How Are PCAT Scores Used?
PCAT scores are a measure of the performance of PCAT examinees in PCAT (Pharmacy College Admission Test). PCAT is taken by students who want to pursue Pharmacy courses in college. This examination comprises seven areas of testing, and an examinee is awarded scores in the different content areas of the PCAT. A Scoring Report is generated and sent to the PCAT examinees and the colleges they want to take admission in, within six weeks of taking the examination. The PCAT Score Report of each PCAT examinee contains the following details:
- Scaled Scores
- Composite Scores
- Percentile Rank
- Percentile Composite Rank
- Previous PCAT scores
The PCAT Score Report
The PCAT scores of those who take this pharmacy skills assessment test are detailed out on the PCAT Score Reports, which are despatched by the US Postal services to the test takers and the colleges they opt for admission in, within six weeks of their taking the test. The Score Report is also displayed online for a year after taking the test. The details of the score report are as follows:
Scaled Scores for Individual Test Sections- Each section of PCAT is scored on a scale ranging from 200-600. Marking is done for the correct answers; no negative marking is done. Standardization of the scores, obtained through different test administration methods, is done for fair evaluation of the performance of candidates.
Composite Scores- An aggregate of your PCAT scores, in the different subjects, is calculated and presented on the Score Report as a Composite Score. The calculations for the Composite score do not involve the Scaled scores.
Percentile Ranks- Percentile ranks are the scores obtained by an examinee in comparison to other similar examinees. It is expressed as a percentage. The percentile obtained by candidates in individual subjects is obtained and mentioned in the PCAT score report.
Percentile Composite Ranks- The percentile of the composite PCAT scores is also calculated and shown on the Score report.
Previous PCAT scores- A test taker's PCAT scores in the last five years are also shown in the PCAT Score Report, if he or she has previously appeared for the test. A test taker can also choose to not display his or her previous PCAT scores by choosing the 'NO Score' option of the PCAT Score Report.
Score reports can be re-evaluated, in case desired, by paying a set amount of fee. In addition, it must be known that Pharmacy colleges accept only official transcripts of PCAT scores.
No passing or failing PCAT scores are defined by AACP (American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy).
Significance of PCAT Scores and How they are used by Colleges
PCAT scores are very important for persons wanting to take admission in Pharmacy courses that are accredited by ACPE (Accreditation Council of Pharmacology Education). These scores are directly used by colleges to decide upon the suitability of the applicants for admission in pharmacy courses offered by them. However, the PCAT scores are not the sole determinants of admission to pharmacy courses in colleges. Other factors, such as, interview performance and recommendations; also play a significant role in the admission process for pharmacy courses. Hence, though high scores in PCAT are going to certainly increase your chances of getting admission in the Pharmacy course of a desired college, it does not ensure the same, as the colleges will also consider the other determining factors before granting admission to a Pharmacy applicant.
Interpretations of the PCAT scores are given for colleges to understand the performance of their Pharmacy applicants better. The interpretations are as follows:
|Score Performance Interpretation|
Most of the colleges require their applicants to approach them with a minimum score of 3, with a score below which they are refused admission.
PCAT scores are very important for getting admission in ACPE accredited Pharmacy courses in colleges. Colleges define their own threshold PCAT scores for admitting students in their Pharmacy courses. Some colleges accept only the latest PCAT scores while others consider the scores that you obtained in this Pharmacy skills assessments examination, in the past. Some other colleges impose restrictions with regard to accepting PCAT scores corresponding to more than one attempt of the examination. Hence, the requirements of all colleges need to be verified beforehand so as to be able to use these scores efficiently.
You can refer to the official PCAT webpage for further information on PCAT scores (http://www.pcatweb.info/Scoring-and-Reporting.php).
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