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The PCAT

The Pharmacy College Admission Test (PCAT) is a computerized admissions test given in testing centers several times per year, concentrated in January, July and September. The test covers general biology, microbiology, anatomy & physiology, chemisty, organic chemistry, math (including calculus), reading, and verbal abilities. Although each section is graded and scaled, most schools discuss the PCAT in terms of your composite percentile. Thus, when a school indicates that their minimum expected PCAT score is a 75, they are referring to the percentile, not the percent correct answers.

When planning when to take your PCAT, special attention should be given to the content of the exam. Those hoping to start pharmacy school before graduation can be at a disadvantage if they have not completed organic chemistry, microbiology or other upper-level sciences. Kaplan Test Prep is endorsed by the AACP as the official test prep for PCAT and they offer a free practice PCAT online about every two weeks. You should take your first practice PCAT at least four months before you plan to take the real PCAT. After taking the exam, you should be able to determine whether you will take a commercial prep course (in-person or on-line), or prepare yourself (Dr. Collins self-prep is popular). Most applicants will take the PCAT in January or July, prior to applying to pharmacy school. This leaves the September PCAT slot available in case a retest is necessary.