Top 8 PTCB Exam Facts You Should Know

Top 8 PTCB Exam Facts You Should Know

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Are you planning to take the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) Exam? Are you confused about what and how to prepare for the PTCB exam? Wondering what the top PTCB exam facts are that you should know about?

In this article, you will learn about the scope of the PTCB exam and the top PTCB exam facts you should know about. 

What Is the PTCB Exam?

The PTCB exam is also known as the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam (PTCE). The PTCE was created by the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) to set a baseline assessment for pharmacy technicians.

The PTCE is helpful to denote that a pharmacy technician is well qualified, skilled, and has acquired all the education and expertise required to practice in the field. Once a pharmacy technician has completed the PTCB exam and has met the necessary requirements, they will have the ‘CPhT’ title.

Top 8 PTCB Exam Facts You Should Know

The PTCB exam is considered one of the most difficult exams. But the level of difficulty may vary depending on different factors, such as preparation, portions covered, problem-solving, critical thinking, and the math proficiency of that individual. To learn more about the skills you need, make sure to check our article on the Top 7 Skills You Need to be the Best Pharmacy Technician.

Let’s now discuss some of the top PTCB exam facts that you should be aware of before taking the PTCB exam are as follows:

Top 8 PTCB Exam Facts You Should Know
Top 8 PTCB Exam Facts You Should Know
  • How the PTCB exam is divided.
  • The Beers’ list.
  • Know the top 100 drugs.
  • The four parts of Medicare.
  • Master pharmacy calculations.
  • Water-soluble vs. fat-soluble vitamins.
  • Federal pharmacy law.
  • Medication safety.

Let’s dive into the details.


The PTCB exam is divided into 4 divisions. Namely:


The Beers’ list consists of a list of medications that informs the healthcare professionals of the potential risks of medication to an older patient. The list also consists of the approach or action to be taken at the time of such emergencies.

The Beers’ list is more like a warning light and not a stop sign. It is more effective and useful when it is used in combination with the patient’s record of reported symptoms to learn about the potential risk.

Every drug is a balance of benefits and side effects and there is no drug that is completely harmful or completely beneficial for a patient. The Beers’ list is used by healthcare professionals for quick and expert guidance when they are unsure of the potential risk or impact that could result in dispensing that drug for a particular patient.


As a pharmacy technician, it is very important to know the drugs that you frequently use. As a pharmacy technician you need to be aware of the following information regarding a specific drug:

  • Drug name.
  • Generic name.
  • Brand name.
  • Classification.
  • Interactions.
  • Indications.
  • Schedule.

That’s 7-pieces of information you need to be aware of for every drug being used in the industry. To know more about how to remember drug names, make sure to refer to our article on Tips and Tricks to Remember Drug Names for your PTCB Exam to help you efficiently memorize the drug names you need to know.


Medicare consists of 4 different parts. The different parts of Medicare help to cover specific services in general. It is very important to understand the types of Medicare coverages available and you also need to be careful when choosing or recommending the type of Medicare coverage.

There are 4 parts of Medicare coverage available in the US. They are:

  • Part A – hospital insurance or inpatient.
  • Part B – medical insurance or outpatient.
  • Part C – private health insurance plans, such as HMOs, PPOs, and medicare benefits.
  • Part D – prescription drugs.


The major part of the PTCB exam is the PTCB math exam. PTCB math plays a vital role in the daily routine of a pharmacy technician. A pharmacy technician is required to have excellent math proficiency skills to stand out as the best pharmacy technician among their coworkers.

The PTCB exam requires pharmacy technicians to memorize information, be good at problem-solving and critical thinking, and have the ability to adapt to fast-paced working environments. Practicing these skills and techniques for a few weeks can help you master pharmacy calculations. 


Next on the list of PTCB exam facts, you should know about is being aware of the differences and different types of water-soluble and fat-soluble vitamins.

Water-soluble vitamins are not stored in the body and hence require more regular replenishment through different dietary sources when compared to fat-soluble vitamins that are stored in the body.

Vitamins B and C are water-soluble and Vitamins A, D, E, and K are fat-soluble.


The PTCB exam is a nationally-recognized exam, not specific to any state. Most of the states in the US have additional laws and regulations required to be able to practice as a pharmacy technician.

The PTCB exam majorly tests the individual’s ability to recognize major laws and their impacts on the practices of pharmacies on a national level. 


The PTCB exam was restructured in a way that there is more emphasis in the Medication Safety section of the syllabus. A pharmacy technician is required to gain a continuing education unit on Medication Safety.

Medication Safety is very necessary for the PTCB exam, as it helps to educate pharmacy technicians about medication errors and safety, as well as helps to prevent medication errors.

Why Is the Scope of the PTCB Exam?

Considering the growing population of senior citizens and the current pandemic situation, the demand for healthcare professionals is constantly high. As there is a high demand for healthcare professionals, the need for pharmacy technicians remains the same.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for pharmacy technicians is expected to grow by 4% between the years 2020 to 2030. There are about 419,300 employment opportunities projected by BLS between the years 2020 to 2030.

The PTCB exam plays a vital role in helping pharmacy technicians legally practice in the field. Therefore, the scope for the PTCB exam remains good and high as the demand is also high. Now let’s discuss taking the PTCB exam.

  • The PTCB exam helps the individual to legally practice as a pharmacy technician in the healthcare sector.
  • The individual acquires the ‘CPhT’ title by passing the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam (PTCE).
  • Employers prefer recruiting pharmacy technicians who are PTCB certified.
  • The PTCB exam helps to filter out the best pharmacy technicians who are more efficient and well qualified for the role.

Therefore, the accuracy and efficiency of work are verified before allowing them to practice in the healthcare sector. The PTCB exam helps to set a bar to ensure the safety of the patients as well. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How many times can you fail the PTCB?

A candidate can attempt up to 4 times to pass the PTCB exam. If you fail after 4 attempts, you can reapply and re-pay for the exam after 60 days from your most recent attempt.

How many drugs do you need to know for PTCB?

At the least, a pharmacy technician needs to know 100 drugs for the PTCB exam. Pharmacy technicians need to be aware of all the drugs being used in the healthcare industry. But it is an utmost requirement to at least memorize all 7 pieces of information for every drug name. You can check out our article to help you remember the drug names more easily.

Is a calculator allowed on the PTCB?

The candidates are allowed to use a calculator in the PTCB exam. However, the calculator will be provided in the exam center. Candidates are prohibited from bringing their own calculator for the PTCB exam.

Wrapping Up

The PTCB exam plays a vital role in helping pharmacy technicians gain their certification and legal practice as pharmacy technicians. The PTCB exam is helpful in labeling the pharmacy technician as well qualified, skilled, and has acquired all the knowledge to practice in the healthcare industry. It is necessary to be aware of the PTCB exam facts if you are planning to appear for the PTCB exam.

If you are passionate about taking the PTCB exam, make sure to refer to our PTCB guide to learn more about the exam and try our ptcb practice test free to help you with your preparation process.

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