MPJE Study Guide and Resources

**Updated May 2020**

Hello, and welcome to www.75orbetter.com where my goal is to assist you pass your MPJE on your next attempt.  Now you may ask what qualifies  me to help you with that goal, which is a valid question.  I would recommend going to the About Me page which will provide my qualifications.  If you want the short version, I have been a pharmacist for over 15 years with the last ~10 years as a pharmacy manager > director > Senior Director in a Mail Order pharmacy.  During that time, I became a pharmacy regulatory expert and I am currently licensed in 16 states which required passing 15 MPJEs (proof) and 2 state specific pharmacy law exams (AR and VA).  I assume that you know what the MPJE is, but if you want more details, you can click here and read more.  The MPJE study guide below outlines my exact process that helped pass all 14 MPJEs on the FIRST try.  I did not hold anything back, this is what I did each and every time and will continue to do.  Hopefully you find value in the information provided and if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask here.  It may take me 72 hours or so to respond, but I will respond.  I enjoy helping people succeed and pass the MPJE.  It is a very rewarding experience.

Taking the MPJE is an intense experience since so much relies on passing the exam.  Over the years, I created this study guide that has worked 100% of the time for me. This is where my disclaimer comes in, this process worked for ME and may not work for you exactly, but I still feel there is a wealth of knowledge where you can adopt parts of the process and make it work for you.  There are no shortcuts, you will have to put in the time and study the material.  On average, it should take 20+ hours of studying to pass the MPJE as there is a great deal of material to review, memorize and understand.  This MPJE study guide is meant to aid you in your quest to pass the MPJE, but it does not guarantee a passing score.  What I do guarantee is that you will find something of value after reading the entire guide.

The Process:

    • The first and most important step is to read the state specific pharmacy laws and regulations as listed on each state pharmacy board’s website.  A link to all board websites can be found on the NABP’s website here.  

        • I focus on pharmacy related sections which may include, but not limited to, controlled substance act, pharmacy act,  label requirements, compounding, continuing education, hospital processes, emergency kits, pharmacy records and a few others.  I read the entire content but I skim over sections such as Offenses and Penalties, Wholesalers or Manufacturers.

        • Make sure to review the Pharmacy LAWS and Pharmacy REGULATIONS sections.  They may be listed separately since laws are based on statutes passed by state legislatures and regulations are standards and rules adopted by state pharmacy boards since they govern pharmacy practice (disclaimer: this is my interpretation of the difference and not meant to be a legal definition.  I would not have done well in law school, too much reading).  I should mention that some state boards list all their pharmacy laws and regulations in one area and they are easy to read (Arizona is a great example).  Other states do not compile the information in a user friendly manner, so you have to be diligent in making sure you locate all the needed resources.  Maryland is an example where I had difficulty navigating their website when I was preparing for their MPJE.

        • As I read the content, I will mark the sections that I want to read again before the exam.  You can also take notes while you read which can help you retain the information.  You would then reference your notes the days prior to the MPJE.  One technique I used was printing the pharmacy laws and regulations and as I read each page, I made three stacks.  One for pages I wanted to read again before the exam, one for pages that were relevant but I would only review if I had time, and one for pages that I did not plan on reading again.

        • Review the Frequently Asked Question (FAQ) pages.  This section can be a gold mine for useful information, usually based on questions that are asked of the pharmacy board over and over again.  The board would then offer their interpretation of a law or regulation which is what counts.  An example of such valuable information is the FAQ section for New York.  It references CEs, Electronic Prescriptions, Prescription Transfers….

      • Review the last few years’ worth of Newsletter publications.  There is usually a section reviewing a law/regulation update, providing clarification or answering common questions that have come up.  You can find the newsletters listed for each state hereJust click on the state and scroll down; if there is a newsletter published it would be listed [bonus: it also gives you a link to subscribe to newsletter].  A great example is this newsletter by the state of Arizona which discusses Patient Consultation and Continuing Education.

