NAPLEX Question of the Week: Time to Get Serious about Preparation

This week's post will focus on getting you in gear for preparing for the exam as crunch time is nearing.

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I recently watched the movie "Sully" which was outstanding detailing the successful landing of a commercial airplane in the Hudson River several years ago. During one portion of the grilling session he (played by Tom Hanks) was enduring he asks the committee after some data are presented: "Can we get serious now"? Immediately when I heard this line I thought about where students are with NAPLEX preparation and wanted to spend this week getting serious about the exam.

I know many students have had good intentions for preparing early, but haven't for a number of reasons. Bottom line is this: most students are within one month of graduation which means time is running short for preparation. My own students here at UGA are finishing their last week of APPE rotations. 

Here are some pointers that I think will help you get in high gear going forward.

1. You need to shore up on calculations: Most clinical rotations unless focused on TPN, compounding, or pharmacokinetics lack in this area. You need to practice, practice, and practice calculations some more.

2. Failure to pass occurs in 1 in 10 students. Next week I travel the country doing live exam prep and notoriously I meet students who are a bit lackadaisical about the exam. Now on first glance that doesn't look bad right? 90% national pass rate is pretty good. 

Let's try it a different way...if I told you a medication causes a particular side effect in 10% of patients, you would say it is common, right? Of course you would. So I think it is fair to say that failing the board exam is a common event and needs to be taken seriously.

3. Study those things that you don't like and aren't good at. I know I know. You love to go over metformin and lisinopril. Truth is you know those well. But when I write doxorubicin or truvada, you get anxious. Spend some time studying those things that you aren't naturally good at because your exposure/experience is limited.

Here is the good news...Access Pharmacy has a number of incredible resources that are built to study in a short period of time. The newly released NAPLEX 3rd edition was designed by our editorial staff to read 90% of chapters in 10 minutes or less. Additionally, there are tons of practice questions with rationale for right/wrong answers which is crucial!

Here is a link to the review guide:

For additional NAPLEX questions, please go to our test bank available for use:

Congratulations on your upcoming graduation. You have sacrificed so much and it is about to pay off. You just have one more major thing to accomplish to make it happen.

Can we get serious now?

Christopher M. Bland

Clinical Professor, University of Georgia College of Pharmacy

Dr. Christopher M. Bland is a Clinical Professor at the University of Georgia College of Pharmacy at the Southeast GA campus in Savannah, GA. Dr. Bland has over 20 years of academic and clinical experience in a number of clinical areas. He is a Fellow of both the Infectious Diseases Society of America as well as the American College of Clinical Pharmacy. He is co-founder of the Southeastern Research Group Endeavor, SERGE-45, with over 80 practitioners across 14 states involved. Dr. Bland serves as Associate Editor for the NAPLEX Review Guide 4th edition as well as Editor-In-Chief for the Question of the Week. He has provided live, interactive reviews for more than 10 Colleges/Schools of Pharmacy over the course of his career.