Pharmacy College Admission Test

AACP Resource


The Pharmacy College Admissions Test (PCAT) is required by some U.S. colleges and schools of pharmacy. For information about test dates, registration and other details, visit the PCAT website.

Kaplan PCAT Test Prep

Kaplan is the official test prep provider for the PCAT. Visit Kaplan's website to view self-paced, live, in person, and private tutoring options. Studies show a correlation between success on the PCAT and success in pharmacy school.

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.