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The "Should I retake? What do my scores mean? Are my scores any good?" Thread

Discussion in 'PCAT Discussions' started by omnione, 07.24.07.


  1. Thanks to PCAT Destroyer

    Thanks to Crack the PCAT
  1. think

    think Junior Member

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    look at 2 posts up....:D:D:D:D lol
  2. Knickerbocker

    Knickerbocker

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    You didn't seem to think so for all those posts where you repeated someone's score with a large and bold font.

    Those were direct attacks on people brave enough to post their scores. I hope you get banned.
  3. lildumbazn89

    lildumbazn89

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    I received the following scores(scaled score/percentile rank):

    Verbal Ability 398/48
    Biology 412/71
    Reading Comprehension 412/69
    Quantitative Ability 438/93
    Chemistry 456/97
    Composite 423/87

    Conventions of Language 3
    Problem Solving 3

    Should I retake the PCAT if I am applying to Long Island University (Brooklyn Campus)?
  4. UTplease

    UTplease

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    Are the ranges in the 1st page composite scores??? I got an 80 and an 83 on quant and bio respectively, but a 95 comp. Should I be considering retaking????
  5. AngelaCL

    AngelaCL

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    I would not retake with those scores. I would only retake with a 90+ composite if one of the individual scores was less than around 60, or 75 if the school requires you get a 75 in each section.
  6. omnione

    omnione SDN Pharmoderator Moderator Emeritus

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    Yes, and they are educated and rough ideas. Take that into consideration.

    Your scores are fine.:)
  7. heavy87

    heavy87

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    Math owned me, unfortunately. Overall I think I did pretty well- I'm gonna retake it in January and will probably be better prepared. Still, I don't mind the scores at all.

    Verbal Ability: 418/78
    Biology: 441/94
    Reading Comprehension: 422/82
    Quantitative Ability: 396/47 (crap :[)
    Chemistry: 414/74 (could have been way better, I left like 5 blank and was kinda rushed because I didn't study enough)
    Composite: 418/82
  8. blnkbby86

    blnkbby86

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    So I took the PCAT for the first time in October, with only 2 months of organic chemistry and microbiology under my belt. After the test I felt very confident with everything except the math. I knew I really bombed it. I was disappointed when I opened my scores to find.....
    Verbal 404 58%
    Biology 419 78%
    Reading 412 69%
    Quantitative 399 52%
    Chemistry 409 70%
    Composite 409 68%
    ughhhhh a frickin 68%?!?!?!?!
    I was expecting over 80%. So my plan is to retake it in January. I am only applying to the University of Kansas and so far I feel like I have a decent application, until those scores showed up! My overall GPA is a 3.42 (I failed my first 6 credits, bummer) and my science GPA is 3.82. Wondering what anyone's comments were......I just hope I make it to the interview because I think I will shine!
    I can't believe all these 90% I see.gosh!
  9. apatel88

    apatel88

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    Hey!..I just got back from the break and here are my scores...

    Verbal 31
    Bio 45
    Reading 39
    Quant 80
    Chem 70
    COMP 53:(

    Writing: 3/3

    I am very disappointed with my verbal, reading and bio scores; however, I know I can do a lot better in math and chem in January with more preperation. I am not an immigrant and english is my first language; however, I am not much of a reader. I used the 2007 Kaplan book to study for the October PCAT and I was in the middle of taking Orgo 1 and calc. I do not have Micro until next semester and I won't be taking A&P or any of those upper level bio courses since it is not required at my university for pre-pharmacy.

    I plan on using the Kaplan online course to help boost my mark up to a 70-80%tile. I also want to use another resource but I am not sure what I should use to increase my verbal, reading and bio scores. Any suggestions. I have a 3.94 math/science GPA and I want to get into Ferris State University. The average GPA here is 3.73 and a 86%tile on the pcat. I am just looking for any suggestions for increasing my percentile. Thank you.:)
  10. heavy87

    heavy87

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    on second thought, can anyone give me some insight on to whether that math section will have murdered me or not?

