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Registration assessment

GPhC publishes exam questions for the first time

Questions from this summer’s professional registration assessment with advice about possible pitfalls and what the examiners are looking for have been released by the General Pharmaceutical Council. In the image, a young girl takes an exam

Source: thomas koch / Shutterstock.com

The decision to publish some exam questions comes after this summer’s candidates complained that the questions were too difficult

Questions from this summer’s professional registration assessment with advice about possible pitfalls and what the examiners are looking for have been released for the first time by the General Pharmaceutical Council’s (GPhC) independent board of assessors. 

The move is an attempt by the professional regulator to help preregistration trainees who sat the two papers in June 2015 to reflect on their answers and help them identify how they can improve in the future. 

It comes only weeks after this summer’s candidates and some of their tutors complained that the questions were too difficult and failed to reflect current practice. This summer the pass rate fell to 74% — the lowest for three years. 

Duncan Rudkin, chief executive of the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC)

Source: General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC)

GPhC chief executive Duncan Rudkin hopes publishing some exam questions will help preregistration trainees understand what is expected from them

“We hope that the board’s decision to publish a number of questions from the papers, as well as the learning points for each question, will help preregistration trainees to improve their understanding of what is expected from candidates and reflect on how they can best prepare to sit the assessment,” says GPhC chief executive Duncan Rudkin. 

The GPhC has also written to the British Pharmaceutical Students Association (BPSA), which took up the trainees’ complaints with the professional regulator. 

The letter directs the BPSA to the GPhC website where it has published flowcharts explaining how the papers are set and the pass mark agreed. 

The report into this summer’s exam by the board of assessors will be considered by the GPhC at its meeting next month. It will be published and given to the BPSA on 7 September 2015. 

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2015.20069185

Readers' comments (2)

  • Worrying that out of the 13 questions 7 were answered correctly by less than 50% of students - I don't blame students for this and all universities can't be bad (or can they) at preparing students so where does fault lie? Question 9 being answered by less than 20% is also concerning - though I wonder how many gps/nurses etc could answer that correctly.

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  • I won't be too critical about GPhC attempt to make the profession more clinical. However I am concerned that no professional body is doing much to control the over 'production' of pharmacist in UK, with less prospects for jobs and lower wages. The once one of the most attractive healthcare professions is now least attractive to many. After 5 years of hard training, no incentives during practice.
    Opoku

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Supplementary images

  • Questions from this summer’s professional registration assessment with advice about possible pitfalls and what the examiners are looking for have been released by the General Pharmaceutical Council. In the image, a young girl takes an exam
  • Duncan Rudkin, chief executive of the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC)

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