GPhC Exam: Pass Rate

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The pass rate for the GPhC Exam has varied considerably in the past years. Data is available all the way back to 2011, meaning one can get a fair idea of how successful students are in the exam, as well as whether it’s getting easier or more difficult.

Let’s look at the most recent results to begin with, which is the Spring 2021 assessment. Here, a total of 2666 sat the exam, and 2352 passed – a pass rate of 88.2%. This was over the course of two days – the 17th March saw a 90.2% pass rate, and the 18th March saw a 86.4% pass rate. This was an online assessment, and was postponed from June 2020, due to COVID-19.

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Commenting on the pass rate, the GPhC explained that they ‘expect there are a number of factors that may have contributed to this relatively high pass rate… [although] it is not possible to determine with any degree of certainty which factors would have had the most significant impact. 

There are, however, noticeable differences between hospital pharmacists and community pharmacists. An average of 91% of hospital pre-reg trainees pass first time, whilst community pharmacists do relatively worse, with only 76% passing first time. In addition, there are differences based on gender, ethnicity, area of the UK – and the community pharmacy employer, for those employed in the community. In particular, females are 5% more likely to pass than males, and the following employers do the best amongst community pharmacies:

Kamsons Pharmacy has a 100% pass rate, with 15 trainees
Well has an 87.5% pass rate with 24 trainees
Superdrug has an 84.6% pass rate with 13 trainees

All other employers have a less than 80% pass rate, with Lloydspharmacy and Gorgemead being at the bottom of the table with 73.4% pass rate for 169 trainees and 73.1% pass rate for 26 trainees respectively. 

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GPhC Exam Pass Rate from Previous Years

Looking at previous years, the pass rate has varied from 72% to 95%. Years of particular note are 2019, which marked the lowest pass rate (72%), and which was on the back of two relatively lower scoring years, with 2018 and 2017 having 79% and 78% pass rates respectively. Both 2012 and 2016 had a 95% pass rate.

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