Comparing Student Performance on the Old vs New Versions of the NAPLEX

Am J Pharm Educ. 2018 Apr;82(3):6408. doi: 10.5688/ajpe6408.


Objective. To determine if the new 2016 version of the North American Pharmacy Licensure Examination (NAPLEX) affected scores when controlling for student performance on other measures using data from one institution. Methods. There were 201 records from the classes of 2014-2016. Doubly robust estimation using weighted propensity scores was used to compare NAPLEX scaled scores and pass rates while considering student performance on other measures. Of the potential controllers of student performance: Pharmacy Curricular Outcomes Assessment (PCOA), scaled composite scores from the Pharmacy College Admission Test (PCAT), and P3 Grade Point Average (GPA). Only PCOA and P3 GPA were found to be appropriate for propensity scoring. Results. The weighted NAPLEX scaled scores did not significantly drop from the old (2014-2015) to the new (2016) version of NAPLEX. The change in pass rates between the new and old versions of NAPLEX were also non-significant. Conclusion. Using data from one institution, the new version itself of the NAPLEX did not have a significant effect on NAPLEX scores or first-time pass rates when controlling for student performance on other measures. Colleges are encouraged to repeat this analysis with pooled data and larger sample sizes.

Keywords: NAPLEX; assessment; logistic models; pass rates; pharmacy licensure.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • College Admission Test
  • Curriculum
  • Education, Pharmacy*
  • Educational Measurement / methods*
  • Humans
  • Licensure, Pharmacy*
  • Pharmacists / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Students, Pharmacy / statistics & numerical data*