The Pharmacy Technician Certification Board® (PTCB®) exam assesses the aspiring technician’s knowledge to see if they’re qualified to support pharmacists. The PTCB is a national organization that aims at promoting effective pharmacy technicians to ensure the best patient care to pharmacy customers.
The technicians are expected to work efficiently with their patient care teams in all settings. Hence, their assistance lets pharmacists offer safe patient care.
The exam sets the bar for people who aspire to be a part of the medical field. It’s not just there to test your technical knowledge but how you will react to certain situations. One of the most common is medication errors but the exam should help you prepare for it.
Passing the exam is proof of your credentials, expertise, and potential in the field of medicine. Hence, rigorous review and taking a PTCB practice test should help ease your worries even a little bit.
Mistakes You Can Correct on the PTCB Exam
1. Failing to Answer the Question
When you fail to answer the question, you might not have been able to read the question properly. If that’s the case, you have to answer the question only when you’ve fully understood it.
But another reason why you fail to answer it is that you had a set answer for a slightly different question. This is a mistake when you’re too dependent on your practice questions. To avoid it, be well-read about the topic and know it by heart. A spontaneous answer that shows your full understanding is better than a prepared one.
Nationwide, only about 58% of applicants clear the pharmacy tech certification test. Simply because many people falsely assume that if they have several hours of work experience, then they can show up to the exam totally unprepared! But, the PTCB exam isn’t easy!
Exposure to well-structured pharmacy technician practice tests is valuable and being prepared for tricky questions is important for these exams. Taking enough PTCB practice tests will help you know which topic needs more of your focus and which domains are already your strengths.
2. Letting Yourself Be Overwhelmed by Panic
When looking at an exam paper, you’re either confident that you can answer everything, or you panic. If you see that the questions are more difficult than what you studied, you will likely panic. And if you’re overwhelmed with panic, you won’t be able to answer the questions properly.
When you’re starting to panic, take a deep breath and slowly count to ten. This method should help calm you down and begin answering with a level head. Remember, if you’re not able to answer, you won’t get any marks. Provide some answers even if you aren’t sure and you’ll finish the exam soon enough.
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3. Not Managing Your Time Nor Pacing Yourself
Time management is an essential skill for PTCB exams and that’s done by pacing yourself. Before you start, check the number of questions and math it out with the amount of time given.
Once you calculate how much time you need per question, don’t exceed it. Just go back to the uncertain answers later if you have leftover time. What’s important is that each question gets answered or at least tried.
For example, if your exam consists of five essays in three hours, you shouldn’t spend more than 36 minutes on each. Once you reach 30 minutes on the first item, start drawing your conclusion and proceed to the next. If the test type is multiple choice, be aware of the time and questions you have left.
4. Leaving Blank Answers
One of the techniques in test-taking is to skip over difficult questions and use your time to answer the easy ones. And then, you’re supposed to go back to the questions you skipped using the remaining time. The problem is a lot of candidates forget to go back and answer those questions.
A blank answer is always considered a wrong answer so hazarding an educated guess is the better option. To solve this, you can mark the questions you skipped so you’ll find easily find them. You can try this on PTCB practice tests until you get the hang of it, but be sure to time yourself.
5. Answering the Same Question Twice
This is a common occurrence among candidates answering multiple choice questions. You shouldn’t feel embarrassed if it happens to you. Try your best to be vigilant. By marking two items on the same question, the item is automatically wrong.
This is why after you answer the questions, you should review your work and check if each question is answered properly. If there’s more than one answer to a question, you’d want to review everything from there. Often, two answers to one question mean you answered the next question in the current choices.
A technique that some candidates follow is to use a ruler or a card to sweep over the items. The ruler will let you view the circles correctly so you’ll see if there is more than one answer per item.
6. Being Unprepared for Technical Difficulties
When we say preparing for technical difficulties, we don’t mean bringing extra equipment for the proctor. If the proctor or evaluator’s microphone malfunctions, the venue should have an extra.
Your technical difficulties as a candidate pertain to your test-taking materials, like a pen, pencil, and eraser. Imagine if your pen runs out of ink and you have no extras, what would happen to your exam? Or if your pencil broke and you have no sharpener or extra pencils?
It’s such a basic concern but bringing extra supplies to an exam is a must. It’s so basic that people tend to forget and under prepare, so check your supplies the night before the PTCB exam.
To err is human, meaning making mistakes is a human attribute. Even on important exams, we can make mistakes, but it’s important to prevent them as much as possible. With adequate preparation using online pharmacy tech study guides and practice tests, you can avoid the above common mistakes when it comes to taking your PTCB exam.
Answering the questions carefully and avoiding blank answers are just the tip of the iceberg. Learn how to overcome panic and be prepared for possible scenarios. Manage your time and pace yourself when answering questions. Time is crucial in exams so you need to divide it evenly amongst the items.
Some rookie mistakes like answering the same question twice or not bringing extra supplies are common. But all of those mistakes are not inevitable and require proper precaution. Think of it as training to be part of the pharmaceutical field where you’ll need to solve the simplest mistakes.