5 Things to Remember for PCAT Prep
If you have decided to enter the professional world of pharmacy, then your journey can only start after clearing the PCAT test. The Pharmacy College Admission Test (PCAT), created by Pearson, is designed exclusively for identifying potential candidates with required competencies relevant to the pharmacy programs.
Since the pharmaceutical industry is highly specialized, the demand for the best candidates is always high for it. This is why many candidates are overwhelmed by the amount of preparation which is required to clear this test. However, you should know that only thorough test preparation can help you ace this test!
It should also be known that by attaining a high score on this test, you can get into a good pharmacy school which would shape your entire pharmaceutical career. Every candidate preparing for this test has a fair idea of the difficulty level involved in this test. However, there are few important things you can do to improve the quality of your exam preparation.
5 Preparation Tips for the PCAT:
- Get Familiarized with the Test Structure:
The test structure has 6 time-bound test sections with questions based on Verbal Ability, Quantitative, Biology, Chemistry, Reading and Writing. It should be known that every section in PCAT, except the Writing Section, has 48 questions. Hence, the test has 240 questions in all and the time allotted for the entire test is 4 ½ hours including a short break in between the test sessions.
It is also important to know that each section has a time-limit of 30 minutes except for the Reading Comprehension section (50 minutes) and the Quantitative Ability section (40 minutes). However, the Writing section is divided into 2 sub-sections and time allotted for both these sections is 30 minutes. Moreover, each writing assignment would be conducted in separate halves of the test.
The test is a computer-based test and has all questions, apart from the Writing section, in the multiple-choice format. Thus, your overall preparation should also include time for practicing typing.
- Create a Study Planner:
There should be an even distribution of study time available to prepare for all sections. It should be known that each section in the test is scored individually. However, before you start your preparation, you must identify your areas for improvement and devote more time to practice those subjects. The best way to identify your problem areas is by taking a practice test and evaluating your score. For example, you can avail the Kaplan free practice test online (http://www.kaptest.com/PCAT-NAPLEX/Explore-the-PCAT/Anatomy-of-the-PCAT/pcat-practice-test.html ).
- Get Access to Quality PCAT Study Guides:
There is no dearth of test preparation resources online; however, only good quality resources can help you get through this test. There are some study guides which are available online and have proven to be extremely beneficial preparation resources for many. These guides contain theoretical content, practice test, sample questions along with their rationales and helpful problem solving strategies.
- Kaplan PCAT (2012-2013)
- Cracking the PCAT by Princeton Review
- Dr. Collin's PCAT Self Study Guide
There is no point in studying for this test from poor quality resources, as by doing that, you would be wasting a lot of valuable time and end up being poorly prepared for such an important test.
- Avail Other PCAT Prep Resources:
It should be known that apart from study guides, there are other preparation resources available for the test which are beneficial. There are online seminars conducted by Kaplan (http://www.kaptest.com/enroll/PCAT/online/events) and live classes taken by Dr. Collins (http://pcatprepclass.com/register.html#self_study) which can be availed to get a better insight about strategies to ace this test. Moreover, there are online tutors and interactive study guides available, which can help you out with your test preparation. In fact, you can visit http://www.kaptest.com and http://pcatprepclass.com for more information on these payable test preparation facilities.
- Keep Practicing!
It is rightly said, practice makes a man perfect! It is important for you to get access to practice tests and solve them continuously. If you question any person who was successful in clearing the test, you would notice them mentioning that a major part of their preparation involved practicing mock tests. In fact, the online practice test for PCAT created by Pearson, available on its official website (http://tpc-etesting.com/pcatopt/) has proven to be an extremely helpful preparation resource.
It should be known that complete teat preparation cannot be done overnight. You would have to invest quality time in order to be well-prepared. However, through the right study resources, determination and self-discipline even a test like PCAT can be cleared with flying colors!