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About the PCAT

The Pharmacy College Admissions Test (PCAT) is designed to examine the skills and abilities needed to excel and succeed in pharmacy school. Currently, the overwhelming majority of AACP institutions require the PCAT for admission to pharmacy degree programs.

The PCAT tests basic scientific knowledge; math, verbal, reading comprehension, and writing skills; and your overall critical thinking skills. The test consists of 192 multiple-choice questions and one writing topic, placed in five separate sections. The exam spans approximately four hours, including one short break given in the middle. The PCAT is offered exclusively on the computer.

Your PCAT Score

Your score report will contain six separate scores (one for each section of the test) and a composite score. The five multiple choice sections—Verbal Ability, Biology, Chemistry, Reading Comprehension, and Quantitative Ability—are scored based on the number of correct answers. Your initial "raw score" is then converted to a scaled score ranging from 200-600. Your composite score is calculated by taking the average of your scaled score on each multiple choice section. Pharmacy schools will see both your individual section scores and your composite score.

Your Writing Sample will also be scored, but separately. Your essay is reviewed by two graders, whose scores are averaged. You will then receive a score on a scale from 1-6.

In addition to your scaled scores, you will receive your percentile rank for each section and for your composite score. For example, if your percentile score is 60, this means that you scored higher than 60 percent of the other test takers. The composite percentile rank is frequently the number students use when discussing their PCAT scores.

What's a Good PCAT Score?

The PCAT is scored on a scale from 200-600 with the median being a 400. The 90th percentile is typically a 430. Many pharmacy schools require that you score above a particular level on your exam in order to be considered as a candidate for admissions. You should research the admissions requirements for the schools to which you plan to apply.

PCAT Test Blueprint

Writing

Discuss a solution to a given world problem

30 mins

Biological Process

48 questions:
General Biology, Microbiology, Anatomy & Physiology

45 mins

Chemical Processes

48 questions:
General Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, and Biochemistry

45 mins

Break

Rest and recharge!

15 mins

Critical Reading

48 questions:
6 passages, 8 questions per passage

50 mins

Quantitative Reasoning

48 questions:
Basic Math, Algebra, Probability & Statistics, Precalculus, Calculus

50 mins