NPLEX 2 Clinical Elective: Pharmacology

NPLEX’s newest clinical elective examination is pharmacology. In this short post, we’ll discuss what we know so far and what can be done to prepare for this clinical elective.


You are eligible to take the NPLEX Part II – Clinical Elective Pharmacology Examination if: You have met the eligibility requirements for the NPLEX Part II – Core Clinical Science Examination;


You have already taken or will be taking the NPLEX Part II – Core Clinical Science Examination during the same NPLEX administration;


You have previously passed the NPLEX Part II – Clinical Science Exam Series prior to August 2007.


Some of these suggestions will not surprise you, but some you will not expect. So read on to find out some little known facts about NPLEX Clinical Elective Pharmacology Exam.

What we know about the exam so far.

Here’s what we know so far: NPLEX has developed a new ELECTIVE examination in clinical pharmacology, which will be administered by NABNE for the first time in August 2017. The new Elective Pharmacology Examination (EPE) will have 75 items that test the knowledge needed to prescribe drugs.


Translation: This clinical elective exam will have the same structure and format as the other clinical elective exams (Minor Surgery and Acupuncture). There are 75 multiple choice questions, with 4 answers (A, B, C, D) for each question. Typically no “all of the above”, no “none of the above”, and no “i, ii, or iii” type answers.


So how can you prepare for this clinical elective?

The best thing to do is to review the NABNE Study Guide (also sometimes known as the NABNE blueprint or NABNE bulletin). They will provide as much information as possible in this document, which you should have access to once you finalize your registration for the elective exam. Pay attention to anything concrete they provide (such as a list of drugs!!) – this would be particularly important. Focus on these and focus on any other information they give you, including practice questions.


The other thing you can do to prepare effectively for the NPLEX pharmacology exam is to study your pharmacology materials, especially things like drug classes, mechanisms of action, side effects. Much of pharmacology is often transferable. So pick up the same resources you are using for NPLEX 2 and review them.


Lastly, there are always flashcards and courses that can be utilized. The NPLEX 2 online flashcards have a massive section dedicated to Pharmacology, so it is strongly recommended that you use these. The only course that exists right now that is offered to help prepare for this elective exam can be found here. Lucky for you, it has a 100% pass guarantee. Which means that if you don’t pass for any reason, your access is renewed for free. Best of luck!