The North American Pharmacist Licensure Examination® (NAPLEX®) is designed to evaluate general practice knowledge and is taken by recent college of pharmacy graduates shortly after they receive their degree. The exam is also taken by foreign-educated pharmacists who have earned FPGEC Certification. The NAPLEX is just one component of the licensure process and is used by the boards of pharmacy to assess a candidate’s competence to practice as a pharmacist.
Steps to Apply for the NAPLEX
You must complete the process outlined below when applying for the NAPLEX. A thorough breakdown of the application steps, including answers to common questions, can also be found in the Bulletin.
- Read the Candidate Application Bulletin and learn state licensure requirements
- Fully understand the process and expectations for examination candidates and check your board of pharmacy’s website to see if there are unique requirements in the state where you are seeking licensure.
- Sign up to receive more information on how to apply and prepare for the NAPLEX.
- If applicable, apply for the armed forces discount in your NABP e-Profile, before applying for exam eligibility.
- Apply for exam eligibility
- Apply in the Exam Services section of your NABP e-Profile and pay the application fee.
- See the information below regarding eligibility. Timelines and fees may vary depending on the state.
- If applicable, request ADA accommodations.
- If you need test day accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), complete and follow the submission instructions on the Request for Testing Accommodations form. The form should be submitted with your online application.
- Submit transcript upon degree conferral.
- Transcripts are required if you have never taken the NAPLEX, regardless of your graduation year, are not licensed in the US, or have never submitted an official transcript to NABP. You must have an official transcript sent from your college of pharmacy to NABP in order to purchase the exam and receive an Authorization to Test (ATT). Learn more about how to submit your transcripts.
- Purchase the exam
- Once eligibility is granted, the purchase exam link will appear in your NABP e-Profile. You may also purchase score transfers at this time, or you may wait until after you have taken the exam. You may purchase score transfers up to 89 days after your exam date. Candidates are advised to purchase score transfer requests as soon as possible. Waiting until the last day may result in the score transfer request option being unavailable.
- Schedule the exam with Pearson VUE
- After purchasing the exam, you will receive an ATT via email and you can then schedule your appointment with Pearson VUE.
Eligibility to Test
We confirm eligibility to test for Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, District of Columbia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Nebraska, North Carolina, Oregon, Rhode Island, Utah, and Wisconsin. There is an additional $85 fee for these states during the application process, and candidates may be approved to purchase the exam after meeting all application requirements.
States not listed above have their own processes for confirming eligibility. The processing time varies per board. Check the board’s website for timelines.
Updates on your eligibility status will be noted in the Exam Services section of your NABP e-Profile.
The score transfer program saves time and allows you to move ahead with licensure in more than one state as soon as you pass the NAPLEX.
Score transfer can be added to your NAPLEX application in your e-Profile. You may select states in addition to the primary state where you are seeking licensure, and we will transmit your score to those boards of pharmacy.
- Score transfer requests can be submitted via your NABP e-Profile up to 89 days after sitting for the NAPLEX.
- The cost is $75 per state.
- Purchase score transfer requests as soon as possible; waiting until the last day may result in the score transfer request option being unavailable.
Take the NAPLEX
The NAPLEX is a 6 hour exam composed of 225 questions that are delivered in a computerized, fixed form. The exam results will be reported as pass or fail, and candidates are allowed 5 attempts to pass the exam.
The following resources may assist you when preparing for the NAPLEX:
- Review the NAPLEX Competency Statements to gain an understanding of the topic areas covered in the exam.
- Download the sample items to understand the formatting of exam questions.
- Take the Pre-NAPLEX®, the official practice exam.
- Sign up to receive tips and information about preparing for the NAPLEX.
Read the test day policies and procedures found in the Bulletin to avoid being turned away from the test center.
If the primary jurisdiction for which you are testing participates in NABP’s online exam result interface, you will receive Pass or Fail exam results within 14 business days after you have taken the exam. Pass or Fail exam results are posted in your NABP e-Profile for the majority of jurisdictions. For a Fail NAPLEX result, we provide a performance report that gives additional details across the competency areas. Candidates who are seeking license in the following jurisdictions are required to receive their exam results directly from these jurisdictions:
- Puerto Rico
- The Virgin Islands
At this time, NABP will also release exam results to the board of pharmacy designated on your NAPLEX application. Any jurisdictions that you selected for score transfer will also receive the exam results.
View the NAPLEX sample candidate performance report to find a breakdown of the information included in your exam results.
Yearly passing rates for each of the United States colleges of pharmacy can be found in the Resources section.
Sign up for application tips & reminders!
Sign up to receive helpful information about applying and preparing for the NAPLEX. You will learn more about the following:
– Creating an NABP e-Profile
– Applying for eligibility
– Registering for the exam
– Test day tips
– What to expect after the exam