Pharmacy College Admission Test

AACP Resource


The Pharmacy College Admissions Test (PCAT) is currently accepted by some U.S. colleges and schools of pharmacy and will be retired in January 2024.

Important PCAT Announcement for Future Cycles

The final PCAT testing cycle will be offered during the 2023–2024 (next) admissions cycle on the following dates: July 6, 2023; October 16–27, 2023; and January 3–9, 2024. No PCAT testing dates will be offered during the 2024–2025 admissions cycle or beyond. Applicants who have previously taken or plan to take the PCAT during the 2022–2023 (current) admissions cycle will not be affected. All test-takers may continue to request Official Transcripts and Personal Score Reports through the Pearson website until February 2026. Please visit the PCAT and Other Tests page to determine whether a school will consider the PCAT in the current admissions process.

About the PCAT

The PCAT is a specialized, standardized test that helps identify qualified applicants to pharmacy colleges and schools. It measures general academic ability and scientific knowledge necessary for the commencement of pharmaceutical education. The PCAT is constructed specifically for colleges of pharmacy and 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 five separate subtests on the PCAT:

  1. Writing: Subtest includes a prompt involves 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 original essay and are scored on how well they write an essay that is a sufficient length to adequately explain a solution to the problem.
  2. Biological Processes: Items are presented either in a set accompanying a short passage or as stand-alone items that can be answered independently.
  3. Chemical Processes: Items are presented in the same way as the Biological subtest.
  4. Critical Reading: All items are in sets that accompany reading passages.
  5. Quantitative Reasoning: Subtest consists entirely of standalone items with many of the items presented in a word-problem or problem-solving scenario.

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.

PharmCAS Logo

PCAT Code for PharmCAS: 104

If you apply to a PharmCAS school that requires the PCAT, arrange for Pearson, Inc. to release your PCAT scores directly to PharmCAS CODE 104. PCAT will send PharmCAS your most recent set of 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. 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.

Is the PCAT Required?

To determine whether a college or school of pharmacy requires the PCAT for admission, click on the Required Tests tab or individual school pages.