Pharmacist Board Certification in 2018 – Historical Pass Rates and a Look Ahead

I get a lot of questions about pharmacist board certification. So I just wanted to share what I know for pharmacist board certification in 2018.

The biggest change will be for those seeking geriatric certification.  This exam and content will be changing.  If you are planning on taking this certification in 2018, you can learn more about those changes here: BCGP changes in 2018

Standardization.  All pharmacist board certifications will now be under the Board of Pharmacy Specialties umbrella.  In addition to all being under the control of BPS, they will all have a standard test format.

  • 175 questions (new certification)
  • 100 questions (recertification)
  • ALL multiple choice with 4 selections possible
    • Only one answer should be selected for each question
  • Computer based in US (possibly paper based in other countries)
  • Just over four hours to complete the 175 questions
  • 2 testing windows; fall and spring
  • Biostatistics and non-clinical questions (regulatory) are a part of every exam


Specialties Available: *note geriatric addition

In looking ahead to 2018, I think it is important to look back at the history of pharmacist board certifications.  Historically, how hard are the exams? These exams are far from a gimmie. – Pass rates from 2016:

  • BCACP (AmCare) – 64%
  • BCCCP (Critical Care) – 82%
  • BCGP (Geriatric) – 78% (note; exam format and content will change in 2018)
  • BCNP (Nuclear) – 50%
  • BCNSP (Nutrition) – 67%
  • BCOP (Oncology) – 57% (79% recertification pass rate)
  • BCPPS (Pediatrics) – 62%
  • BCPS (Pharmacotherapy) – 60% (92% recertification pass rate – maybe this recertification exam isn’t quite so hard as the initial exam?)
  • BCPP (Psychiatric) – 69% (77% recertification pass rate)

Looking back, which are the most popular certifications by number of exam participants?

  1. BCPS
  2. BCGP (estimated over 4 testing periods versus 2)
  3. BCACP
  4. BCCCP
  5. BCOP
  6. BCPPS
  7. BCPP
  8. BCNSP
  9. BCNP

I hope this is helpful for those determining which certification track they want to take! Click here for more information on study material from Meded101!

Written By Eric Christianson

July 9, 2017

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