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PCAT study tips from "the 99%ile club"

Discussion in 'PCAT Discussions' started by wmw, Aug 5, 2010.

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  1. stoichiometrist

    stoichiometrist

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    Well, I chose to spend my money on PharmCAS and supplementals instead of various non-essentials. The cost of not getting in for this year will be far greater than the amount of money spent on those additional applications.
  2. dhrunir

    dhrunir

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    :( i m from asia , i m new in united states, i m having hard time in verbal and reading section can u please tell me how to prepare for this 2 section. i m good in bio, chem and maths. i m going to give pcat june 2012 so i have 6 month to prepare. i have special kaplan classes books to prepare but i don't understand where to start reading and verbal section. right now i m doing 5 new word everyday.
  3. GGRUN88

    GGRUN88

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    study tips?
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2012
  4. PharmacyWarrior

    PharmacyWarrior

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    .

    .
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2012
  5. owlegrad

    owlegrad Uncontrollable Sarcasm Machine Staff Member Administrator SDN Senior Moderator

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    In the classifieds section only please: http://forums.studentdoctor.net/forumdisplay.php?f=413
  6. leonix23

    leonix23

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    i need help i want to know how you studied for the pcat am very strong in chemistry and math havent taken any chemisty or math class in yrs but am confiedent i can wake up from sleep and Ace those two ...biology is ok i can excell but need to study for it ( so its kinda boring ) english is the real problem here .. i need tips on study time and hrs in order to put in to get a 90 up score


  7. Sweet Pie

    Sweet Pie

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    sorry forgot to Quote.
  8. Sweet Pie

    Sweet Pie

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    Collines PCAT for the Verbal gets you at least score of 50 which is good enough for most of the school. But if you are looking for the score above 50, I suggest you to look into GRE vocab lists. For the Reading, the hardest part is the time limit. Practicing to how approach to each questions is a key.
  9. Coded

    Coded Hopeful and Determined

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    Is the Biology section covered in Microbiology and A&P I and II?

    The school I am currently attending only offer those classes.
  10. rjosh33

    rjosh33

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    I'd imagine those would cover the bulk of what will be tested. You might want to brush up on some of the basics of biochem, though (basic structures of carbohydrates, lipids, proteins, etc.).
  11. Buk Lau

    Buk Lau

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    Read books and speak english whenever you can. A big hinderance is speaking your native language with your parents, if you live with them. Try to speak english ALWAYS. You shouldn't sit down and study off of a book all the time. Practice it! Speaking english is like a lab section for chemistry - it will help you understand it.
  12. Prepharm0425

    Prepharm0425

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    What exactly is a scaled score anyway, the numbers between 200-600? What exactly does that mean? Is that the number of questions that u get right? Does the score sheet give out that information?
  13. rjosh33

    rjosh33

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    Yeah, the scaled score is the three digit number next to each section. Nobody really knows how it's computed, but yes, it is dependent upon how many questions you get right. The higher, the better, obviously.

    For a frame of reference, on each section a scaled score of 500+ would be a monster number and is quite rare, while a score in the 300s is weak and puts you below the 50th percentile. Upper 400s are excellent and really help the composite, and mid 400s are useful too. Lower 400s won't hurt you too much, and will generally put you around the 55th to 75th percentile.

    The composite scaled score is generated by taking the average of your 5 sectional scaled scores. This average is then compared to a previous year's national norm, which can be quickly converted into a percentile ranking. A scaled composite of 400 is right around the 50th percentile, while a 450+ is in the 99th percentile.
  14. iceman132

    iceman132

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    If you buy an earlier version of Collins will it be a big problem?
  15. PrePharmy

    PrePharmy

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    Hello all,

    My plan is to be in the 90+ percentile. I'm going to take the PCAT July 18th, but I'm concerned because the only pre-requisite I will not have finished before then is Microbiology.

    However, I could take Microbiology in the summer in June. OR I could just study Microbiology on my own, and then possibly become better prepared in other subjects.

    Do PCAT study guides provide sufficient information for the Microbiology portion? I'm not sure if I should devote an entire month to a Microbiology course. I should note that I can retake the PCAT in September if i don't do well in July.
  16. chemguy79

    chemguy79 New Member Moderator Emeritus

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    I was taking Microbiology while I was studying for the PCAT which worked out nicely. I remember seeing a question about gram positive vs. gram negative and I thought ... WOO HOO, I just learned this. Some of the infectious disease type questions that seem very out of place on the PCAT are covered in Microbiology as well.
  17. kys2000

    kys2000

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    I ended up taking Micro in a four week summer session prior to my July 2011 Pcat. I think it helps out by reiterating some of the basic bio info and then delves into more detailed information. I remember several PCAT questions on the test that was micro specific so I would recommend either taking it as a class or studying it individually. Although if you need motivation to really learn it, a class for a grade may be a better idea.
  18. iBeast

    iBeast

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    Yes, micro would help greatly on the PCAT. I don't think it's possible to get a 90 on Bio without having some form of knowledge on Bio. They ask really peculiar questions times.
  19. kcwang

    kcwang

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    I thought this thread is very helpful especially to the new sdners taking PCAT this cycle.