    I know it's bad, but the composite isn't bad and my GPA is pretty high- I'm applying to UF and maybe a couple other schools (I don't think they take the PCAT though). Is that math score going to really hurt my chances, or is it something they might look over? I think I know what I messed up on, and if I'm right it has a lot to do with my precalc professor (I got a C in that class my first semester and an A in Calc the next, go figure).
  11. Pharmpills

    Pharmpills Accepted Pharmacy Student

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    im also applying to UF :) ur scores seem fine for most schools but with UF its still a little iffy bc the avg is 86 or so but if everything else is fine like work exper. and gpa u have a great shot. i got a 444 in math or a 95. i think i learned alot from math bc i took cal 1, 2 and stat and the intro college algebra, trig. i think when u work ur way to the top with math it helps u more than when u jump directly to cal 1 and leave it at that.
  12. Gwalla

    Gwalla

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    thanks for the well wishes........
  13. Gwalla

    Gwalla

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  14. crazyyyyy

    crazyyyyy

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    Here are my stats

    Pre-req GPA 3.97
    Got my B.A from foreign country
    Hospital pharmacy volunteering
    Work and EC experience
    PCAT
    Verbal------398-48%
    Bio---------415-74%
    Reading----412-69%
    Math-------476-99%
    Chem-------418-79%
    Composite--424-88%

    Writing-----2.0/2.5

    I can't believe what people are saying anymore.
    Most people say that I have enough stats, but I'm losing my confidence after I got placed on the waitlist from two schools.
    I'm not having as many calls for interviews as I expected even though I completed my application in early september.
    I have three interview invitations so far.

    I do not have good interview skills because I get extremely nervous during the interview... Is it ruining everything? I really don't know..

    for the PCAT! --> this is killing me!!!
    Do you guys think it looks bad since I have rather low scores in verbal and reading and mediocre scores in Chem and Bio.. and super high in Math?
    oh.. I did really poorly in writing as well.

    Should I retake PCAT? (I don't think I can do any better in verbal and reading because English is my 2nd language. I might be able to improve bio and chem.)
    or get a tutor to improve my interview skills?
    How can I make myself a more competitive candidate?
    Should I try the Pharm Tech certificate?
    PLEASE HELP!!!!

    I'm so DESPERATE and MISERABLE!!!
  15. AngelaCL

    AngelaCL

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    Could you tape yourself practicing interviewing with a friend or family member? Get as many people to help you practice interviewing as you can - then you might burn off some of those nerves.
  16. crazyyyyy

    crazyyyyy

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    Yes.. I made a script for the interview questions, practiced many times, and recorded my performance. However, I never practiced in front of anyone coz I was embarassed.. I should do that!! That could be a useful solution.
  17. pharmstud07

    pharmstud07 Junior Member

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    I have the same condition (and a low reading comp. score) do you really think there is a correlation between the two? I wonder if Harcourt will allow extra time for this...:idea:
  18. AngelaCL

    AngelaCL

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    I have it too and did fine on the reading. *shrug*
  19. isotopic

    isotopic

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    Last year I scored a 59 composite score on the PCAT and had my scores sent to a few colleges. This year I improved my score to a 82 overall with a 4.0/3.0 in Conventions of Language/Problem Solving. Will the schools I apply to again this year still consider my 59, or am I starting out "fresh". I know they're supposed to take the high score, but a 23 point change is huge. I'm a little worried they might see it as a fluke.
  20. mikeaparker

    mikeaparker Senior Member

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    Yes, I do think there is a correlation between the two. I did some research and the distance in the spacing between letters and words makes a difference. I often times have to read things twice and sometimes skip lines by accident. Most studies are in children. I've had this from at least 7 years old or younger. The studies I read said that people with Amblyopia have decreased reading speeds and comprehension. Maybe it depends on how bad it is? I also have an astigmatism in both eyes, but I'm not sure if that makes a difference or not. I just went to the eye doctor, and he said that getting reading glasses solely for the purpose of reading up close may help a little (because of the magnification), but he can't guarantee it. I have always been a slow reader and I truly believe this is why. My O.D. is referring me to a specialist that does vision therapy, which may help improve my vision, but apparently not as much as if I had done the therapy when I was younger.

