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PTCB Practice Test

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1. Which of these recalls would be issued by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for a medication that was deemed to cause temporary
adverse health effects for patients that used that medication?

  1. Class III recall
  2. Class II recall
  3. Class IV recall
  4. Class I recall

2. Which of these laws states that all medication products must have directions for use and appropriate safety warnings?

  1. Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act of 1938 (FFDCA)
  2. Isotretinoin Safety and Risk Management Act of 2004
  3. Pure Food and Drug Act of 1906
  4. Poison Prevention Packaging Act of 1970 (PPPA)

3. Which of these methods is an acceptable way to store prescription records?

  1. 2 files: (CII + non-controlled) and (CIII-V)
  2. 2 files: (CII) and (non-controlled + CIII-V)
  3. 3 files: (CII-III) and (CIV-V) and (non-controlled)
  4. 1 file:  (CII + CIII-V + non-controlled)

4. 200 lbs = ? kg

  1. 50 kg
  2. 90.9 kg
  3. 100 kg
  4. 4 kg

Answers and Solutions

1. B – A class II recall occurs when medication may cause temporary adverse health effects that are reversible or if there is a small risk of serious adverse effects. A class I recall occurs when a medication is likely to cause severe adverse effects or even death. A class III recall occurs when a medication is not likely to cause a patient to have adverse effects. A class IV recall does not exist—there are only three classes of FDA recalls.

2. A – The FFDCA requires all products to include a list of ingredients, directions, and safety warnings. It also states that all drugs must be approved by the FDA prior to being marketed and used by patients. The FFDCA improved upon the Pure Food and Drug Act by adding the safety requirements that the Pure Food and Drug Act was missing. The Isotretinoin Safety and Risk Management Act of 2004 addresses the need for Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (REMS) criteria and specific monitoring of patients using medications with potentially serious adverse effects. The PPPA describes the security requirements for medication packaging to prevent children from accessing the medication.

3. B – Prescription records can be stored in only three possible ways: 2 files: (CII) and (non-controlled + CIII-V) 2 files: (CII-V) and (non-controlled) 3 files: (CII) and (CIII-V) and (non-controlled)

4. B – 90.9 kg because (2.2 lb = 1 kg)

How to Pass the PTCB Exam:

Before we get into the meet of how you will pass the PTCB Exam, let’s make sure you’re not asking a question like “how to pass exams last minute”, or “how to pass an exam in one night”, or even worse “how to pass an exam you didn’t study for”.  If you’re asking these type of questions, chances are you are not ready to take the PTCB Exam.   

Now, passing the PTCB Exam is pretty simple if you know what you are doing.

 A key thing to remember is “it’s not about how much you know, it’s about how much you can remember”.

Here are 5 tips for you on how to pass the PTCB Exam:

Tip #1 – Know What You Shouldn’t Do

After teaching and training thousands of students here is a list of common mistakes I see from students who are struggling with studying and students who fail the PTCB Exam:

  • Take easy practice test

Most students that I see think that because they can do an easy practice test, that they are ready to take the PTCB exam and pass successfully.  This is a HUGE mistake.  Usually what happens is students go and take the test, and are sad to find out that the questions were way harder than how they practiced.

  • Focus and study what you know already

It’s great to study, however when studying to pass the PTCB Exam, it is best to touch up on your weak areas.

Continually going over problems that you have already mastered won’t help you get those hard questions right on the actual exam.  So focus on the problems that challenge you the most.

  • Never ask questions

The less you ask, the less you know, the less you know the less you grow.  

Most students who struggle when studying have an “I can do it on my own” mindset.  This is a sure way to spend years trying to pass the PTCB Exam successfully. 

Why not get the right answers from someone who has been there and done that and save yourself the struggle and time? 

  • Procrastination

Some students wait months and even years before taking the exam because of fear.  Usually what happens is they study, study, study…. without ever knowing when, or even if they are confidently ready to take the exam.  Procrastination and not knowing when you’re ready is a sure way to cause testers anxiety.

