chemistry section in the pcat

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

wigwam

Full Member
10+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Joined
Aug 27, 2006
Messages
65
Reaction score
0
so i got my kaplan pcat book but haven't bothered to look at it yet (won't take pcat until next fall). I was wondering what kind of chem questions are in the pcat. I'm worried about the organic chem part too. Do we have to remember specific reaction (for example, the claisen ester condensation, wittig, etc) or is it more generalized reactions (E1, E2, etc). If i have to remember every reaction, i'm pretty screwed because i know i won't be able to. Also, do we have to know the mechanisms for the reactions? thanks for your help.

Members don't see this ad.
 
also, when you studied for the pcat, did you just use the pcat review book (kaplan, barrons, whatever) or did you also use old text books to review in chemistry and biology?
 
so i got my kaplan pcat book but haven't bothered to look at it yet (won't take pcat until next fall). I was wondering what kind of chem questions are in the pcat. I'm worried about the organic chem part too. Do we have to remember specific reaction (for example, the claisen ester condensation, wittig, etc) or is it more generalized reactions (E1, E2, etc). If i have to remember every reaction, i'm pretty screwed because i know i won't be able to. Also, do we have to know the mechanisms for the reactions? thanks for your help.

There's really not that much organic chem on it, and what's there is pretty general. I would focus more on inorganic for the most part. I studied Schaum's outline for college chemistry, and it was very helpful. I took the PCAT for the first time in October 06 and got like an 86 on the chem section. I only had about 2 months of organic chem by the time i took the test, so I think if I took it again, I would score higher on some of those questions. You have a lot of time, but don't wait too long to start studying. I crammed the last month before I took it, and although I got a 92 composite, I would have scored higher if I had started studying earlier. If I hadn't studied for the chem section, I definitely would NOT have done well! So, definitely put the time in studying for it.

I used the Schaum's outline for college chemistry and found it to be extremely useful because it has lots of practice problems worked out. I also used some chemistry textbooks. I bought the Barron's PCAT preparation book and used the study guide outline in there as a guide for the topics to study for. This would help you with what to study for organic.
 
From what i remember that was a lot of Ochem on my test, but it was really basic. I read somewhere earlier in the year they upped the amt of ochem on the tests recently.
 
Members don't see this ad :)
what kind of questions do they ask, is it like the acs orgo test?
 
I was fresh off of the ACS exam (August '06) when I took the PCAT. The ACS Organic Chemistry was ridiculous in comparison to the PCAT's. There were some IUPAC naming, some enantiomer questions, "which of these would react by SN2/E2/E2/SN1" style questions, a few synthesis reactions, and a few "which is most stable" types of problems -- exactly as Harcourt Assesment states there will be. You don't have to be a whiz in O-Chem to do well on the organic chemistry on the PCAT. I know most schools use that Solomons and Fryhle Johnson Organic Chemistry book, and I would say that between Chapters 6 and 14 (excluding 9 for NMR spectroscopy) would be most beneficial. I hope this helps.
 
what kind of questions do they ask, is it like the acs orgo test?

ACS orgo test deals a lot with concepts. What happens if you had an e- withdrawing group to a compound. Some organometallic chemistry. Some, but not much, spectroscopy, though that varies depending on the version. I had to take the ACS as my final in Ochem and as my comprehensive exam for my BS (2x cuz I failed the first time) One version had like 5 spectroscopy questions, the other two had like one. The one with five questions had stuff like name the compound from a MS, name the compound from a IR, and a C13 NMR. Then a couple that didn't have spectra but had something like, there's a band at ?? wavelength and NMR shows a ?? splitting pattern. What chemical is it? There was also an aromatic addition reaction where you had to put the reactants in order to get the given trisubstituted benzene. (need to know what your omp activator/deactivators are.) Ususally there are one or two IUPAC naming and one or two pick the compound from the name. Most of it requires general knowledge of rxns and mechanisms.:barf:
 
i took the pcat october 2006 and was surprised to find out there were alot of ochem questions even though they were basic questions. Mostly were nomenclature. Learn your nomenclature!
 
Top