Quantcast

Best PCAT prep book

This forum made possible through the generous support of SDN members, donors, and sponsors. Thank you.

broland

Full Member
Joined
Dec 9, 2010
Messages
69
Reaction score
1
People say Collins and for the Bio prep, Kaplans.

These are the two I used. I just took my PCAT the 22nd. Haven't got my results back yet but I feel good about the test.

They are both good, what I did was read the entire kapaln book then worked on the collins practice tests. My only gripe with the kaplan book was that 1/2 of it was biology. Not that I have anything against biology but biology is only 1/6 of the PCAT.
 

1TB4RKSB4CK

wussup doge
5+ Year Member
Joined
May 6, 2010
Messages
2,893
Reaction score
127
I'm planning to take the PCAT this year at the summer. I see you are applying to the school I want to go to. Gator Nation!
 

Dave4468

Full Member
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Joined
Mar 16, 2008
Messages
197
Reaction score
2
What book do you guys think is best for preparing for the exam?

Use Dr Collins.

For the chem, bio, and math sections- as you go through it study the stuff you are not totally 100% w/ in depth in textbooks and review books.

In Collins you might see the question "What does a lack of vitamin C cause?" If you did not know the answer was scurvy or realized you don't remember a lot about the different vitamins. Go through your biology textbook and review the section on nutrition, especially all the common vitamins and problems that can be associated w/ deficiencies in them. Don't remember what a macrophage does? Review the whole immune system section. etc

I personally found Kaplan to be garbage compared to Collins :p

Source: 99th biology, 96th chemistry, 93rd math
 

DrDrugs2012

Full Member
5+ Year Member
Joined
Feb 8, 2011
Messages
416
Reaction score
87
GENERAL CHEMISTRY & BIOLOGY
Students prepare for the exam as if it is the limits of knowledge needed to enter pharmacy school. Students prepare for the non-comprehensive general chemistry and biology sections of the PCAT without realizing that they need a comprehensive understanding to succeed in pharmacy school. If you prepare as if you were preparing for the final comprehensive exams for your undergraduate courses, you will find greater success on the PCAT science sections and be more prepared for your first year of pharmacy school. So dust off those old textbooks (providing that you didnt sell or burn them already!) - I prefer learning/teaching from Campbell Reece Mitchell, 5th ed (with the student study guide) and Moore Stanitski and Jurs Chemistry (with the solutions manual), and Guyton & Hall Medical Physiology.

ORGANIC CHEMISTRY

The biggest mistake students make in organic chemistry is that they try to memorize all of the details - reaction mechanisms, catalysts, and so on. It is thoroughly ineffective! Instead they should realize that the core of organic chemistry is theory. If you understand where electrons move and why, you will understand organic chemistry. Unfortunately, most organic chemistry professors never build enough time to instruct students on arrow pushing and electron theory. To learn this, I recommend every student purchase David Klein's Organic Chemistry as a Second Language.
 
Last edited:

gsw650

Full Member
Joined
Nov 23, 2010
Messages
40
Reaction score
0
For in depth coverage of Bio and General Chemistry, go for Kaplan. Kaplan offers basically zero coverage on any of the verbal, reading comprehension, and essay writing portions and also essentially no coverage on OChem.
Dr. Collins compared to Kaplan is much less dense but sufficient. They offer lots of practice tests which I would say are comparable to the PCAT but a little easier as you would guess.

I used them both and scored in the 91% without studying too hard. With only 48 questions, they can't go in depth with any particular subject so it's really just a very broad range of general questions. With regards to bio, you probably won't get any more than 3 or 4 questions of the same topic.
 

ashlee090

Full Member
Joined
Dec 7, 2009
Messages
21
Reaction score
0
Beside Dr. Collins and Kaplan, is there anything i should consider to study for pcat? I am going to take it this june, which i will also have 2final exams for spring quarter. Do you think i would have enough time to study for PCAT?

Thanks
 

pharmschooler

Full Member
Joined
Apr 16, 2009
Messages
597
Reaction score
3
Use Dr Collins.

For the chem, bio, and math sections- as you go through it study the stuff you are not totally 100% w/ in depth in textbooks and review books.

In Collins you might see the question "What does a lack of vitamin C cause?" If you did not know the answer was scurvy or realized you don't remember a lot about the different vitamins. Go through your biology textbook and review the section on nutrition, especially all the common vitamins and problems that can be associated w/ deficiencies in them. Don't remember what a macrophage does? Review the whole immune system section. etc

I personally found Kaplan to be garbage compared to Collins :p

Source: 99th biology, 96th chemistry, 93rd math

Honestly, I thought Dr. Collins' was really bad, and way overpriced for a big stack of poorly-edited papers. I think SDN is the only reason Dr. Collins is still in business: we've perpetuated a myth about his study guide having mystical powers.

Maybe if you need help with verbal Collins' might be ok, but for chemistry and math I didn't find it helpful at all. And for biology...if you've taken the prerequisites, this is stuff you should already know. Besides, who doesn't already know that scurvy is caused by lack of Vit C? I thought this was common knowledge, especially if you've studied biology, a&p, or nutrition.

