NAPLEX Strategy Sessions

Exam Day

Taking the NAPLEX® is NOT the most important day of your career; it's just another hurdle on your way to becoming a licensed pharmacist. Keep it in perspective. Treat the exam like what it is, a routine mechanical exercise. Deal with each question as you come to it, make your choice, and then move on.

No matter how well prepared you are for the NAPLEX, you will get many questions wrong. Be prepared to feel stupid. This is not an exam where you should expect to know every answer. Knowing this, your test-taking strategy should be somewhat different than it may be when you take other exams.

  • Arrive at the Sylvan Center 30 minutes early so you are not rushed and have time to get organized. You will be given a locker to store your personal items and then assigned a computer station. Remember that you have a total of 4 1/4 hours to complete 185 questions, and a 10-minute mandatory break after approximately 2 hours.
  • To cope with fatigue, you will need to make the most of your break. Take care of your needs in the order of their importance to your comfort. Youll probably want to visit the restroom, get a quick refreshment and stretch your legs.
  • Be cautious about changing answers. In general, your odds of changing a correct answer to a wrong one are so much higher than the reverse that it is simply not worth the risk. If you change an answer, you are most likely making it wrong! Your first impulse is usually the correct one. Stay with it unless some clear insight occurs to you.
  • Monitor your time so that you know how much you have left, and so that you do not find yourself rushed at the end. Work on your pacing from the beginning of the exam. Check your watch or on-screen timer every 10 questions to make sure you are on the correct pace to finish. If you pace yourself throughout the exam, you should not be squeezed for time at the end.
  • During the break, try to relax and not think back over the exam. The desire to recall questions is strong, but not helpful. Those questions are in the past; you will never see them again. Focus on relaxing and making the most of your break. Remember, you will always tend to remember those questions you get wrong.