PTCB/PTCE Test Breakdown

About the Exam

The Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam (PTCE) samples your knowledge and skill base for activities performed in the work of pharmacy technicians. Each question is carefully written, referenced, and validated to determine its accuracy and correctness.

The Certification Council and Pharmacy Technician Resource Panel (composed of pharmacists, CPhTs, and pharmacy technician educators drawn from various practice settings and geographic areas) has developed the actual test items under the direction of PES testing experts.

In addition, the content framework of the entire examination is supported by a nationwide study of the work pharmacy technicians perform in a variety of practice settings, including community and institutional pharmacies.


Exam Contents


The PTCE contains 80 multiple-choice questions plus an additional 10 non-scored questions, for a total of 90 questions. The 10 additional non-scored questions are pre-test questions and are not used in calculating your score. The pre-test questions provide statistical information for possible use in future examinations; this information is vital in building a quality test.

The pre-test questions are randomly placed throughout the exam. Candidates are encouraged to answer all questions. Each exam question provides four choices, with only ONE designated as the correct or best answer. The questions from the three functions tested are distributed randomly throughout the total exam.

It is to your advantage to answer every question on the exam since the final score is based on the total number of questions answered correctly.

Time Limit

You will 2 hours to answer each of the 80 scored and 10 unscored questions. There is a PTCE exam tutorial and post-exam survey, which you will be given ten minutes to complete. The remainder of the 2 hours is spent taking the actual exam.

Exam Delivery

The PTCB certification exam is a computer-based examination administered nationwide. When you go to register for the PTCB exam, you will be asked to select a convenient location from a list of available Pearson VUE test centers.

During the PTCE exam tutorial, you will have the opportunity to familiarize yourself with the exam format and the testing screen.

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