2024 BCPS Exam – What’s Changing?

Studying for the 2024 BCPS Exam? We provide an update of what is different this year.

It’s hard to believe that I have been following pharmacist board certifications and helping pharmacists pass the BCPS exam for over 10 years since I first passed it in 2013! Each year in updating and creating our study materials, I review the content outline and any possible changes in the BCPS exam. There are definitely some significant changes to the 2024 BCPS exam, but not in the way you might think.

Content Outline – 2024 BCPS Exam Changes

I went through line by line comparing the 2023 content outline to the 2024 BCPS content outline. SPOILER ALERT: There were no differences. The percentages are the same for every domain. Because this is the case, I am not recommending that people alter their study strategy from previous years.

I do want to note that the content outline looks WAY different if you are taking the BCPS in September 2024 and beyond. Specific topic areas are laid out in the content outline which is a deviation from previous content outlines. I will post more about the September changes in an upcoming blog post in 2024.

BCPS Exam Question Number Changes

By far, the biggest change in the BCPS exam for 2024 is the number of questions in the exam. The total number of questions drops from 175 in 2023 to 150 in 2024. I’m a little old school in that I would probably rather have more questions than less especially if I feel like I have adequately prepared but 150 is still a fairly big number and you certainly have some wiggle room to get some of the questions incorrect. I have also reminded candidates not to get too frazzled about getting a few questions wrong. 25 of the 150 are NOT graded so you have to keep your cool during the exam and recognize that you may be getting the non-graded questions wrong.

It is also important to note that the amount of time allotted for the exam also drops as well in 2024. You will only have 3 hours and 45 minutes to take the BCPS exam while previously it was 4 hours and 23 minutes. It is still going to be critical for you to be able to pace yourself if you have historically been a moderate to slow test taker. Practice questions are the best way to assess the length of time it takes you to complete questions.

Continuing Education Requirements For Recertification Are Changing

The CE requirements for recertification will go to 80 units of BPS-approved CE. These CE credits can only be purchased through ACCP and ASHP according to the content outline. In addition, 20 units of self-reported CE must be completed (this is not going to be a big deal for most pharmacists as states are typically requiring this anyway).

The other way to recertify is to take a shortened BCPS exam. If you want to recertify via examination, you do NOT have to purchase and obtain the 80 CE credits through ACCP or ASHP or keep track of the CE over the certification period. The 20 units of self-reported CE are required which as mentioned previously, will not be a concern for most pharmacists. The recertification exam is shorter in length and has only 100 questions compared to the original certification exam of 150 questions.

BCPS Exam – Continuous Testing Is New In 2024

The pharmacotherapy (BCPS) exam will have a lot more flexibility starting in September 2024. They are going to be allowing way more options in when you can take your exam. Historically, there have been two testing windows every year. There was a spring (April) and fall (September) testing window. This was the ONLY time that you could take the exam. With continuous testing, pharmacists are going to be able to take it at all different times throughout the year. This is an awesome change and should make it easier for candidates to plan their schedule better and take it at a time of the year when they can be best prepared. I know for me, the fall testing window was challenging because summer can get really busy with work and family events.

I hope this information helps you prepare for your BCPS exam in 2024! If you are looking to get a jump on your studying for 2024, check out our study packages and if you have any questions, shoot me an email at [email protected]

Best wishes in 2024!

Eric Christianson, PharmD, BCPS, BCGP

I have also created a video about the upcoming 2024 BCPS exam testing season. Here’s the link to that if interested.


  1. Jennifer Grove

    Any changes to the BCACP exam?
    I am scheduled to test Spring2024.

    • Eric Christianson

      No changes in the content outline and percentages but there is a reduction in the number of questions just like the other board certification exams from BPS. Good question!

    • Naureen Wajid

      Any change in BCOP

  2. Mike

    Is it required to have a PGY1? I’ve been a retail pharmacist for 20 plus years and I’d like to take the test so I can get out of retail.

    • Eric Christianson

      Good question Mike, it is not required to have a PGY1. You do need to provide a letter from your employer documenting the work you do – https://bpsweb.org/employer-verification/
      I have not heard of any retail pharmacists being prevented from taking the BCPS exam so long as the letter of attestation is completed. Best wishes!

  3. Nicole Skyer-Brandwene

    The first time I took the BCPS exam, I’m pretty sure it was 200 questions!

    • Eric Christianson

      Yes it was! That’s when I first took it too!

  4. Amit Saxena

    so what does it all mean. Is it a good thing or is it going to be much tougher which it already is.

    • Eric Christianson

      Hi Amit! Thanks for the message. In following these exams, my experience is the pass rate drops a little when a change to the content outline happens. My guess is this will be true for the fall exam but time will tell! Eric


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Written By Eric Christianson

October 4, 2023

Study Materials For Pharmacists


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