My initial plan post-graduation was to find a retail pharmacy position as soon as possible. At the time, I was not working as an intern and was relying heavily on being able to take my board exams early. An opportunity to work at RxPharmacist was presented to me around the same time and I took the chance to develop skills that I otherwise would not be able to gain.
I worked on the first RxPharmacist Retail OTC guide with my preceptor. I was able to gain skills in content creation, medical writing, and professional development. The entire team was very supportive of each other, and communication was excellent.
At first, the project was daunting, given the scope of the guide. In addition, I also was studying for the NAPLEX and MPJE. However, with encouragement and support from the RxPharmacist team, I was able to overcome any obstacles. I am very appreciative of the independence that interns are given as I was able to choose my work schedule and even deadlines.
Overall, the RxPharmacist Internship has made me more confident in my own abilities. This internship has not only allowed me to improve myself, but also to give back to the profession.
One of the most substantial fears that PharmD graduates face upon completion of pharmacy school surrounds the next step in their professional development: becoming a licensed pharmacist. With the exception of some states that require an additional practical exam, such as Georgia and New York, an individual must successfully obtain a passing score of 75% or higher on both their North American Pharmacist Licensure Examination (NAPLEX) and Multistate Pharmacy Jurisprudence Examination (MPJE) to become licensed to practice. While some have no preference in the order they wish to take their exams, others may be challenged with a relatively common dilemma – do I take the NAPLEX or MPJE first? This article will not necessarily state why you should pick one option over the other, but instead uncover things to consider when scheduling your exams.
Reason to take the NAPLEX first:
Coming out of school, you may feel like a lot of what you have learned in class and during rotations is still relatively fresh in your mind. Before you switch gears to a completely different area of focus, you may want to tackle something you are more familiar with first. Also, depending on the school you have graduated from, you may have been required to register for Rxprep and take on assignments throughout your 4th year rotations, ultimately keeping your mind engaged on all clinical modules. Another reason is perhaps you have covered your law course during your third year instead of your fourth year of pharmacy school. Lastly, if your school does not provide any law prep course or support before you graduate.
Reason to take the MPJE first:
Based on the plethora of disheartening comments surrounding the exam, many previous exam takers can agree that the MPJE is a more difficult exam. Individuals who take the NAPLEX first may often feel burnt out after extensive preparation, thus leaving those who still have to take the MPJE mentally exhausted and devoid of motivation. Remember, pharmacy law is naturally perceived as a drier topic to begin with. Another reason is if your pharmacy school had you take a law course during your fourth year instead of third year, making the content fresher in your mind. Lastly, if your pharmacy school does provide a law prep course or support before you graduate.
Ultimately what you decide is based on where you stand with respect to how comfortable you are with the content of each exam and even the urgency of addressing your financial situation. Also, depending on the institution, you may be a part of a residency program that grants you an additional couple of months of flexibility to become licensed. While it is fine to space out both exams to ensure adequate preparation, you should still be conscious of not distancing your exams too far apart. Remember, the goal is to promptly eliminate the last barrier that stands in the way of you becoming a licensed pharmacist and begin the take down of those horrifying student loans. This was why RxPharmacist was created in supporting pharmacy graduates and pharmacists to overcome the barrier of their licensure exams. Even more so, we also provide state-specific MPJE guides which is a unique offering among other known test-prep companies such as RxPrep which only offers NAPLEX and very minimal (and general) federal MPJE reviews. For more in-depth analysis and advice on each exam, please be sure to check out our previous blogs that provide excellent tips, things to consider, and resources to use to help you overcome your upcoming board exams:
Each year, the NABP composes a list of MPJE pass rates for each school and college of pharmacy in the United States and compares these results to previous years. While the goal is to observe an upward and promising trend in pass rates, the data obtained between 2017-2019 indicates otherwise, as illustrated in the figure below. Cumulative pass rates across the United States have declined from 83.98% to 81.9% over the last couple of years and while the difference may not appear significant, any outcome that does not demonstrate improvement is unfavorable and must be addressed.
