01-23-2003, 09:33 PM
Hey all! I tried to locate a pcat prep course in austin via Kaplan.....but I had zero luck. What is the best prep method if there is not a course available? Are there any websites that give practice tests.......materials you can buy at a book store..etc? Any suggestions are appreciated!
01-24-2003, 04:38 AM
You don't need a prep course for the PCAT. It isn't that hard. Buy a study guide, like Barron's. Barron's sample tests are in the same format as the PCAT, so you can get familiar with how the test is laid out. I found that to be a stress reliever.
As for studying, don't study for the verbal section. It is purely an IQ test. Don't study for reading comprehension, either you understand what you've just read, or you don't. There isn't any way to study for something like that.
The math section has a lot of log functions, basic algebra, and geometry. You need to learn some basic formulas and practice doing problems without a calculator.
The chemistry is almost all 1st year chemistry. Just review your text book. You'll need to be able to do dilutions, mass/mole conversions, gas law equations, radioactive decay, acid/base equilibrium, etc. There isn't a lot of organic. Just know your basic reactions: substitutions, eliminations, free radical halogenation, and of course you should know your functional groups.
The biology section has questions on cells, A&P, ecology, genetics, etc. If you have a good biology textbook like Campbell's, just review it and you should be fine.
01-24-2003, 05:04 PM
"As for studying, don't study for the verbal section. It is purely an IQ test. Don't study for reading comprehension, either you understand what you've just read, or you don't. There isn't any way to study for something like that."
I wouldn't call the verbal section an IQ test (I don't know whether or not you've ever taken what could be considered an IQ test, but they don't just consist of analogies and antonyms).
As far as trying to memorize lists of words, I do agree to an extent that it isn't really something you can study for. However, I do think that doing practice problems would be a good idea if you aren't familiar with doing analogies. The same goes for the reading comprehension section (a lot of people need practice reading passages and answering related questions under timed conditions).
As far as the math section, I think you should definitely practice doing calculations without a calculator. The math is pretty basic, but if you aren't used to doing it without a calculator it can be somewhat hard under timed conditions. I personally felt that they don't give you nearly enough time for the math section, or the chemistry section (I haven't had math for years though so it might just be me).
The chemistry section was a bit harder than I thought it would be, but most of it is pretty basic -- as she said, 1st year material (and again, I haven't had chemistry for years so that's why I had problems).
The biology section was extremely simple in my opinion (I have a degree in biology so I didn't expect any less though -- even for someone who doesn't, it was still pretty basic covering mainly what you would learn in a year of freshman general biology).
Overall, the test is pretty easy. I would have just liked to have had more time on the math and chemistry sections. I also felt that I should have prepared better for these two sections (I didn't really study or review at all). Like she said, the Barron's book is good in that it has a lot of practice problems to do so that you can familiarize yourself with the test and its format. The rest is just reviewing basic material (I know a lot of people who used those Cliff's notes books).