    I took the PCAT for the first time in OCT as stated in my previous post. I did not ask for an accommodation, because I (1) Wanted to see how I could do on my own and (2) thought that if I asked for one that the Ad. Coms. would look unfavorably at my application. So after taking it and scoring 98 in bio and 94 in chem, I was devastated with a 39 in reading comp. Note that I received in the 70's on the Verbal and a 4/3 on the writing, so I obviously can comprehend and communicate effectively, it just takes me more time to read the information. This is why I learn a lot from lecture, because I have no problem with my hearing or cognition. English is my first language and I have no problem working extra hard, as I have through all of my life. Having such a short time limitation that many people without Amblyopia have trouble finishing, is the reason why I believe I did so poorly.
    By the time I received my scores, it was already too late to request an accommodation for the Jan PCAT!

    Do I think that Harcourt should approve the accommodation request? YES
    Will I request one if I have to take the PCAT again? YES


    What are your experiences??

    If there is anyone who has requested an accommodation for any reason and is willing to share their story, I'd really appreciate it!

    Thanks,

    Mike
  21. AngelaCL

    AngelaCL

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    How did you manage to read and answer all the questions for chem and bio then? I found I was much more pressed for time on those sections - I couldn't even finish the chem the first time, and I had time for like a 20 minute nap after reading comp.
  22. mikeaparker

    mikeaparker Senior Member

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    For the Chem & Bio sections, there wasn't very much to read. In those sections, the most important thing is the knowlege you have and your critical thinking ability. I am a teacher and I have no problem with critical thinking. I also write my own tests, so I have no problem with multiple choice tests when I have enough time to read the material.

    Maybe you don't have a severe case of Amblyopia? I just went to the O.D. and he said that my Rx needs updating as well, and he referred me to a specialist. The print is too small for me and that also causes problems.

    You have to understand that with reading comprehension the information is new, I have to read it more than once. I also have to reread lines, becuase I skip some by accident and it wouldn't make sense. With the Bio & Chem, my reading was done before the test, on my own time, where I could devote more time to comprehension. During the exam for Bio & Chem, once again, it is only application of the knowlege I already have.

    Mike
  23. AngelaCL

    AngelaCL

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    Sounds like a difficult situation. Best of luck!
  24. pharmpilot

    pharmpilot P1! And surviving!

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    Learning the material does pay off. My scores were:

    Verbal 90
    Biology 87
    Reading 99
    Quantitative 91
    Chemistry 92

    Composite 99

    I am still so excited. :D I didn't study, didn't have time. I work full time and had three lab classes this semester. First time to take it and I figured I would take it again if I needed to. I was worried about the math part since my last math class was 7 years ago.

    Like so many people, I tend to focus on what it is I DON'T have that pharmacy schools want. That would be lack of extended experience working in a pharmacy. I volunteer at a local mission in their pharmacy, but that tends to be when I can afford the time.

    Good luck to everyone! :laugh:
  25. omnione

    omnione SDN Pharmoderator Moderator Emeritus

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    UPDATE: I added a short section to the first post about how the PCAT is scored to clear up the questions about the scaled scores and how those lead to percentile scores. That seems to be a common question after every exam.

    Let me know if the explanation isn't clear anywhere and I'll try to make modifications:

    Addendum: There have been many questions on SDN inquiring about the nature of the three-digit scaled scores one finds on the score report and how that score is used to get one's percentile score. To be honest, nobody outside of relations with Harcourt understands the system or even the true number of questions needed to earn a 90th percentile or any other score. Perhaps this is best explained in a hypothetical situation. After each exam, Harcourt examines the pool of test takers and derives a scale that corresponds to a scaled score. One earns a certain scaled score based on the number of correct questions answered. This scale is different between examinations and between sections to account for the slight differences in difficulty across test dates and perhaps even test forms within the same testing date. Te scaled score one gets corresponds to the aforementioned 1998-2003 pool. Based on past research on this forum, it seems that a 400 in any section will result in a 50th percentile and a 430 is "worth" the same for every testing date for example. Therefore, one is being compared to that standard testing group but any changes in the exam now versus back then is accounted for through the derivation of a new scale that accounts for that. It's just that the number of correct questions needed to earn a certain scaled score fluctuates and is determined for each PCAT administration separately. So, nobody really knows how many questions need to be answered correctly in order to be in a certain percentile.
  26. Sweetie Pie

