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Pre-registration trainee

Pre-registration pharmacist June exam pass rate falls to 74%

A total of 2,077 pre-registration trainee pharmacists out of 2,811 passed their June 2015 registration assessment, a pass rate of 74%, the General Pharmaceutical Council has announced. In the image, a young man studies for an exam

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The June exam pass rate for pre-registration trainee pharmacists was 74%, lower than in previous years

A total of 2,077 pre-registration trainee pharmacists out of 2,811 passed their June 2015 registration assessment, a pass rate of 74%, the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) has announced.

The pass rate is lower than previous years; in June 2013 and June 2014 the pass rates were 78% and 85%, respectively.

Of 2,621 candidates (93% of the total) who sat the assessment for the first time, this included 1,944 community candidates (69% of the total), with a pass rate of 71%; and 675 hospital candidates (24% of the total), with a pass rate of 91%.

There were 116 candidates who sat the assessment for a second time, and 74 who sat it for the third time. Pre-registration trainees can take the assessment a maximum of three times. The next registration assessment will be in September 2015.

The GPhC said: “In setting the paper, the board [of assessors] ensures that all questions are quality assured and matched to the syllabus before they are included in a paper. The board evaluates the sitting after each assessment. It does so by analysing each individual question to ensure they were robust and fair, and in doing so looks at the performance of each question before deciding how to allocate marks.”

This month, the British Pharmaceutical Students’ Association (BPSA) called for changes to be made in how future pharmacists are assessed, after hundreds of trainees complained about the June 2015 registration assessment.

A spokesperson for the regulator says: “We don’t make copies of the assessment papers public.”

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2015.20069049

Readers' comments (1)

  • Altaf Vaiya

    We need to see a transparency after the exam results are released of the adjustments made by the board.
    ''The board evaluates the sitting after each assessment. It does so by analysing each individual question to ensure they were robust and fair, and in doing so looks at the performance of each question before deciding how to allocate marks.”
    By merely highlighting the difference between community and hospital candidates in terms of pass rates does not explain why this trend was seen.
    I have personally been working with around 300 students using my pre-registration whatsapp study groups (from all sectors) and I have seen the hard work that students have put in. I believe from my post exam survey that many students found the open book particularly hard, especially due to the length, wording and style of questions. I truly believe that if students had more time in the open book exam the results would have shown higher pass rates. This article also highlights that the GPhC has to interact better with students, tutors and universities in terms of giving guidance on the syllabus and how they will be assessed.

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  • A total of 2,077 pre-registration trainee pharmacists out of 2,811 passed their June 2015 registration assessment, a pass rate of 74%, the General Pharmaceutical Council has announced. In the image, a young man studies for an exam

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