Before we let you know exactly how long does it take to study for NAPLEX, it is important that you come to grips with the definitive understanding of NAPLEX, how it came to be, and why it must be studied. The full meaning of the word NAPLEX is North American Pharmacist Licensure Examination.
It is a standard examination that was created by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP) in 1958 and the effort led to the eventual formation of National Association of Boards of Pharmacy Licensure Examination (NABPLEX) in 1975 which later was renamed to the NAPLEX in March 1997 to help individual state boards of pharmacy assess an individual’s competency and knowledge so that they may be given a license to practice.
It is not only a lengthy exam but also covers a very broad syllabus.
As such, there is a huge need to prepare adequately for NAPLEX, and have most of the coverage (if not all) of the review material at your fingertips. It goes without saying that the quality of time spent in the study would be more or less directly proportional to the performance of a student. Applicants not obtaining a score of 75 or higher are given a performance profile, which details their relative areas of strength and weakness.
There are several question types on the NAPLEX: multiple choice, select all that apply, point and click (to select a place on a picture or graph for the purpose of mechanisms of action, site of action, application or injection site, etc.), and sequencing. Essay and short answer are not included and, though previously used, K-type questions have been eliminated.
Exact Time to Study for NAPLEX?
In November 2016, the NABP has announced that the fee to take the exam, the number of exam questions, and the time to sit for the exam have all increased. So, what is the time or shall we just say how long does it take to study for NAPLEX?
- It is estimated that a period of about three to four weeks would be sufficient for one to prepare for the NAPLEX.
- In case of failing the first attempt, some say candidates sitting it must wait at least 45 days (previously 91 days) before retaking the NAPLEX.
Read Also: What to Know About CLEP Exams and Test
Things to Be Doing While “Studying”
- Check out the NAPLEX Registration Bulletin: It’s around 50 pages and you should read through all of it. It gives you a complete breakdown of the competencies (i.e. what is tested) as well as some sample questions (you know I love me some sample questions!).
- Go through your college notes: before you embark on studying new review materials, have your lecture notes and categorize them into various topics for ease of study. Often there is a tendency to throw them after graduation, but be sure to get them from a friend if they are missing in your files.
- Customize your study notes: a student will always save time by mastering the art of customizing notes, whether one is reading from recommended books and review materials, or one’s college notes. Here, the student will need to study and rewrite the facts and concepts in his or her own understanding, without missing out or mixing up the points. The notes get interwoven with the memory as they are written down. Remember to be brief and straight to the point in your short notes- time is of the essence!
- Interact with friends and colleagues: one loses nothing by inquiring from friends and colleagues about their experience with the North American Pharmacist Licensure Examination. Find time to interact with those whose experience is more recent, and get to know about the study materials and methodologies they used, and for how long. What worked for them, and what did not? This way, one would know what will work best in his own case, and perhaps save on a few days from the four weeks.
- Set a week aside for the review sessions: of the 3-4 weeks you have, spare one of them to attend the review sessions. Although you will be familiar with most of the information shared, there will most definitely be important tips and perhaps newly organized materials for your consumption. This would be a great moment to also experience group work in whichever form, especially if you have been studying alone.
- Avoid distractions and relax: during the 3-4 weeks, make use of most of the time and avoid distractions, and be sure to make time to relax. You still need your health and peace during and after the exam.
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