    Sweetie Pie Sweetie Pie

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    How exactly do you read the PCAT scores. I took it for the 1st time in October of 2007 and got my results but now I'm not sure how to read them. Can anyone help me here? I'd really appreciate some help. Thanks so much. :)
  27. Sweetie Pie

    Sweetie Pie Sweetie Pie

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    HI everyone,

    So, I am a biochemistry major right now and I was wondering that if I work for a year after I graduate and then apply to pharmacy schools to get my PhD in pharmacy, what kind of things would I have to submit to them other than my college transcript? and also can I do that, would they also accept me in the transfer student program and would I be able to graduate in 3 to 4 years depending on the school? Ugh...there's so much pressure ughhhhhh.......:(:(:(:(:(:(:(:(:(:(


    Also, how should I study for the PCATs since I didn't do so well. I got a 50% composite score and the rest are like in the 60s and 70s. Any suggestions???


    thanks much...
  28. Gwalla

    Gwalla

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    try looking here...http://forums.studentdoctor.net/showpost.php?p=1700973&postcount=17:cool:
  29. omnione

    omnione SDN Pharmoderator Moderator Emeritus

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    Given your score spread, it's clear that you need to spend more time reviewing everything. Check this forum for suggestions on resources for PCAT study.

    Most pharmacy schools have set curricula that doesn't allow you to transfer in past the first year. Once you start pharmacy school, you start at the first year called P1 and you have to progress through all four years of the curriculum (3 if at a 3-year school, 5+ if you get a joint degree like MBA).

    By the way, the degree earned from pharmacy school is a PharmD, not PhD;)
  30. Manque26

    Manque26

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    I was just curious how those of you with decently high scores studied for the PCAT? In other words, what was your strategy? Did anyone of you take the Kaplan course for the PCAT?
  31. omnione

    omnione SDN Pharmoderator Moderator Emeritus

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    Do a search of the topics left in the first pages and do an advanced search. Plenty of topics about the subject.:)
  32. tellsarah

    tellsarah

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    I have just read through this forum and I still have some lingering questions.
    This question is specific to the Creighton distance program. Should I even consider applying?

    Stats:
    Chem I- B
    Chem II-A
    O-chem I-C(summer course, need to retake)
    O-chem I Lab-A
    O-Chem II-have yet to take
    Anatomy-A
    Bio w/lab-A
    Zoology w/lab-A
    Calc-have yet to take

    Overall GPA: 3.72
    I have a BS in Dietetics.
    2 courses were taken at community colleges.
    No pharmacy experience(applied at walgreens)

    I ask this because a distance program is my only feasible option at this point. I may need to wait a few years to apply otherwise.
    Also, anyone know if there is another school possibly creating another distance pathway?
  33. Pharmpills

    Pharmpills Accepted Pharmacy Student

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    u have great stats but u need a pcat score dude. second why do a distance pathway?? distance is not something fun unless u have other responsibilities and it kills alot of ur learning thats why they take ppl with 90's bc they usually have to learn things themselves. apply to other schools is my opinion
  34. tellsarah

    tellsarah

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    I know, I was too late on the January date, so I will have to wait until June.
    Ultimately, I would like to go to OU because I am currently an Oklahoma resident and their avg. pcat is in the 70's. The reason for wanting distance is my husband is active duty army (just got married) and will be for another 6 yrs. We live on-post and the closest school is Austin, about 70 miles away. I might have to look into it though. BTW, I can get texas residency if I decide to apply in texas. I want to have the Pharm. D. complete within these 6 yrs.