  • Review Federal laws and regulations.  I no longer study up on federal law as I have become very familiar with most of the major points, since I have been in practice for 15 years.  I do get caught off guard here and there with some specific law or regulation that I do not remember, but for the most part, my Federal knowledge is very solid.  My recommendation is to approach Federal laws and regulations the same way you approach the state level content.  Read EVERYTHING at least once.  As I mentioned above, you have to put in the time and it will take many hours of preparation to pass the MPJE.  It is hard but not impossible, even though it may appear that way with the amount of content you have to review.

      • Important Note:  When federal pharmacy law contradicts state pharmacy law, you always go by the strictest law.  The usual case is State being stricter than Federal.  If a question is presented on the MPJE regarding that matter specifically, you would go by the strictest law.  An example is pharmacy record retention.  The DEA mandates that prescription records must be kept for 2 years, while most states require a longer time period (i.e Arizona at 7 years or Oregon at 3 years).  Unless the question specifically asks what the federal law says, you go by the strictest law.

        • I am using the word “law” to reference both laws and regulations.  It presents better for the reader.
      • Review the Pharmacist Manual as it is the informational outline for the DEA’s Controlled Substances Act (CSA).  It nicely summarizes the content of each section.  There is also the PDF version if you would like to download or print.  Do not skim or skip any of the sections.  All sections are important and may be presented on the MPJE.  The information may be repetitive as the information in the CFR but it is still worth reviewing based on how it is organized.

    • Review the laws that are enforced by the FDA.  They are covered well by the book I reference below.  That is how I studied and reviewed FDA laws.  You can access more information here.  It is not easy to navigate but the information is there.  These laws include the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act and the Kefauver-Harris Amendments.

      • [Quick Tip] You must know the difference between misbranding and adulteration.  Misbranding is where the label is misleading (i.e. Label says 250mg when in fact it is 150mg) and adulteration is when the product is contaminated (i.e. a drug capsule fell on the floor and it was placed back in the bottle).

Resources

  • Before I mention the resources, I wanted to let you know that if you buy through the affiliated links, it supports the website at no additional cost to you.  We greatly appreciate the support, as our mission is to provide as much free, valuable information as possible.

  • My recommendation for practice tests is www.pharmacyexam.com.  This is the main vendor I have used before each MPJE and I have passed on the first try each time.  They offer both Federal and State specific exams.  The two practice exams listed below are comprehensive, worth the investment and are structured in similar fashion to the MPJE.  This resource is to be used as supplement to all of your reading and not as the only item used to prepare. 

  • I reached out to the company and they provided the affiliated links below where each exam is discounted (usually around 10%-20% off).

  • This is the book I have used to help with pharmacy law.

    • Guide to Federal Pharmacy Law, 9th Edition.  This is my go to reference for the MPJE and in practice.  It is a comprehensive review along practice test questions.  It allowed me to review all FDA regulations in one place rather than have to look it up myself.  It also has very helpful study tips; while the focus is Federal law it also provides insight regarding state law and an overview of the MPJE.  I do want to note that it was published in 2016, and does not contain any updates from 2017-2018.

  • I wanted to add another resource that is updated through 2018.  This is the only book I found that I am willing to recommend; it is published by RxPrep®.  This book is comprehensive and very thorough.  If you are lacking in Federal Pharmacy Law knowledge then I would recommend adding this book as well.

    • RxPrep Federal Law Summary for MPJE.  Here is the publisher’s description of what you will receive (please note that this is for federal pharmacy law only.  It does not contain any state specific pharmacy law information):

RxPrep’s MPJE® Online Course — which includes material that matches the content of the MPJE® blueprint — is complete and uniquely designed to prepare students for the MPJE® and begin their career as a licensed pharmacist. This course has been prepared by a team of pharmacists and legal experts to make sure all testable items are covered completely. Legal jargon is left out and replaced with the practical information needed to interpret the MPJE® questions and respond with the best answer.
  • After I have reviewed the state and federal laws and regulations, I take the state specific Pharmacy Exam practice test.  I usually score in the high 70s to mid 80s on each quiz.  The reason I recommend Pharmacy Exam practice tests, is they provide an immediate review of the law after each question.  The practice material is five 30-question quizzes for a total of 150 questions.  You can access the quizzes immediately after purchase.  As I mentioned above, I have used this practice exam before each of my MPJEs and I have passed on the first try each time with an average score of 85.

