Student Registration

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.

You will need to create an NABP e-Profile. Your NABP e-Profile is where you will manage all the programs and services available to you through NABP.

The PCOA will be administered in 2019 during the dates listed below. Please note the student registration deadlines for each of the testing windows.

2019 Windows

  • August 19, 2019 – September 13, 2019
    • Student registration closes June 20, 2019
  • November 11, 2019 – December 13, 2019
    • Student registration closes September 12, 2019

2020 Windows

  • January 13, 2020 – February 15, 2020
    • Student registration closes November 14, 2019
  • April 6, 2020 – May 16, 2020
    • Student registration closes February 6, 2020
  • June 15, 2020 – June 27, 2020
    • Student registration closes April 16, 2020
  • August 17, 2020 – September 12, 2020
    • Student registration closes June 18, 2020
  • November 9, 2020 – December 12, 2020
    • Student registration closes September 10, 2020

To register for the PCOA, you will need to create an NABP e-Profile if you don’t already have one

For detailed information on how to create an e-Profile, refer to our e-Profile FAQs. You will need to use your school email address when creating your e-Profile. 

Once your school has notified you to register for the PCOA, log in to your e-Profile and click on Exam Services to get to PCOA registration. No payment is required to register. When registering, be sure to:

  • Ensure that the name you provide when setting up your e-Profile matches your state-issued photo ID.
  • Enter your education information correctly. To change education information you will have to go through NABP Customer Service.
  • Complete and submit the ADA testing accommodations forms to your school immediately after registering to ensure it can be processed in time for the test administration. Contact your school regarding status of your ADA request.

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email. You will need to keep this email for your records. Your school will determine your eligibility to test and provide additional assessment-related information. Contact your school administrators if you have questions about the assessment dates or administration of the PCOA.

Important: Names on ID Must Match e-Profile Registration

Ensure that the name you provide when setting up your e-Profile matches your 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 name on the ID that you present the day of the assessment, you may not be able to sit for the PCOA.

Testing Accommodations

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:

  1. Download the Testing Accommodations Request Form.
  2. Complete section I, Student’s Information.
  3. Have your practitioner complete section II.
  4. Submit the form to your school/college of pharmacy, which will complete section III.
  5. 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.

Practice Test

About two weeks prior to the PCOA administration, students will receive a link to the PCOA practice test. The practice test includes 50 questions and will help you become familiar with the types of questions and the format of the PCOA, as well as the software used to deliver the assessment.

Individuals who have registered for the PCOA but do not receive the email with the practice test code should check their spam filters. If no email has been received, please contact your school/college.

PCOA Content Areas

The PCOA Content Areas and subtopics for the current 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
    • Calculators
    • 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
  • Weapons

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.