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How can I improve my terrible PCAT score?

Discussion in 'PCAT Discussions' started by jjjjjjJ1, Jul 28, 2011.

  1. jjjjjjJ1

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    So I just took my pcat today and failed miserably. I've been studying for the pcat for about two months about 3-4 days a week. I didnt take any Kaplan classes but I did buy the book and read all of it. I think the book only helped me out for the biology section. Other than that, I dont think it helped me at all! I wasted so much time reading the book for math and chemistry and it was no help whatsoever. I also bought the Cliffs practice test booklet but it only helped me a little. I took all three Pearson tests online but I didnt even do good on them. I am going to buy the Dr. Collins book right now since there are so many good reviews on it. I'm going to retake the pcat in september but I just dont know how I am going to improve myself by ALOT. When i say alot i mean ALOT. I need help in every single section. Does anyone have any suggestions on what I should study until september and how I can improve?
     
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  3. Bigj5768

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    This is just my opinion but CliffNotes sucks. Kaplan is good for Biology but it goes overboard and Dr. Collins is where its at. I have a suggestion though. Dr. Collins is good for Verbal, Chem, and Math so you will be fine there as long as you know your stuff and practice. Biology depends on the person, but I would just suggest Kaplan if your lacking in knowledge. If not then just practice an review with Collins. Reading Comprehension is something that can't really be done in a few months. You need to read articles and practice speed reading. Some people even use ExamKracker Verbal Reasoning and its appears to help a lot improve there RC scores.
     
  4. G8T0RGRL00

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    :thumbup:
    Also, I highly suggest that you purchase three practice tests by Pearson. As you take these practice tests you might notice pattern/type of questions that frequently appear on PCAT.
     
  5. jjjjjjJ1

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    Thank you so much for your help.
     
  6. pharmacy28

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    Like you, I just took the test too and failed! Bummed! I studied the Kaplan for several months and it didn't help at all! The practice tests through Pearson didn't even help either. I purchased them and worked on it for several months as well. I did pretty well...but when it came down to the actual exam, I bombed it!
     
  7. G8T0RGRL00

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    I'm sorry to hear that :(.
    After you took those practice tests, did you review the questions you missed? I think it is really important to find out which section of the subject you keep missing questions the most from and study/review that specific section more in depth.
    Also, did you take each practice tests more than once? Once you have taken the practice test, taking same test again will produce higher score (because you will recognize right answers) and it will be hard to say that your score is actually improving.
    Since you did well on your practice tests though, it seems like you don't have problem with content material. Did you choke on the actual exam because you were not familiar with the computer-based test, ran out of time, and/or is a poor standardized test taker? In that case, I think you should try to polish up your test taking skills/strategies. Best of luck :luck:
     
  8. loquaciouss2000

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    hi guys, i was just wondering if 53 composite score good....My previous score was.

    OLD..................... New Score
    VA:17.................. VA: 40
    Bio:25................. BIO:94
    RC:8....... ............RC: 34
    QA:24..... ............QA:36
    CHM: 32.............. CHM:48
    Composite:15.......... Composite:53
     
  9. thesituation559

    thesituation559 Ready for whatever
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    How did you improve Bio so much?
     
  10. loquaciouss2000

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    Just Graduated with a bio degree in dec....+ bio is easy for me to grasp+ dr collins
     
  11. harmonidrum

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    If bio is easy for you to grasp, how did you end up scoring a 25 percentile on it before?
     
  12. pharmacy28

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    After the exam, I was trying to figure all these things out and I realized most of the stuff I just didn't grasp. Which was weird because I felt like I studied everything, but ALL of the topics I studied didn't show up on the exam. Also, I struggle with standardize tests. I hate them and have no idea on what to do about it. I tend to panic a lot and then my mind goes blank. Not to mention the time pressure scares me too. I knew how to solve some of the math problems, but felt there just wasn't enough time to figure everything out. I am seriously thinking about retaking the PCAT's in Sept and thinking about investing in Dr. Collins. Any suggestions on his stuff? As of right now, I feel there's no hope because I can't get pass this PCAT. I've got decent grades, graduating this yr, and have completed the PharmCas application already. I've only sumbitted it because I felt confident that I would score good on the PCAT's. Now, i'm so embarrassed about it and feel like the schools might just throw it out and laugh.
     
  13. pharmacy28

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    I actually took the practice exams once and then went back to review the ones I got wrong. They seemed so easy compared to the actual test. I thought for sure I would score in the upper 80's or at least some where in the 70's. Ugh! Was I wrong! Let's just say my scores were extremely bad and in all the sections. I feel so helpless right now. My application is soon to be on it's way to the designated schools and my PCAT score is terrible.
     
  14. jjjjjjJ1

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    Wow dont worry I feel the same exact way! I'm happy someone else understands. I have pretty good grades too and was really confident in taking the pcat because I studied kaplan all summer and reviewed the pearson practice tests. When I got to the test literally nothing I studied was on there. I did not know one question on the biology section and I'm pretty good in bio. The questions they were asking me were about diseases and clinical questions how am I supposed to study for that??
     
  15. loquaciouss2000

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    Kaplan was a waste of money in my opinion (may help a little bit in bio as someone who took the kaplan class and used the material $1500. My with kaplan was a 15) it was a total waste. But for the july 27th exam i studies for a month, using dr collins packet (the best) + pearson practice exam (it didnt really help for my verbal) and made a 53, its not a great score, but its better, coming from where i was.
     