    Okay, I just ran the numbers and for fall '09 admissions, I would be applying with these stats: (specific to Creighton)
    Pre-req math/science: 3.59
    Culmulative GPA: 3.72

    The avg. PCAT was 89. What are your opinions, do I need to score at least in the 80's to remain a competitive applicant?
    I am just trying to get a feel for how much prep work should be done.
    Thank you for any comments.
  35. trailrider400

    trailrider400

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    Anyone here get a bad score the first time they took the PCAT then greatly improve it the second time? If so how did you do it? I got a 60 composite the first time I took it and was wondering just how much it was possible to raise it (realistically) even with a lot of studying.
  36. Alby

    Alby

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    I have the same condition and scored a 99% comp (I think I had a 98% reading score- I cant remember exactly, but it is posted somewhere)

    My opthamologist really helped my by suggesting that on a regular basis, I look up at on object far away (I use the upper corner of the room) to rest my ocular muscles. I practiced this taking my practice exams. I thought it would slow me down, but it didn't. Every few minutes, will thinking about an answer, I would look at that corner to allow recovery time. Also, when I was done with a section- I would look at that corner until it was time to start the next section. Worked like a charm and I use the same concept in my day to day life.

    Good luck- it can be done, with a little practice and patience
  37. omnione

    omnione SDN Pharmoderator Moderator Emeritus

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    I assume that you would be applying to the distance program given your distance stats. I think that you need a minimum of 70 to have a realistic shot but I'm sure that there are exceptions. I would agree that 80 should be your goal and you shouldn't fret if your score is around there or slightly lower. Creighton looks at many other factors and takes their personality assessment seriously IMO. Prep work varies depending on how much you need to review. The more vague the content from your classes is, the more you have to study.

    Even though standardized exams are designed so that scores don't fluctuate unless there are drastic changes in knowledge, it is certainly possible to have a 10-20 point increase if you practice and address the areas of weaknesses. The verbal and reading sections are tough to boost simply because strength comes from a lot of experience. It's not like you can review content like science courses and reteach yourselves quickly.
  38. tellsarah

    tellsarah

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    Yes the stats are specific to the distance program

    BTW what is the personality assessment?
  39. Alby

    Alby

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    I have to say it is really comforting hearing of other students who suffer from this same condition. I commonly skip lines as well when reading, it helps if I put a blank piece of paper (or the scantron) under the line I am reading to ensure I don't skip lines.

    I had surgery at the age of three, and also did a lot of therapy when I was young. I had to wear an eye patch (arrrrggggg!) which forced me to use the weak eye. Oddly enough, my wandering eye is my stronger eye- which is backwards from most afflicted with Amblyopia. They also made me do a lot of word finds as a child. I am not sure if this helped or not.

    When you have severe Amblyopia you can only use one eye at a time- therefore you do not have depth perception (and no, people don't look like paper dolls- if you turn sideways I can still se you!!!!!!- someone actually asked me that once- duh!). I always wondered as a kid what the big deal was with the 3-D movies (with the glasses that are red on one side and green on the other) because it doesn't work if you can't use both eyes. Because you only use one eye, your eyes get tired twice as fast.

    Sometimes, I will cover one eye and read a paragraph with that eye and then cover the other and read the next paragraph- effectively resting one while using the other. Commonly if I get tired, my brain will start to switch back and forth between the two eyes, causing everything in my field of vision to shift- which is really annoying!

    Anyway, I don't want to hijack the thread. But I would recommend some vision therapy and do more pleasure reading which will strengthen your eyes.
    I wish you the best of luck fellow cyclops!
  40. Smilingangel

    Smilingangel

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    Hey omnione i was trying to open tht pdf file but couldnt, do u mind uploading it again?
  41. omnione

    omnione SDN Pharmoderator Moderator Emeritus

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    I can get it fine, but it took several attempts for me to get that "OK" button to operate. Do you get an error or something?
  42. Smilingangel

    Smilingangel

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    yup tht was my problem...the ok button dosent appear at all...will try again after a while
  43. omnione

    omnione SDN Pharmoderator Moderator Emeritus

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    Try switching to Open With and see if you can open it in your browser. If it does, then you can use Adobe Reader to save the file from within the browser with the Disk icon. What worked for me was that I selected Open With and then chose to browse for programs to open the files. I canceled that to return to that Save dialog to find that the OK button was activated.

