What is the PTCE?

The PTCE (Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam) is an important first step towards becoming a Certified Pharmacy Technician (CPhT). As a CPhT, you will be able to provide a higher level of patient care and support your pharmacy team in a greater capacity. 

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Education & Experience Requirements

Before applying for the PTCE Exam, candidates must have completed the following requirements:

  • Beginning in January of 2020, candidates must complete a PTCB-recognized educational/training program or equivalent work experience.
  • Full disclosure of all criminal and State Board of Pharmacy registration or licensure actions. The requirements for eligibility depend on where in the United States you reside, and are determined based on your e-profile – so make sure it’s up to date before applying!
  • Compliance with all applicable PTCB Certification policies.
  • Passing score on the PTCE. 

About the Exam

About the Exam

The PTCE is administered year-round on business days – so you can sit as soon as your Pearson Vue test center has availability. As of January 2020, candidates must complete a PTCB-Recognized Education/Training Program OR equivalent work experience in order to be eligible.

What Makes up the Exam?

The PTCE is made up of one linear form exam that consists of 90 multiple-choice test questions. Of these, 80 will be scored questions, with 10 unscored questions placed randomly throughout the exam. The exam is broken into 4 sections; Medications (40%), Federal Requirements (12.5%), Patient Safety and Quality Assurance (26.5%), and Order Entry and Processing (21.5%)

The exam takes approximately 2 hours to complete, which includes a 5 minute tutorial, the 1 hour and 50 minute exam, and a 5 minute post-exam survey. The unofficial exam result will be presented on the screen immediately following the post-exam survey, with the official exam results posted in your PTCB account within 2-3 weeks.

How Difficult is it to Pass?

The range of possible PTCE scaled scores based on the exam outline is 1,000 — 1600, and the passing scaled score for the PTCE is 1,400. Passing is within reach – but only if you study efficiently!

It’s worth noting that the passing rate has steadily declined over the past 10 years. In 2010, the pass rate was 75%, but looking at the numbers, the pass rate has dropped to 58% in 2019.

So it’s safe to say that the exam has gotten much more difficult over the past 10 years! That’s why KnowFully Healthcare Education recommends choosing a review partner that allows you to focus on the areas you aren’t as competent in, while only lightly practicing the areas you’re excelling in.

How to Get Started

Ready to get started? How exciting! Here are the first few steps you need to take to set yourself up for success.


Register for the Exam by logging into your Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) e-profile and following the prompts – you’ll pay $129 for the application. Once approved, you’ll receive an email with your authorization to schedule your exam with Pearson VUE.


Evaluate your life, and consider what kind of study plan would suit you – can you afford to study an hour a day, or will it be closer to an hour a week, and how much do you remember from your PTCB approved training program? This is crucial to understanding when you could feasibly sit the Exam – and if in doubt, our ReadySCORE™ technology will tell you just how ready you are, and what you could score if you sat today (to 99% accuracy!).


Find a PTCE Review Guide that works for your learning style – PTCE by KnowFully’s® adaptive technology will help you to tailor the content you receive to where you are in your learning journey, helping you to get on the fast track to a passing PTCE score by focusing you on the content you still need to learn.

 Get Started With a FREE Trial of PTCE Review by KnowFully Healthcare Education Today!