GPhC Exam

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Published: 22nd November 2010
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GPhC Exam
The GPhC is the current regulatory and professional body of pharmacy in the UK. This is soon changing, as GPhC's role as professional body and regulator of the profession will be delegated to two different organisations.

The GPhC sets the exams for pharmacist wishing to practice in the UK. This is after they have satisfactorily 45 weeks work in a pharmacy as a pre-reg. The examination takes place on two occasions each year: the summer (the last Friday in June) and the autumn (the last Friday in September).
The exam itself has a very broad syllabus, which contains:

• Clinical governance
• Continuing professional development
• Principles of audit
• Sale and supply of medicines
• Conditions for operating a registered pharmacy
• National Health Service
• Health and safety
• Prescribing guidelines
• Operating procedures
• NHS complaint procedures
•GPhC Code of ethics
• Environmental protection
• Consumer protection
• Data protection
• Evidence-based practice
• Action and uses of drugs
• Non prescription remedies
• Quality Assurance
• Responding to adverse drug reactions
• Triage
• Adverse effects of medicines • Contra-indications
• Drug interactions
• Counselling requirements
• Optimising patients' drug therapy
• Health promotion and disease prevention
• Calculation
• Formulation and preparation
• Good dispensing practice
• Special Handling requirements
• Stability
• NHS funding for pharmacy services

GPhC Exam Content
The exam is split into two papers. The first part of the exam taken in the morning is the closed book exam. In this exam no sources are available and the candidate must rely solely on their own knowledge. This is considered the hardest part of the exam and it is quite good to get the worst part over first. There are 90 questions in 90 minutes all in an MCQ format.

The second part of the exam is sat in the afternoon. This is the open paper where the candidate can use designated resources, these include exclusively the BNF, MEP and Drug Tariff. The open book exam also contains a calculations section where the candidate is asked to complete common pharmaceutical calculation problems.There are 80 questions to be answered in 150 minutes, and includes a 20-question section of calculation questions, to be done without calculators.
There are four types of question overall:

1. Standard MCQ - where you select the correct answer out of 5 options.

2. Reasoning - you are given two statements and and have to determine their relationship using a table.

3. Combination statement MCQ's using:
• 1, 2 and 3 are correct (A)
• 1 and 2 only are correct (B)
• 2 and 3 only are correct (C)
• 1 only is correct (D)
• 3 only is correct (E)

This option requires a tactical approach in all questions you know that the 2 option cannot be the only one that is correct, this often helps in making the right decision.

4. Linking - you are presented with a list of 2-5 statements, followed by another 2-5 statement these have to be linked by selecting the appropriate option.

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