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Take the PTCE

When to Arrive

You should arrive 30 minutes before your exam appointment. It is your responsibility to confirm your appointment and arrive on time. See the Schedule page for more information about exam appointments.

What to Bring

Bring an approved form of identification that matches your name as it appears within your PTCB Account. Test centers that administer the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam (PTCE) have strict rules regarding approved IDs, and if you arrive at the test center without acceptable identification, you will not be allowed to test and you will forfeit your fees.

Most personal items brought to the test center must be stored in a provided locker before you enter the testing room and begin your exam. Candidates should review the personal items list to determine if an item is allowed in the testing room or if pre-approval is required. You are not allowed to use your own calculator. A calculator is built into the exam, but you may also request a physical calculator from the test center staff. Any attempt to bring unauthorized materials into the testing room may result in you being turned away from the test center and/or other action by PTCB consistent with its policies.

During the Exam

Behavior during the exam is expected to be consistent with all PTCB policies, including the Code of Conduct, test center rules, and the candidate attestation that will be presented on the computer. You must accept this agreement to begin the exam. Next, you will be presented with an optional tutorial of the Pearson VUE testing system. PTCB recommends that candidates complete the tutorial, even if they have taken the PTCE before. After the tutorial, the exam will begin.

As explained in the tutorial, during the exam you are permitted to skip items, change your responses to items, and mark items for review so that you can come back to them later. Each item on the PTCE is multiple-choice, with four choices and only one correct, or best, answer. You should read the entire item and all four choices before marking your answer. There is no penalty for guessing, so candidates should respond to every item, if time allows. Please note that test center staff is not permitted to discuss the exam items or your score. However, candidates are permitted to enter comments about items during the exam, and/ or submit concerns in writing directly to PTCB.

After the Exam

At the conclusion of the exam, candidates are asked to complete a brief survey, after which an unofficial exam result is presented on screen. Additionally, the unofficial exam result will be printed and given to candidates. Exam results are posted to your PTCB Account within two to three weeks.

Candidates who fail the exam should refer to PTCB's retake policy for future testing opportunities.

Beginning June 1, 2017, PTCB no longer mails paper certificates to newly-certified PTCB CPhTs. Candidates whose applications for initial certification are received after June 1, and/or any candidates who schedule their PTCE after June 1 are able to print their official certificate from their online PTCB Account as soon as their official score report is made available, typically within 1 to 3 weeks of their exam date.

For technicians seeking a certificate printed on fine paper, the cost is $15 and it can be ordered through their Account.