The North American Pharmacist Licensure Examination is one of many licensing requirements for prospective pharmacists and candidates might use a number of resources and teaching methods to prepare. Topics covered on the computer-based, 185-question exam include safe pharmacotherapy standards, knowledge of health care and medicinal dispensing abilities. The National Association of Boards of Pharmacy recommends reading the NAPLEX Registration Bulletin when preparing for the exam, but a variety of study methods are also available.


One of the most effective ways to study for the NAPLEX is to take the Pre-NAPLEX, an online simulation of the actual test. The 50-question, 70-minute test is available to anyone with an Internet connection and costs approximately $50 per try as of January 2014. Applicants may take the Pre-NAPLEX up to two times. Candidates may access Per-NAPLEX scores for an indication of how they might perform on the actual licensing exam.


The NABP reports that internships are the best way to prepare for the NAPLEX. Although state and jurisdiction requirements vary, most prospective pharmacists complete at least 1,500 before sitting for the NAPLEX. Internships are effective ways of studying for the exam because they offer a real-life opportunity for prospective pharmacists to learn about all aspects of the pharmacy industry, including dispensing medicine and counseling patients. Interns also benefit from the knowledge and experience of more experienced pharmacists. Rotating through several pharmacies enforces concepts covered on the NAPLEX in various clinical settings.

Study Guides and Groups

A number of study guides are available to help prospective pharmacists prepare for the NAPLEX. The American Pharmacists Association recommends study guides covering drug therapy treatments, chronic disease management and the top 200 pharmacy products. Study guides generally have many practice questions and other test preparation tips. Students might opt to study a variety of guides for the most thorough study experience possible. Collaborating with other students who are also studying for the NAPLEX can be an effective way to reinforce concepts and discuss problem areas. Students might quiz each other, look through study guides together and compare answers to sample questions.

Class Notes and Experiences

The earliest NAPLEX preparations begin during college and pharmacy school experiences. Prospective pharmacists should develop good study habits early on. Learning all materials covered during pharmacy classes and developing good time management skills build the strong foundation needed to understand pharmacological issues covered on the NAPLEX, as Doctor of Pharmacy Sarah M. Lawrence reports on the website for The Student Doctor Network. Reviewing class notes as the NAPLEX approaches gives students a quick refresher of topics already learned.