Exam details

We assess intern practical pharmacy competency and knowledge through the Australian and New Zealand Intern Written Examinations. This section of the website covers the content of the Australian Intern Written Examination. 

The New Zealand Intern Written Examination is based broadly on the Australian Intern Written Examination.  There are some differences between the examinations.  New Zealand interns are advised to contact the Pharmacy Council of New Zealand with any specific enquirers they have.    

Australian Intern Written Examination Domain Content

There are five content areas covered by the Australian Intern Written Examination.  These content areas are based on the National Competency Standards Framework for Pharmacists in Australia 2010

The areas covered in the examination are:

Domain 1 (Professional and ethical practice) including the following standards:

  • Practise legally
  • Practise to accepted standards


Domain 4 (Review and supply prescribed medicines) including the following standards

  • Consider the appropriateness of prescribed medicines
  • Dispense prescribed medicines


Domain 5 (Prepare pharmaceutical products) including the following standards

  • Consider product requirements


Domain 6 (Deliver primary and preventative health care) including the following standards:

  •  Assess primary health care needs
  •  Deliver primary health care
  •  Contribute to public and preventative health


Domain 7 (Promote and contribute to optimal use of medicines) including the following standards:

  • Contribute to therapeutic decision-making
  • Provide ongoing medication management


Format of the Australian Intern Written Examination

The Australian Intern Written Examination is a computer-delivered examination that contains 125 multiple-choice questions. 

Each question will have a stem (a question, phrase or short paragraph) and 4 to 5 possible answers.

There is only one correct answer for each question.  

You will have 3 hours to complete the examination.

The computer will randomise the order of all the questions.  However, the 8 Domain 1 questions and 8 Domain 5 questions will always appear in the first sixteen questions of every examination.

Question Types

Questions may either stand-alone or be associated with a patient profile.

Stand-alone questions are those questions that are self-contained. You will be given all the information required to answer the question in the stem. 

Patient profile questions are 2 to 5 questions that are linked to content found in a patient record or profile.  The patient profile will provide you with basic information about the patient (eg. age, weight, allergies) and also more detailed information like a presenting complaint(s), any test results they may have and their medication history. 

You should answer the patient questions within the context of the profile. The answer to a question in the profile will not be dependent upon correctly answering another question. You will be able to answer each question independently of the other profile questions.

Further information 

Every year, we release a practice examination paper.  This practice examination provides you with the opportunity to experience the type of content and format of the examination questions.  The available papers are:

2013 Practice Paper and Answers

2014 Practice Paper and Answers 

2015 Practice Paper and Answers


For further information on how to prepare for the examination, go to prepare for an exam.