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Patricia A Boycan
Pharmacy Technician
Asked a question 6 months ago

I haven't worked retail pharmacy for almost 8 years. Is there a practice test or study guide of sorts to help with the TPV test? I'm a tad nervous because I only got 7/10 correct on the NPTA practice test.

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Christopher S. Moore
Oncology & Inpatient - BS, AS, AA, CPhT-Adv, CSPT, NREMT-R

The T.P.V. exam is unique in that it does not test your knowledge of the matter, but your actual skill in identifying errors, if any at all. It is like a combination of the two games "Where's Waldo?" and "What Doesn't Belong / What Is Missing?"  That being said; unfortunately, there are no practice tests or study guides available beyond what your educational course provides.  I can not speak to the N.P.T.A. course, but the C.E. Impact course ( was well-structured and matched pretty-close to the presentation of the exam itself.
For preparation, actually practicing this skill is the best method if you follow a system of process in identification of products; even making a check-list of factors to find/verify when you go over each item is a great place to start.  The PTCE does list what is being tested (

(Identifying the correct product name, strength, and dosage form;)

(Calculating the amount of product to dispense based on prescribed dosage and frequency; and)

(Evaluating the integrity of product characteristics [e.g., intact packaging and expiration dates]).

This exam requires a great deal of focus to detail. Make sure your mind and body are well-rested the night before. Use ALL of the available time allotted to you during the exam; get through the exam without rushing, but take the remaining time available to review and double-check your choice/reason. Check and magnify-check/view EVERYTHING, including checking the math and units, never assume any one item is uniform to the others; to be clear, take the safest and most conservative approach in your verification practice. I know it all sounds rather daunting, but literally almost any part of the order/product can be erroneous.

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