    Bumping it up
  20. JADpharm28

    JADpharm28

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    There is a new book out for 2012-2013 that I got from the library. It's The Princeton Review "Cracking the PCAT." I've read about 80 pages of the 700 (ish) and it explains ways to help you during your thought process on the different sections. Anyone used or read this book? For some reason, I am finding it more helpful than Kaplan. I need a good score this time around...first attempt was baaaad.
  21. tttt14

    tttt14

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    Hello,

    Do you have any suggestion for an improvement in reading comprehension section. Is there any other practice test i can use beside the pearson and kaplan one? should I look at some GRE practice test? i scored horrible on this section so i'm trying to bring it up by july test. thanks :)
  22. tttt14

    tttt14

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    I dont think it's worth it to take microbiology class. just study Dr. Collin's section for it.
  23. twenty7

    twenty7

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    i'd just like to join the bandwagon in advocating for the dr. collins guide. a total pcat study essential! don't think taking microbiology for the pcat is completely necessary at all.
  24. prequest

    prequest

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    Hope wmw sees this..

    I am taking my first (and hopefully my only) Pcat this september.
    I have about 3months from now, and can devote about 2-3hours everyday.
    So far I've taken cell bio, org chem 1,2, gen chem, calc1,2.. but not biochem or molec chem yet.
    Right now I have the 2012Kaplan big book, Rea's flashcards, Cliffnotes 5 PTs, and will purchase the Dr collins book tomorrow.
    After reading through this 99%ile club thread, I kind of get which book is better for which section, but am having trouble deciding what to do first.. and in what order.
    It seems that people try to finish their resources just about when they will take the test, but it looks like I have a bit more time, and I don't want to finish my stuff too quickly.

    Would you devise a rough outline or any plan for me? It can be a few lines of suggestions that can help me study smarter. Thanks!
  25. farmacy2012

    farmacy2012

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    Is anyone signed up for the July PCAT?
  26. kcwang

    kcwang

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    I would suggest to get the practice test from pearson. Take it, and find your weakness, then start from there. Good Luck.
  27. farmacy2012

    farmacy2012

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    Does anyone know, or is there a way of calculating, how many questions out of the 48 you can miss in order to be in the 99th percentile??
  28. JADpharm28

    JADpharm28

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    I am. Just about 6 weeks left to prepare!
  29. farmacy2012

    farmacy2012

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    Best of luck! I am also taking it on July 19th. How are you preparing? I have the Kaplan book and Dr. Collins. I finished going through the Kaplan book, and so far I have done one full Dr. Collins practice test. I did pretty well on all sections except math. I am kind of scared because I feel most questions in Dr. Collins are too easy, and the actual test will be a lot more difficult. However, from previous posts it seems like Dr. Collins is a life saver so I am hoping for the best. I need to be part of this 99 percentile club on the PCAT, since my GPA isn't overly wonderful. Sorry everyone if this is too much information, but I don't know anyone in real life taking the PCAT so I guess I am looking for some support and reassurance here haha.

  30. rtsegovia

    rtsegovia

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    I'm taking it July 19th as well. Did you by any chance see the changes they are making to this year's PCAT starting with the one in July?
  31. JADpharm28

    JADpharm28

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    I have a big Kaplan book from a friend who took the class a few years ago. I also bought the Princeton Review's "Cracking the PCAT." I was reading through everything a few weeks ago, but started orgo chem I in summer school so I haven't had time to study for the PCAT really :/ I have a strong GPA, but I'd like a 70+ on the PCAT as well
  32. farmacy2012

    farmacy2012

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    Yup I saw the changes in the new PCAT. I don't have the Princeton Review book..I should probably get that too..
  33. JADpharm28

    JADpharm28

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    It's a huge book at Barnes and Noble for like $30 or something. I find it helpful because it gives you ways to take the exam. For example, it says to write down A B C D for EVERY question and physically cross off the ones you KNOW are wrong, so that you're able to focus on the answers that will possibly be correct. I think it's different than most PCAT study books in a good way, except its a brand new book so I wasn't able to find reviews on it
  34. anewton

    anewton

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    what are these july changes people are talking about
  35. ChEStud

    ChEStud

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    I'm just wondering how you guys approach the reading section? Do you guys read the entire passage then answer the questions? Do you guys just read the first and last sentence of each paragraph then answer the questions? Also, for the Biology section, do you think just the big blue/violet Kaplan book helps? Their is no microbio in the book I read at all.. so I'm curious as to what kind of microbiology will be covered.
  36. farmacy2012

    farmacy2012

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    Thank you JADpharm! I just ordered my copy from Amazon for $16. From what I see, Kaplan and Princeton are the only ones who have the updated 2012-2013 version.
  37. farmacy2012

    farmacy2012

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    I have been reading the entire passage really fast (following along with my finger or a pen) and then I go back and reread sections as I answer the questions. I have so far done reading comprehension from Dr. Collins packet, and it seems really easy to me, does anyone else think so too? I am getting 4-5 wrong per section, and I feel like the actual test passages will be a lot more difficult.

