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Home  »   Latest News   »   Understanding when to withdraw and when to nullify for the June 2023 assessment

Understanding when to withdraw and when to nullify for the June 2023 assessment

The PDA is offering advice to those eligible to sit the June 2023 assessment as they enter their final weeks of preparation.

Tue 23rd May 2023 The PDA

As the assessment is approaching it is important to understand the options available to those who feel they may not be able to sit.

Fit to Sit

Only sit the assessment if you feel fit to do so. By sitting the exam you are declaring yourself fit. This means that you do not know of any reason why you cannot sit the assessment and perform to your best.

You may decide that you are not ‘fit to sit’ and choose to withdraw if:

  • You do not feel prepared to sit
  • You have been unwell in the lead-up to the assessment
  • You have experienced other circumstances in the lead-up to the assessment which have impacted on your preparation for the exams e.g., a bereavement.

You can withdraw between now and at any point before you sign the non-disclosure agreement at the workstation at the start of the assessment exam and declare yourself ‘fit to sit’.

The PDA would advise you to consider your decision and make the best choice for you at each stage of the process.

There are some issues that may arise nearer to the time of the assessment or on the day of the assessment itself and you have options to withdraw or nullify depending on the circumstances.


Here are some examples of situations in which you may decide to withdraw from the assessment:

  • Your mental or physical health declines prior to the exam
  • You feel you haven’t had adequate time to revise
  • You do not feel mentally prepared to sit your assessment
  • You do not feel physically well which may impact your performance
  • Transport issues which mean you do not arrive at the test centre on time
  • You do not have the correct ID
  • You do not have the correct equipment.

When considering how you feel, try to recall how you have felt in ‘normal’ exam circumstances and whether your worries and anxiety are different from this. Many people experience ‘exam nerves’.

Remember that you can withdraw right up until the start of the exam if you do not sit the assessment and leave before completing the ‘fit to sit’ declarations.

If you choose to withdraw you must do so by submitting a GPhC notification of withdrawal form within the timeframe.


Here are some examples of situations in which you may decide to nullify your assessment, you must indicate to the invigilator/member of staff during or at the time:

  • Your calculator breaks
  • You have technology issues
  • You are suddenly taken ill during the exam
  • You cannot complete the exam online due to other issues such as a fire alarm
  • There is a problem or incident which impacts your performance during either of the exams.

The invigilator/member of staff will issue a report to the GPhC, and you will receive a complaint number.

Remember that whatever problems or incidents you have, you must make your invigilator aware during the assessment and submit a nullification request within five working days after the assessment.

What you will need to sit at the test centre

You can find a list of the items required and permitted by the GPhC here.

The following are the only items that can be at your workstation, including under it:

  • Approved photographic ID
  •  Approved calculator(s) (part one paper only)
  •  Pens and a single highlighter pen
  • Ruler
  • Glasses/spectacles with no case
  •  Water and non-fizzy drinks in a clear, transparent bottle
  •  Cough sweets
  •  Medication and food (must not cause noise or smell disturbance) if you have a medical condition
  •   Tissues (unpackaged)
  •  Cushion (plain, single-coloured covering)
  •  Eye drops.

It is important that you spend 5 minutes reading the GPhC on-the-day guidance here.

PDA supports revision and exam preparation

There’s still time for PDA members to apply for the FREE PDA revision programme which will include:

  • Practice revision questions and case studies
  • Two one-hour timed mock exams
  • Tips for revising successfully
  • A discussion forum to share your questions, thoughts, and concerns.


Learn more

Not yet a PDA member?

If you have not yet joined the PDA, we encourage you to join today and ask your colleagues to do the same.

Membership is FREE to pharmacy students, trainee pharmacists, and for the first three months of being newly qualified.


Read about our key member benefits here.






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