NAPLEX® Registration, Cost, and Eligibility
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 their license to practice pharmacy in the United States. It is a 225-question computer-based exam designed to evaluate general practice knowledge and ensure that licensure applicants meet the minimum competency standards to practice as a licensed pharmacist.
If you want to become a licensed pharmacist in the United States, taking the NAPLEX is essential and can be stressful if you are unprepared. This article will provide you with everything you need to know about NAPLEX registration, cost, and eligibility.
The NAPLEX tests the pharmacy practice knowledge required for an entry-level pharmacist and is used by boards of pharmacy to evaluate competence to practice pharmacy in the United States. The NAPLEX must be passed to obtain a pharmacy license, but not everyone is eligible to take the exam. Let's examine the NAPLEX eligibility requirements in detail.
Who can take the NAPLEX?
Those seeking pharmacy licensure in the U.S. may apply for NAPLEX eligibility if they have:
Graduated from a pharmacy program accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE).
Earned Foreign Pharmacy Graduate Examination Committee® (FPGEC® ) Certification (for pharmacists educated outside the U.S.).
Which states utilize NABP eligibility services?
Once you apply to take the NAPLEX, your ultimate eligibility is dictated by the state where you intend to practice (e.g., your primary jurisdiction).
Eligibility in Arizona, Colorado, Kentucky, Maine, Michigan, Nebraska, North Carolina, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Utah is all confirmed by NABP. For these states, there is an additional $85 application fee, and candidates may be accepted to take the exam only after having met all application requirements.
States not classified above have their own eligibility verification procedures. The processing time for each board of pharmacy varies. Check the website of your state board for a timeline. Additionally, read our article on NAPLEX information to gain a deeper understanding of the exam.
NAPLEX Exam Registration
Now that you know the NAPLEX eligibility requirements, it is time to explore the details of the NAPLEX registration process. This section answers all your questions about the NAPLEX registration process and the steps you need to take if you wish to cancel your registration.
How do I register for the NAPLEX?
The Candidate Application Bulletin is a comprehensive guide to applying and registering for the NAPLEX. Before starting the registration process, read the entire bulletin to determine the licensure requirements. A summary of the process is outlined below:
- Obtain a NABP e-Profile
- 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 must pay the application fee.
- If applicable, request Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) accommodations.
- 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 register for the exam and receive an Authorization to Test (ATT). Pharmacy schools may have a processing fee to send your official transcript to third-party testing sites.
Your ATT will be issued via email by Pearson VUE. 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.
- Purchase your exam
Your NAPLEX eligibility is granted once you receive your ATT and the exam payment link appears in your e-Profile. As soon as you become eligible, NABP strongly recommends you purchase your exam. You may also purchase a score transfer at this time.
- Schedule your test date and location
After purchasing the exam, you can 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 you to enter the NABP ID number you received in your ATT letter. Check with Pearson VUE to learn more about scheduling your NAPLEX exam.
- Take the exam!
Now that you have learned all the above steps in the NAPLEX registration process, it is time to prepare to take the exam. Refer to our extensive NAPLEX study guide for more information on what to study and how to study for the exam.
How long does it take to get my ATT for NAPLEX?
Upon registering for the NAPLEX, it will take around 24 hours to receive your ATT from Pearson Vue. Contact Pearson VUE if you experience any delays in receiving your ATT.
Can I cancel my NAPLEX application?
You may use your e-Profile to cancel your NAPLEX application, but you will not receive a refund for the application fee.
Use the following process to cancel your NAPLEX application:
- Log in to your NABP e-Profile, click the “Exam Services” tile in the “Active Applications” tab, and scroll down to find the application you want to cancel.
- Click the “Cancel Application” link in the “Action” column.
Score Transfer Program
The score transfer program saves time and enables you to pursue licensure in multiple states. NABP will transmit your NAPLEX score to the boards of pharmacy that you designate.
In your e-Profile, a score transfer can be added to your NAPLEX application when you purchase the exam or up to 89 days after you have taken the exam. Candidates are encouraged to submit score transfer requests early to avoid delays. The option may be unavailable if you wait until the last day to request a score transfer.
When can I apply for the NAPLEX?
You may submit your application for the NAPLEX 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.
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 account online. You can even choose whether you will take the exam in the morning or afternoon, depending on appointment availability.
How do I pay for the NAPLEX exam?
You may only pay for the NAPLEX exam after you have received confirmation of your NAPLEX eligibility (eg, once you have received your Authorization to Test or ATT). Once you do, a link to purchase the exam will appear in your NABP e-Profile. You must submit payment directly to the NABP.
How much does it cost to apply for the NAPLEX and is it refundable?
The NAPLEX application fee is $100 and it is nonrefundable. However, if you cancel or withdraw from a NAPLEX examination before your eligibility expires, you will receive a refund of your examination fee, which is $475.
Examination fees will not be refunded if a request is received:
- More than two years after the initial application
- When the eligibility period has expired
- If an appointment for testing is missed
Is the NAPLEX exam process expensive?
The NAPLEX exam fee is $475. You may only purchase the exam once you have been deemed eligible and after your official transcript has been sent.
Most students also purchase NAPLEX exam prep materials. When you sum up the application fee, the exam fee, and possible fees for state processing, official transcripts, and score transfer, it can get pretty expensive. That’s why it is critical to purchase a trusted NAPLEX online learning tool that gives you the best chance of passing the first time.
What Should I Expect on My NAPLEX Exam Day?
Knowing what to expect and being prepared will help you stay calm on exam day.
- 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.
- Present two forms of acceptable identification
To be admitted into the testing center, you must present two forms of identification: 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 be denied entry 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 found on your ATT letter.
- Follow security and safety procedures
- All candidates must have a palm vein scan, provide a digital signature, and take a digital photograph before being admitted to the testing room.
- After being admitted, you may not leave the testing room without permission or leave the test center building for any reason until the exam is completed.
- Be familiar with all the test center restrictions.
We hope you have found this article on NAPLEX registration, cost, and eligibility helpful. Check out the resources below for more information on the NAPLEX.
Frequently Asked Questions
No. Your official transcript (including date of degree conferral) must be provided by your pharmacy school as part of the eligibility determination.
Once your eligibility has been confirmed, you will be able to purchase the exam. Once you have received your Authorization to Test (ATT), you may schedule your exam on the Pearson VUE website. The only limitation is appointment availability. Most U.S. graduates test in the summer after graduation.
Whether you should take the NAPLEX or MPJE first is entirely up to you, although many students recommend taking the NAPLEX before the MPJE since it covers more content than the MPJE.
Read More About the NAPLEX
Need more information about the NAPLEX? Check out our NAPLEX Exam Guide for all the information you need, including the NAPLEX exam format.
Curious to know how the NAPLEX exam is scored? Learn all about scoring and content distribution in our easy-to-follow NAPLEX Scoring Guide.