Korean J Clin Pharm.  2015 Mar;25(1):1-8. 10.0000/kjcp.2015.25.1.1.

Comparison of Pharmacist License Examination between Korea and Canada

  • 1College of Pharmacy, Woosuk University, Jeon-Buk 565-701, South Korea. mkang@woosuk.ac.kr


A newly-structured Korean pharmacist license exam has been launched in 2015, reflecting upon the changes in the pharmacy curriculum from a 4 year program to a 6 year program in 2009. In order to provide new ideas to ensure that the new exam is one of the most effective pharmacist evaluations that have taken place thus far, this study was done to compare the pharmacy exams in Korea and Canada. One of the major differences noted between the two countries' exams is that along with paper based MCQ portion of the exam, Canada's exam also includes a performance-based section, known as OSCE, which the Korean Pharmacy Exam (KPE) does not have. Furthermore, with the MCQ portion of the exam, the Canadian exam asks about 300 questions, with 450 minutes of test time allocated and taken during a period of two consecutive days, the KPE asks 350 questions, with 325 minutes of test time allocated in one day. Although, similarly, many of the questions in both exams place emphasis on clinical or patient care, Canada's exam puts significantly more emphasis (50.5% of exam questions) on these types of questions than Korea (29.7% of exam questions). However, this percentage does not reflect the exact weight placed for the specific areas of knowledge it requires to answer these questions, since the types of questions asked in this section in Canada could be placed in another section on the KPE. Canada's exam also has more questions (10% +150 questions for BC) on the topics of law and ethics compared to the KPE (5.7%). The reason for this may be that the Canadian society puts emphasis on the legal and ethical duties of pharmacists as a leader. However, since each country is unique in their social, economical, and cultural points of view, comparing the KPE to the Canadian licensing exam and applying these differences to the new KPE may not be appropriate. One last thing to consider is that, as WHO/FIP mentioned, in good pharmacy practice, continually updating and developing an appropriate pharmacy exam with consideration of societal changes, is key to success in developing the scope of practice for current and future pharmacists.


pharmacist licence exam; PEBC; OSCE; MCQ; NAPRA; pharmacy law

MeSH Terms

Patient Care
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