Importance of Pharmacy College Admissions Test – PCAT
As in most colleges or universities, one of the pre-requisites for entrance is scoring well on a specific standardized test. Schools of Pharmacy are no different. A majority of pharmacy schools in America require the Pharmacy College Admissions Test, or PCAT. The PCAT is a good predictor of those who will do well in pharmacy school, which is why a top score is practically a must.
What Does The PCAT Consist of?
The PCAT consists of seven subtests measuring six content areas. Each section is timed separately during which you will only be permitted to work on that particular section. You are not permitted to revise earlier subtests or move on to later ones.
- Verbal Ability (measures word knowledge and usage) 30 minutes for 50 questions
- Biology (measures knowledge of basic biology including microbiology human anatomy and physiology) 30 minutes for 50 questions
- Reading Comprehension (measures ability to comprehend, analyze and evaluate reading passages on science related topics) 45 minutes for 45 questions
- Chemistry (measures knowledge of inorganic and elementary organic chemistry) 30 minutes for 60 questions
- Quantitative Ability (measures skills in mathematical processes and ability to reason through and understand quantitative concepts and relationships, including algebra, geometry probability and statistics, pre-calculus and calculus) 45 minutes for 65 questions
- Written Essay (measures conventions of language skills) 30 minutes
The PCAT is a very demanding test. It would be wise to avail yourself with some good prep material. There are many test prep companies that you can look into. A couple of them are Pearson and Kaplan. Pearson now has a computer-based version of the PCAT that may appeal to many. Same rules and guidelines apply as to the paper-and-pencil version.
Things to Remember About the PCAT
The PCAT is only administered three times a year – June, October and January. Make sure to register well in advance.
If the school you are applying to requires the PCAT, you must arrange for the testing company to release your PCAT scores directly to the school. Schools may not accept PCAT scores sent directly to them.
It is important to score well on the PCAT. It is a significant piece to your acceptance to pharmacy school. Your score will be weighed with the average scores of other applicants thus a higher score will stand out to the school’s admissions staff. Do not procrastinate! Be sure to study for the PCAT well in advance of your pharmacy school admissions deadlines.
For More Information
For more information on the PCAT or pharmacy schools, you may go to the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy.