However, there are conflicting views regarding the API. Many of these views indicate that the API is not aligned with the NCEP in terms of its methodology. In fact, some teachers who hold administrative positions within the API want the NCEP to get out of the process entirely and have the API set its own guidelines.
This would seem to make sense. It would also be nice if the API recognized that its own exams were not quite as valid as the NCEP exams. But this would require a larger discussion on the subject matter.
The API has never really had much use for pharmacology, so it is not surprising that it never bothered to set up a chemistry exam scoring guidelines committee. On the other hand, the NCEP and the NPHC have plenty of influence within the educational community. These are organizations that often set the academic agenda within universities and public schools.
So, it is no surprise that when the API finally did set up its own exam, it was quite vague about the scores it wanted for its own exam. The US Pharmacopoeia is the official database for any given chemistry exam. However, the API never clarified that USP test it was using to set its own scoring guidelines.
According to the USP guidelines, the USP is the “standard” for pharmacy courses. If you want to earn a pharmacy degree from a major university such as the University of Maryland or Pennsylvania State University, then you must take the USP or the National Board of Pharmacy Examination. (Note: The USP is called the National Board of Pharmacy Examination because it is an independent body that administers the examination.)
There is no indication that the API has ever said that it would rather have the NCEP or National Board of Pharmacy Examination administer its own exam. Nevertheless, this is what the API has done. In fact, the API standardized its examination by setting up the document PSYC 106. While there was a fairly good standard set up by the API, there was no clear indication that the PSYC 106 standard was intended to be used with any other reference material.
Now, the question is this: Is the API following its own standards? After all, it seems that the NCEP and the NPHC have their own samples and even an exclusive set of guidelines for certain subjects. Why is the API not setting its own standards for its own exams?
There is another problem here. When the API established its own standards, it immediately followed them to the letter. There is no indication that the API ever considered or modified the PSYC 106 sample. If you choose to use a PSYC 106 sample for your own exam, then you must follow the entire set of guidelines set forth by the API.
If the API was still trying to set its own standards, then it could have written new PSYC 106 sample. This would be a simple solution to this apparent inconsistency.
But, the API seems not to be at all concerned with the question of consistency. That is not to say that it does not follow its own rules. But in the end, the final PSYC 106 sample is its own idea. The other problem here is that the PSYC 106 exam is just one portion of the larger PHC exam. There is a strong argument that the API should not have to set its own criteria for each portion of the PHC exam.