Eighty-five per cent of candidates passed June's registration exam, an improvement on last year's pass rate, the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) has announced.
Of the 2,549 candidates who sat the exam, 2,175 met the pass mark, it announced today (July 25).
The results marked an improvement on last year – the first time the new-look registration exam was introduced – when 78 per cent of students passed. But it was still lower than the 95 per cent pass rate recorded in 2012 under the previous exam format.
At the time, the GPhC said it changed the format to give students "more scenario-based questions and fewer factual recall questions", which it believed better reflected clinical practice.
But the British Pharmaceutical Students' Association hit out at the exam last year for failing to test practical knowledge and skills. The student body said it had received feedback on the assessment from 387 pre-reg trainees and concerns about the closed-book exam were mentioned by all "without exception".
GPhC chief executive Duncan Rudkin congratulated all those who had passed the exam this year. "The registration assessment plays an important role in making sure that only those candidates with the skills and knowledge to practise safely can join the register," he said.
Ninety-three per cent of the candidates in this June's exam were sitting the registration assessment for the first time. Of these candidates, those based in Scotland had the highest pass rate at 96 per cent, while English students had a pass rate of 86 per cent. Hospital candidates also performed better than community pharmacists, with pass rates of 92 per cent and 84 per cent respectively.
Earlier this month, the GPhC vowed to investigate discrepancies in pre-reg pass rates.