In addition to the NAPLEX exam, pharmacists seeking licensure may need to take the Multistate Pharmacy Jurisprudence Examination, MPJE®. This test determines the examinee’s mastery of pharmacy law as learned by attending any one of the accredited pharmacy schools. Because state laws differ, individuals seeking licensure in more than one state may need to take more than one individual exam.
The MPJE is administered in 45 states. The test assesses one’s knowledge of:
- The legal aspects of pharmacy practice, including responsibilities with regard to the distribution and dispensing of medications and for patient care
- Licensure, registration, certification, and other requirements
- The regulatory structure and terms of the laws and rules that apply to pharmacists
The MPJE is a two-hour exam. It is a computer-adaptive test consisting of 90 multiple-choice questions. Each state board of pharmacy approves questions applicable in that state or jurisdiction. Of the 90 questions on the exam, only 75 count towards one’s score. The remaining 15 items are test questions for potential use on future MPJE exams. These questions are not identified to the test taker.
The MPJE is a computer-adaptive examination, meaning that the questions on the exam are adapted based on the test taker’s answers to the first few questions in each section This design means that the test taker cannot return to a previously encountered question. If one answers a question incorrectly, the test is designed to present that information again later in the test in order to properly appraise the test taker’s skill level in that particular area.
The MPJE is a multiple-choice examination. There is no writing or essay section in the exam. The three main subject areas of testing include:
- Pharmacy practice (approximately 78% of the test)
- Licensure, registration, certification, and operational requirements (approximately 17% of the test)
- Regulatory structure and terms (approximately 5% of the test)
Currently, 48 states and territories use the MPJE to assess those applying for licensure. Jurisdictions that do not require the MPJE for licensure include Arkansas, California, Guam, Puerto Rico, Virginia, and the Virgin Islands. Mississippi and Oklahoma began requiring the MPJE in January 2011.
At the completion of the exam, the test taker’s score is released to the board from which he or she is seeking licensure. It is not possible to have scores sent to the test taker or to the test site. In order for the exam to be scored, an examinee must complete at least 80 of the 90 questions on the test. Those individuals who complete more than 80, but less than 90, questions on the exam will receive a penalty reflective of the number of questions missed. Like the NAPLEX, a score of 75 is required for passing. Similarly, the final score is a composite score based on the number of questions answered correctly and how difficult those questions were. This score is not the number or the percentage of questions answered correctly. Score results will be provided to the candidate by the board from which one has applied for licensure. Unlike the NAPLEX, the test taker is not provided with a review of the exam in the event that he or she receives a failing score.
For each state or other jurisdiction one wishes to practice in, the MPJE is required for licensure. There are currently only five states and jurisdictions that do not require this examination.