PCAT Free PCAT Diagnostic – What Are Your Chances?

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Next Step Test Prep Tutor
7+ Year Member
Apr 29, 2014
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The million-dollar question these days seems to be: what are my chances of getting into pharmacy school? If there were one correct answer to this question—a magical formula, a golden rule—someone would have answered this for good by now. It’s a complicated question.

First of all, your PharmCAS application will present a holistic view of you as a potential PharmD candidate to admissions committees. Your application will be assessed on quantitative factors (PCAT, GPA) as well as qualitative factors (personal statement, letters of recommendation, experience), and that’s before they’ve even meet you in person for interviews! Are you doomed if your GPA isn’t as high as you want it to be? What if you haven’t worked as a pharmacy tech? The reality is that pharmacy schools are interested in a composite view of who you are – and that means that you should try to do your best in each part of your application. There are some things that you can’t necessarily change, such as your GPA or letters of recommendation. However, there are some places where you can make a difference and really shine to get the attention of the pharmacy school of your dreams. One of those places is your PCAT.

Now, it’s important to use objective criteria when thinking about what constitutes a “good” GPA or PCAT score. One of the best ways to do this is to research the average GPA and PCAT score of the matriculating class at the schools that interest you. A common misconception among pre-pharm students is that you absolutely must score higher than this average score to be considered – and by definition, that’s certainly not true! In fact, about half of students at each of these schools will have a lower GPA or PCAT score than the “average.” But knowing this information can help you figure out what scores you should aim for to be a competitive applicant.

A solid PCAT score is a guaranteed way to get the attention of the pharmacy school of your dreams. The reasons schools care so much about your PCAT score is because it tells them that you’re capable of learning a bunch of really hard material and thinking critically – and it’s also a predictor of how well you’ll do in pharmacy school! The new PCAT has changed in recent years to focus on critical thinking, which means that you can expect to see lots of passages and word problems on the PCAT. These changes reflect the reality that pharmacists need to rely on robust critical thinking skills rather than rote memorization of facts!

As a result, the way that students prepare for the PCAT has adapted to this new focus on strategy-based thinking. While doing well in your undergrad classes will certainly help build your core content knowledge, developing the tools that will help you rock your PCAT is going to require practice. The best thing you can possibly do to improve your PCAT score is strategic practice. What does that mean? This means using specific practice problems tailored to your unique difficulty areas, and analyzing the results of your practice efforts to develop a study plan that will help guide you to Test Day success.

To get started, check out our Free Full-Length PCAT Practice Exam for 100% free, realistic PCAT practice that simulates the real exam.

Next Step’s one-on-one PCAT tutors can work with you individually to help you develop a completely customized study plan tailor-made to your needs, and you can book a free consultation with us today to see if this is right for you.

What we want to know is:

1. What’s your dream PCAT score?

2. What are you doing to get your score there?

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