Tip #2 – Know What You Should Do

Here are a list of common factors I see working time and time again with student who pass the PTCB Exam:

  • Take hard practice test
    • When you find yourself dominating the hardest practice exams consistently, then you will know, I have gotten strong in this area. Take the challenge head on.
  • Focus and study the areas you struggle the most in
    • Study your hardest topics first and use the topics that are easier for you as a run through.  
  • Get with like-minded people
    • Getting with like-minded people is a sure way to make sure that you are keeping the right mindset and it will help you build your confidence to pass the PTCB exam because of all the information and resources you will receive.  
    • Get in alliance with people who have either passed the exam or are on the right path to passing the exam, and in the end, you will have the same results.  

Tip #3 – Use the Right Study Methods

There are many different study methods out there.  Here are the choice study methods that will benefit you the most on the PTCB Exam:

Mnemonics – is a way of using letters, patterns, or ideas to help you remember things.

For example in the PTCB Course [plug] one of the mnemonics we teach out students to use for remembering conversions is “King Henry Died Drinking Chocolate Milk”  this helps students remember and successfully get pharmacy math conversions correct every single time.

Teach what you learned – the fastest way to know if you are ready to pass the PTCB Exam is to examine if you can successfully teach the information that you have learned.  Once you see that you can teach it to someone and talk about it thoroughly, this is a sure sign that you have mastered that area of study.  

Flashcards – of course, the well-known flashcards will help you with repetitive memorizing, and especially when you have no one else to study with.  Especially good for testing yourself on the top 200 drugs.

Conceptual Learning – this is the way we teach our students at PharmacyTechLessons.com, and it is primarily one of the top reasons our student pass the test successfully and are able to solve any problem that is thrown at them on the PTCB Exam.

Tip #4 – Have a Plan – 3 Days Before the Exam

Go over all key points and topics at least 3 days before taking the PTCB Exam, this means you will need to take time out in advance to learn what the key points are and how in-depth you need to study.

The main areas are:

  • Pharmacy law
  • Pharmacology (top 200 drugs)
  • Pharmacy math

For the math, just make sure to know your formulas (more on these mentioned later) and practice a lot of practice problems.  Go over each of these topics every single day 3 days before your exam.

Make your quick 3-day study guide customized to you and the areas you have the most trouble in.  For example, you may know all of the top 200 drugs except for number 1-50.  In this case, you would add only drugs 1-50 to your 3-day quick guide.

Tip #5 – Have a Plan – When You Take the Exam

Pass questions you don’t know

You will be given the option on the PTCB Exam to pass up the questions that you aren’t quite sure of.  Take advantage of this feature until you have went through all 90 questions.  

Once you have gone through all 90 questions, then go back and review those that you had a hard time with.  This is a sure way to give yourself a fair shot on answering the questions you are most confident on, and it will help you make sure that you don’t waste time on a question that you have a higher chance of getting wrong right off.

Getting stuck on questions can be mentally draining, and when you’re taking a 90 question exam, getting stuck on question #5 is the last thing you want to do.


PTCB Exam Formulas Cheat Sheet

Become the master of math with these formulas, the key is not the formula itself, but it’s knowing how and when to use the formula. Use these formulas to solve math problems.

Mass/Liquid for Liquid Formula

Ordered/Have  x  Volume per have = Y (liquid required)

Example: Ordered Lasix 40 mg IV push now. Available: 80 mg in 1 mL. How much will the nurse draw up?

40mg/80mg  X  1mL = 0.5 mL


Mass for Mass Formula

Ordered/Have = Y (tablets required)

Example: Metoprolol (Lopressor), 25 mg PO, is ordered. Metoprolol is available as 50 mg tablets. How many tablets would the nurse administer?

