The PTCB Exam
Description of the Exam and Why Preparation is Essential


The Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam (PTCE) is a computer-based exam administered at Pearson VUE test centers nationwide. The PTCE is a two-hour, multiple-choice, exam that contains 90 questions (80 scored questions and 10 unscored questions). Each question is shown with four possible answers, only one of which is the correct or best answer. Unscored questions are not identified and are randomly distributed throughout the exam. A candidate’s exam score is based on the responses to the 80 scored questions. One hour and 50 minutes are allotted for answering the exam questions and 10 minutes for a tutorial and post-exam survey.

The PTCE content was developed by experts in pharmacy technician practice based on a nationwide Job Analysis Study completed in February 2012. PTCB’s Certification Council and Board of Governors reviewed the 2012 Job Analysis Study and approved a new blueprint for an updated PTCE, which launched on November 1, 2013.

The PTCE assesses knowledge critical to pharmacy technician practice organized into nine knowledge domains, each with a number of 'knowledge areas' or sub-domains, as shown in the table below. Refer to the full blueprint for more detail. As an aid to those familiar with the previous blueprint, PTCB provides a crosswalk to identify where knowledge listed under the previous blueprint is organized within the new PTCE blueprint.

Knowledge Domains Domain Description % of PTCE Content Knowledge Areas
1 Pharmacology for Technicians 13.75 6
2 Pharmacy Law and Regulations 12.50 15
3 Sterile and Non-sterile Compounding 8.75 7
4 Medication Safety 12.50 6
5 Pharmacy Quality Assurance 7.50 5
6 Medication Order Entry and Fill Process 17.50 7
7 Pharmacy Inventory Management 8.75 5
8 Pharmacy Billing and Reimbursement 8.75 5
9 Pharmacy Information Systems Usage and Application 10.00 2