CPJE Study Guide

To work as a pharmacist in the state of California, pharmacists must pass both the California Practice Standards and Jurisprudence Examination (CPJE) and the North American Pharmacy Licensure Examination® (NAPLEX®). The CPJE is developed and administered by the California Board of Pharmacy (CA BOP) to assess an examinee's aptitude in patient communication skills, clinical knowledge of current standards and practices, and pharmacy operations while adhering to California laws and regulations.

The CPJE is the California analog of the Multistate Pharmacy Jurisprudence Examination® (MPJE)? However, while the MPJE and CPJE are similar in content regarding the application of pharmacy law within their respective jurisdictions, the CPJE additionally tests on clinical knowledge (e.g., making evidence based pharmacotherapy decisions, performing therapeutic monitoring, developing therapeutic regimens) and practice standards (eg, assessing patient understanding, performing patient counseling). Furthermore, the CPJE has a notably lower average pass rate than the MPJE and requires more study time.

The following CPJE study guide will increase your chances of passing by providing you with tips on how to study for the CPJE, prepare an optimal CPJE study plan and schedule, and introduce you to the most effective CPJE study materials available.

What to Study for the CPJE

Candidates should review the CPJE PSI candidate information bulletin, which contains examples of previous exam questions and important details about the exam. Other important information on the California Board of Pharmacy website that should be reviewed includes:

It is also important to use comprehensive study materials that review California law and the application of clinical topics. For this reason, it is recommended that you use the UWorld RxPrep CPJE and NAPLEX online courses to improve your chances of passing the CPJE.

Concentrate on the CPJE’s three topic areas enumerated in the CPJE Content Outline. The three topic areas represented on the exam include:

California Board of Pharmacy CPJE Basic Content Outline
Area Topic Items %
Area 1 Patient information and Prescription Evaluation
  • Collect, Organize, and Evaluate Information
  • Dispense Medications 
23 ~31%
Area 2 Clinical practice 
  • Determine a Course of Action
  • Educate Patient and Health Care Professionals 
27 ~36%
Area 3 Pharmacy Operations 
  • Pharmaceuticals, Devices and Supplies, and Inventory Control
  • Perform Quality Assurance/Improvement
  • Manage Operations, Human Resources and Information Systems 
25 ~33%

Given the breadth of clinical knowledge that is tested on the CPJE, it is recommended to use the UWorld RxPrep NAPLEX course materials (which include a review of the top prescription and over-the-counter drugs) in addition to the UWorld RxPrep CPJE Online Course (which primarily focuses on the law portion of the exam). The UWorld RxPrep CPJE Online Course materials include:

  • CPJE Course Manual — Features up-to-date content, California-specific law study tips, and thorough explanations of concepts. Augment your reading with integrated Qbanks and video lectures.
  • Question Bank (Qbank) — Over 350 California-specific questions developed by a team of pharmacists and pharmacy law experts that mirror the exam in both difficulty and substance. Generate comprehensive CPJE practice exams or test yourself on specific topic areas. The Qbank includes a timed 75-item practice exam with CPJE-style questions to mimic the real test.
  • Performance Tracking — Target your weaknesses and turn them into strengths with performance tracking technology.
  • Video Lectures — Video lectures increase recall and simplify the complex legal and pharmacological concepts you will encounter in your reading.
  • Generate Virtual Flashcards — Create your own flashcards by transferring written and visual content from practice questions and explanations to both sides of a new flashcard.
  • Visual Aids — Research proves that visual aids greatly improve recall and understanding. Readings, Qbanks, and question explanations are fitted with brilliant charts, diagrams, and tables as necessary to reinforce key concepts.

Here is an example CPJE-style question:

How to Study for the CPJE

Give yourself the best chance to succeed on the law portion of the CPJE by studying with your UWorld RxPrep resources, including the CPJE QBank, course manual, and video lectures. Just as important as using the right materials is creating a robust study schedule for your CPJE study plan.

For new graduates, studying for the CPJE should align with your NAPLEX study schedule. It is recommended to schedule the CPJE shortly after taking the NAPLEX (e.g., within approximately 4 weeks). Since the CPJE tests on clinical knowledge, timing the CPJE in this manner will help to keep the clinical content that you studied for the NAPLEX fresh in your brain. After taking your NAPLEX, you can then focus your studies on reviewing California law while maintaining the necessary clinical knowledge. Even if you are a practicing pharmacist in another state and seeking to get licensed in California, you should commit to reviewing clinical content due to the clinical rigor of the CPJE (including knowledge of brand/generic names).