25mg/50mg = 0.5 tablets


Mass/time  – IV mL Rate Formula

Ordered per hour/have  X  volume (mL) = Y (flow rate in mL/hr)

Example: Give patient 500 mg of dopamine in 250 mL of D5W to infuse at 20 mg/hr. Calculate the flow rate in mL/hr.

20mg/hr / 500mg  X 250mL = 10mL/hr


Dosage by Weight Formula

Weight in kg  X  dosage per kg  = Y (required dosage)

Example: A doctor orders 200 mg of Rocephin to be taken by a 15.4 lb infant every 8 hours. The medication label shows that 75-150 mg/kg per day is the appropriate dosage range. Is this doctor’s order within the desired range?

Convert 15.4 lb to kg.

  • lb → kg    ( ÷ by 2.2 )
  • 15.4 lb ÷ 2.2 = 7 kg
7 kg X 75 mg/kg =  525 mg (Minimum Desired Dosage)
7 kg X 150 mg/kg =  1,050 mg (Maximum Desired Dosage)

24 hours in one day and the medication is ordered every 8 hours.

  • 24 hrs / 8 hrs = 3 times per day doctor ordered medication
  • 200 * 3 = 600 mg ordered per day
  • 600 mg is within the desired range of 525-1,050 mg


Volume/Time – IV Drop Rate Formula

Volume (mL) / time (min)  X  drop factor (gtts/mL)  = Y (flow rate in gtts/min)

Example: Calculate the IV flow rate for 200 mL of 0.9% NaCl IV over 120 minutes. Infusion set has drop factor of 20 gtts/mL.

200 mL/120 min  X 20 gtts/mL  = 33 gtts/min


Volume/Time – IV mL Rate Formula

Volume (mL) / time (hr)  = Y (flow rate in mL/hr)

Example: Ordered 1000 mL D5W IV to infuse in 10 hours by infusion pump.

1000 mL/10 hr  = 100 mL/hr


Amount of IV Fluid Formula

Concentration %/ 100  X  volume (mL) = Y (dosage amount in g)

Example: Calculate the amount of dextrose in 1000 mL D5W.

5% / 100 X 1000 mL = 50g


Facts About the PTCB (In Case You Didn’t Know)

How many questions are on the PTCB Exam?

There are 90 questions on the PTCE that basically means you get about one minute and twenty seconds on each problem.  So make sure you pace yourself.

Are you allowed to use a calculator on the PTCB exam?

Yes! You are allowed to use calculator, however…  You are not allowed to use your own, they will provide you with a HIGHLY basic calculator when you arrive to the testing site.  So beware, and make sure that you practice your practice exams that same way.

How much does it cost to take the PTCB exam?

It cost $129 buck to take the PTCB exam.  Make sure you only have to do it once, practice practice, practice!

Facts About the ExCPT (In Case You Didn’t Know)

You Get a ExCPT Pre-test

Yes, before you take the official exam, at the testing site you will get 10 pretest questions.

How many questions are on the ExCPT Exam?

There are 110 questions on the ExCPT Exam.

How much does the ExCPT Exam cost?

The ExCPT exam cost a whopping $115 bucks!


What is your #1 goal right now? 

If you’re looking to pass the PTCB & ExCPT exam, I have a free class that reveals The EXACT Process Students Use To Pass the PTCB Exam in 3 Months or Less Without Failing. Click here to check it out.

If you’re ready to work with me so I can help you pass the exam, go here.

Thanks for listening to The #AskPTLShow. I love to hear from our listeners! If you have questions you’d like me to answer on the show or topics you’d like me to cover, contact me at pharmacytechlessons@gmail.com

Be sure to check out other episodes, get more free content and learn more about me at  http://pharmacytechlessons.com

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-O’neisha Biggs

Free Masterclass Reveals: How to Pass the PTCB Exam in 3 Months or Less Without Failing Your First Attempt.

The way you prepare for the national exam has a huge effect on the scores you get — We can teach you time-tested formulas, methods, and brain-hacks that’ll get you more of what you want in pharmacy.