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GPhC Exam: Weighting

GPhC Pre-Reg Exam Preparation Specialists

‘Weighting’ describes the manner in which different learning outcomes are designated within the exam – essentially meaning how important they are. That means that you will see more of a high weighted topic, a little less of a medium-weighted topic, and very little of a topic with a low weighting.

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Specifically, 60-70% of questions are those designated as ‘high weighting’, whilst 25-35% of questions are those with medium weighting, and only up to around 10% of the total questions will be those described as having a low weighting. You might ask why this weighting is so important – per the GPhC, it’s simply to give candidates an idea of what topics are likely to come up, as so many must (necessarily) be omitted.

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You can find more information on this in our other articles covering the entire assessment framework. However, as a rough overview, let’s consider one specific outcome – outcome 10.2.2, ‘Validating therapeutic approaches and supplying prescribed and over-the-counter medicines’. Here, the most important outcomes are:


– Identify and employ the appropriate diagnostic or physiological testing techniques in order to promote health
– instruct patients in the safe and effective use of their medicines and devices
– Clinically evaluate the appropriateness of prescribed medicines – including appropriateness of prescribed medicines, for example in the context of presenting conditions, associated diseases, and test results; Circumstances in which prescribed medicines are contra-indicated; Interactions that occur between medicines (either prescribed or purchased), and between these medicines and food or other substances; Use of licensed, off-label and unlicensed medicines including providing information to patients
– Provide, monitor and modify prescribed treatment to maximise health outcomes (including principles of medicines management; medicines optimisation and pharmaceutical care; Dosages and dose adjustments, especially for people with particular needs due to, for example, age or health conditions; Reasons for treatment failures; Recognising and managing adverse effects of medicines; Mechanism of action, administration, absorption, distribution, metabolism and excretion of medicines).

Each of these is designated as ‘high-weighting,’ meaning that there is a higher chance of this content appearing in the exam. Meanwhile, ‘Analyse prescriptions for validity and clarity’ is only medium-weighting, so it has a relatively lower chance of appearing in the test. Of course, a number of low-weighted, and a good number of medium-weighted, topics will appear in the test – even though the majority are those topics that are dubbed high-weight.

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