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What Is the MPJE®?

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  • Written By: C. Mitchell
  • Edited By: John Allen
  • Last Modified Date: 26 November 2016
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The Multistate Pharmacy Jurisprudence Examination, or MPJE®, is a standardized test that pharmacy school graduates must pass before they can be licensed as pharmacists in most parts of the United States. It is made up of 90 multiple-choice questions that are designed to assess how well test-takers understand the laws regulating the pharmaceutical industry. Questions are based on both national U.S. law and state-specific law.

Although it is a national exam, the MPJE® varies a little bit from state to state. Most of the exam is made up of questions pertaining to national law, and these are the same on every test. State law questions, on the other hand, are based on what is known as a blueprint. The blueprint is essentially a question template with uniform wording and answer choices that individual state pharmacy boards can plug their laws into. A primary goal of the blueprint system is to create a nationally uniform exam that allows for state-specific assessments.

Pharmacy licensing in the United States is regulated at the state level. The vast majority of U.S. states require prospective pharmacists to pass the MPJE® in order to receive a pharmacy license. States that do not require the exam usually require a different, entirely state-specific jurisprudence test. All states have at least some legal knowledge requirement for pharmacists.

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Even where accepted, the MPJE® is only one component of pharmacy licensing. All states also require passage of the North American Pharmacy Licensure Examination, known as the NAPLEX®. The NAPLEX®, unlike the MPJE®, contains only national-level questions, and does not vary by state.

Both exams are created and overseen by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP®). The NABP® approves all state modifications to blueprint questions, and compiles and publishes each state-specific MPJE® exam. It is also responsible for scoring and scaling individual exams, and for reporting those scores to the applicable state licensing boards.

In all jurisdictions, the jurisprudence pharmacy exam is a computer-adaptive test. Candidates are asked to answer 90 questions, but unlike written standardized tests, the questions that make up those 90 are not predetermined. Each MPJE® test is made up of some easy and some difficult questions, and it is up to the computer to determine which type of question a student receives.

All examinees take the MPJE® on a computer at a centralized testing facility. When a question is answered correctly, the next question will be a little bit harder. If a question is answered incorrectly, however, a slightly easier question will appear next.

A student’s overall score is not always based on the number of questions he or she answers correctly. Rather, it is based on a factor of both correct answers and average difficulty level. The harder the questions are, the more heavily weighted the correct answer.

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