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PEBC qualifying exam- what you need to do to score high

Updated on August 23, 2014

The PEBC qualifying exam is administered by the Pharmacy Examining Board of Canada, and it is a compulsory exam for all Pharmacists who intend to practice the profession within Canada. PEBC exam is not only recognized in Canada, it is acceptable in many other countries of the world. While many Pharmacists strive so hard to pass the exam within 3 attempts, others had to re-register several times before they could make it.

How do I study for the PEBC exam?
You need to understand that the Pharmacy exam is in three parts; The Evaluating exam, MCQ, and the OSCE. Each of the exams comes with different content and presentation, therefore the Pharmacy course you undertake prior to this exam must include all contents that will come out in the PEBC exam. You need to pay attention to your Pharmacy courses as well as different life scenarios in order to pass this exam perfectly. The three exams will test the commonly used skills and knowledge you have acquired while studying and practicing Pharmacy on daily basis. The PEBC expects you to be conversant and knowledgeable in all areas of pharmacy, most especially how you can handle different cases with such knowledge.

The PEBC Examining Board of Canada does not give students the areas of pharmacy to concentrate on in order to pass the PEBC exam; therefore you need to search for two types of syllabuses;

  • PEBC qualifying exam blueprint, and
  • PEBC evaluating exam syllabus.

These syllabuses appear quite long and general in nature, but they will guide you on specific topics you should concentrate on. You need to make out a study plan that include each subject area and mark them as you progress through. You will need some source and reference materials to support your study books and resources.

How much time do I need to study for the PEBC qualifying exam?
Depending on your individual speed, the needed study time for PEBC qualifying exam will vary, however it is ideal to make plans and study each study matter systematically or gradually before you write the PEBC qualifying exam. While some candidates can memorize as much information as possible within few days to the PEBC exams, others may have to study for weeks or months before they can be fully prepared. The best possible way to prepare for PEBC exam is to study through your resources as many times as possible- this will help you familiarize yourself to the contents without the need to memorize contents.

Study the techniques that have been proven to be successful for different scenarios, similarly, the Pharmacy syllabus is too wide , but you can read them briefly and spend more time on the texts that are described in the syllabuses. Some of the best study materials you can consider using for your PEBC exams are;

  • Comprehensive Pharmacy review, and
  • Quick Review of Pharmacy.

These two resources are endorsed by the Pharmacy Examining Board of Canada, and they help you identify both your weak and strong areas and how to deal with different cases. You need to keep in mind that you only have three attempts at each component exams in the PEBC Qualifying exam, and when you consider the amount of money needed to register for the exams, then you should consider studying early to prepare adequately. Experts suggest that you study for 6 hours a week for 3-5 days period of time , and for up to 3 months or more before you write the exam.

The pharmacy exam comprises of two tests conducted over 2 consecutive days, and each comprises of 150 multiple choice questions that cover Pharmacy science and Pharmacy practice areas. The pass mark for each of the exam is 60% overall, and are offered in May and November of each year. The PEBC qualifying exam must be taken in Canada, and Holders of the PEBC certificate are eligible to practice Pharmacy in Canada and some other countries in Europe and North America.


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