    • As with the Federal Pharmacy Law exam link, the state specific link below is an affiliated link provided by the company that offers all 50 states along with other specific practice quizzes.  Currently, each exam is 12% off and to me, worth every penny.  We use this resource at my work and I have been successful in helping pharmacists and students pass the MPJE using the tool.  The key is to take each of the five quizzes at least twice and to read the law that is referenced after each question.  Do not just read the portion related to the answer, but rather, read the entire excerpt which helps you retain the concept of the law instead of a specific portion.  If you do purchase the practice exams through this link, I want to say Thank You as it helps the website at no additional cost to you.  Email me at [email protected] and tell me what you think of practice quizzes.
  • After going through all the practice questions once, I review the state pharmacy laws and regulations for a second time.  I focus on the sections I selected as important (i.e. controlled substance act, pharmacy act…) and also review my notes.  

    • [Quick Tip] If you had to pick a section to review multiple times, review the state’s Controlled Substance Act.  There will be many questions relating to these topics.  Other important sections are The Pharmacy Act and Compounding.

Last action I take is retaking the state specific practice exams where I usually score in the high 90s.  This does two things: provide a boost in confidence and a chance to review the laws in the same manner you might experience during the MPJE.

I am in the process of compiling a list of state specific resources so they are all on one page.  Please click here to view the list.  This is just the start, my goal is to have a specific in depth book or guide for each state.

Helpful Tips Based on My Experience:

    • The two weeks leading up to the exam, wake up an hour or two early and study.  It has been my experience that learning and retaining new information works best first thing in the morning.  This time would be on top of any other study times you have scheduled later in day.

    • If possible, schedule your exam between 11am-1pm.  If the time is not available, I usually opt for a later time slot so it allows me to complete one final review. 

    • The day of the exam, I wake up early and usually take the practice exam for the second time.  As I mentioned above, I learn and retain the most information when I study first thing in the morning.

    • Eat a good breakfast but not too heavy.  You do not want to be digesting food while taking the exam.

    • Arrive at the exam site 30-45 minutes before your assigned time.  It reduces any anxiety of not being there on time. In certain cases, they may allow you to start the exam early depending on seat availability.

    • Eat a full sized candy bar upon arrival 30 minutes before you start your exam.  My choice of candy is M&Ms but any high sugar bar should do.  You brain will use a lot of glucose during the exam and the candy has helped me tremendously.  It may be part superstition, part science, but it has now become a tradition.  Thanks mom for this tip early in life, it has worked flawlessly.

    • The exam is 120 questions long which changed recently.  It is a long exam (not as long as the NAPLEX) and requires brain power.  Be ready.  Answer every question as you will not get credit for unanswered questions.  Do not second guess. Read each question very carefully and go with your first response.  I have made the error of misreading the question and not answering correctly.

  • …and remember, all you need is 75 or better.

And now, a small favor.  If this guide has helped you with preparing for the MPJE, I would greatly appreciate your feedback (positive or constructive) and testimonial.  Please submit your comments here, and I will post to this site.  You can also email me directly at [email protected]  It will help validate my mission and improve the next pharmacist’s experience.  It would be great if you can let me know how this guide helped, which state MPJE you took and your score.  I have been able to help many of my colleagues pass the MPJE and a few of you so far through this site.  My goal is for everyone to pass on their first try or their next try after reading this guide.

Best of Luck,

Hazem

DISCLAIMER:  Mad Mack Consulting provides www.75orbetter.com as a service to the public.  Mad Mack Consulting is not responsible for, and expressly disclaims all liability for, damages of any kind arising out of use, reference to, or reliance on any information contained within the site.  While the information contained within the site is periodically updated, no guarantee is given that the information provided in this Web site is correct, complete, and up-to-date.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.