Dec 2, 2013
Hello I really need help,
I am currently working at completing the pre reqs for pharm school and I am not doing so well in my pre reqs. C bio 1, C chem 1, B chem 2, C A&P 1, B A&P 2, and currently in bio 2 looking at another C. Next semester I am enrolled in organ 1, calc 1 and a history class. I have not really found anything that works for me studying for these exams in my science classes. It feels like I get only 70% of the material. What can I do to raise this so I can get accepted to pharmacy school. I am passionate about the field. I currently work as a pharmacy tech and have been doing it for almost two years. Many pharmacist tell me to not go to pharmacy school because of over saturation of the job market but I genuinely love working in the pharmacy and I really want to be a pharmacist one day for the company I work for now ( Publix). I have goals far beyond just being a staff pharmacist and maybe one day being a supervisor of operations and possibly influencing the way retail pharmacy is ran.( sometimes it can be a joke) It has been something that I have been interested in since my junior year of high school when I took A.P. chem and spoke with the pharmacist at my job (who eventually trained me as a tech). I really need tips on time management for my science classes and how you went about studying the material. Also tips on pcat, interview, etc. I know that different things work for different people but any type of help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance for your input!
Dec 26, 2012
I would suggest really taking a break from your current course load. It sounds like you are taking on more than you could handle. Perhaps try one or two science courses at a time. If it takes longer to finish, then so be it. There is no time limit, you want your grades to be decent otherwise you will have to score very high on PCAT and be very involved in research, volunteer and other extracurricular activities.

I wouldn't worry about interview right now, because that comes later in the application process. Really focus on getting your grades up first (if possible, also work on volunteer/research/extracurricular activities/community involvement) and pick out the schools you really want to attend, then look into their admission requirements. Set some goals, so you know where you stand in this journey to become a pharmacist.

PCAT emphasizes heavily on biology and chemistry, so if those are your weaker subjects at the moment you REALLY should work on that. If you are currently struggling in those classes, studying PCAT will also be challenging therefore working on your classes/grades comes first.Once you get your grades up, then start studying for PCAT (should becomes easier), which may takes weeks to months of dedication depending on how well you know the subjects.

I hope this helps! Good luck!
Dec 3, 2013
Hey Buddy,

First, I believe that you are completely fine so don't beat yourself up.
Second, we need to take a step back, understand your situation as a whole, consider your strengths and weaknesses and then tackle each item you need in order to get yourself up to be a competitive candidate for Pharmacy School. (Just remember, this is not a sprint, its a marathon so don't burn yourself out.)

So the main elements you need to make sure to have for Pharmacy School are:
GPA, PCAT Score, Pharmacy Experience, Philanthropy/Extracurricular and LORs

Now lets see
Now this is a major factor for most if not all for schools out there and from what I understand, they focus primarily on prerequisites and sciences when they evaluate your application. So far, you have 5 Prereqs completed with average (class average) performance and you are working on your 6th prereq. So, before you go any further, you have to really evaluate yourself and see if you are ready for heavier course loads and upper level sciences like Organic Chem. Like sw33tm3, its ok to take longer to finish, its better to do it right then to mess up and have it on your record or worse, failing and having to take it again. And Orgo is no joke, it is extremely time consuming as you really have to put in the work to learn and understand the concepts so gotta make sure you have the time and energy to invest. Personally, I put off Organic Chem for two years because I had too much going in my life as well as I wanted to wait to take it with a quality professor. Again, there is absolutely no rush so you have to remember this: Your grades, especially in science, from now on absolutely have to improve. Forgive yourself for the other classes cause whats done is done and you need to focus on now. Every class you take from now on should be an improvement upon your previous performance, it will show admissions that you have improved.

