PCAT scores are one of the most critical elements to your qualification for pharmacy school. The higher your PCAT score, the better your chances of admission will be for a respected, competitive pharmacy program. Careful preparation, along with hard work, will dramatically enhance your probability of success on the PCAT.
The PCAT requires you to think in a thorough, quick, and strategic manner…and still be accurate, logical, and wise. This test is designed to judge your writing, verbal, and mathematical ability in the ways that pharmacy schools feel is vital to the success of first-year pharmacy students. There are different strategies, mindsets, and perspectives that you will be required to apply throughout the PCAT. You'll need to be prepared to use your whole brain as far as thinking and assessment is concerned, and you'll need to do this in a timely manner.
Sections of the PCAT
Verbal Ability questions measure general, nonscientific word knowledge using antonyms and analogies.
Quantitative Ability questions measure your skills in arithmetic processes including fractions, decimals, and percentages. They also test your ability to reason through and understand quantitative concepts and relationships, including applications of algebra (but not of trigonometry or calculus).
Biology questions measure your knowledge of the principles and concepts of basic biology, with a major emphasis on human biology.
Chemistry questions measure your knowledge of principles and concepts of inorganic and elementary organic chemistry.
Reading Comprehension questions measure your ability to comprehend, analyze, and interpret reading passages on scientific topics.
Visit www.PCATweb.info to find out test locations and test dates for the PCAT.
You will receive a scaled score and percentile for each of the five multiple-choice sections of the PCAT, and for all five of the multiple-choice sections as a whole (composite scores). Scaled scores run from 200 to 600. A separate score, ranging from one through five, is given for the Writing section. A score of five is “superior”, and a score of one is “weak”.
There is no “passing” score for the PCAT, but you will need to know what the average cut-off score is for the pharmacy schools to which you're looking to apply to. Look at the school's Web site you are interested in to see the average PCAT score for their program.
Each pharmacy school has a different policy for weighing your PCAT score with your GPA. The majority of pharmacy schools will weigh your PCAT score more heavily than your GPA.