Preparing for the NAPLEX: Pharmacy School

As a pharmacy student, everything that you do in school now will prepare you to be the best pharmacist that you can be. When it comes time to actually take the NAPLEX, then it really should be just a formality at that point. Simply put, the best thing that you can do at this time is to PAY ATTENTION IN SCHOOL.

Sure, it sounds like simple advice. It’s the same advice that has been drilled into you since you started going to school many, many years ago. And let’s let face it: At this point you’ve been in school so damn long that by the time you do graduate from Pharmacy School then you could already be considered “old” in many circles. And, maybe, consider yourself to be old.

Good study habits and retaining all that you learned is the number one step to preparing for the NAPLEX when the time comes. Particular focus should be made in pharmacology and pharmacotherapy, but don’t underestimate how important your understanding of the basic sciences will be throughout the rest of school, passing the NAPLEX and your future career as a pharmacist. The basic sciences will put you in the best position to understanding and excelling at therapeutics during your Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experience (APPE) rotations.

Again, pharmacology and pharmacotherapy are of utmost importance. Having a strong grasp of Pharmaceutical calculations will make sure that your NAPLEX experience is as stress-free as possible. Bottom line: Know the calculations and you’re in a great position to excel on the NAPLEX. Not knowing the calculations and understanding of them will spell doom and anxiety.

During the didactic portion of your pharmacy education, you will be taught and learn all things drug related in exquisite detail. Drug mechanism of action, indications, contraindications, adverse effects, monitoring and drug interactions are all very important to understand, but it is impossible to memorize every detail about every single drug.

Your success at committing the basics to memory will be your prevailing battle-cry or your death march into the NAPLEX abyss. Don’t take school for granted. We can’t stress that enough. How to treat typical conditions like hypertension, diabetes, heart failure, spectrum of coverage, antibiotic mechanism of action, common drug interactions, major drug interactions, and how drugs react and are indicated in certain populations of pediatric, pregnant women, the elderly, etc. It’s a lot and you’re expected to know it all to be a satisfactory pharmacist.

Just remember, paying attention now will prep you to pass the NAPLEX. However, keep in mind that your charge is to be the best pharmacist that you can be for the good of all. Preparing for the NAPLEX is important but the test only measures your ability to pass it. What you do now in Pharmacy school and how well abreast and educated you remain for the rest of your career will determine your skill and professionalism as a pharmacist.

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