PCAT stands for Pharmacy College Admission Test, and taking it is a requirement for anyone in the United States who hopes to enroll in a pharmacist program. The test is given several times a year at testing centers all over America. Test dates can change from year to year, so one should always check the official PCAT page for the official dates. Generally it’s given a couple times in winter, a couple times in summer, and several times in fall.
Taking the PCAT is an all-day affair, as the test itself lasts around four and a half hours, and test takers are expected to be there at least 30 minutes prior to the start time. (Anyone who arrives more than 15 minutes after the exam has started will be turned away, and will also lose all fees they’ve paid.) The exam contains two Writing requirements. One of them is experimental, but test takers will have no idea which one is experimental and which one counts.
There are five multiple choice sections on the exam: Verbal Ability, Biology, Chemistry, Reading Comprehension, and Quantitative Ability. Each of these has 48 questions, of which 40 are scored, and 8 are experimental and don’t count. Just as is the case with the Writing portions, test takers will not know which are which, and should assume that each question counts.
The Verbal Ability section lasts 30 minutes. Of the 48 questions in this section, 60% will consist of analogy problems, and the remaining 40% will be sentence completion exercises.
The Biology section is 30 minutes long. Of the 48 Biology questions, 50% cover general biology, 20% cover microbiology, and the remaining 30% are on human anatomy and physiology.
The Chemistry section is also 30 minutes. Of the 48 Chemistry questions, 50% cover general chemistry, 30% cover organic chemistry, and 20% cover basic biochemistry processes.
Reading Comprehension lasts for 50 minutes, and contains six reading passages. Of the 48 questions, 30% cover comprehension, 40% cover analysis, and 30% cover evaluation.
The Quantitative Ability section is 40 minutes long. The 48 questions in this section break down like this: basic math 15%, algebra 20%, probability and statistics 20%, precalculus 22%, and calculus 22%.
There is no “passing” score on the PCAT, as each pharmacy college sets its own standards when it comes to making admissions decisions. That being said, it’s one of the most difficult standardized tests in existence, and extensive preparation is a requirement for achieving a high score.
PCAT Study Guide
Start learning how to be successful on your PCAT exam. Our PCAT study guide is guaranteed to help you get the results you deserve on your PCAT test. Some test takers prefer to study using flashcards and so we have created the best PCAT flashcards that cover everything you need to know for the PCAT exam. Note that using multiple study aids will help you maximize the benefit from your study time.