NOW, As for Studying Tips, here is what saved my butt:
a. For large lecture courses, take notes as if you are taking them for a friend who is absent, you'll be able to understand them better later on.
b. Most importantly, most professor in large lectures will allow you to record the lecture. You should definitely take advantage of this and record every lecture. Its incredible because we don't realize how much we miss sometimes when we zone out for a few minutes or if you can't keep up (or fall asleep in class)

c. Buy either the Princeton Review MCAT or PCAT book for what ever courses you are taking like Chem/Anat/Orgo/Physics. These books are really incredible in teaching you the material in a simplified understandable way, on top of that they teach you tricks you won't learn in textbooks to speed up your processing of formulas or to remember information.
Last, you really gotta put in the time and work, science classes can't be breezed through as easily and cramming won't help with upper level sciences.
d. Use, how well and dedicated a professor is could make all the difference on how well you understand the material and care about the subject and could be a difference between a C and an A.

PCAT: The PCAT includes a Chemistry (Intro material as well as organic), Biology, Anatomy/Physiology, Microbiology, Reading, Writing, not sure if I am forgetting anything else.
a. The subjects are almost the same as the prerequisite courses that you are taking right now and so the better notes you keep and the better you do in classes, it should hopefully help you study better for the PCAT (except physics). Again, I waited until later to take Orgo I and II so right after, I signed up and took the PCAT while that was still fresh in my head.
b. there are great Materials out there such as Dr. Collins and the 2013 Princeton Review for the PCAT. I wouldn't use Kaplan, its not as thorough.

Pharmacy Experience - You already got this one handled. If you can get additional experiences in different areas that would help as well that would be another plus for you.

Philanthropy/Extracurricular Its very important to volunteer and to show them that you can donate your time and balance your life as well. If you're strapped on time, I wouldn't worry too much about it, just find something you like or care about so that you will get something out of it as well.

LORs From your grades, it would be a good idea to go to your professors office hours for help and get their advice on how to study the material and study for their exams. Also, it will put a face to name for them so that when you do need one from them, it can be easier for them to recall.

Its not much tips but hope it helps, Im sure you'll be alright. All the best.
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Nov 19, 2013
Pharmacy Student
After recently getting accepted into pharmacy school and seeing who my competition was I have 3 things to say:
1. Get a degree and get it quickly. Most schools nowadays are so competitive and they look for students who have a degree (my first choice had 1000 applicants, and 150 students that go and 120 of those students have a degree)
2. Either re-take those science classes or show improvement when you get into organic chemistry, microbio, and biochem. Having Cs in your beginner science courses looks kind of bad.... I personally got a C in general biology 1 and re-took it and got an A. I sadly had a withdrawal from Anatomy but re-took it and got a B. Even though you don't do that well your first time, pharmacy schools want to see that you want to improve yourself. Some pharm schools are more forgiving than others so all is not lost.
3. Having pharmacy tech experience is helpful, but almost 99% of all interviewees have technician experience so it really is nothing special. If you already have 2+ years then either quit, or reduce your hours so you can focus more on studying and school. I personally only had 3 months in pharmacy tech experience (IV compounding in hospital) and that was good enough for me to get accepted.

Do NOT waste any time thinking about interview questions and all that, because that is so far into the future it is pointless, especially since there is a chance that you will not even get in (with the record you have now). Think about how to improve your grades, re-take those basic science classes, and study for the PCAT (look up Dr. Collins, trust me you will get 90+ with it). Good luck.


5+ Year Member
Sep 3, 2013
Pharmacy Student
I am starting my last semester of pre-pharmacy next month and the best way to tell you how I aced Biology and Organic Chemistry tests was to study as much as possible. Especially if your someone who can't understand the information sometimes. I was like that at first, but the more I actually sat down and read the book then the more I began to understand the information.

If I were you I would take history during the summer because that class has a lot of work as in they give you all these books to read and paper to write and stuff like that. History is going to make you spend time doing long history work when you could be focusing on the science courses. I am still researching/studying the PCAT myself so I am not expert to give advice on that lol

But you seem very determined and if I were you I would not think low of yourself. You'll make it :)
Nov 13, 2013
how about study the materials during the break before the semester starts? some people can study fast, some people take more time to study. I think the more you're exposed to the concepts of your learning subjects, the better you will understand them. Repetition counts. Make it often to revisit what you have learned whenever you can . That is a good study habit. You may not understand some concepts now, but it keeps your mind actively think about what you have learned, and be able to make the concepts come out later. That's the reason I could come back 3 years later after I finished my undergrad study, and that I made an acceptable score on PCAT.