PCAT (Pharmacy College Admission Test)

The Pharmacy College Admission Test (PCAT) is a specialized test that helps identify qualified applicants to Pharmacy College.  It measures general academic ability and scientific knowledge necessary for the commencement of pharmaceutical education.  The PCAT is constructed specifically for college of Pharmacy.

The PCAT consists of 240 multiple-choice items and two Writing topics.  Candidates are given four hours to complete the test (plus administrative time for instructions and time for a short rest break about halfway through the test).

Writing (Session 1)
+  Time -  30 minutes
+  Format -  problem solving essay based on a given topic
+  Content -  General Composition skills and conventions of language, ability to communicate a solution to a problem

Verbal Ability
+  Time -  30 minutes
+  Format -  48 multiple-choice questions
+  Content -  General, non-scientific word knowledge using analogies and sentence completion

Biology
+  Time -  30 minutes
+  Format -  48 multiple-choice questions
+  Content -  The knowledge of the concepts and principles of basic biology with an emphasis on human biology, microbiology, and anatomy/physiology

Chemistry
+  Time -  30 minutes
+  Format -  48 multiple-choice questions
+  Content -  The knowledge of the concepts and principles of inorganic and elementary organic chemistry

Writing (Session 2)
+  Time -  30 minutes
+  Format -  problem solving essay based on a given topic
+  Content -  General Composition skills and conventions of language, ability to communicate a solution to a problem

Reading Comprehension
+  Time -  50 minutes
+  Format -  48 multiple-choice questions; there are 6 passages with 6-9 questions to follow
+  Content -  The ability of the Student to comprehend, analyze, and interpret reading passages on scientific topics

Quantitative Ability
+  Time -  40 minutes
+  Format -  48 multiple-choice questions
+  Content -  Skills in arithmetic processes, including fractions, decimals, and percentages, and the ability to reason through and understand quantitative concepts and their relationships, including applications of algebra, probability and statistics, pre-calculus, and calculus 

Each PCAT section receives its own score.  Each section is scored on a scale ranging from 200-600, with 600 as the highest and a mean of 400.  The writing section is scored numerically from 0 to 5.  One of the writing prompts will be experimental and will not count toward your score.

The number of multiple-choice questions that you answer correctly per section is your "raw score."  Your raw score will then be converted to yield the "scaled score" - the one that will fall somewhere in the 200-600 range.  These scaled scores are what are reported to Pharmacy schools as your PCAT scores.   All multiple-choice questions are worth the same amount - one raw point - so there's no penalty for guessing.  That means that you should always fill in an answer for every question, whether you get to that question or not!  Never let time run out on any section without filling in an answer for every question on the grid.  Your score report will tell you - and your potential Pharmacy schools - not only your scaled scores but also the national mean score for each section, as well as standard deviations, national scoring profiles for each section, and your percentile ranking. 

NOTE:  To receive more information or to register for the PCAT, visit the following link provided by Pearson Inc. and the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP) for the PCAT testing program.  PCAT information was gathered from the PCAT Premier Program: 2008-2009 Edition .





pharmacy