when the exam starts off. Your palms make start sweating, your heart rate might go up, and you may be distracted by everything else in the room. If you are unable to focus on the exam, you will have a difficult time performing well.
The good news is next time you’ll know what to expect, so you should be less anxious and will naturally perform better.
Not everybody who takes this exam gets the same questions. Therefore, you may have simply received a batch of questions that contained a lot of the information that you did not know. Even though you should not talk up a failing score entirely to bad luck, there is always an element of luck when you take a standardized exam.
Poor Time Management on Test Day
Finally, you may have also failed the exam because you simply did not have enough time to work all the questions. It is important for you to manage your time properly on test day. This is one of the most important reasons why you need to take practice exams. It is one thing to learn all the information. It is another thing to finish the questions in time.
These are just a few of the many possible reasons why you may not have passed your exam on the first attempt. Fortunately, you are allowed to retake the test.
What Happens If You Fail The PTCB Exam?
Although no-one wants to fail, it’s not a disaster because you’re allowed to re-take. You just need to repeat the process you used to book your exam the first time, and pay the application fee again.
Remember that after you receive the authorization to book your exam, you have 90 days to take the exam. If you do not take the exam again within 90 days, you will lose your application fee. You can extend your authorization if you feel like you are not ready for the exam.
Now Let’s Make Sure You Pass Next Time!
You need to place yourself in the best position possible to pass the exam. Therefore, there are a few things you need to do differently in order to make sure you passed. These include:Take a Look at the Results of the First Attempt: The first thing you have to do is take a look at the results of your first exam. Even though this is a result you would like to forget, it does contain a lot of helpful information. You need to see what you did well, what you did poorly, and where you need to improve. That way, you can allocate your study time accordingly.
Ask for Help
There is no shame in asking for help with the PTCB exam. If you have teachers or professors you know well, you may want to reach out to them to ask them for extra assistance. They would probably be happy to help you develop a study schedule that can help you prepare for the exam. They might even be able to provide you with sample lessons geared toward your weaker areas.
Take Practice Exams
Practice tests are the best way to assess your readiness to retake your PTCB exam. Our free PTCB practice test is a great place to start, as it contains a mix of questions from all knowledge domains that have appeared on past exams.
To go a step further, you can buy PTCB Hero – which contains hundreds of practice questions, plus two “simulated exams” that test you under exactly the same conditions you’ll face for the real thing. If you can pass a simulated exam without referring to your notes, you can be confident you’re in good shape!
Allocate Your Time Effectively
There’s always a temptation to spend study time on your strongest areas because it feels good, but you should spend more time focusing on your weaker areas. Everyone has their strengths and weaknesses. Use the results from your first exam and the results from your practice exams to figure out where you need to spend most of your time. That way, you can turn weaknesses into strengths on exam day.
Get a Good Night’s Rest
Finally, the day before the exam, you should make sure you get a good night’s rest. You need to make sure those exam day nerves don’t get to you. Furthermore, you need to make sure you are mentally sharp on exam day so you can finish the questions in time.
Now You’re Ready To Pass Your PTCB Exam!
When you walk into the exam room to retake your PTCB test, you might feel a bit nervous. That’s okay! Remember that you have been through this before. You know what to expect. When the exam begins, take a deep breath, take your time, and start with the easier questions first. If you do not know the answer to a question right away, mark it and come back to it.
Now you’ve prepared well and know what to expect, you should be in a great position to succeed on exam day. Good luck!