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Got destroyed on reading this morning...

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amorcat

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I'll start with my score first:
SS PR
Bio 455 98
Chem 439 92
Reading 391 40
QRT 432 97​

Composite 432 95

No words can describe how terrible I feel right now. I can't believe my score just sank to the bottom on reading since I did fine on the Kaplan practice tests (434, 96% on both SET 1 and 2). This morning time just ran out so fast during the reading section for whatever reason, I almost pulled all my hair out when I barely finished (guessed on) the last question.

So I guess the more realistic question is: Is my chance of getting in already down the drain? Should I consider retaking PCAT immediately?

English is not my native language, I'm so worried that some pharmacy schools will put my language proficiency under (unnecessary) scrutiny. I have an advanced degree in Biochemistry from a U.S. graduate school, and a handful of research papers published in English, but I'm not sure if those will help me at all (or admission offices would even care).

Any advice and suggestions will be greatly appreciated ... Thank y'all!
 
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amorcat

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No, don't retake. Don't want to risk getting lower scores. You did very well.

Thanks!

How much weight would PCAT scores normally have in one's application? Conceptually I can imagine that different schools have different guidelines for the composite score on PCAT, but is there some kind of universal deal breakers? Like some schools will never even consider someone scored very low in one section, for example.

I know I'm driving myself completely insane now, LOL
 

DagS132

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I would not be able to answer that question for you. The only way to actually find out is to call adcom of the school you want to go to and ask them directly. Your composite score will definitely catch their eyes but I am unsure how much they actually care about each section.
 
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medOdyssey

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Most schools take the highest scores of all your exam attempts. I would say not retake it if your looking at medium tier school.
 

nick12345

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I'll start with my score first:
SS PR
Bio 455 98
Chem 439 92
Reading 391 40
QRT 432 97​

Composite 432 95

No words can describe how terrible I feel right now. I can't believe my score just sank to the bottom on reading since I did fine on the Kaplan practice tests (434, 96% on both SET 1 and 2). This morning time just ran out so fast during the reading section for whatever reason, I almost pulled all my hair out when I barely finished (guessed on) the last question.

So I guess the more realistic question is: Is my chance of getting in already down the drain? Should I consider retaking PCAT immediately?

English is not my native language, I'm so worried that some pharmacy schools will put my language proficiency under (unnecessary) scrutiny. I have an advanced degree in Biochemistry from a U.S. graduate school, and a handful of research papers published in English, but I'm not sure if those will help me at all (or admission offices would even care).

Any advice and suggestions will be greatly appreciated ... Thank y'all!




Can you please tell us how you prepared for the exam, my is on the 18th, I m so nervous. Also, for the chemistry is there lot of orgo and biochem? Is there on screen periodic table and calculator the whole time on the chem and math section? Thanks!
 

NextStepTutor_4

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From my personal experience and my pharmacy school colleagues, you did an exemplary job on the PCAT. The composite score is really what the pharmacy school would look at and any PCAT cumulative score above the 90th percentile would put you to the top of the pack even in top tier schools. I'm not aware of any cut-offs for any individual section. Actually, you can be extremely happy and grateful that you managed to achieve this because 95% of the students would probably want that score.

The admissions committee would look at your application holistically such as extracurriculars, research, volunteering, and work experience. But it seems like you already have some of that under your belt.

Congratulations and good luck in your pharmacy journey!
 

amorcat

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I would not be able to answer that question for you. The only way to actually find out is to call adcom of the school you want to go to and ask them directly. Your composite score will definitely catch their eyes but I am unsure how much they actually care about each section.

Thank you so much! Hopefully I wasn't being annoying yesterday, got too worried about my low PR on reading and paranoid about the application process... You successfully quenched my paranoia LOL

Good luck with your application!
 

amorcat

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From my personal experience and my pharmacy school colleagues, you did an exemplary job on the PCAT. The composite score is really what the pharmacy school would look at and any PCAT cumulative score above the 90th percentile would put you to the top of the pack even in top tier schools. I'm not aware of any cut-offs for any individual section. Actually, you can be extremely happy and grateful that you managed to achieve this because 95% of the students would probably want that score.

The admissions committee would look at your application holistically such as extracurriculars, research, volunteering, and work experience. But it seems like you already have some of that under your belt.

Congratulations and good luck in your pharmacy journey!

