The National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP) oversees the administration of the North American Pharmacist Licensure Examination® (NAPLEX®), which pharmacy graduates must pass to obtain the required license to practice pharmacy in the United States. The exam is designed to evaluate general practice knowledge and to ensure that licensure applicants meet the minimum competency standards to practice as a pharmacist. This article will equip you with everything you need to know about the NAPLEX exam registration and test day.
Who can take the NAPLEX?
- Graduates of an Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE)-accredited program may apply to take the NAPLEX.
- International pharmacy graduates educated outside of the United States who have earned their Foreign Pharmacy Graduate Examination Committee (FPGEC) Certification are also eligible to take the NAPLEX as long as they meet the specific requirements in the state or jurisdiction where they are seeking licensure.
When should I apply to take the NAPLEX?
As you get close to graduating from pharmacy school, you should consider applying for the NAPLEX exam. You may submit your application as early as six months before your expected graduation date. However, you will not be approved to register for the exam until your school sends in your official transcript, which must include your degree conferral date.
How do I schedule a NAPLEX exam?
The Candidate Application Bulletin is a comprehensive guide to applying and registering for the NAPLEX. Prior to starting the registration process, read the entire bulletin to determine the licensure requirements. A summary of the process is outlined below:
1. Obtain an NABP e-Profile.
If you do not already have an NABP e-Profile, follow the instructions on NABP’s website to create one. Verify that your name in your e-Profile exactly matches the name on the primary and secondary IDs that you will use to be admitted to the testing center.
2. Register for the exam.
- You must register to take the NAPLEX on the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP) website by applying in the ‘Exam Services’ section of your NABP e-Profile.
- As part of your registration, you will have to pay the application fee.
- If applicable, request Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) accommodations.
3. Submit your transcripts and receive your Authorization to Test.
If you graduated in or after 2020, you must request that your college of pharmacy send your official transcript to NABP before you can purchase the exam and receive an Authorization to Test (ATT). Colleges of pharmacy may have a processing fee to send “official” transcripts to third-party testing sites.
Your ATT will be issued via email by Pearson VUE, generally within 24 hours. It is valid for one testing session and has an expiration date. If you do not receive the ATT, check your spam folder, or contact Pearson VUE customer service
4. Purchase your exam.
Your eligibility is granted once you receive the emailed ATT and the purchase exam link “ATT granted” appears in your e-Profile. NABP strongly recommends that you purchase your exam as soon as you are granted eligibility. You may also purchase score transfers at this time, or you may wait until after you have taken the exam.
5. Schedule your test date and location.
After purchasing the exam, you can then schedule your appointment with Pearson VUE. If you are a first-time test-taker, you must create a Pearson VUE online account to schedule your appointment. This step requires the NABP ID number you would have received from the ATT letter. Click here to learn more about scheduling your NAPLEX exam with Pearson VUE.
6. Take the exam.
How long does it take to get my ATT for NAPLEX?
Upon registering for the NAPLEX, receiving your ATT from Pearson VUE typically takes about 24 hours. Contact Pearson VUE if there are any delays in receiving your ATT.
How much does it cost to register for the NAPLEX?
The nonrefundable NAPLEX application fee is $100 and must be paid when you apply. The application fee does not include the exam fee and the exam may only be purchased once you have been made eligible and after your official transcript is received from your school of pharmacy. The NAPLEX examination fee is currently $475.
How long is the NAPLEX exam?
You will have a total of six hours to complete 225 questions.
The entire test process from start to finish will take around 6 hours and 40 minutes, with built-in extra time for the 2 optional 10-minute breaks, an optional post-test survey, tutorial, and non-disclosure/confidentiality agreement.
When is the NAPLEX offered?
The NAPLEX is administered year-round when Pearson VUE testing centers are open. You can select your desired test date and testing center location from your Pearson VUE online account. You can even choose whether you will take the exam in the morning or the afternoon, depending on appointment availability.
What should I expect on my NAPLEX exam day?
Part of being prepared for the exam is knowing what to expect on your test day.
1. Arrive on time.
On test day, it is prudent to arrive at your NAPLEX testing center at least 30-45 minutes before your scheduled appointment time to allow for check-in procedures.
2. Present two forms of acceptable identification.
To be admitted into the testing center, you will have to present two forms of identification, including a photo ID that includes your signature and a second form of ID that also shows your signature. Make sure you bring these items with you because you will not be admitted into the testing center without two acceptable forms of identification.
Note that the information on both forms of ID must match the information you provided when creating your NABP e-Profile and on your ATT letter.
3. Follow security and safety procedures.
- All candidates will be required to have a palm vein scan, provide a digital signature, and have a digital photograph taken prior to being admitted to the testing room.
- After being admitted, you may not leave the testing room without permission and, you may not leave the test center building for any reason until the exam is completed.
- Be familiar with all test center restrictions
We hope this article has given you valuable information on registering for the NAPLEX and what to expect on test day. We wish you the best of luck in preparing for the NAPLEX!
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