Each school chooses from five testing windows to administer the PCOA. Once your school/college has finalized a date to administer the assessment, they will notify you to register for the PCOA. Do not register for the PCOA until your school/college instructs you to do so.
The PCOA will be administered in 2017 and 2018 during the dates listed below. Please note the student registration deadlines for each of the testing windows.
- November 13, 2017 – December 8, 2017
- Student registration closes September 14, 2017
- January 15, 2018 – February 16, 2018
- Student registration closes November 16, 2017
- April 9, 2018 – May 10, 2018
- Student registration closes February 8, 2018
- June 18, 2018 – June 29, 2018
- Student registration closes April 20, 2018
- August 20, 2018 – September 14, 2018
- Student registration closes June 22, 2018
- November 12, 2018 – December 7, 2018
- Student registration closes September 13, 2018
To register, you will need to login to your NABP e-Profile. For detailed information about how to create an NABP e-Profile and register for the PCOA, download the PCOA Student Registration Instructions. NABP recommends printing this PDF and using it to walk you through the online registration process. Information on receiving and taking the practice test are also included.
Important: Names on ID Must Match e-Profile Registration
Ensure that the name you provide when setting up your e-Profile matches your school-issued or state-issued photo identification. This means the last, first, and middle name or initial, and suffixes must be entered in your e-Profile exactly as they appear on your identification. If the name that you provide for your e-Profile does not match the names on the IDs that you present the day of the assessment, you will not be able to sit for the PCOA. Please see the registration instructions for details.
NABP abides by all applicable federal and state regulations relating to the testing of eligible individuals under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and amendments (ADAA). To ensure the security and integrity of the assessment, NABP will evaluate accommodation requests.
To submit an accommodation request, individuals must take the following steps:
- Download the PCOA Request for Disability Accommodation.
- Complete section I, Student’s Information.
- Have your practitioner complete section II.
- Submit the form to your school/college of pharmacy, which will complete section III.
- The school/college of pharmacy will submit the completed form to NABP for review.
NOTE: It is advised that you contact your school now to obtain the deadline for submitting an ADA request.
PCOA Content Areas
The PCOA Content Areas and subtopics for the 2016-2017 academic year are based upon outcomes from the US College of Pharmacy Curricula Survey that was completed in 2015. The assessment is composed of four content areas that are broken down into 28 subtopic areas. The content areas, as well as PCOA sample items, are available for download on the PCOA landing page.
Guidelines for Test Day
To ensure that assessment results for all students are earned under comparable conditions and represent fair and accurate measurement of each student’s individual knowledge and skills, it is necessary to maintain a standardized and secure testing environment.
Prohibited items will not be allowed in the testing room. Prohibited items include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Books, reference, study, or other such hard-copy materials
- Electronic devices, including
- Cell phones
- Any device that has a recorder
- Any device that has a camera (eg, Google Glass)
- Other wireless devices such as pagers or ear pieces
- Other digital devices such as watches, activity wristbands, or PDAs
- Outerwear such as coats and hats
- Purses, backpacks, briefcases, and bags
A place for students to store these items will be designated either inside or outside of the testing room.
Report Exam Irregularity
NABP examinations are administered under strict security measures, and information on suspected examination irregularities, acts of unethical behavior, and breaches of security can be reported to NABP using the Report Exam Irregularity form.