- About CCGP
- About Board Certification
- CGP Exam
- Recertification Process
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Frequently Asked Questions
Q1. How long is the CGP exam?
A. The examination is 150 multiple-choice questions. Three hours are allotted to take the examination.
Q2. How is the examination administered?
A. The CGP examination is computer-based and is offered at test centers located in multiple locations around the United States and Canada, and in a number of other countries around the world. See the CCGP Candidate Handbook for details about the testing environment, application process and other related issues.
Q3: What resources are available to help pharmacists prepare to take the CGP examination?
A: The role of CCGP is to develop and administer the CGP examination. CCGP is not a provider of continuing education, and there is no required curriculum or courses needed to take the examination. However, resources are available for candidates who wish to learn more about geriatric pharmacy practice.
Q4: Are any live preparatory courses for the CGP examination available that have been approved by CCGP?
A: CCGP does not endorse or approve courses or programs that are marketed or intended to help pharmacists prepare to take the Certified Geriatric Pharmacist examination. For the convenience of candidates, CCGP offers listings of programs that may be of interest. It is up to each candidate to evaluate programs and decide whether the program is appropriate or useful. CCGP is aware of these live programs that might be of interest to candidates.
The California Geriatric Education Center and the Western University of Health Sciences College of Pharmacy conduct an annual Intensive Course in Geriatric Pharmacy and Board Review. This course is offered in conjunction with the UCLA Intensive Course in Geriatric Medicine and Board Review. All sessions are accredited for both pharmacists and physicians. This program is usually offered in September in the Los Angeles area.
The Ontario Pharmacists Association offers a CCCEP accredited continuing education program: Medication Therapy Management for Older Adults - CGP Preparation Course. This program is offered in the Spring and Fall of each year.
Q5: Is the examination content taken from the ASCP review course modules and the specific resources listed on the CCGP website?
A. The CGP certification examination is prepared by a committee of Certified Geriatric Pharmacists. Examination questions are developed by item writers and reviewed by committee members, with appropriate security precautions to keep the examination confidential.
While study materials can be useful as aids in preparing for an examination, it is important to understand that the examination is not based upon these materials. The study materials are intended to review the scope of the content outline provided in the Candidate Handbook, but those who prepare the study materials have no knowledge of the actual examination content. The Self-Assessment Examination and the modules of the online review course are representative of the knowledge needed to pass the examination, but are not comprehensive in scope.
Q6: Is a table of normal laboratory values provided to candidates for use during the examination?
A: Yes. Normal laboratory test results may vary somewhat from one lab to another. Candidates who take the CGP examination have access to a table of normal laboratory values for use during the examination. Laboratory values are provided in both conventional and international units for convenience of candidates. The page with laboratory values is labeled INS and can be accessed at any time during the examination with the test item drop-down menu.
Q7: Candidates have the opportunity to provide comments on test items during the examination. If I comment on a question, do I have a better chance of being credited for the question?
A: No. All comments that candidates submit on the test questions are reviewed by the Examination Development Committee (EDC). These comments will be considered during periodic review of the examination questions. Comments submitted by candidates will not affect the candidate’s score on the examination.
Q8: Where do the questions used on the examination originate, and how is the “correct” answer determined?
A: Examination questions are written by a trained item writer or by a member of the Examination Development Committee and then reviewed and edited by the full committee, with consultation and input from test development specialists at Applied Measurement Professionals (AMP). Depending upon the topic of the question, the “correct” answer may be based upon pharmacology of a particular drug or drug class, expert consensus from clinical practice guidelines, or the collective clinical judgment of the experts on the EDC on how to handle a particular patient case.
Examination questions fall into three categories: recall, application, and analysis. Recall questions are generally straightforward and fact-based, and the “correct” answer is well-defined. Application questions test the ability of the candidate to apply factual knowledge to patient situations. Analysis questions are the most complex and test higher-level judgment and analytical skills.
Q9: Some of the items on the examination that I took did not appear to have a correct answer. For some of the scenarios presented, I would have handled the patient differently.
A: Many of the test scenarios, especially at the “analysis” level, involve complex older adults with multiple morbidities. In many of these cases, there could be more than one “correct” or acceptable way to manage the patient. In the real world, patterns of practice may vary based upon settings of care, medication formulary limitations, federal or state regulations, and other factors.
In the context of a multiple-choice examination, the candidate is expected to choose the best strategy for patient management from among the options presented. While this may be frustrating for the candidate who, for example, might usually prefer to use a different medication, the successful candidate should be able to focus on the options presented, analyze pros and cons, and choose the best option from among those provided.
Q10. When can I expect to receive my scores from the CGP examination?
A. To ensure that examination items perform properly, psychometricians from CCGP’s test partner, Applied Measurement Professionals, conduct statistical analyses on the examination items after a critical number of candidates have taken the exam. This requires holding candidate scores for a certain period of time to ensure that tests are accurately scored.
In general, examinations taken during a test window are held for up to four weeks and then scored together and released. For specific information about release of test results from a particular test window, check the AMP Candidate Page.