    I studied all the Bio from the big Kaplan book. I thought it was a good review, but you are right it doesn't include microbiology. I went over whatever microbiology there was in Dr. Collins, and it mostly talks about different classes of micro organisms (bacteria, fungi, protozoans, parasitic warms, viruses), their general characteristics, and the diseases they cause. Hope this helps!
  38. Rx2015

    Rx2015

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    Hello, I am really good in class exams, test, quizzes, etc.. but when i take the PCAT, i suck at it, as soon as i go to the exam hall, my head starting to hurt and feels like throwing up. I have taken the PCAT twice already, the first time i took it, i scored 16%, paper version, then i took it this january and scored 5%. instead of going up, i went down. its a shame. my science GPA is 3.72. but still my PCAT sux, thats why i dont think i will get admitted this year to any institute. how can i study for the pcat? which books should i buy, i am just looking for a score of 60%, thats it, i dont need more, no less. any suggestion guys?
  39. moonwake

    moonwake

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    Me.. Can't wait. Been studying since april using Kaplan

    My composite on my last practice exam was 427 which they say is 83%~
    I think with 4 more weeks of studying I should be 90+% hopefully. My GPA is decent (3.52) but I want to get into U of U and I have no idea what to expect...
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2012
  40. moonwake

    moonwake

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    Apply at schools that don't require PCAT scores.. There are a lot of them:
    California Northstate
    Touro-California
    San Diego
    Pacific
    Western
    Florida A&M
    Idaho State
    Massachusetts-Boston
    Northeastern
    St. Johns
    Findlay
    Toledo
    Oregon State
    Pacific (Oregon)
    Rhode Island

    I'm sure at least one of those is close to you, but if you can't handle the PCAT how on earth will you handle NAPLEX? I don't know what to tell you dude... I'm sure NAPLEX is way harder than PCAT :eek:
  41. Prepharm0425

    Prepharm0425

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    From what I read somewhere, the pass rate for the NAPLEX is 93%. Also while you are timed, most people finish the NAPLEX with an hour left to spare. And lastly you are tested on pharmacy stuff that we learn in Pharmacy school, and not stuff like reading comprehension and verbal crap and multiple science subjects that exposes people's weeknesses.
  42. moonwake

    moonwake

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    True, I guess it depends if it's the timed aspect that makes him freeze or whatever the reason is. I have to admit most people could get a 90%+ on the PCAT if given more time... but you get around 50 seconds per question. Stressful? Yeah... especially if you aren't good at timing yourself. I think taking practice tests and pacing yourself is the best thing you can do for sure.
  43. Mouat

    Mouat

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    Thanks for the tips. I bet everyone taking the pcat wants to join this club.
  44. nyc76

    nyc76

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    Hey guys I just want to make sure this is the right book. I was looking online and there seem to be a lot of Dr. Collins pcat stuff. I just want to make sure that Im not buying a fraud.

    Is this the link to get Dr. Collins book thats been talked about through this thread?

    http://pcatprepclass.com/index.html

    Thanks!
  45. Mouat

    Mouat

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    Yes!!!
  46. farmacy2012

    farmacy2012

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    Is anyone else as freaked out that PCAT is 14 days away as I am??
  47. moonwake

    moonwake

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    yes... and I'm burning out... I don't want to study anymore! lol
  48. Cuoreamima8

    Cuoreamima8

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    I was thinking the same thing about the Dr. Collins reading comp. practice tests! I found them to be way too easy, especially after taking a practice pcat online with Kaplan. It was definitely a wake-up call. I also found that reading the passages off a computer screen made it a lot more difficult. The passages seemed a lot longer and I wasted a lot of time scrolling through the paragraphs trying to find answers to some of the questions I couldn't answer off the top of my head. Has anyone else experienced the same thing/have any advice on how to best approach the reading section?
  49. moonwake

    moonwake

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    Well two things that Kaplan suggests are read the first paragraph and phrase in your mind what the paragraph is about in one sentence (since a lot of questions refer to the main subject of the passage), they also say that you can figure out the tone after reading the first paragraph as well (which is good to notice while your reading instead of going back).
  50. farmacy2012

    farmacy2012

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    I'm so sick of it too! But my scores are not where I want them to be sadly:(

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