Last Updated on August 28, 2023
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How To Study For Mpje
How to Study for the MPJE (and Pass on Your First Try)
Steph and Brandon’s Note: It’s been a while since the two of us have tag teamed on a post (and certainly a while since we’ve written any phenomenal Christmas songs together), but we’re circling the wagons on this one. Team Dyski is BACK! (Or maybe Kujawson? We really should nail down our mash name. It’s been years now.) Anyway, today we’re putting our brains together – virtually of course, COVID-style – to bring you all the info we can muster about succeeding with That Test. The, dare-some-may-call-it, hateful MPJE. While hateful is maybe a bit strong, we get the sentiment. We’ve both taken this exam in multiple states, and, spoiler alert, it doesn’t get any more fun each time. But until the United States realizes that the state-level legal nuances aren’t worth the headaches of mandating 50 different MPJE tests and they all decide to get on the same page about who can write what prescriptions, it’s something we have to do. So we’re going to try and make this a little less painful for all of you. Basically, the tl;dr is that we <3 you.
If you want a printer-friendly copy of this article that you can mark up to your heart’s content, you can get that here.
It first comes up in your third year of pharmacy school. Amongst the sea of pharmacotherapy modules and OSCEs, you see this anomaly of a course: Pharmacy Law.
When it begins, it blows your freakin’ mind. How can so many answers on a multiple-choice exam seem so right?
You’re not even sure where you want to practice or even what kind of pharmacist you want to be yet. Your pharmacy school teaches you the pharmacy laws of the state your school is in…but you don’t know if that’s where you’re going to practice.
Why are you learning law now when you NEED TO MAKE LIFE DECISIONS FIRST??
So you do enough to get through the class. And then you promptly forget about it.
Fast forward to P4 year…
You have a better idea about what kind of pharmacist you’d like to be when you grow up, but you still aren’t really sure about your endpoint. Are you going to go straight into practice? Are you going to do a residency? Where are you going to live?
Again, you have all these life decisions to make. However, sooner or later, you’re going to have to study for the MPJE. Cause, the thing is, you sorta can’t practice pharmacy without passing the law test in your state.
Let’s fast-forward a few years. You’ve been practicing. You’ve got a good thing going. And you decide to move back home closer to family. Or an awesome job opportunity comes up on the other side of the country. Guess who just showed up on your doorstep again? That’s right, your old frenemy, the MPJE.
But don’t worry, tl;dr has got you covered.
In this post, we’ll detail a high-level strategy for studying for the MPJE. Consider it our tl;dr version of an MPJE Study Guide. A collection of tips and tricks we wish we had when we took our MPJEs. This post is a 10,000 foot view of how to approach studying for the MPJE (whatever state you’re studying for).
And if you’re looking for help that’s more specific to your state, we’ve got MPJE Cheat Sheets! Check out our MPJE Resources page to save yourself a lot of time and stress.
You can also check out our guide on How to Study for the CPJE and our guide on How to Study for Multiple Choice Tests.
What is the MPJE?
The MPJE is the Multistate Pharmacy Jurisprudence Exam. This mouthful of words refers to the pharmacy law exam. But rather, more accurately, pharmacy law exams (plural).
As pharmacists, we are spoiled with the NAPLEX. It’s the ONE and ONLY clinical knowledge exam that we have to pass in order to practice pharmacy. Pass it once, and you’re set for life…no matter what state you want to practice in. This isn’t the case with the MPJE. You have to take a separate MPJE for each state. And some states (I’m looking at you, Arkansas and California) don’t even use the MPJE. They have their own versions of the pharmacy law test.
Why make this so difficult? Because each state has different pharmacy laws and regulations. They’re similar, to be sure. But they are different enough to warrant a separate exam for every single state.
How Many Questions Are on the MPJE?
The MPJE is administered by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP). Each state’s version of the test is 120 questions, and the test uses adaptive response technology to choose the next questions based on the correctness of previous responses. So if it feels like the questions get easier at some point, it’s entirely possible that they did…which may mean you missed one earlier. But don’t let that rattle you. (And if you live in Arkansas, throw all of that out the window, because they’re still administering Scantron tests. Be sure to bring a #2 Pencil. How retro).
Only 100 of those 120 questions actually count towards your score. The remaining 20 questions are test test questions that are being evaluated for possible use on future MPJEs. But of course, you don’t know which questions are the ones that don’t count. So if you’re struggling with a particular question, console yourself by answering the best you can and telling yourself it’s probably a test test question. Unfortunately, you can’t skip questions or go back to ones you’ve already answered – you must go in order.
In order to increase your chances of passing, you absolutely need to answer all 120 questions. If you answer fewer than 107, your exam is basically thrown out. No results will be reported. If you answer between 107 and the full 120, you incur a penalty. So make sure you answer all 120! If you’re running out of time, it’s literally better to guess than to leave a question blank. Make sure you get something entered for every question.
How Much Time Do You Have to Take the MPJE?
Speaking of time, you have 2.5 hours to complete the MPJE. And that includes any stretching or potty breaks – the clock doesn’t stop. Doing some basic math, you have 1 minute and 15 seconds to answer each question (150 minutes for the exam / 120 questions). Obviously some questions will take you longer, some will be quicker. But keep that rough number in your head.