How long to study for CPJE

Since the CPJE tests on clinical knowledge in addition to law, the total duration for studying clinical and law content may range from 3 to 6 months, depending on the candidate. Candidates who are licensed as a pharmacist outside of California may need a longer time to review both clinical and law content. See our NAPLEX Study Guide for tips on studying clinical material.

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How to effectively use the UWorld RxPrep study materials

When you get to a topic on your CPJE study plan, use your time efficiently by first assessing how well you know the topic. If you feel confident about your knowledge, perhaps a quick refresher of testable content in the course manual chapter (e.g., underlined information) is all that is needed before proceeding to the QBank for that topic. If you do not feel confident with the topic, spend more time reading the chapter and watching the corresponding video lecture before attempting the QBank.

To complete the QBank questions for a topic, create a test with questions from that chapter. Questions can be completed in tutor mode, which immediately grades each question and provides an explanation upon submission of the answer. QBanks can also be taken in “timed” mode.

At any point in your studies, you can create integrated tests in the QBank by mixing questions from multiple chapters. Tools that aid in your studies as you navigate the QBank, as well as how to assess your performance, are described below.

Using the UWorld RxPrep flashcard tool to help retention

As you progress through the UWorld RxPrep CPJE QBank, you can create flashcards by transferring written and visual content from the practice questions and explanations to both sides of a new flashcard. You can also add your own notes and create custom tags for improved flashcard searchability.

A "Study" feature within the flashcards utilizes spaced repetition, a proven study technique that boosts your memory retention by allowing you to determine the frequency with which you will encounter specific flashcards. Flashcards you find challenging will appear more frequently, while those you find less difficult will appear less often. Applying spaced repetition to your pharmacy flashcards lets you retain more information over the long term while studying for your board exams.

Flashcards are an effective way to remember content for a high-stakes exam, so we encourage you to incorporate them into your studies. They are a great way to learn key content, such as brand/generic drug names, common drug class side effects, and more. Using flashcards within the UWorld platform also helps keep all of your study resources in one place.

Test your CPJE knowledge

Decide if you know a topic well by reviewing your performance

When completing the CPJE Qbanks:

  • Review the detailed performance reports located in the “Reports” tab. The “Reports” tab provides a breakdown of all the CPJE subjects and chapters and how you performed in each one.
  • Identify your areas of weakness and create additional practice tests and flashcards in those areas to improve.
  • Track your progress over time to make sure you are improving. You can track your progress over time by reviewing the “Graphs” tab in the QBank.

Mastering the content you need additional help with

After you have identified your areas of weakness, there are multiple ways to go back and review those subjects and chapters.

  • Create flashcards on the topics you need additional help with and review them in the “Study” tab. The flashcard feature in the QBank includes spaced repetition, which improves memory recall and helps you study smarter, not harder.
  • Add content to your electronic notebook, which you can review anytime. Take advantage of the editor's functionality to customize your notes. You can bold content, italicize, underline, and much more.
  • In the "Create Test" tab of the QBank, you can create a custom practice test based on your areas of weakness. In the “Question Mode” section, select “Incorrect,” and you will see how many questions you got incorrect in each subject and chapter.
  • In the "Previous Tests" tab, there is an icon labeled “Analysis,” which allows you to analyze your performance on your previous tests. You can create practice tests based on the questions you missed by clicking on the blue clipboard icon next to each subject.
  • You can see an overview of your performance on all CPJE subjects in the “Reports” section within the “Performance” tab. You can create practice tests based on the questions you missed by clicking on the blue note icon next to each subject.

How to Create a Customized CPJE Study Schedule

Preparing for a high-stakes test requires a well-thought-out strategy and a study schedule that works for you. Create a study plan that fits into your timeline for taking the NAPLEX and CPJE. Be sure to include all topics so none are skipped. Consider the following tips:

  1. Determine your timeline

    Pick a target exam date to work towards. Determine the amount of time per day you have available to study, considering your other responsibilities (e.g., work, family, school assignments). Remember, time should be allotted for all topics.

  2. Always leave weekly catch-up time

    It is normal to fall behind, so allowing for catch-up time will help you stay on schedule. If you cannot stick to your schedule, it is best to change your target exam date and adjust your study schedule. The topics you did not prepare for could be on the exam.

  3. Leave 1 week before your estimated test date open

    Use the last week before your scheduled exam to take the UWorld RxPrep CPJE Practice Exam and remediate any missed areas. The goal is to master all of the UWorld RxPrep material before testing.

Read More about the CPJE

If you want to learn about the CPJE, including its format and structure, eligibility requirements, and a full content outline, you can check our exam information page.
Want to know important CPJE registration dates, costs, and eligibility requirements? Here is a straight forward overview that includes everything you need.
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