Exam Day: What to Expect

Admission Documents

The candidate must present a valid government-issued photo identification with signature along with a printout of his/her testing appointment confirmation email. Candidates will be required to sign in and will be instructed where to store personal items and where to keep identification. The candidate’s identity will be verified every time he/she enters or leaves the testing room.

Candidates will not be permitted to enter the exam room unless proper identification as described above is presented. The candidate’s name as it appears on the confirmation email must match the candidate’s name as it appears on government issued photo identification.


Examination Format

There are 175 questions on each BPS specialty certification examination. Four-option multiple-choice questions constitute the majority of examination items; however, most of the specialty examinations also use alternate item types such as multiple choice, multiple-correct response, drag and drop, and items supplemented with images and videos. Each question is carefully written, referenced, and validated to determine its accuracy and applicability. New regulations, drugs, and therapies are incorporated annually into the examinations. All BPS specialty certification examinations reflect current, best practices, at the time they are constructed – practice guidelines used for the Spring examination are those that are current as of January 1 of the testing year and practice guidelines for the Fall examination are those that are current as of July 1 of the testing year. Official United States Adopted Name (USAN) generic names are used on all BPS examinations for all drug products, when possible.

ALL domestic and international examinations will be administered via computer-based format.


Administration of the Examination

For initial certification candidates the schedule remains unchanged from previous years and is as follows:

Examination Part 1 (100 items): 2.5 hour testing period
Optional break: up to 30 minutes
Examination Part 2 (75 items): 1 hour, 53 minute testing period

The recertification examinations are 100 questions in length administered over a 2 hour, 30 minute testing period.

Once the candidate has been checked-in, he/she will be escorted by testing staff to a workstation. The candidate must remain at the workstation unless authorized to leave by test site staff. Candidates may not leave the room without test site staff permission. If the candidate leaves the testing room without permission prior to completing his/her examination, he/she will forfeit the testing appointment and there will be no refund of testing fees.

Test site staff will provide the candidate with an erasable note board and pen, which may be replaced as needed during the test. The candidate may not remove the note boards or pens, and candidates are not allowed to use their own scratch paper or writing tools.

Use of Calculators

Candidates taking the computer-based examination will be provided with a calculator available on their computer screen for use during the examination. Outside calculators are not permitted.

Examination Day

Before you take your examination, it is recommended that you familiarize yourself with Prometric’s online examination delivery process by clicking here.