Pharmacy College Admission Test (PCAT)

Pharmacy College Admission Test (PCAT)

The PCAT is a rigorous and specialized test elaborated by PsychCorp, a brand of Pearson. It helps to qualified applicants measure general abilities and scientific knowledge, considered essential for the pharmaceutical education during the first-year as student. The PCAT is created exclusively for pharmacy colleges.

Generally the majority of pharmacy schools require these subjects as prerequisite for taking the PCAT:
  • General Chemistry with Lab
  • Organic Chemistry with Lab
  • General Biology with Lab
  • Mathematics
  • Physics
  • English composition
  • Humanity or Social Sciences (optional)
Pharmacy school consider PCAT scores as other main factor to qualified applicants, if you got a higher PCAT score you will be more possibilities of being admitted. Don't forget that your chances of a success PCAT will be increasing if you plan a study routine after understand the structure and the features of the test.

PCAT 2011-2012 Testing dates

July 20, 27, 2011
September 14, 19, 21, 26, 28, 2011
January 10, 11, 2012

PCAT Process

Pharmacy College Admission Test consists of 240 multiple-choice items and two Writing topics. Applicants are given four hours to finish the test (plus administrative time for instructions and time for a short rest break about intermediate through the test).

The test includes 5 sections: Verbal ability, Quantitative ability, Biology, Chemistry and Reading comprehension; and two Writing topics.
  • Verbal ability:
    Questions determine general, nonscientific word knowledge applying antonyms and analogies
    • Time: 30 minutes
    • Format: 48 questions
    • Topics Tested:
      • Analogies (60%)
      • Sentence completion (40%)

  • Quantitative ability:
    Questions determine your skills in arithmetic processes including fractions, decimals, and percentages. They also test your skill to think logically through and understand quantitative concepts and relationships, including use of algebra (but not of trigonometry or calculus).
    • Time: 40 minutes
    • Format: 48 questions
    • Topics Tested:
      • Geometry (20%)
      • Algebra (20%)
      • Probability and Statistics (10%)
      • Pre-calculus (20%)
      • Calculus (30%)

  • Biology:
    Questions determine your knowledge of the principles and concepts of basic biology, with a main importance on human biology.
    • Time: 30 minutes
    • Format: 48 questions
    • Topics Tested:
      • General Biology (60%)
      • Microbiology (20%)
      • Anatomy and Physiology (20%)

  • Chemistry:
    Questions determine your knowledge of the principles and concepts of inorganic and elementary organic chemistry.
    • Time: 30 minutes
    • Format: 48 questions
    • Topics Tested:
      • General Chemistry (65%)
      • Organic Chemistry (35%)

  • Reading comprehension:
    Questions determine your capacity to comprehend, investigate, and interpret reading passages on scientific topics.
    • Time: 50 minutes
    • Format: 6 passages and 48 questions
    • Topics Tested:
      • Comprehension (30%)
      • Analysis (40%)
      • Evaluation (30%)

  • Writing (Session 1 - 2):
    • Time: 30 minutes (each session)
    • Format: problem solving essay based on a given topic
    • Topics Tested:
      • General composition skills and conventions of language, ability to communicate a solution to a problem

PCAT Scores

Every one of the five sections of the PCAT and all sections as a whole will get a scaled score and percentile that run from 200 to 600. For the Writing sections you will receive a separate score. A score of five is “excellent”, and a score of one is “bad”.

Take into account that every pharmacy schools have his own average cut-off score and there is no “passing” score for the PCAT. Other item to consider is the GPA, many pharmacy schools consider PCAT score more heavily than your GPA. Look at the school's web site to get information about the average PCAT and weigh of GPA score for their program.

PCAT Test Format
 PCAT Test Format
The PCAT consists of 280-mulitple choice questions. There are six parts: Verbal, biology, reading comprehension, quantitative ability, chemistry and conventions of language.

See some Test Preview<