Preparing to sit the November assessment

Exams can be stressful, but there are a few simple things that you can do to help alleviate the pressure. Here are our top tips on how to prepare for assessment day.

Avoid last minute cramming

It is widely accepted that this is not the best way to approach an exam. A good night’s sleep will leave you well rested and ensure that you can be fully focused during the assessment. If you have been having trouble sleeping, you could have a look at the Sleep Charity website. Their site contains a lot of guidance to help you to get a good night’s sleep.

Read guidance on how to get a better night’s sleep

Don’t panic

Whilst exam nerves are normal, it is important to try not to panic as this will only make things worse. If you are feeling worried or depressed about the assessment, talk to somebody. Do not bottle things up. Speak to your friends, family or tutor about how you are feeling or call us to arrange for a chat with one of our Listening Friends. You could also take a look at our Help with anxiety page.

Watch a short video on how to manage anxious thoughts

Positive thinking

Believe in yourself. After all, you have already sat and passed many exams in the run-up to becoming a pre-registration trainee. This one is no different.

Watch a short video on how to use visualisation to prepare for the exam 

Look after yourself

Do not set yourself unrealistic goals. You will still need time to eat, sleep and socialise. Neglecting your own health and wellbeing will not help you to pass the assessment. Have a look at our page on Wellbeing for further tips.

Watch a short video on how to sleep well whilst revising

Top up your energy levels

Have a selection of healthy snacks on hand to keep your energy levels topped up. Think fruit, dried nuts and water rather than crisps, cake and too much caffeine.

Advance preparation

Make sure you have everything prepared in advance. Plan your route and journey time. If you have a long way to travel and are concerned about not arriving in time, you might consider booking into a hotel near the assessment venue on the Monday night. This will cut down on your travel time on the day and keep your stress levels to a minimum.

Pack your bag the night before ensuring you have included essentials such as your calculator and proof of identity.

Fit to Sit

On the day, do not sit the assessment unless you feel well enough. You can withdraw at any point before you sign the non-disclosure agreement at your workstation. If you stay at your workstation after you have completed the non-disclosure agreement, you can no longer withdraw from the assessment. You will not lose your registration fee if you withdraw, the fee will be refunded within 28 days of the exam to the card from which the initial payment was made.

Arrive early

Timings may vary between assessment test centres, so be sure to double-check what time your assessment starts at via your Pearson VUE account. It is a good idea to arrive early, but you should check with your centre to see when they will be opening prior to the start of the exam. Please do not worry if you find your test centre is not open when you arrive; please just wait outside until the centre opens and the staff invite you inside. 

If you are late for the assessment you will not be given additional time and you run the risk of having insufficient time to complete the assessment. If you do arrive late, you might wish to consider withdrawing as an alternative to sitting the assessment with less time than all of the other candidates.

If you arrive more than 15 minutes after the start time, you will not be able to sit the assessment and you will be asked to leave the test centre. If you are too late too attempt the exam you will need to complete a withdrawal form. Failure to do this will result in the exam being counted as one of your three attempts regardless of the fact that you did not sit the exam.

Withdrawal request forms are on the GPhC website. You should send your withdrawal form to If you do not complete the form, the November sit will count as one of your three attempts at the exam.

The deadline for requesting a withdrawal is 23rd November 2021.

If things go wrong during the exam

If you experience a problem or become unwell during either paper, you must raise any issues with a Test Administrator immediately. The administrator will help you to resolve the issue, and provide you with a case report number to confirm that the GPhC will be made aware of the issue(s) you have experienced. If you feel that your performance may have been adversely affected by the issue(s), it is essential that you log the incidents with a Test Administrator and that make sure that you receive a case reference number. You may also want to consider requesting a nullification.

You will need to fill in a nullification request form.  You must also provide suitable evidence to support your request, for example, medical evidence if you were taken ill. If your nullification request is upheld, you will not receive your results and your assessment attempt will not count towards your three attempts at the exam.

Nullification forms will be available from 16th November on the GPhC November assessment
webpage. Completed forms should be sent to The deadline for sending in a nullification request is 23rd November 2021.

Exam guidance

The GPhC has produced guidance for candidates who are taking an exam in a PearsonVue test centre, and guidance for those candidates who are sitting the exam remotely.

Take a look at our page on how to cope with exam stress