PCOA Frequently Asked Questions

  1. I am a student at a school/college of pharmacy. How do I find out my testing time, ADA status, and other test day information?
  2. How is the PCOA scored?
  3. What information is provided in the score reports?
  4. What are the system requirements for the PCOA?

1. I am a student at a school/college of pharmacy. How do I find out my testing time, ADA status, and other test day information?

Your school/college of pharmacy handles many components of your PCOA testing day, such as your ADA status and test time. Therefore, please contact your school/college of pharmacy first for questions related to the following topics:

  • Eligibility/status updates
  • Scoring
  • Score reports/distribution
  • Test date, time, and location
  • Test day preparation
  • Application for Disability Accommodation (ADA) – status/acceptance

NABP Customer Service representatives can assist you with NABP e-Profile creation and PCOA registration processes such as:

  • Securing an e-Profile ID
  • Username and password assistance
  • Updating your name, date of birth, and SSN
  • Updating school information
  • All demographic updates
  • Online registration

2. How is the PCOA scored?

NABP uses a Rasch-based item response theory model to produce individual scores. Rigorous psychometric analyses are performed to assess model fit, item functioning, accuracy of the key, and form-level reliability. Scores are produced for the total assessment as well as for each of the content areas. Assessment forms from each administration are equated. As a result, scores across administrations are placed on the same measurement continuum, which permits accurate comparisons to be made between the content area scores and between the scores from one year to the next.

3. What information is provided in the score reports?

Two types of score reports are provided: one is customized for each individual student and the other is prepared as a school-level summary report. Both types of score reports are sent to the pharmacy school. Student reports are provided to pharmacy school administrators/faculty to disseminate to individual students. It is recommended that faculty meet with students to provide and discuss individual results. Scores are provided within four weeks from the last day of the testing window in which your institution takes the assessment.

Administrators may refer to the administrators’ section to download a copy of the PCOA Registration and Administration Guide for Schools and Colleges of Pharmacy, which has more details on student and school score reports. You can also view a sample score report.

4. What are the system requirements for the PCOA?

Taking the PCOA requires one the following internet browsers:

  • The current version of Mozilla Firefox.
  • The current version of Google Chrome.
  • The current version of Apple Safari.

Additionally, test takers should make sure their computers have the following:

  • Adobe Flash Plug-in, version 9.0.115 or newer
  • JavaScript enabled
  • Cookies enabled
  • Screen resolution of 1024 by 768+

Schools should ensure that the computers students use to take the PCOA, whether they are school-issued or personal, have DSL internet connectivity or internet speed equivalent to 1.5 mbs or higher, a continuous power source, and adequate bandwidth to support the number of test takers.

To ensure security during the examination, NABP requires the use of a special browser called WebLock that prohibits other computer programs from being opened during the assessment. This browser must be downloaded at least one day before the PCOA administration. 

Detailed instructions on installing and uninstalling the WebLock browser are available in the PCOA Registration and Administration Guide for Schools and Colleges of Pharmacy.