As I look ahead to help all of you prepare for the 2020 BCPS exam changes, I want to make sure that everyone is on the same page in how this might affect your studying.
2020 BCPS Exam Changes – Timing
The first and most important point to note is when you are taking this exam. If you are taking the BCPS exam in the Spring of 2020, NOTHING will change with the content outline from previous years. If you are taking this exam in the Fall of 2020, you need to be aware of the changes.
As a reminder, here’s a look at the registration period as well as the testing window as reported by the BPS website.
Spring 2020 BCPS Exam: The registration window opens January 6, 2020 and closes March 20, 2020. The testing window will be open between April 20, 2020 through May 11, 2020.
Fall 2020 BCPS Exam: The registration window opens May 15, 2020 and closes August 3, 2020. The testing window will be open between September 20, 2020 through October 12, 2020.
2020 BCPS Exam Changes – Content
I’ve created previous posts on how I would prepare for the current BCPS content outline. This link provides a sample BCPS study schedule to help you identify how much time you would like to spend on each topic. It also comes with an example study schedule based upon the depth of those topics. If you are taking the exam in the Spring of 2020, you can use the schedule accordingly. If you are looking ahead to taking the BCPS exam in the fall of 2020, I would definitely tweak this schedule a little bit.
Here’s the rundown on the biggest change in the content outline for the Fall of 2020: more pharmacotherapy and less regulatory. I’m happy about this and feel this is an appropriate step in the right direction! In general, I think this much more aligns with our role in the healthcare team. After all, the certification is called the PHARMACOTHERAPY certification for a reason. The pharmacotherapy section % rose from 55% of the exam to 65% of the exam. Healthcare systems, population health, and what is often referred to as regulatory type topics fell from 20% down to 10% of the exam.
Fall 2020 BCPS Exam Changes – How Would I Prepare Differently?
I would not have a dramatic change in my study approach. I would, however, spend less time and effort on regulatory topics. How much less time would depend upon my comfort level with the content. Would I totally ignore 10% of the exam and hope I could get a few right? I wouldn’t. 10% is still a significant amount of the exam. In the BCPS exam, that will amount to approximately 15-20 questions. That’s a good chunk that could definitely make or break your exam. I would shift some of my time to pharmacotherapy and making sure I understand the hierarchy of selecting drug therapy based upon guidelines as well as patient-specific factors (i.e. contraindications, drug interactions, warnings, precautions, etc.).
What About Statistics?
I would not change my effort level on understanding statistics. It still remains as 25% of the exam. You are going to get 30-40 questions on this topic and if you don’t have a clue about stats, you are still going to fail your exam. Do not make this rookie mistake of being ill-prepared for stats! We’ve had a ton of good feedback from our Stats Study Guide (part of our All Access Passes) from BPS exam participants and this will help you immensely for this section. Here’s some feedback we’ve received.
Mike M. – “I was surprised by the ease it took me to understand the key concepts while reviewing your study guide. It was very reader-friendly and well written. For someone like me who has not had enough exposure to statistics, let alone biostatistics, it was of tremendous value.”
Toni – “It was very helpful for me and worth the money.”
Agatha Dang – “Thanks to your statistics review material, I am now certified in critical care pharmacotherapy! I just checked my score today and I passed. I graduated almost 20 years ago and totally forgot my statistics. I bought the stat package from you, and it was very helpful for the exams that I took yesterday. I don’t know if I’ll pass or not, but I just want to tell you how much it has helped me on the BCCCP exams.”
Craig C. – “I can say that as I looked over the material, I felt it was an excellent review for individuals taking the BCPS exam and the stats were a good, quick review for me preparing for the BCCCP exam.”
What Have We Changed With Our Study Materials?
In preparation for the 2020 exam changes, we have added a ton more content over the previous year. We are now up to over 1,300 total questions between our two practice exams and question banks. In addition, I updated and changed nearly 20 pharmacotherapy videos based on customer feedback and guideline updates. For Fall 2020 exam participants, I am going to leave our Regulatory study guide as-is, but just recall that there will be less emphasis on this section of the exam going forward. Here’s the link to our study material for the BCPS exam.
If you are looking for other board certification study materials like BCACP, BCMTMS, BCGP, or NAPLEX, you can find links to all of them here.