Much like achieving certification for other high level trades, becoming a licensed pharmacist involves passing a comprehensive and difficult certification exam. Created by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy, the NAPLEX is the exam every aspiring pharmacist needs to pass in order to become licensed in the United States. Short for the North American Pharmacist Licensure Examination, this 250-question test consists of patient scenarios and multiple-choice prompts with a time limit of six hours.
Here’s the worst part:
With such high stakes, it can be intimidating to plan for the NAPLEX. In some cases, this intimidation can become so extreme that it interferes with the ability of the test taker to pass the exam, even if they understand the information that is being tested.
In order to both relieve anxiety related to the test and help students brush up on their pharmacy knowledge, these NAPLEX review courses are the best choices for individuals who want to pass the NAPLEX and become licensed pharmacists. We’ve compared the most popular test prep courses on the market to find the cream of the crop listed below:
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Pharmacy Exam offers all their materials in separate packages with affordable price tags. This means that you only have to pay for the materials you actually want to use. This is a huge departure from most other prep courses, where you’re expected to pay hundreds of dollars for a massive package containing more materials than you know what to do with. Instead, you can pick up a handful of truly valuable learning resources for a fraction of the price.
Pro – Bundle Deals
Alternatively, some individuals studying for the NAPLEX exam may want to grab all the study materials they can get their hands on. In this case, Pharmacy Exam also provides welcome accommodations to meet this particular arrangement. Their NAPLEX Combo Pack combines just about every product in their catalog for half the cost if they were purchased separately. Furthermore, their Build Your Own Combo Pack provides smaller discounts for customized combinations.
Pro – Physical Media
Aside from their textbooks and flashcards, Pharmacy Exam also provides their other NAPLEX review materials in an optional physical format. Students who purchase their audio lectures or practice exams can access their materials through both a digital download and a physical CD. This is a pretty rare feature nowadays: mostly because it isn’t necessary for the majority of modern students. However, those students who need these materials without having high-speed internet will appreciate this feature.
Con – No Video Content
Some of the most effective modern prep courses and certification-related study tools involve video content. One of the most appealing features to many highly-rated prep courses for a variety of professions — including NAPLEX — take advantage of this technology to deliver a dynamic learning tool. However, Pharmacy Exam forfeits this strategy altogether, only offering audio content without any kind of video supplement. This is bound to alienate a significant portion of students who learn best with video accompaniment.
Con – Stringent Refund Policy
In order to accommodate students who have issues with their study materials, Pharmacy Exam does offer a ten-day return policy. However, this policy is pretty limited and only honors physical book purchases. The flashcards, posters, and anything provided in disk format aren’t covered in this policy. Additionally, students may forfeit around 15% of the cost due to “restocking fees” and will have to pay any shipping costs. For the most part, you’re going to be out of luck if you’re unsatisfied with your purchase!
Students who need help preparing for the NAPLEX exam can find a lot of helpful resources through Pharmacy Exam. These resources are also highly versatile and very reasonably priced. Ultimately, however, these are little more than supplements that can provide some extra practice for students who are already enrolled in a more advanced and involved NAPLEX prep course.
For its comprehensive suite of study tools provided at very flexible price points, Kaplan gets our pick for the best NAPLEX prep course of the bunch.
Pro: Question Bank
Kaplan’s Qbank for their NAPLEX review program includes over 1,000 questions that are frequently updated so they stay up-to-date with content covered on the actual exam. They also come with detailed answer explanations to help students understand the reasoning behind each one.
In addition to offering a large pool of practice questions, Kaplan provides a premium option for students who want additional study material. Alongside two eBooks with review material, over 40 hours of video lectures are provided in the High Yield package that elaborate on complex concepts. Additionally, students can enroll in live online lectures hosted by instructors who can answer questions in real time.
In a move that bucks the trend set by most other educational programs, Kaplan offers a range of prices for their products that allow students with lower budgets to take advantage of their study tools. Students can choose to pay a lower price for a few months of access to the Qbank, can pay a bit more for the textbooks and video lectures, or can pay the full premium rate for access to live lecture sessions.
For the High Yield package, Kaplan includes two textbooks with additional study material alongside their video lectures. According to students who have tried studying from these written resources, Kaplan’s NAPLEX eBooks are outdated and contain numerous typos. Students who are interested in a good textbook with their study program should give this one a miss.
Although it doesn’t offer quite the same level of quality as Kaplan, BoardVitals’ study package offers many appealing features that caused us to pick it as the first runner-up for best NAPLEX review course.
BoardVitals offers over 1400 questions in their study bank for students. In addition to covering many different aspects of the exam, these questions are presented in different formats in order to better test students’ knowledge of the test material.
Any tier of BoardVital’s NAPLEX Review that is purchased by a student will see a portion of its profit donated for a philanthropic cause. This donation takes the form of a vaccine, given to a child in need as a donation made in the student’s name.
Con: Live Support
While it can be considered a positive that BoardVitals offers live support for students who run into issues using their prep program, this support is limited to higher-priced tiers. This means that students who only purchase one month of access won’t be able to receive support.
Although BoardVitals offers an excellent range of multifaceted questions covering the NAPLEX, they have no lecture content available at any tier of their study program. This will exclude a sizable portion of students who prefer learning through live instruction.
Considering how convenient of a study program FTP Lectures offers for students on a tight schedule, it makes sense that it would receive our pick for second runner-up to the best NAPLEX prep course.
Pro: Lecture Speed
With over 200 hours of video content covering different aspects of the exam, a student may be worried about how they’re going to find the time to watch all of it. Fortunately, FTP Lectures offers the ability to speed up all video content to twice their speed. While still being understandable, this handily condenses the amount of time it takes to cover all the material by half.
According to data gathered from the over 100,000 students who have used this educational tool, the average test scores for individuals who enroll in this prep course is in the region of 89% or higher. In addition, FTP Lectures guarantees that students who sign up will pass the exam; if they don’t, they are entitled to a full refund.
Con: Limited Content
Although the lectures offered by this educational resource are an excellent study companion for interested students, no additional materials are provided. This means that individuals interested in learning through practice tests, live classroom courses, or textbooks will be disappointed with what FTP Lectures has to offer.
#5 RxPrep NAPLEX Review
With an impressive pedigree, RxPrep offers NAPLEX study material of a high enough quality to be worth consideration despite only receiving second runner-up on our list of the best NAPLEX prep courses.
Pro: Qualified Instructors
All educational material written for RxPrep was made and reviewed by actual medical professionals and practicing pharmacists. Because of this, students can rest easy knowing that their instructors and study material are all on the level.
RxPrep’s online course includes a large quantity of material based around teaching students to understand individual patient cases. This simulation-style instruction helps to ensure enrolled students understand core concepts of being a pharmacist in addition to preparing for the exam.
Being designed and taught by professional pharmacists, it makes sense that RxPrep takes an extremely comprehensive approach to teaching students about the NAPLEX and pharmacy as a whole. However, the huge amount of study material can take up the majority of a student’s time and can also overwhelm or intimidate them.