2022 Edition

NAPLEX and MPJE Test Guide

NAPLEX and MPJE Test Summary
What: The NAPLEX and MPJE are used to license candidates for pharmacy work.
Who: Those who have graduated pharmacy school are eligible.
Where: Tests are offered at PearsonVUE test centers nationwide.
When: Tests are available year-round; the NAPLEX is open to those nearing graduation of pharmacy school, while the MPJE is limited to those who have already graduated.
How: Questions are scenario-based and multiple choice.
Type: Both tests are computer adaptive.
Why: Tests are required for state licensure.
Time: Four hours and fifteen minutes for NAPLEX and two hours for MPJE
Language: English
Preparation: Many different study materials are available to help candidates study.
Cost: $465 for NAPLEX and $200 for MPJE

By Erin Hasinger, Tests.com


The North American Pharmacist Licensure Examination (NAPLEX) and the Multistate Pharmacy Jurisprudence Examination (MPJE) are examinations taken by individuals seeking licensure in the pharmaceutical field.  The exams are taken by those who have graduated or are anticipating graduation of a college pharmacy program. Passing scores are required to become a licensed pharmacist.




The NAPLEX is used by state boards of pharmacy as part of their assessment of capability of individuals to practice pharmacy.  It is a computer-administered test designed by Pearson and is taken at a local PearsonVUE test center.


The NAPLEX consists of 185 multiple-choice questions, only 150 of which are counted toward the final test score. Thirty-five of the questions are pretest questions that are only included to help test writers design future exams.  The NAPLEX has a time limit of four hours, 15 minutes and includes an optional 10-minute break after two hours.  There is a $465 fee to take the exam.


Most of the questions on the NAPLEX are asked in a scenario-based format.  For instance, a patient profile will accompany the test questions, and the test-taker will be asked to refer to the profile to make an educated guess as to the correct answer.  Approximately 54 percent of the test questions are related to assessing pharmacotherapy to ensure safe and effective therapeutic outcomes.  Thirty-five percent of the NAPLEX's questions are based upon assessing safe and accurate dispensation of medications, and the remaining Eleven percent of the questions are centered on assessing, recommending, and providing health-care information that promotes public health.


Online registration for the NAPLEX is available at http://www.nabp.net.  Registration forms are also available by contacting the state board of pharmacy or from pharmacy schools.


Passing score for the NAPLEX is 75 or higher.  The score is based on the number of questions answered correctly and their difficulty level.  Test takers must answer at least 162 questions in order to have their test scored.



The MPJE is required as a prerequisite for a pharmacy license in 43 states.  It tests knowledge of pharmacy law.  Individuals can sit for the MPJE, a computer-adaptive exam, at a PearsonVUE test center in their area. The MPJE is considered computer-adaptive because it presents questions based on answers to previous questions on the test.


The MPJE lasts two hours and consists of 90 multiple-choice questions.  Only 60 of these questions are actually scored.  The other questions are used for pretesting purposes.  The cost of taking the MPJE in 2009 is $200.


A little over three quarters of the questions on the MPJE are questions on pharmacy practice.  Questions on licensure, registration, certification and operational requirements make up 17 percent of the test, and the remaining 5 percent of questions are related to regulatory structure and terms.


Registration for the MPJE is done through the same avenues as the NAPLEX.  Online registration is available at http://www.nabp.net, and paper forms can be requested through state boards of pharmacy or through pharmacy schools.  One important detail to note is that individuals must have graduated pharmacy school in order to take the MPJE.


Test takers must answer at least 77 of 90 questions on the MPJE to have their score reported, and the minimum passing score is 75.  According to the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy, the MPJE score is calculated by first determining the candidate’s ability level and then comparing it to the predetermined minimum-acceptable ability level established for the MPJE.

For more on NAPLEX and MPJE, please see the
NAPLEX and MPJE Test Directory.



National Association of Boards of Pharmacy; http://www.nabp.net

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