2022 PTCB Exam l What Students Can Expect.Jun 10th, 2022
Syllabus for the 2022 PTCB Exam
Are you preparing to take the 2022 PTCB exam?
If the answer to that question is yes, you may be wondering about whether the syllabus changes for the PTCB exam.
A new and revised syllabus was introduced from January 1, 2020. Much of this syllabus was a re-structuring of the previous syllabus, with a greater focus on pharmacy technician practice. This is the same syllabus that has been tested throughout 2021.
To date, the PTCB have indicated that there will be no changes to the 2022 PTCB exam syllabus – that the syllabus will remain the same as that which has applied throughout 2020 and 2021.
Syllabus to Study for the 2022 PTCB Test
One of the great advantages of the syllabus introduced in 2020 is that it divided the exam into four knowledge domains:
- Medications (40%)
- Federal Requirements (12.5%)
- Patient Safety and Quality Assurance (26.25%)
- Order Entry and Processing (21.25%)
Before this, there were 9 knowledge domains – which made preparing for the exam that much messier. Here, the simplicity of having just four knowledge domains – coupled with the greater focus on pharmacy technician practice – was a much-needed overhaul of the syllabus.
Students should therefore continue their study preparation with these four knowledge domains in mind. We have put together a convenient PTCB study guide to help students navigate their way through the PTCB exam and what to expect for 2022.
In summary, for the 2022 PTCB exam:
- You will be asked 90 multiple-choice questions, only 80 of which are used to assign a final score.
- A scaled scoring system is used – between 1000 and 1600. Students must score a minimum of 1400 to pass the PTCB test.
There are over 250 test centers throughout the United States to take the PTCB exam. Online tests are also available given the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Of course, safety precautions – such as mask wearing – are mandatory.
Pharmacy Technician Math
Math continues to play an increasingly important part of the PTCB exam.
The precise number of questions asked is unknown. Some students are asked just a few questions whereas other students are asked many more. Given that you cannot know which of these cases will apply to you, it is imperative that you prepare well for PTCB math questions.
Math is often difficult, for sure, but a high level of technician math is not just important to pass the PTCB test; it’s also vital to help you perform to the highest standards in your professional capacity. Try to study math with both these aims in mind, rather than learning math for the sake of passing the exam alone.
There are sixteen core math topics to prepare for the 2022 PTCB exam.
- Dosing / quantity
- Roman numerals
- Prescription interpretation
- Non-sterile medicines
- Parenteral solutions
- IV flow rates / Infusions
- Body mass index
- Body surface area
- Pediatric dose calculations
- Retail pharmacy
Though pharmacy technician math is a very important part of the 2022 PTCB exam; it’s also worth focussing a sizeable amount of attention on the top 200 drugs.
Top 200 Drugs
As we have learned, Medications is 40% of the PTCB exam syllabus.
Comprehensive knowledge of the top 200 drugs is therefore essential. For each of the top 200 drugs, candidates should know:
- Indications – what the drug / medicine is used to treat
- Mechanism of action – how does the drug work?
- Side effects – major side effects only
- Drug interactions – including drug-drug, drug-food, and drug-disease
Knowing medicine suffixes is vital. Drug classes often use the same suffix.
For example: all ACE inhibitors use the suffix -pril – such as captopril, enalapril, and perindopril. Let’s say you only knew these three ACE inhibitors, but the PTCB exam asked you to identify what lisinopril was used to treat? Having learned that drugs that end in -pril are always ACE inhibitors, you can deductively conclude from a list of four possible answers that lisinopril is used in the treatment of hypertension.
This is one of many techniques you can apply to mass-learn data from the top 200 drugs.
Of course, the top 200 drugs is just one part of the Medications knowledge domain. Students should also learn:
- Routes of drug administration
- Narrow therapeutic index drugs
- Proper storage of medicines
- Dosage forms
- Allergic reactions
Studying for the 2022 PTCB Test
The 2022 PTCB examination may seem daunting, but with time – and enough study and application – there is no reason why you cannot succeed.
Many students, after finishing and passing the exam, often remark at how the exam wasn’t as challenging as they once feared: that it’s very manageable if you put the time and preparation into your long-term study.
The more PTCB exam questions that you practice, the better. Practice questions are the ultimate tool to help identify strengths and weaknesses, and – through detailed, explained answers – plug any knowledge gaps. Avoid feeling down if you initially score low on practice tests because that’s natural and expected. What matters is that you continue to learn from the tests, building on your knowledge base every time.
Preparing effective PTCB flashcards is also a must. Flashcards can serve as a highly effective tool to distil the must-know facts into neat and convenient revision blocks – especially for the top 200 drugs.
For math, it’s all down to practice. It’s about understanding each question from a step-by-step perspective. Try to avoid memorizing methods because that approach can lack any core understanding of the question. If the PTCB exam throws a similar, related question – you may not know how to solve it because you’ve relied on memorizing a strict method that doesn’t work. By understanding math, and the logic behind each step in the process, you will learn math far faster and far more effectively than you otherwise would have.
These same core principles apply to Federal Requirements and Order Entry and Processing.
By integrating a long-term study plan and effective revision techniques, you will ace the 2022 PTCB exam and finally become a certified pharmacy technician.
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