Thank you for taking the time to share your experience! Now it's the time for the daunting task to strengthen my resume...
 

amorcat

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Can you please tell us how you prepared for the exam, my is on the 18th, I m so nervous. Also, for the chemistry is there lot of orgo and biochem? Is there on screen periodic table and calculator the whole time on the chem and math section? Thanks!

oh for sure, yeah i should've been more constructive than focusing on my frustration... yesterday it's all about ranting, lol

i used kaplan pcat plus 2018, dr. collins both 2017 and an older version from my cousin, princeton cracking the pcat, and kaplan mcat series (got them for free thanks to a md friend). i like the princeton book a lot thought it's the 2012 version, they went into great detail in chem and o chem. mcat books were super helpful too, especially on bio and o chem.

imo the mot important thing is not to dwell on any questions on your test day, which i failed miserably on reading. i don't recall i encountered a lot of o chem in particular, but don't count on that, maybe i was just lucky, haha

i didn't see a calculator during chem section, nor it's required for the questions i had, all the calculations in chem were straight forward, a periodic table was available but i didn't use it much

however, i didn't find a calculator in math! had to do all the calculations by hand and estimate some values for several, i know that sounds quite impossible so i must have missed something somewhere... anyway i feel i got lucky again coz for several math questions i was able to quickly lock on the range of the potential ans and use poe aggressively

hope these help... all the best with your test next week!!!!!!
 

nick12345

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oh for sure, yeah i should've been more constructive than focusing on my frustration... yesterday it's all about ranting, lol

i used kaplan pcat plus 2018, dr. collins both 2017 and an older version from my cousin, princeton cracking the pcat, and kaplan mcat series (got them for free thanks to a md friend). i like the princeton book a lot thought it's the 2012 version, they went into great detail in chem and o chem. mcat books were super helpful too, especially on bio and o chem.

imo the mot important thing is not to dwell on any questions on your test day, which i failed miserably on reading. i don't recall i encountered a lot of o chem in particular, but don't count on that, maybe i was just lucky, haha

i didn't see a calculator during chem section, nor it's required for the questions i had, all the calculations in chem were straight forward, a periodic table was available but i didn't use it much

however, i didn't find a calculator in math! had to do all the calculations by hand and estimate some values for several, i know that sounds quite impossible so i must have missed something somewhere... anyway i feel i got lucky again coz for several math questions i was able to quickly lock on the range of the potential ans and use poe aggressively

hope these help... all the best with your test next week!!!!!!
Thank you so much for the reply, I only studied from Dr. Collins and will take the Pearson test within this week, I am so nervous.
 

amorcat

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Thank you so much for the reply, I only studied from Dr. Collins and will take the Pearson test within this week, I am so nervous.

It's only normal to be nervous, I can totally relate, to me it felt like I was about to puke my guts out when i finished writing and headed into Bio.

However, if someone like me who's not bright or not young any more could survive it, you can do it too!!!! My memory sucks, took me an entire day to remember the hormones in endocrine system, for example. Not to mention O Chem which I hated the most when I was an undergraduate... Anyway all the hard work will pay off, just keep studying and you will be fine.

Dr. Collins is great for math, if you have done at least a couple of their practice tests you should be good to go.

I personally would recommend taking Kaplan's PCAT online tests that come with their book. Their questions are a little more difficult than the actual PCAT, but it's timed rigorously plus the whole thing is built so similar to the real test, top to bottom. At the end, they will give you a mock SS and PR score report which is also extremely helpful. The only thing you may wanna watch out is: don't get worked up too much by the score of these mock tests.

I did maybe 3 Pearson tests too and I like their Bio and Chem parts, the reading sections were way too easy compared to the actual PCAT, which didn't help me at all.

Good luck!!!!!
 
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pharmily0204

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It's only normal to be nervous, I can totally relate, to me it felt like I was about to puke my guts out when i finished writing and headed into Bio.

However, if someone like me who's not bright or not young any more could survive it, you can do it too!!!! My memory sucks, took me an entire day to remember the hormones in endocrine system, for example. Not to mention O Chem which I hated the most when I was an undergraduate... Anyway all the hard work will pay off, just keep studying and you will be fine.

Dr. Collins is great for math, if you have done at least a couple of their practice tests you should be good to go.

I personally would recommend taking Kaplan's PCAT online tests that come with their book. Their questions are a little more difficult than the actual PCAT, but it's timed rigorously plus the whole thing is built so similar to the real test, top to bottom. At the end, they will give you a mock SS and PR score report which is also extremely helpful. The only thing you may wanna watch out is: don't get worked up too much by the score of these mock tests.

I did maybe 3 Pearson tests too and I like their Bio and Chem parts, the reading sections were way too easy compared to the actual PCAT, which didn't help me at all.

Good luck!!!!!


Thank you for this. Im also REALLYYY nervous about the essay in particular. Should we have 2-3 solutions in mind that apply to all cases because I feel like you can practice and practice but the question on the actual test could be totally different. So how do you come up with solutions on the spot?
 

amorcat

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Thank you for this. Im also REALLYYY nervous about the essay in particular. Should we have 2-3 solutions in mind that apply to all cases because I feel like you can practice and practice but the question on the actual test could be totally different. So how do you come up with solutions on the spot?

I memorized 3-4 generic templates for how to write a forceful beginning, how to make smooth transitions, how to conclude etc, as for solutions for any specific problems, I actually didn't have a great strategy. Was pretty lucky to have an easy topic about how to solve air pollution.
 

Atlien23

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In your opinion, what was the best way to study for Chem and Bio? I've been studying Dr. Collins for Chem in addition to the Pearson tests, and then a mixture of Kaplan/Pearson/Collins for Bio but I think I'm psyching myself out
 
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