For many students being stuck at home makes it more difficult to focus on coursework, and that remains true for pharmacy students studying for their NAPLEX exam.


The NAPLEX is required for all students before starting work as a pharmacist.


Graduating senior pharmacy major Jonah Longdon from Florissant, Missouri, said being stuck at home makes studying for the exam more difficult for him and most other students he’s spoken to.


“A lot of students I’ve talked to study way more effectively outside of their home, and the stay-at-home order is really affecting how people are studying, as they aren’t studying as effective inside their home as they can just go watch TV or do something else, but if they’re at a place like Starbucks or the library on campus, they study more effectively for the exam,” Longdon said.


However, graduating senior pharmacy major Paris Smith from Chicago, Illinois, said the stay-at-home order is actually working better for her in studying for the NAPLEX.


“I’ve just been kind of organizing my time out and kind of sticking to my study schedule that I set out,” Smith said. “So because I’m working from home now it’s a little bit easier to stick to that schedule.”


According to graduating senior pharmacy major Adriana Poenitzsch from Quincy, Illinois, Pearson’s testing center will still be available for students to take the exam, and they are rescheduling the exams currently.


“This is a very monitored exam, I’m assuming it’s still going to be in person because they are going to check your ID to make sure you are who you say you are,” Poenitzsch said. “When we took our entrance exam, we had our fingerprints scanned so I’m assuming it’s going to be a similar process considering it’s the exact same testing center.”


Smith said Pearson VUE testing centers will have fewer open spots available than what they normally do, which will cause them to have to test less people at a time.


Poenitzsch said that while students can take the NAPLEX exam whenever they choose to, if they have a job lined up, that job will usually give them a timeframe for how long they can wait to take it.


“[Most students] will have a job after pharmacy school and that job will put limitations, or time restrictions on how soon they want you to be licensed because they’re still paying you up until that point that you get licensed and they want you to be a pharmacist as soon as possible,” Poenitzsch said. “I’m going into community pharmacy, and most community pharmacy students that I’ve heard from, they will typically have a 90 day timeframe from their employer to sit down and take, not only the NAPLEX, but the MPJE, which is our law exam we have to take as well.”


Longdon said he was given a timeframe to take the NAPLEX from his employer at CVS.


“Some employers require us to have our exam scheduled and taken by a certain date,” Longdon said. “So for my employer, as well as others, it's within 90 days of graduation.”


Smith said she starts her work on July 1 and has 90 days from that start date to take her NAPLEX exam. She said she can start work prior to taking the exam, but is very limited as to what she can do without a license.

For more information go to the SIUE Pharmacy Department website.

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