As some of you already know, last year I did not have the best experience with the Connecticut MPJE! I failed the exam by ONE point….I got a 74 when passing was a 75 or higher and I was devastated. I had never failed and exam up until that point and while I can say I had a lot going on in my personal life at the time (which I did), in my heart I still know I wasn’t as prepared as I could have been. My hope with this blog post is that I give you all a better understanding than I had on what to expect and how you can best prepare!
So first, let’s address the obvious…WE ARE NOT LAWYERS!!! I can not tell you how confusing some of the laws were to read, some of them didn’t even sound like English, I could read them five times and still think “I have no idea what this is saying!” If you have thought this yourself from time to time while studying, don’t panic I promise you are not alone!
Quick Tips That Make a Huge Difference
- Read each question slowly and make sure you understand what it is asking, you don’t want to make silly mistakes on easy content that you know! I know this seems like a basic tip but licensing exam stress can throw us all off so good test taking practices are vital.
- Do NOT assume anything! Some questions are vague and others are very detailed but when details are left out that could totally change the answer to the question that could have been done on purpose! See my instagram NAPLEX/MPJE highlight for an explanation of a great example for this tip!
- Study in a way that ensures you truly know all of the information. Certain things like what has to be on a prescription label seem so obvious when you are studying but trust me the options they may give you on the test can suddenly make you feel so confused and you can get the question wrong. This is definitely something I struggled with on the first exam, the multiple choice options all sounded wrong or more than one would sound right when it was not a choose all that apply… my MPJE round two I made sure this didn’t happen again, I could literally write out all the things that needed to be on the label, in the prescription record, on the prescription itself (controlled and non-controlled) and I would when I got a question on it or you could choose to word vomit on your scratch pad when the exam starts, but either way memorizing like that was SO HELPFUL.
- Numbers are your best friend! Chances are if there’s a number associated with it you probably need to know it…wether it is the DEA Form numbers, how long you have to storage records for, tech to pharmacist ratio, expiration dates or refill limits, etc…bottom line, if there’s a law with some kind of specific number, memorize it!
- Take a practice test! Last year the Pre-MPJE did not exist but the Pre-Naplex did and my scores for that were THREE points off from my real NAPLEX score! I have heard from friends this year that the same is true for the Pre-MPJE (their scores were also extremely close to their actual MPJE score) and it is a great way to see where you stand before taking the actual exam. You do have to pay for the exam ($65) but it’s certainly cheaper than retaking the MPJE! I recommend taking the exam about one week to a few days before to see where you stand. If you pass with flying colors keep going with how you are studying, if you are close to failing or do fail the exam I would assess how you can change how you are studying or possibly push your exam back if it is necessary!
- Reach out to your boss or others who have recently taken the exam for advice! My RPD let me know well in advance that a local university in Connecticut actually held a law review each year and coming from someone who learned Massachusetts law in school the review was so helpful. Your local universities may do the same thing or someone may have good law slides/content for you!
All MPJE’s are obviously going to be different depending on which state you are getting licensed for, so when I speak about my experience with the content of my exam keep in mind I took the Connecticut MPJE, which may or may not be very similar to your state! If anyone who took the MPJE wants to comment below their personal experience with exam distribution to potentially help out a graduate in the same state please do!!! The CT MPJE is heavily state law focused. They definitely include some federal statues/regulations, DEA stuff etc but for the most part it is heavily CT law. If a question doesn’t specify what law to follow, aka it is just asking you a question, then you follow CT law because you are going to be a pharmacist in CT. Whereas if a question says, “according to federal law,” you are going to answer that based on federal regulations and not per your state laws.
I actually read a lot of the law text from my state when I was confused based on the slides I had or just wanted to view it in another manor. I am attaching the CT laws here for those of you who are taking the exam in CT but if you are taking it in another state you should be able to find your state’s laws with a google search!
CT Laws – Includes Pharmacy Practice Act (chapter 400j), controlled substances (420b), and more
MPJE fill in Qs – Helpful no matter what state your MPJE is for! Simply fill in all the questions as a way to organize material and study at the same time!
Again federal law may not be the biggest section of your exam, especially if you are in Connecticut BUT knowing federal law can give you some easy points! It is super important to know the big regulations or federal acts surrounding drugs and how each medication is classified federally and any implications that has for prescribing/prescriptions. This is not an all encompassing list but the following areas stick out in my memory of what is important to know:
- The DEA manual
- DEA forms
- How long to store records
- Federal acts including
- Durham Humphrey
- Kefauver Harris
- Orphan Drug Act
- Safe Medical Device Act
- Generic Drug Enforcement Act
- FD Administration Modernization Act
- Drug Quality and Security Act
- Food and Drug Administration Amendment Act
- FDA Safety and Innovation Act
- Controlled Substance Act
- OBRA 90′
- Definition of a drug vs. device vs. cosmetic
- Definition of a drug vs. food vs. supplement
- Recalls (levels I, II and III)
- Federal laws for Schedule I, II, III, IV, V and non-controlled/VI (what drugs fall into each class, how long is a prescription good for, refills, etc)
I hope this post was helpful for you all and I wish you all the best of luck! For anyone who has already taken the MPJE and wants to leave advice for others please leave it in the comments below with what state!