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Your 10-Step Guide to Prepping for the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam

By April 4, 2024No Comments
Pharmacy Technician

There’s a buzz in the air. You’re either exploring the idea of taking a pharmacy technician course and where this in-demand career can lead your future, or you’re in a pharmacy technician program and taking steps to give yourself the best advantage after graduation. Either way, recognizing the power of certification to give you the competitive advantage is key to your long-term pharmacy technician career success.

While you have options for which pharmacy technician course in Ontario to take, we’ll speak to the advantages of our program options, both accredited by the Canadian Council for Accredited Pharmacy Programs (CCAPP).

As a graduate of Anderson College’s Pharmacy Technician programs, you’ll be eligible to write the Pharmacy Examining Board of Canada (PEBC) Qualifying Exam. Once you’ve completed the PEBC Qualifying Exam and other requirements such as the Ontario College of Pharmacists (OCP) Jurisprudence Exam and Structure Practical Training (SPT), you can apply to become a Registered Pharmacy Technician.

Certification speaks to the quality of your training and your ability to adhere to the latest regulations and standards and powerfully contribute to your profession. We’re here to ensure you understand the process and have the information, tips, and tools to succeed.

Your Comprehensive 10-Step Guide to Pharm Tech Certification Success


1. Learn from Industry Leaders

The Pharmacy Examining Board of Canada (PEBC) has done a wonderful job of offering you insight and details on what’s required and expected of a successful candidate.

“The Qualifying Examination is based on nine entry-level competencies, required by pharmacy technicians beginning to practice, which were developed by The National Association of Pharmacy Regulatory Authorities (NAPRA). These competencies are assessed through related questions or practice scenarios.”

You’ll notice the PEBC indicates that it is necessary for you to have both theoretical knowledge and practical training. This is a must. At Anderson College, your pharmacy technician classes are led by industry-expert instructors, and you receive both the technical knowledge required and hands-on training through a practicum offsite with potential employers.

For more about the exam process, references and support documents, visit the PEBC “Preparing for the Exam” site.

2. Create and Work a Study Schedule

Now that you understand the depth of what needs to be reviewed, remembered, and applied, come Qualifying Exam day, you need to develop a schedule that hits the highlights of all that’s required. You’ll need to study for at least a few months before your test day and allot a few hours to study time each day. The farther in advance you begin, the more information you’ll be able to shift from short- to long-term memory. In this, you’ll also be able to have balance in your life rather than cramming at the last moment and sacrificing sleep, physical exercise, and social connection to make it happen. Planning and follow thru will directly affect your success and your enjoyment of the whole process. And remember, this isn’t just about passing an exam, it is about absorbing the foundational details that will empower you to thrive in your career every day.

3. Gather Your Foundational Content

You’ve got course content class notes, textbooks, online support materials, insights, and notes from your practical training sessions (or you should aim to debrief and keep notes on these sessions), all to review. If you’ve missed classes, connect with a colleague who takes great notes and ensure your info is comprehensive and up to date. If you still have questions, connect directly with your instructors, they’re there to support you all along the way.

4. Follow the Blueprint

“The Pharmacy Technician Qualifying Examination blueprint is based on NAPRA’s 2014 Professional Competencies for Canadian Pharmacy Technicians at Entry to Practice. The exam blueprint informs candidates about what the exam will test and guides PEBC to design exams that are comparable from one examination administration to the next, giving all candidates equal opportunity to show whether or not they possess the competencies that are necessary to practise pharmacy safely and effectively in Canada.”

PEBC has taken the time to create this support document to guide you in the process of what’s required; print it off, post it and use it! Qualifying Examination Blueprint.

5. Transform Details into Study Materials

You want to use every trick and tool in the book to absorb the information and details you need to succeed come exam time and in your career. Your brain has the best chance when you use various techniques for remembering and recalling. Rewrite notes onto flashcards and/or condensed cheat sheets for studying. Know what kind of learner you are. If you’re auditory, record your notes to listen to. If you’re visual, turn notes into a map, add some colour. Alone or with study partners, find what works for you and create materials that will empower you to retain more.

6. Engage in Practice Tests

At Anderson, we’ll help you prepare for exam day, but beyond even that, once you feel confident that you’ve got a handle on the material, practice, practice, practice. You can write out questions you think will be covered; you can tap the PEBC Sample Questions, and/or you can work with a study group to come up with questions each of you feel will be covered on the exam and test one another.

7. Ask Questions, Get Clarification

Don’t hold back. Use the experts you have at hand to support you. Anderson instructors have been right where you are and can answer lingering questions you have or help you prep. Your success is our success.

8. Assess Results and Up Your Game

Each time you take a sample exam you can see where the learning gaps are, what to focus on nailing. Review questions you got wrong; add details to your study notes; take the test again; apply the learning, again and again. This is where preparation meets fun and you feel a buzz at being able to best yourself with each round of testing.

9. Set the Stage for Success

Studies show that the more relaxed we are heading into a pressure situation the greater success we’ll have. If you’ve prepared well, trust the work you’ve put into this. Remind yourself of all you’ve done and then, relax. Do something that brings you joy the day before your exam. Get a good night’s sleep; eat well; have a conversation with someone who reminds you of how amazing you are.

10. Rock Your Exam Day

This is it … what you’ve trained for, what you were born for to this point in your life. Visualize yourself accepting the certification, feel how you’ll feel in that moment of accomplishment.

Find the joy in this process, to be able to demonstrate all you’ve learned, the practical knowledge you’ve gleaned. Recognize the exam as an opportunity to shine and then let go of the results for now … simply enjoy the moment and do your best. You’re in the final leg of the race and you’ve got a whole team of supporters cheering from the sidelines. You’ve got this!


We know precisely what it takes to succeed in this profession; becoming a registered pharmacy technician can make all the difference in giving you the competitive edge. With all the time you’ve put into your studies, the way you’ve juggled school and life’s responsibilities, you deserve to put the icing on the cake of your experience. Writing the Qualifying Exam is that icing, and our Anderson team is here to support you in any way you need to reach that end.

If you’re still determining whether your interests match this profession, but you’re intrigued, take the “Anderson College Pharmacy Technician Career Discovery Quiz”.

If you’re ready to start your Pharmacy Technician career, book a virtual appointment with our Admissions team; we’re here to help you take that leap and embrace the next best version of your career and life.

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