The most current PTCB exam content outline (effective January 1, 2020) reveals that the exam covers the following four knowledge areas:

  1. Medications (40% of the exam)
  2. Federal Requirements (12.5% of the exam)
  3. Patient Safety and Quality Assurance (26.25% of the exam)
  4. Order Entry and Processing (21.25% of the exam)

So, how many questions from each category? The exam consists of 90 questions. Keep in mind that only 80 questions are scored, and the other 10 questions are unscored. We can’t tell you what to expect for the unscored questions, but it doesn’t really matter because your answers to these questions won’t affect your score. Given this information, here is what you can expect to see on the PTCB exam:

32 questions on medications

10 questions on federal requirements

21 questions on patient safety/quality assurance

17 questions on order entry/processing

+ 10 unsecured questions on topics unknown

You may take up to 2 hours to complete the exam, but only 1 hour and 50 minutes can be spent reading the questions and selecting your answers. The other 10 minutes are used for a pre-test tutorial (5 minutes) and a post-exam survey (5 minutes). So, when taking PTCB practice exams, make sure the timer is set for 1 hour and 50 minutes.