Sure, it sounds terrible. But we promise it’s doable. There are a lot of people no smarter than you who have passed the MPJE and are killing it in their pharmacy careers. It may not be fun, but this is a passable exam.
What is a Passing Score for the MPJE?
So what does it mean to pass?
Starting in January 2021, to pass the MPJE just means…to pass. NABP is no longer releasing actual scores or setting a threshold for what passing means. It used to be that a score of 75 was a passing score, but now the MPJE is a pass/fail exam. This is kind of a bummer because it was helpful to know your score so you could evaluate your study efforts. If you work for a mail-order pharmacy, you may have to get licensed in a dozen or more states. You could directly see the results of your MPJE study strategies as you worked through the states, but not any longer.
Having an actual score was also nice if you failed the MPJE. If you ended up with a 74, you knew that you were at least in the ballpark. Although frustrating, you at least had the consolation of knowing that with a few studying tweaks you’d pass the next time.
NABP releases statistics for MPJE pass rates for each school of pharmacy. These can be found here for the last 3 years. Generally speaking, most graduates of ACPE-accredited schools have a first attempt pass rate in the 80% range.
There are 2 ways of interpreting this. On the one hand, the vast majority of people pass the MPJE. On the other hand, 1 out of 5 people fail on their first try. But don’t worry, with enough preparation you can make sure you’re on the right side of that statistic.
What if You Fail the MPJE?
Also, notice we said first attempt pass rate. That’s right! If at first you don’t succeed, you can try again! Of course, that’s not what we’re aiming for, but it’s comforting to know there’s a mulligan option. Actually, you can have up to 5 mulligans per board of pharmacy (unless specifically stated otherwise by a particular state), meaning you have a maximum of 5 attempts to pass a state’s MPJE.
How Often Can You Take the MPJE?
For most states, you have to wait at least 30 days between attempts. This may sound useful for studying and feeling prepared, but it can have ramifications for starting residency or a job. You can only delay licensure for so long before your future employer has to cut the cord…
This obviously isn’t ideal, but most employers will give you leeway if you don’t pass the first time. A 1 in 5 fail-rate means that they’ve probably come across this before. It’s very likely, however, that your employers will expect you to pass the second time since they’ve already waited at least a month.
best mpje study guide
Best MPJE Study Guides
If you’re preparing for your pharmacy law test, make sure you get the best MPJE study material that’s available. Here are some brief reviews of the MPJE study guides that we recommend. These are the highest-rated study guides that have a long track record of successfully preparing students for this challenging exam.
Federal Pharmacy Law Practice Tests. These federal practice tests from Pharmacy Exam include detailed explanations, and are perfect for test prep. The downloadable version will let you begin studying right away and it works on any computer as well as smartphones and tablets. They have great state practice tests too.
Guide to Federal Pharmacy Law, 9th Ed. We have found this be the best MPJE study guide for federal law. It is written very clearly and does a great job explaining the important rules and regulations. It also includes testing study tips and over 350 practice questions to help you prepare for your exam.
Alabama: Alabama Pharmacy Law Test. Looking for an Alabama MPJE study guide? The quickest way to prepare is with this downloadable practice test. A total of 150 Alabama pharmacy law questions along with answers and explanations.
Arizona: Arizona MPJE Exam Prep is a fantastic review book that includes 300 practice questions with detailed explanations. The Arizona Pharmacy Law Test provides another good AZ MPJE practice test with 150 questions. You can buy it on CD or get the downloadable version to start studying right away. There’s also a very thorough law review book on Amazon called Pharmacy Law Simplified Arizona.
California: California Pharmacy Law Test. This is a good resource for reviewing California pharmacy laws. With these downloadable CPJE practice questions you can start prepping right away. There are also some excellent CPJE study guides available: Guide to California Pharmacy Law and RxPrep California Law Summary for CPJE
Colorado: Pharmacy Law Q&A Prep Colorado is a new book with great practice questions. It includes 225 questions with very detailed explanations. Another option is this Colorado Pharmacy Law Test. It has 150 state-specific questions, and it is downloadable, so you can get started with your test prep right away.
Florida: Florida MPJE Exam Prep is an excllent review book that includes 300 practice questions with detailed explanations. Or you can get all of these same questions in their apps: FL MPJE for Android and FL MPJE for iOS. Additional Florida pharmacy law test prep materials include this Pharmacy Law Test.
Georgia: Georgia MPJE Exam Prep is a new book featuring 250 pharmacy law practice questions. These questions are also available in convenient smartphone apps which allow you study from anywhere: Georgia MPJE for Apple iOS and Georgia MPJE for Android. This Georgia Law Test is also a very good option.
Illinois: Pharmacy Law Q&A Prep Illinois is the best option for Illinois MPJE test prep. You can also get the same questions in these handy smartphone apps: Illinois MPJE for Apple iOS and Illinois MPJE for Android. The apps let you study on-the-go and they are available at a very low cost! This Illinois Law Test is another option to consider.
