CPJE Scoring Guide

To become a licensed pharmacist in the state of California, candidates must pass the North American Pharmacist Licensure Examination® (NAPLEX®), in addition to the California Practice Standards and Jurisprudence Examination (CPJE). The CPJE, developed by the California Board of Pharmacy, tests a candidate's ability to practice pharmacy safely and communicate effectively in a clinical setting while adhering to laws and regulations unique to California. This article details CPJE scoring methodology, minimum passing scores, how results are received, and other topics.

How Is the CPJE Scored?

The California State Board of Pharmacy reports an examinee’s CPJE result as a scaled score from 0 to 99. Examinees must achieve a score within the 75 to 99 range to pass. Any score within the range of 0 to 74 will result in not passing. Scaled scores should not be interpreted as percentages. For example, a scaled CPJE score of 75 does not mean that the candidate answered 75% of the questions correctly, nor does it mean that 75% of examinees will pass (i.e., what might be expected if scores were curved).

The California State Board of Pharmacy administers a number of different exam versions, each with varying degrees of difficulty. Scaled scoring mitigates disparities between exam versions by raising or lowering the passing threshold based on an exam’s relative difficulty.

How are CPJE scaled scores determined?

CPJE passing scores are determined through a process called “criterion-referencing.” First, the California State Board of Pharmacy gathers pharmacists from a diverse range of schools and specializations into a Competence Committee. This committee is tasked with formulating a “minimum acceptable level of competence for safe practices” that candidates must meet to qualify for pharmacist licensure. Once these criteria are set, a psychometric consulting firm accounts for the pharmacists’ behaviors and develops a passing score that corresponds with the minimum competence criterion. Finally, the California State Board of Pharmacy calibrates the passing score to equal 75.

In other words, each unique exam form has a “raw passing score” which is translated into a scaled passing score. To use a metaphor provided by the California State Board of Pharmacy:

“This is analogous to the way one adjusts numeric values in describing the boiling temperature when using Celsius and Fahrenheit temperature scales. The water still boils at the same temperature, regardless of the temperature scale that is used to measure the absolute temperature.”

Why does the CPJE use scaled scores?

CPJE results are reported as scaled scores to ensure fairness. The California Board of Pharmacy administers many different exam versions. Different exam versions may have varying degrees of difficulty. Scaled scoring is employed to lessen this disparity by lowering the raw passing scores of more difficult exams and raising the raw passing scores of easier exams.

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What are the CPJE Pass Rates?

The California Board of Pharmacy currently does not release data on average CPJE scores. However, annual CPJE pass rates can be found on the California State Board of Pharmacy website. Data on overall CPJE pass rates for examinees testing between April 2021 and April 2022 are tabulated below.

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Everything You Need To Pass The CPJE

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

CPJE examinees typically receive their results from the California State Board of Pharmacy about 30 days after the exam. CPJE scores are only delivered by mail to the address registered with the board of pharmacy.
CPJE results are delivered by mail to the address on file with the California State Board of Pharmacy. CPJE scores cannot be viewed online. If you have not received your results within 90 days of the exam date, contact the board with your file number, full name, and exam date at intern-examstatus@dca.ca.gov.

If you have failed the CPJE and believe that your results may be inaccurate, you can request a regrade from the California Board of Pharmacy for a fee of $115. You must submit a written request to the board of pharmacy with your name and address, exam date and score, the first six digits of your social security number (voluntary), your birth date, your signature, and a check or cashier’s check made out to the “Board of Pharmacy.”

You should receive your regrade within 60 days. If your first result is determined to be accurate, meaning you did not pass, you will need to retake the CPJE exam.
Yes, you can retake the CPJE if you fail. However, your next exam must be scheduled at least 45 days after your last exam. You must resubmit a pharmacist examination application if it has been over one year since you were first eligible to sit for the CPJE. Applicants who do not pass the CPJE after four attempts are not eligible to retake the examination again until they complete at least 16 semester units of education in pharmacy.
No, CPJE scores cannot be transferred to other states. To obtain a pharmacy license in another state, candidates must take the Multistate Pharmacy Jurisprudence Examination (MPJE) specific to that state.
No, you cannot check your CPJE score early. You must wait until the California Board of Pharmacy sends your CPJE results via mail. This typically takes 30 days.
CPJE results are only valid within the current occupational analysis. If you passed the CPJE before March 31, 2016, your results are no longer valid. The new occupational analysis went into effect on June 1, 2022, with no expiration date stated at this time.
The CPJE Competency Statements (i.e., blueprint) are divided into three main “areas” or topics which break down further into topic sections, and finally into “items” (i.e … learning goals). See our CPJE Exam Information page for more information about the topics covered on the CPJE.

Read More About the CPJE

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