What could be the result for the decline in performance? Increased burnout? Increased competition? Poor pharmacy coverage of law? Regardless what the case may be, studying for the MPJE is a tedious process. You may not know what to do or where to begin; however, there are many tips and resources that may be useful to make you feel more prepared for your upcoming exam.
There are no shortcuts and a lot of time and effort must be devoted to preparing. In this article, we attempt to help you understand the highlights of the MPJE and how to pass it the first time.
Know what the exam is about.
The MPJE requires a passing score of 75% or higher. It is constructed as a 2.5-hour exam that is composed of 120 questions with three areas of focus, including:
Pharmacy practice (83%)
Licensure, registration, certification, and operational requirements (15%)
General regulatory requirements (3%)
The exam aims to assess an individual’s competency by testing their knowledge and skills in evaluating situations and applying relevant federal and state laws. Knowing the build-up of the exam can be a useful marker in indicating how much time should be devoted to each section. A greater breakdown of each area of focus can be found on NABP’s website here. All questions are in multiple choice, select all that apply, K-type (I only, II and III, or I, II, and III), and ranking format. Be prepared to choose the best answer(s).
Use appropriate study materials.
Unlike preparing for the NAPLEX, which is typically associated with review of one extensive guide, preparation for the MPJE is a little different in that it does not have its own “go-to” guide. RxPharmacist noticed this concern and took action by erasing the dilemma of what resource to use. Here are some tools to help you pass on your first try:
Both the state laws and rules can be found on your Board of Pharmacy website. We recommend going to your Board of Pharmacy website first, and if you need help, then pursue study guides as another resource.
If you choose to review all the content on the Board’s website, be sure to take notes while you read. The material can be quite extensive as a whole but reducing it into your own writing will serve as an excellent source when the time comes to do your final review before your exam.
RxPharmacist provides detailed study guides (in both online and print format) that target key points the MPJE generally focuses on. These comprehensive guides cover both federal and state pharmacy law while providing plenty of questions for practice. To see if a guide is available for your state, check out all the courses provided here.
Guide to Federal Pharmacy Law, 9th Edition provides an excellent review of federal law applicable to the exam. The limited use of legal jargon allows for a smoother read while focusing on the most pertinent information.
Whether you choose to study all the material from your Board of Pharmacy’s website or purchase a study guide for a smoother ride, there are a series of topics that must be focused on and highlighted, such as the following:
Classification of controlled substances
Prescribing authority and filling
Drug utilization reviews
Adulterated vs. misbranded
Practice, Practice, and Practice!
It’s one thing to study all the material, but it’s an entirely different element to apply all the content you learned to patient scenarios. You won’t realize how challenging it is to distinguish between multiple answer choices until you practice, and thus application is crucial. Some of the highlighted study material listed above can provide you with practice questions; however, additional resources to maximize your practice can be found on NABP’s website.
Another great way to test yourself is with the use of flash cards!
Create a schedule and routine for yourself. Every person is different, thus being aware of your study habits is critical in allowing yourself appropriate time to prepare.
Remember to put aside your biased work experience and not depend on everything you see during your workdays such as in the retail pharmacy setting. Sometimes there are differences between what the law states and what your company’s policy is.
As the exam does not specify between state and federal law, always pick whichever law is stricter.
Keep in mind the questions on the MPJE can be detailed and require thorough reading. Be sure to not rush through the exam and be mindful of what the question is asking.
Sam Tamjidi, PharmD
References: MPJE Score Results. (n.d.). Retrieved August 27, 2020, from https://nabp.pharmacy/programs/mpje/score-results/
My journey with RxPharmacist started with a post on my pharmacy class’s Facebook page asking for help to contribute to their Florida MPJE guide. I reached out and volunteered to help. This experience was very valuable as it helped me develop my writing skills, work within a team with other pharmacy graduates around the State of Florida, and helped me study for the MPJE exam. After I found out I passed the MPJE, there was no way I could take another one.