I did find the Pearson tests to be very helpful. Those were all I used this January (took it last August studying Collins and did horrible), and I feel I did really well this time.
 

enabler

Full Member
Joined
Feb 26, 2011
Messages
56
Reaction score
0
Hey guys. I took the pcat last October and scored a 99 composite first sitting. I probably studied about 3 hours a day for about a month and a half. More on weekends. My advice would be this:

Buy multiple books. They all claim to put test-like questions out there but when you start going through them you will get a different feel from each as far as how they ask things and what they ask more etc.

I bought Kaplan, Barrons, and some little book that was just like a novel of questions, 2 on a page, answers on the back of each page.

Also, get and do the practice tests that Pearson gives to you.

If you can get through all of them, you won't be thrown off by something that one book didn't seem to think was so important.
 
D

deleted382095

Hey guys. I took the pcat last October and scored a 99 composite first sitting. I probably studied about 3 hours a day for about a month and a half. More on weekends. My advice would be this:

Buy multiple books. They all claim to put test-like questions out there but when you start going through them you will get a different feel from each as far as how they ask things and what they ask more etc.

I bought Kaplan, Barrons, and some little book that was just like a novel of questions, 2 on a page, answers on the back of each page.

Also, get and do the practice tests that Pearson gives to you.

If you can get through all of them, you won't be thrown off by something that one book didn't seem to think was so important.

Does that little booklet help much eh?
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Teeth4Life

Full Member
10+ Year Member
Joined
Feb 28, 2007
Messages
63
Reaction score
0
Here is the list of material I am using for the PCAT:

AP biology (Cliffs)
5 practice tests (Cliffs)
Barrons
Barrons AP biology flash cards
KAPLAN PCAT comprehensive book (Comes with their course; different than normal version a.k.a blue book)

Not using anything to prepare for writing or reading, I feel like that is something that is gathered over years as experience and not something you can effectively learn in a few weeks/months. Like someone said on here you have to use multiple sources in case one does not cover that material . For general and organic chemistry using an old classroom textbook is plenty sufficient and also the books mentioned cover that pretty well too. As far as math goes, it all boils down to timing so just practice mental calculations since there will be no calculator on the PCAT. I focus mainly on biology since that is something the PharmCAS look at seriously and being a Biology major that does help some. I find that my college microbiology text book also comes in handy. I have not taken the real PCAT yet but in my composites for practice tests have been above 90% from multiple sources (pearson, kaplan, 5 practice exams, etc.). I hope this helps OP. :thumbup:
 

atpsynthase

Protons and Pumps, Baby!
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Joined
Feb 2, 2009
Messages
176
Reaction score
5
I also thought that the Kaplan book was really good on biology but seriously lacking on other subjects like chemistry. I went with Dr. Collin's for the rest and was not disappointed at all.
 

liebht90

Full Member
Joined
Jan 20, 2011
Messages
42
Reaction score
0
I agree with teeth4life, using many sources for studying is definitely the best way to go, that way everything gets covered. I have heard good things about Kaplan's biology, Dr. Collin's in general, and quite a few people using some MCAT exam crackers.
 

RxBruce

New Member
Joined
Mar 12, 2011
Messages
3
Reaction score
0
Hello, since the PCAT is going to be CBT, wouldnt it be better to get a software-based review material (PCAT professor & PCAT achiever) to get used to computer format and getting used to reading questions off of a screen and not a piece of paper?

Also, I am planning to take the PCAT in 2012 but would like to start studying early. Should I buy studying materials early or should I wait for the newer study materials come out for the year I am taking it? Thank you.
 

megandupe

Full Member
5+ Year Member
Joined
Sep 3, 2010
Messages
206
Reaction score
0
Hello, since the PCAT is going to be CBT, wouldnt it be better to get a software-based review material (PCAT professor & PCAT achiever) to get used to computer format and getting used to reading questions off of a screen and not a piece of paper?

I dont think it would make any difference at all. Pearson writes the test and they keep the format, not Kaplan or Dr Collins or any other study material resources.

Also, I am planning to take the PCAT in 2012 but would like to start studying early. Should I buy studying materials early or should I wait for the newer study materials come out for the year I am taking it? Thank you.

I know that Kaplan's materials for 2010-2011 are the newest money can buy, I wouldnt wait, because I think the most recent stuff is already written and on the market.
 

VeeSee

Full Member
10+ Year Member
Joined
Mar 28, 2009
Messages
222
Reaction score
64
Collins

everything else is garbage, except Kaplan bio which is a little too broad and covers unnecessary stuff
 
This thread is more than 10 years old.

Your message may be considered spam for the following reasons:

  1. Your new thread title is very short, and likely is unhelpful.
  2. Your reply is very short and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  3. Your reply is very long and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  4. It is very likely that it does not need any further discussion and thus bumping it serves no purpose.
  5. Your message is mostly quotes or spoilers.
  6. Your reply has occurred very quickly after a previous reply and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  7. This thread is locked.
Top