Study PCAT web & mobile flashcards designed by top students and professors. The most EFFICIENT way to prep for the exam.

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About PCAT on Brainscape

What is the PCAT Test?

The Pharmacy College Admissions Test (PCAT) is the test set by the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy to gain entry into pharmacy school.

An extensive test designed to assess candidates, the PCAT covers a range of topics and is split into writing, biological processes, chemical process, critical reading, and quantitative reasoning. The test consists of 192 multiple-choice questions and one writing topic, which takes just under four hours.

Students will receive a score for each section of the test; those scores will then be converted to the 200-600 scale and students will also receive a percentile score. The essays will be graded separately and applicants receive a score from 1 to 6.

What's a Good PCAT Score?

The PCAT score calculations are complex but the median score of 400 is something to aim for. However, admissions tutors are more interested in your percentile score and so you are literally in a race against other students. Dependent on the test that year, a score of 430 should get you in the 90th percentile.  

The Get-Out Clause

Not every pharmacy school requires the PCAT test and there are a bunch of schools—around 15% that don’t require the test. Here’s the list of schools compiled by Pharmacy School HQ that do not require the PCAT.

Careers after taking the PCAT Test

The PCAT Test is the first step to becoming a pharmacist; those with a pharmacy degree are in demand in a variety of sectors. Many pharmacists work in hands-on care-giving settings such as hospitals or in industry developing new drugs.

If you’d like to learn more about a career in Pharmacy, then the American Pharmacists Association (APhA) and the American College Of Clinical Pharmacy (ACCP) have some great advice. You can also check out this video which has some great advice about the pharmacy school application process.

Preparing for the PCAT Test

It’s always smart to have a study plan so as a general rule you can follow these tips for success. Don’t be tempted to take your PCAT test too early. Make sure you have completed a full year in general biology, general chemistry, and organic chemistry, two semesters of calculus and one semester of anatomy and physiology.

Learning more about the PCAT itself and the all-important test dates is key to planning your study. The next step is to actually take a PCAT practice exam that will give you all the information you need to plan your study. You’ll know how much you need to improve and your weak areas.

Because you will be scored as a percentile of those that take the test-one way you can get ahead of other students-is to study more effectively. You should study for months in advance with a detailed and disciplined study plan. Don’t forget to study smart too! You’ll need a variety of study aids. Regularly retake the PCAT test to see where you are improving and update your study diary accordingly.  

The PCAT Test in Brainscape

Brainscape makes an ideal supplementary tool for students taking the PCAT. At the core of Brainscape is the way it focuses on weaker areas of knowledge. If you can identify your weak areas for the PCAT test, then Brainscape is going to be key in helping you pick up marks where you are losing them.

You can use your undergrad coursework and AP coursework so that you can study them in the Brainscape flashcard format. Alternatively, check out already prepared flashcards on other dedicated useful pages such as biology, anatomy, physiology,  algebra, probability, organic chemistry, precalculus, biochemistry, microbiology, calculus, or general chemistry.

The Brainscape tool can be accessed from a smartphone app for quick ten minute study bursts throughout the day or for a focused planned study session at your PC.  As you efficiently focus on your weaker areas, your PCAT scores will increase over time—guaranteeing success at test time.

Learn faster with Brainscape

There are thousands of flashcards that pharmacy students continue to contribute to Brainscape further expanding and improving our resources. Furthermore, the continued growth of the pharmacy and PCAT flashcards compendium is further proof of how valuable pharmacy students find the Brainscape software.

Brainscape’s unparalleled learning system is transforming the way people learn. The supercharged educational tool allows students to learn twice as fast and remember longer.

Brainscape system’s is a hybrid of three scientifically proven learning methods: active recall, spaced repetition, and metacognition. The system called Confidence-Based Repetition (or CBR) is the most powerful learning engine on the market.

The first learning method incorporated in the CBR system is active recall. This process can be described as the recall of information which is separate from recognizing it. In Brainscape the flashcards are shown in an order determined by the algorithm. It’s therefore not possible to recognize answers in order, patterns or sequences in Brainscape as it doesn’t work that way.

Consequently, answers can only be found by retrieving them and therefore you’ll have to activate neural pathways and strengthen the memory process. Next time you want to retrieve the answer in a different setting—such as your PCAT exam—the memory trace will be strong and retrieval easier.

Next in the CBR system comes spaced repetition which has been proven to be an effective learning method by hundreds of studies. Brainscape’s flashcard format perfectly mimics the spaced repetition learning method of taking in bite-sized pieces of information at spaced intervals

However, it’s the use of metacognition to power the algorithm that makes CBR unique. In Brainscape after you see the flashcard answer you’ll pause for a split second to leave a rating from 1-5 that reflects your understanding of the answer. The algorithm then uses that information to optimally set the frequency of each card.

For example, if you were to leave a rating of “5” the algorithm will know not to repeat this flashcard. This frees up your time for flashcards you need to focus on. You’ll have all the time you need to work your way through the flashcards you score lower.  

You’ll improve at lightning speed as the CBR system helps you eradicate any problem areas before you take your PCAT test.  

How to get started

Ready to take this turbo-charged learning engine for a test drive? You’ll soon see how fun and effective it is to learn with Brainscape.

Take a quick look below and you’ll see lots of decks labeled from Word Roots to Organic Chemistry. Just pick one and dig in.

It’s easy to revamp your old coursework notes with the Brainscape software. Just click on “make flashcards” at the top of the page to get started today.

Brainscape is excited about giving students the very best educational tools to achieve their professional goals. Wishing you the best of luck with your PCAT test and future studies.