Indiana: Indiana Pharmacy Law Test. Use these online practice questions to study for your Indiana MPJE. Plenty of challenging questions with thorough explanations. Excellent for test prep!
Kentucky: Pharmacy Q&A Law Prep Kentucky is an excellent resource for this test. It includes 200 practice questions along with thorough explanations. Another option is Kentucky Pharmacy Law Test. It has 150 questions and it is available in a downloadable version so you can get started right away.
Louisiana: Louisiana Pharmacy Law Test. These Louisiana MPJE practice questions include complete explanations. Fantastic for test prep!
Massachusetts: Pharmacy Law Q&A Prep Massachusetts offers a huge variety of practice questions. The explanations are extremely thorough and provide a great deal of additional material to learn from. Another excellent resource is this Massachusetts Law Test. You can download these questions and start studying for your Massachusetts MPJE right away.
Michigan: Pharmacy Law Q&A Prep Michigan is a great option for Michigan MPJE test prep. It includes 250 practice questions covering state and federal laws. Another good resource is this MI Pharmacy Law Test.
Minnesota: Minnesota MPJE Exam Prep is a solid review book with 225 practice questions covering state and federal laws. Another good option is this MN Pharmacy Law Test, which offers downloadable practice questions.
Missouri: Missouri Pharmacy Law Test. These Missouri MPJE practice questions include complete explanations. Great for test prep!
Nevada: Nevada Pharmacy Law Test. Start studying right away with this online Nevada MPJE practice exam. Includes 165 practice questions with answers and complete explanations.
New Jersey: Pharmacy Law Q&A Prep New Jersey is the best option for New Jersey MPJE practice questions. Another good test prep resource to consider is this New Jersey Pharmacy Law Test which provides 150 state-specific practice questions.
New York: Pharmacy Law Q&A Prep New York is the best resource that we have found. It includes 370 practice questions with detailed explanations. You may also want to pick up this New York MPJE Practice Test.
North Carolina: North Carolina MPJE Exam Prep is an excellent review book featuring 300 MPJE practice questions. These same questions are also available as apps: NC MPJE for Apple iOS and NC MPJE for Android. For another book that does a great job summarizing all the relevant laws, check out Pharmacy Law Simplified. One more option is this NC Practice Test.
Ohio: Pharmacy Law Q&A Prep Ohio is the best review book that we’ve found. It includes 250 practice questions with detailed explanations. You can get some of these same Ohio practice questions in their smartphone apps: Ohio MPJE for Apple iOS and Ohio MPJE for Android.
Oklahoma: Pharmacy Law Q&A Prep Oklahoma is great for test prep and review. It includes 205 challenging practice questions with very detailed explanations. You may also want to pick up this OK MPJE Practice Test.
Pennsylvania: Pharmacy Law Q&A Prep Pennsylvania is a great review book that includes 300 practice questions with detailed explanations. Some of these same questions are available in smartphone apps for Apple iOS and Android. There are 2 other good Pennsylvania MPJE options including this Practice Test and this Study Guide.
South Carolina: Are you looking for an excellent South Carolina MPJE study guide? South Carolina MPJE Exam Prep is a highly rated review book with 225 practice questions. The questions are challenging, and the explanations will help you learn the most important pharmacy laws. Another good option is this downloadable SC Pharmacy Law Test.
Tennessee: Pharmacy Law Q&A Prep Tennessee is an excellent review book. It includes 200 challenging practice questions. All of the most important topics are covered and the explanations are very detailed. You may also want to pick up this Tennessee Practice Test.
Texas: Pharmacy Law Q&A Prep Texas is an excellent review book. It includes 300 practice questions with detailed explanations. These same questions are featured in their smartphone apps: TX MPJE for Apple iOS and TX MPJE for Android. The Ultimate Texas MPJE Review Guide is a great study guide. This downloadable Texas Practice Test is a final option.
Virginia: Virginia MPJE Exam Prep is an excellent review book. It has 250 practice questions along with detailed explanations. Another option is this downloadable Virginia Pharmacy Law Test..
Washington: Pharmacy Law Q&A Prep Washington is a excellent book with 200 questions. Another option is this Pharmacy Test which has 150 Washington state questions along with answers and explanations. Both of these are good resources for your exam prep.
West Virginia: West Virginia Pharmacy Law Test. Start studying today with these downloadable West Virginia MPJE practice questions. Includes 150 questions along with answers and complete explanations.
Want another reason to pass on the first attempt? MONEY.
As you learn more about licensure requirements, you start to realize that it is expensive. (You’re going to be excited about getting your first pharmacist paycheck just to pay off the credit card bill for examination and application fees.)
To apply to take the MPJE, there’s a $100 fee per state. That’s just to apply for eligibility to take the test – not the actual test cost. Once you’ve been deemed eligible and can purchase the MPJE exam, the actual test itself is $150 per state.
So, we’re talking $250 per state, and that’s before we include study materials, travel accommodations if needed to get to an approved testing center (usually a Pearson VUE), retests, or score transfer costs to other boards of pharmacy.
Hence, choose wisely when determining which and how many MPJEs to take.