Little did I know, a year later, I would be moving to Washington, DC. I was researching online for study materials for the DC MPJE, but had little luck in finding materials. That is when I came across RxPharmacist again. I reached out asking if there were any DC MPJE study materials available. Fortunately, I was presented with an opportunity to author a DC MPJE Guide with RxPharmacist. I was already working as a pharmacist and my job was very demanding; however, the RxPharmacist team was very flexible with allowing me to write the guide at my own pace within the time frame requested. This opportunity closely aligned with my goals to help the pharmacy profession and improve my writing skills. Thank you RxPharmacist for another great experience! Best of luck to all current and future pharmacists on your MPJE exams!
Chrissy T., Pharm.D., 2020 Medical Writing Associate
University of Florida College of Pharmacy, Class of 2019
The Multi-Prudence Jurisdiction Examination (MPJE) is a 120-question computer-based exam that uses adaptive testing response questions. For example, if you keep getting questions wrong then the computer will provide you questions that are statistically deemed “easier.” It’s important to note that of the 120 questions on this exam, only 100 are used to calculate your final score. The remaining 20 questions are pretest questions that will not count into your MPJE score, but you won’t be able to tell which ones are pretest questions and which ones are not. The total testing time is two hours with NO breaks during the testing session so it’s important to take note of time.
WHAT IS THE PASSING SCORE?
The passing scaled score is 75 with the minimum score being zero and maximum 100. The exam is divided into three major sections:
If you don’t pass the first time you still have 4 more attempts to pass you’re MPJE exam. A maximum of 5 tries per state to pass the MPJE is allowed. Hopefully you won’t fail the first time you take your MPJE but if you do, you need to wait 30 days per state until you can sit for the exam again to re-take. For the NAPLEX, it is a period of 45 days to wait before you can retake the exam again.
Note that if your eligibility to sit for the NAPLEX or MPJE is going to expire within 10 business days then you won’t be able to pay and sit for the exam so make sure as soon as you get your authorization to test (ATT) letter that you book your appointment as soon as possible.
IMPORTANT 2019-2020 UPDATES TO MPJE AND NAPLEX
The re-sit fees for the NAPLEX and MPJE are bumped up to $475 and $150 (YIKES that hurts!). If you miss your exam due to an emergency (whatever that means), then you can ask if you can re-sit to take your exam for a reduced fee of $170 for the NAPLEX or $100 for the MPJE.
SOME MAJOR POINTS TO REMEMBER:
All questions are answered in order so there’s no going back
Lots of situational questions
Online registration costs $250.00 per examination
You will need to bring two forms of ID at Pearson Vue
At least one picture ID with signature (i.e. Driver’s License)
Other can be credit card with signature
120 questions, 100 count towards your score
MUST complete 107 questions for examination to be scored
If you fail, you must wait 30 days to retake for the MPJE and 45 days for the NAPLEX
The MPJE doesn’t distinguish between state and federal laws, but answer each question based on state law
Any misconduct or inkling of misconduct is grounds for failure
Arrive at least 30 minutes early
Ensure to read EVERY SINGLE WORD!
They will try to trick you so make sure to answer the question they ask, and lookout for unusual words as triggers.
BREAKDOWN OF FEES:
Total if you passed the first time:
$250 MPJE ($150 + $100 application fee)
$575 NAPLEX ($475 + $100 application fee)
Total if you failed but passed the second time:
$500 MPJE ($250 x 2)
$1,150 NAPLEX ($575 x 2)
As you can see, it really adds up if you don’t pass the first time so we hope that you pass the first time! This does not include the stress and wasted time either since you can’t start working until your licensed. We highly recommend reviewing the https://nabp.pharmacy/programs/mpje/ site and reading over the NAPLEX/MPJE registration bulletin. They provide a more specific overview of the exam, scheduling requirements, and a list of core competencies for you to understand. Don’t spend too much time on the core competencies, but more on understanding the laws, as there are many situational type questions.
RxPharmacist got created out of a calling to help a fellow classmate who failed his board exams, lost his job offer, and almost went homeless in not being able to gain employment as he had to wait 45 days before being able to sit and retake his board exams. Frustrated over the high cost of expensive study guides that were outdated, heavy in content, and weren’t focused on getting to the information needed to pass was the call to action that RxPharmacist has answered.
