Pharmacy College Admission Test

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Pharmacy College Admission Test
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Pharmacy College Admission Test 

Approximately 85% of U.S. colleges and schools of pharmacy require the Pharmacy College Admission Test (PCAT) for admission. To determine whether a college requires the PCAT, you may contact each program individually or review Table 9 of the Pharmacy School Admission Requirements (PSAR) guidebook.

For information about test dates, registration and other details, visit Pharmacy College Admission Test (PCAT) or navigate to http://www.pcatweb.info.

Test Prep

Kaplan Test Prep has been named the official test prep provider for the Pharmacy College Admissions Test (PCAT). The announcement comes in conjunction with the launch of the Kaplan Test Prep and AACP co-sponsored Foundations of the Future Pharmacist Program, which seeks to make PCAT prep more accessible to all students.  As part of this program, Kaplan has reduced tuition for its online PCAT On Demand prep programs, is offering more tuition assistance (income-based), and giving 250 scholarships to deserving students.

Studies of PCAT scores and pharmacy school GPA show a correlation between success on the PCAT and success in pharmacy school. Members of AACP believe that students who prepare for the PCAT are more likely to succeed in pharmacy school as well.

Test Content

The PCAT is divided into separate sections, or subtests, each of which is timed separately. During the time allowed for each subtest, you will be permitted to work only on that section. You will not be allowed to go back to earlier subtests or on to later ones. As you work on each section, you may find it useful to first answer the questions that are easy for you, skipping over those questions to which you will need to return for further thought.

There are six content areas measured by the PCAT in seven separate subtests:

  • The Verbal Ability section measures general, non-scientific word knowledge and usage using analogies and sentence completion.
  • The Biology section measures knowledge of the principles and concepts of basic biology, including general biology, microbiology, and human anatomy and physiology.
  • The Reading Comprehension section measures ability to comprehend, analyze and evaluate reading passages on science-related topics.
  • The Quantitative Ability section measures skills in mathematical processes and the ability to reason through and understand quantitative concepts and relationships, including applications of algebra, geometry, probability and statistics, pre-calculus and calculus.
  • The Chemistry section measures knowledge of principles and concepts of inorganic and elementary organic chemistry.
  • The written Essay sections measure conventions of language skills in terms of sentence formation, usage and mechanics. One is included as an experimental item.

All of the writing prompts state a problem involving a health issue, a science issue, or a social, cultural or political issue. Examinees are asked to present a solution to the problem in their essays. They are scored on how well they write an essay that is a sufficient length to adequately explain a solution to the problem.

Experimental Items

The form of the PCAT that you take may contain experimental multiple-choice items that are embedded within the subtests, or it may have a separate section with experimental items. The experimental items are being tested for future use on PCAT test forms and will not affect your score. You will not know which items are experimental and which count toward your score, so it is very important that you do your best on all the items and sections of the test.

Sending Your PCAT Scores to PharmCAS - CODE 104

If you apply to a PharmCAS school that requires the PCAT, you must arrange for Harcourt Assessment to release your PCAT scores directly to PharmCAS CODE 104. PharmCAS schools may not accept PCAT scores sent directly to the institution. Harcourt will send PharmCAS your most recent set of PCAT scores along with test results from up to four other previous attempts over a five-year period. During the Academic Update, enter any new PCAT test dates taken or planned since you first submitted your application to PharmCAS.

IMPORTANT: PharmCAS will match your PCAT scores to your application based on your PCAT CID. You MUST report your PCAT CID on your PharmCAS application. Applicants who have PCAT scores and do not report a PCAT CID must contact PharmCAS at 617-612-2050. 

If you are applying to a pharmacy school that does not participate in PharmCAS, arrange for your PCAT test scores to be sent directly to the institution.

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