    I'm not a computer expert so I have no idea why we have this problem. 1,500 have downloaded it since I posted it months ago so I figure that our problem should be transient. Let me know if you have more difficulties and I can e-mail it to you.
  44. luckyphooey

    luckyphooey /\

    Joined:
    01.19.08
    Messages:
    353
    Location:
    Birds
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    SDN 5+ Year Member
    I am really debating whether I should retake the PCAT or not. The reason being that this was my first time taking and I took it just to "test out the water" so to speak so I didn't study much. I only studied about 4 hours a week for 3-4 weeks before taking the PCAT since I was over stressed from the previous semester and just wanted to enjoy my winter break. I took the test with the mentality that I'll just take the test to see how it is and retake it in the summer again. However, I was shocked and overjoyed that I got a 88 composite, I was expecting something around 60-70. Here's how it broke down:

    Verbal: 412, 71
    Biology: 441, 94
    Reading: 424, 84
    Quantitative: 408, 67
    Chemistry: 436, 92
    Composite, 424, 88

    Writing 4.0 & 4.5

    GPA: 3.9
    Science: 3.9

    Top Choice: Maryland

    I feel that if I really studied for this test I could get a better score, but that means I have to make time for studying and pay for the test again when I do not have to. I am so conflicted.
  45. tharper14

    tharper14 P1.5

    Joined:
    01.19.08
    Messages:
    448
    Location:
    Texas
    Status:
    Pharmacy Student
    SDN 2+ Year Member
    That's a nice score, I wouldn't risk it.
  46. PicardEngage

    PicardEngage

    Joined:
    01.16.08
    Messages:
    33
    SDN 2+ Year Member
    Verbal Ability --> 96%
    Biology -->78%
    Reading ---> 71%
    Quantitative ---> 55%
    Chemistry ---> 82%

    Composite ---> 84%

    Writing 3 --> 3

    I took the PCAT without taking Bio II or really knowing any of the Calculus on the quantitative. I only had a week to review for everything too because of short notice. I think if I take the PCAT again I will do better, but how do these scores look right now? Does my large verbal ability percentage artificially boost my composite score?
  47. tharper14

    tharper14 P1.5

    Joined:
    01.19.08
    Messages:
    448
    Location:
    Texas
    Status:
    Pharmacy Student
    SDN 2+ Year Member
    Well I just got my results and I'm not thrilled. I'm thinking I'll definitely have to retake but can someone please give me their opinion:

    Verbal 75
    Biology 87
    Reading 71
    Quantitative 79
    Chem 69 :(
    Comp ---> 80
    Writing 3/3

    The chem score is real bad. That's what I'm most worried about.
  48. omnione

    omnione SDN Pharmoderator Moderator Emeritus

    Joined:
    01.14.07
    Messages:
    2,416
    Location:
    Omaha, NE via Lincoln, NE - Home of college footba
    Status:
    Pharmacy Student
    SDN 5+ Year Member
    Are you an in-state applicant?

    Your GPA is stellar and a 67 in one section isn't too big of a blemish to cancel out said high GPA. The overall 88 is probably good enough.

    My guess is that your scores would be viewed as average. It's up to the school to see whether or not they care about that 55.

    Where are you trying to apply? Since every score outside of Bio is average to below average, you could see a nice jump in your composite if you can do just a little better in every section while not having a drop in bio.
  49. luckyphooey

    luckyphooey /\

    Joined:
    01.19.08
    Messages:
    353
    Location:
    Birds
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    SDN 5+ Year Member
    Yeah, I am in-state, hopefully Maryland has a preference for "in-staters"
  50. tharper14

    tharper14 P1.5

    Joined:
    01.19.08
    Messages:
    448
    Location:
    Texas
    Status:
    Pharmacy Student
    SDN 2+ Year Member
    UT Austin. I have a overall GPA 3.91, science GPA 3.8.
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