Identifying best practices for and utilities of the pharmacy curriculum outcome assessment examination

Timothy Y. Mok, Frank Romanelli

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Objective. A review was conducted to determine implementation strategies, utilities, score interpretation, and limitations of the Pharmacy Curriculum Outcome Assessment (PCOA) examination. Methods. Articles were identified through the PubMed and American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education, and International Pharmaceutical Abstracts databases using the following terms: “Pharmacy Curriculum Outcomes Assessment,” “pharmacy comprehensive examination,” and “curricular assessment.” Studies containing information regarding implementation, utility, and predictive values for US student pharmacists, curricula, and/or PGY1/PGY2 residents were included. Publications from the Academic Medicine Journal, the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE), and the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (ACCP) were included for background information and comparison of predictive utilities of comprehensive examinations in medicine. Results. Ten PCOA and nine residency-related publications were identified. Based on published information, the PCOA may be best used as an additional tool to identify knowledge gaps for third-year student pharmacists. Conclusion. Administering the PCOA to students after they have completed their didactic coursework may yield scores that reflect student knowledge. Predictive utility regarding the North American Pharmacy Licensure Examination (NAPLEX) and potential applications is limited, and more research is required to determine ways to use the PCOA.

Original languageEnglish
Article number163
JournalAmerican Journal of Pharmaceutical Education
Issue number10
StatePublished - 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016, American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy. All rights reserved.


  • Comprehensive assessment
  • Curricular assessment
  • PCOA
  • Pharmacy comprehensive examination
  • Pharmacy curriculum outcome assessment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Pharmacy
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics (all)

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