We are a group of volunteer pharmacists, paid pharmacy students, and mentors to our pharmacy profession driven by fellow pharmacy graduates and pharmacists just like you. We want to make a positive difference and disrupt the pharmacy test-prep industry but we need your help.
If you think you can help join our cause, feel free to shoot us over an email on how we can improve our services and products to help you. Even though this starter guide is basic in nature, we hope it can get you pointed in the right direction so you can start your journey in passing your MPJE board exams. Whether you are a fresh pharmacy graduate or a seasoned pharmacist getting licensed in another state, we’re excited you started your journey with us although it will be short-lived as we hope you will pass the first time!
We all understand board studying for gaining your pharmacist licensure is not easy. We don’t want the stress and headaches of potential failing you’re MPJE get in the way of the career you want.
When I graduated from pharmacy school just a few short months ago, I found myself in the same predicament that most other students find themselves in … what do I do now? I have my degree, I have a year’s worth of rotation experience, but I still have to pass my licensing exams and find a job. I applied to RxPharmacist and was given the opportunity to write the Maryland MPJE Guide.
When I applied to be an intern for RxPharmacist, I knew that I would be writing a study guide, but I had no idea that I would receive so many other benefits. RxPharmacist thrives off of a spirit of mentorship and connection. I was able to get personalized career advice, resume and CV reviews, and the contact information of other pharmacists who could help me to achieve my goals. The individuals who I have had the pleasure to connect with during my internship truly do give back to the pharmacy profession by assisting new graduates in any way that they can. This experience has really inspired me to give back, as well, since I know what it’s like to be a struggling new pharmacy graduate with many questions, but not so many answers.
Now that I am at the end of my official internship, I can say with confidence that this experience has provided me with invaluable skills for my future in pharmacy. I am proud to have produced an MPJE guide to help other Maryland graduates like myself to pass their exams on the first try. Furthermore, it has been amazing to have one-on-one career guidance, constructive feedback, and pharmacy advice in a safe space with a trusted pharmacist. I am extremely grateful to have been selected to continue RxPharmacist’s mission of giving back to the profession.
The idea of an internship is awesome. You basically get a
trial run of anything you might want to try. You get the opportunity to meet
people in a field and learn all about an industry that interests you.
But it does come at a cost- your time.
Your time is the most valuable thing you own; especially when you only have a few years of school and free summers before you need to make a career choice. Therefore, when picking an internship, it’s important to look for someone who values your time for what it’s worth; which is a hard concept to define. However, after working for a start-up like RxPharmacist, I began to see specifically what it looks like. See, a start-up, or any other small business, understands the value in time because the truth is, time is more than just money for them. The time it takes to learn a new program determines whether or not it is worth the money. The time it takes to finish creating a product determines how many people you are willing to hire. A start-up constantly needs to prioritize things to ensure the best use of their time. Which is kind of like what a student does. You have unique qualities and traits that you want to market to everyone else, and you are paving a unique pathway to your future career. And what makes you unique? Your experiences; or in other words, how you spend your time.
With RxPharmacist, I was never stuck working in one area. I had the opportunity to learn and gain experience with website development, search engine optimization, competitive pricing, employee recruitment, and advertising. I worked directly with the CEO of a company and got a front row seat to the mechanics of how a business is managed and built from the ground up. I saw how a business plan was written and entered the vast world of business competitions- which are quite exciting. I learned the value of networking and building connections. I learned that the field of pharmacy is so much bigger than I had ever imagined and that your opportunities are only limited by your ambitions.
To top it off, I was able to work from home and created my own schedule so that I never had to waste any time with commuting!
This internship has opened my eyes to so many opportunities; however, above all, I value this experience in particular because I learned what it means for someone to value my time. I was constantly encouraged with my school work and with applying for future internships. I was asked what interested me and what I wanted to learn about. I was given advice about the field of pharmacy and about working in general. Just recently, I mentioned I was considering getting a second degree and was immediately connected with someone who is currently working on that degree. The mentorship that I gained from this experience was invaluable, and I would encourage any student to seek out an opportunity such as this one. I can assure you, it is well worth your time.
