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GPhC Exam Preparation Tips

GPhC Pre-Reg Exam Preparation Specialists

Why are you being assessed?

The GPhC examination assesses your ability of applying your pharmacy knowledge into real-life pharmacy practice. Many students will think they simply have to accomplish a pass result to become a pharmacist however, it is much more than this. By passing this exam you will be stepping into your career as a pharmacist, you will have many opportunities at your fingertips, and you will have a lot of responsibilities within profession. You have come so far, but there is still much more left to achieve.

How to organise your revision

Sometimes it can be rather overwhelming when you sit down to plan your revision. You may hold the BNF in your hand and think that it is a huge book to memorise – but there lies your first mistake. You do not need to know the contents of the BNF from beginning to end, and simply regurgitating information from drug monographs will not always be sustainable. The key is to learn and understand key details.

It would be beneficial to divide your time between the different topics (for both assessment papers, calculations, and non-calculations) and you need to devise a plan that works best for you, in order to tackle the different topic areas. Do you like to write or type notes? Do you like to use colour? Are you likely to learn from brainstorming notes or lengthy paragraphs? Will highlighting specific information that is contained within resources be helpful? These are just a handful of questions that you need to ask yourself.

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As a reminder, the following table indicates the difference in weighting between the topics you will be examined on. Low-weighted topics does not mean that you do not need to study for these areas. A crucial piece of advice is to ensure that you do not procrastinate and ignore aspects which you struggle with. We all have our fortes and our weaker areas, and it is an individual’s responsibility to overcome any hurdles.

High-weighted therapeutic topics

Medium-weighted therapeutic topics

Low-weighted therapeutic topics

Cardiovascular system

Blood and nutrition

Anaesthesia

Endocrine system

Gastro-intestinal system

Ear, nose & oropharynx

Infection

Genito-urinary tract system

Eye

Nervous system

Gastro-intestinal system

Musculoskeletal system

Immune system & malignant disease

Skin

Respiratory system

Vaccines

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Revision sources

Other than the BNF, there are various sources and aids to support your exam preparation. In fact, it is often incredibly useful to use a variety of sources than to limit yourself to one or two books/websites. Some of these include (but are not limited to) the following:

  • Centre for Pharmacy Postgraduate Education website – you can order certain training material and have them posted to your address.
  • Electronic Medicines Compendium website
  • Royal Pharmaceutical Society website
  • Counter Intelligence i.e. by Boots, Lloyds Pharmacy; these books are usually available free of charge in community pharmacies.
  • Medication packaging/patient information leaflets – if you are working in community pharmacy and need to spend time working on the front counter, it is worth reading the information on the packaging of OTC products.
  • Your fellow pre-reg pharmacist friends – do not be shy to ask for help or to discuss a topic as group work/sharing ideas is beneficial for some individuals.
  • Your pre-reg tutor – you can gain a lot from your tutor’s wealth of experience. If you feel as though you are not engaging in enough discussions or are not being challenged by your tutor, voice this to them.
  • Your university notes – you will often hear students (incorrectly) say that their MPharm studies do not relate to the GPhC assessment…that is not true! You may be surprised by how many different calculation questions you cover throughout your degree which are essential for the exam.

Time to relax

Time management is crucial for students and for pharmacists – it is a life skill that needs to be mastered. It is important to be organised and to ensure you are putting in your efforts to make the transition from student to pharmacist, and to move forward in your career. Working hard also means you need to relax…it is not all work, work, work. Take some time out away from studying and the pharmacy world and enjoy your relaxation time. Whether it is doing some exercise, going out for afternoon tea, or soaking up the sun (if you are lucky enough to have the sun shining!) just remember to take care of your wellbeing.

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