How is PCAT Score Calculated?
The Pharmacy College Admission Test (PCAT) is conducted by the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP) in order to identify the candidates with the right skill-set and potential required by pharmacy programs. Every candidate is shortlisted on the basis of the PCAT score sent by AACP to colleges for admission in the pharmacy program.
An Overview of the PCAT Test:
The PCAT test is a comprehensive test designed to identify the overall competencies of the candidate relevant to pharmaceutical education. Every candidate is tested through 240 multiple- choice questions and 2 writing assignments. The PCAT test has5time-bound test sections with questions based on Verbal Ability, Quantitative, Biology, Chemistry and Reading. This test also has a Writing section apart from the 5 sections to evaluate the writing skills of the candidate.
Every section in PCAT has 48 questions; however, the time allotted for each section varies. There are 30 minutes allotted to each section except the Reading Comprehension section (50 minutes) and the Quantitative Ability section (40 minutes). The Writing section is divided into 2 sub-sections. The time allotted for these sections is 30 minutes and the tests for both the sections are conducted in separate halves or sessions of the test.
Thus, the complete test lasts for around 4 hours with an additional time which would be given as a short break to all candidates to relax and refresh after two hours of the test. It should be known that once the candidate completes the test, he/she will receive a comprehensive scorecard for the PCAT score. Moreover, this official report will be available online for 1 year.
The PCAT score will be sent to your designated colleges within 5 weeks from the date of your test as a printed copy known as the PCAT official transcript.
PCAT Score Interpretation:
It should be known that only the official transcript issued by AACP is accepted by pharmacy colleges during admission. At the same time, the PCAT score cannot be faxed or mailed separately by individuals themselves. Additionally, in order to interpret your PCAT score, you have to familiarize yourself with the scoring method adopted by AACP.
Every section in this test is scored separately. Therefore, in order to pass the test, you would have to pass every section of the PCAT test. All the 5 sections are scored using a Scaled Score and Percentile Rank. Through these scores, the overall score or the composite PCAT score is calculated for every candidate. However, the Writing Section is scored using a Writing Score and Writing Mean.
The Scaled Score (SS) is calculated according to a standardized weightage given to every question. The Percentile Rank (PR) is calculated as the percentage of candidates appearing within a given PCAT score range. However, the Writing Score and Writing mean is scored by professional and trained scorers.
What is the Passing PCAT Score?
Now that you know how to interpret your scorecard, the logical question is what is the passing PCAT score? It should be known that AACP does not assign any specific benchmark for passing into a pharmacy program. However, this criterion is set by every college separately according to their university guidelines.
Nevertheless, a score above 70 % in the test is considered to be good by many pharmacy colleges. However, the scores above 90% are considered to be excellent and the candidates are considered to be brilliant. A PCAT score within the range of 50%-70% is generally considered to be disadvantageous; however test takers scoring in this range can apply to colleges who are willing to accept these scores.
However, a good PCAT score is what will get you into a good college with a strong pharmacy program. Since this test is extremely competitive, it is impossible to get a good score in it through an overnight preparation. In order to get an edge over other competing candidates, it is essential that you utilize every possible resource and make the best use of your time to get the best results. This is what will shape your future hence; missing out on this opportunity might cost you dearly.
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