You are probably wondering how does RxPharmacist create our study guides? It’s not easy. We dedicate at least 6-9 months to create just 1 of our study guides! This time period is spent on content creation, editing, calling up Board of Pharmacies for each respective state, and ensuring a high quality and up-to-date guide.
Each guide is created by a pharmacy graduate who recently passed their MPJE licensure exam the first time for that respective state or a seasoned pharmacist who recently passed their MPJE licensure exam the first time due to moving and finding another job in the other respective state. We dedicate more time with our pharmacy graduates as they are paired up with pharmacist preceptors that review their work week by week, with a careful eye on attention to detail, accuracy, and outside of the box questions that may show up on the exam. For the pharmacist, we also pair them with a fellow pharmacist that serves as a second pair of eyes in reviewing the content creation for accuracy and attention to details.
After this process, we also get our guides vetted through mostly pharmacy students to serve as our Beta test group to provide feedback and further assist us in creating our study guides.
The reason we focus on pharmacy graduates and pharmacists is to give back in supporting our pharmacy profession. The pharmacy graduates get paid to study which they need to do anyways to pass their board exam and may need financial help during their transition from pharmacy graduate to pharmacist. We support all of our pharmacy graduates with helping them access our network, reviewing their resume, testing their interviewing skills, and more to ensure they are successful in the workforce.
For the seasoned pharmacist, the same applies. They may have a life situation and need to move to another state and find another pharmacist job in that state. We support our pharmacists by giving them the opportunity to write a study guide to support them financially while connecting them with others in our network so they make an easy transition as they move to their new state of practice. We also provide resume, interviewing skills, and connections so they may also be successful in their careers.
As you can imagine the process is tedious and is meant to be symbiotic with always creating a win-win-win. The pharmacy graduate/pharmacist wins in financial support and job assistance, RxPharmacist wins in getting a new study guide to market to further support more students and pharmacists, and you win in getting a high quality guide. The end product is an affordable, high-quality, and up-to-date pharmacy test-prep study guides so you can pass the first time!
Getting through pharmacy school is not easy. Second year was the worst and finally when you get to your fourth year you need to focus on getting a residency or fellowship program. The obstacles don’t stop there, you then need to finally graduate and take your licensure board examinations, mainly the NAPLEX and state specific MPJE exam. Those few months in between graduating and starting your residency, fellowship, or first job out of school are tough transition periods for pharmacy graduates as they need to pass their boards in order to start their first paid income job.
I’ll tell you how RxPharmacist got created. One of my pharmacy school classmates, Mike, received an offer and moved his family of three little boys from Florida to Tennessee contingent upon him passing his board exams. He called me sobbing at 2am in the morning, I could hear the desperation in his voice. Knowing Mike for the past 4-years during pharmacy school, I never saw him this low and said I will do everything in my power to help him. That same morning, I started creating study guides and working with my fellow classmates. After using them, he passed and said how this will help so many people who are struggling. That is how RxPharmacist got created out of a call of service that helps pharmacy graduates and pharmacists nationally as being one of the only companies to offer this service and helping over a thousand students pass their board licensure exams the first time.
A key signature among all of our services and products are serving and giving back to our pharmacy profession. We offer a unique, one-of-a-kind pharmacy graduate transition program to assist students during that time period between graduation and starting their first job and connecting them to preceptors and mentors to ensure they are successful in this saturated pharmacy market. Check out our internship page for more information. We create a symbiotic relationship with students ensuring everything we do, we put them first. Even with our customers, we ensure to reach out and follow up with them as we enjoy seeing the success of our students, and we take down our guides if they need to be updated even though we lose potential funds to help sponsor future pharmacy graduates. Think about this. Many companies don’t do this, they just reuse their content over and over, without updating or tweaking. We understand why, it’s extremely time consuming but someone has to do the right, good work that needs to be done.
We hope to continue RxPharmacist to continue to serve our pharmacy profession and disrupt the test-prep industry in creating affordable, high quality, and up to date guides.