Many factors affect pharmacy registration exam results, GPhC report finds

Students taking preregistration exam

Ethnic background and the sector in which pharmacy students have trained continue to influence preregistration assessment results, according to a report presented at the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) council meeting on 8 September 2016. 

Which institution a student studied at also had an impact on exam results, the report says, as did the country in which they studied. “As well as a higher pass rate, the performance of candidates by characteristics, such as ethnicity, country of training and school of pharmacy, has coalesced around narrower pass ranges but the underlying trends identified in previous years persist,” the report says. 

“Scottish and Welsh trainees continue to outperform their English counterparts… hospital/industry trainees continue to outperform their community counterparts… candidates from some ethnic groups continue to outperform others, with the rank ordering remaining broadly the same… candidates from some schools of pharmacy continue to outperform others, again with a broadly similar rank ordering.” 

The GPhC says that while the June 2016’s 95.3% pass rate was “high”, it was not “unprecedented”.

The report says: “As we have hypothesised before, candidate performance is multifactorial and therefore difficult to interpret.” 

The GPhC says that its revisions to the preregistration exam questions and standards could have played a part in the high pass rate along, with its campaign to highlight the changes.

But it also says that greater efforts by candidate and support from their employer to prepare for the assessment could also have influenced this summer’s results.

“We should not discount the possibility that the June cohort was a strong one.”

Last updated
The Pharmaceutical Journal, PJ, September 2016, Vol 297, No 7893;297(7893):DOI:10.1211/PJ.2016.20201692

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