  16. FuturePharmD81

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    Lol guys welcome to the club! jk its nothing to joke around with but i also feel your pain. I took the test in jan and i walked out thinking i got a 99% (okay not really, but i felt like i did ok) I got my scores back in june! My address was changed and the scores were lost. and yes dont ask why i wouldnt pay the $20 to see it, but i just didnt wanna be bummed out during the semester. So in a nutshell i studied for like 4+ months, it was heart breaking seeing my low scores. I decided to hold off my apps until i get a better score.

    My question to you guys is what are you gonna do?? how will you try to improve!? i really need some help so its nice to know we can actually be there and provide tips for each other!
    Thanks
     
  17. katePharm

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    What exactly the sections you're having problem with? And what study guide did you use? Did you take all the needed classes when you took the test in jan?
     
  18. FuturePharmD81

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    well the sections i'm having the most trouble with are the RC, VA (but i know there's not that much i can do to improve them but any advise would be great)

    The next section I'm having trouble with is Bio, my scores were relatively low.

    For the math and chem i did average, but of course i would love to improve those also!

    I actually took a Kaplan PCAT class, which included all the books and more material. I have to say with all that study material, and i was improving i thought i would do really well. I used the cliffs test book. (that was not very helpful). Lastly I bought the practice tests. For the first test i didnt really keep track of my time, but the last one i followed EXACT test conditions.

    What other material do you recommend?
     
    #17 FuturePharmD81, Aug 1, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2011
  19. katePharm

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    Well if VA is the section you want to improve most im suggesting dr collins. If you memorize the vocab list, you will find it tremendously helpful :) Eng is my 2nd language, i scored a 58 in VA and finished 15mins ahead of time. Well thats not a good grade but i know i would end up somewhere wayyyyy below 50 without it. His study guide should be good for chem as well. For bio i would say Rea flashcard pretty helpful. :)

    When you do practice test, make sure you time them and go over the explanation, understand them thoroughly :)
     
  20. tariqsa

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    I took the PCAT on the 20th of July and my preliminary score just sucks!!

    VA - 24% :)confused:expected atleast 40%)
    RC-32% (fml :confused:don't know how it happened!!!:mad:)
    BIO- 80%
    CHEM- 88%
    QA- 77%
    Composite - 65%

    I only studied from the Kaplan book which obviously didn't help me for the english part..

    I might take the PCAT again in september but I don't feel confident.. I am so disappointed that I feel I wont do well.. can someone give me some advice?
     
  21. gotgame740

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    Buy Dr Collins. Get it used so you can save some money (check the classified sectin on here)
     
  22. DelawareStudent

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    Just a note to exam takers - it may or may not seem like common sense to a lot of you, but I try to stress it anyway.

    If you walk into the PCAT and you know more than 80% of the subject matter off the top of your head, you're probably have some very exceptional gifts when it comes to education.

    For the Majority of test takers, your goal should not be to memorize all the content and every definition, but to get a strong grasp of the concepts of the different sciences.

    If you understand the concepts, it becomes much easier to narrow down the answers to 1 or 2 by process of elimination.

    In short "Knowing what the answer is NOT often goes a lot farther than knowing what the answer IS"
     
  23. harmonidrum

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    I don't agree with this really. I wouldn't necessarily think of myself as "exceptionally gifted" by any means, and the material on the PCAT is pretty simple to grasp. I'm pretty sure I could have scored in the high 80's without studying at all, not because I'm "gifted" but because the PCAT is not really a very difficult test IMO.

    Most of these concepts for the biology and chemistry sections are VERY basic, with many of the questions on a high school level. This should be review for most test takers, and my feelings are if you cannot recall basic concepts from your core undergrad classes, you may want to rethink pharmacy school, because the tests in pharmacy school are going be on a difficulty level differing by a substantial order of magnitude.
     
  24. DelawareStudent

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    I see where you're coming from. My perspective is probably a little skewed since this is a career transition for me, so highschool courses are a little to distant for me ;). I took the test half-way through my pre-reqs (2 Bio's and 3 Chem's to go) and don't have a science background. Still, I went into the PCAT with ~1 week of studying (Also not recommended) and came out with an 82% Composite.

    The point I'm making is: In my experience with standardized tests like this. and with the PCAT itself, as long as you understand the basics, what you lack in specific recall, you can make up for in test taking preperation and techniques - i.e. knowing the answer off the top of your head gets the same results as logically arriving at an answer via elimination.

    -----Regardless, for those who have recently completed these courses, I'd agree with you Harmonidrum, but for those taking the test with a handicap, I think it's important to spend time test prepping (Practicing test taking skills, not just content) and to not focus solely on trying to memorize everything------
     
  25. patel44

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    im in the same boat too! i took my pcat in oct and did horrible..however, i only studied for like 2 weeks with kaplan book and my chem notes (frm school) and did really bad on everythin except math and chem..this time around im hoping to do well since im going to be using collins but im jsut scared. im taking summer class which doesnt end till ike 2 weeks and i will only have 1 month to prepare for it.. so if anyone has any tips to study in short time, id greatly appreciate!
     
  26. ctol0722

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    Hey loquaciouss2000. Would you let me know what you did to improve your. That was a big jump there. Good job!.
     
  27. AfrocanMan

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    yeah, let me know too...i took the pcat in july and failed terribly! I only have a month to take another. Any tips would be appreciated...
     
  28. thesituation559

    thesituation559 Ready for whatever
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    One month is no where near enough time if your first composite was a 27. I would start ASAP. Order Dr collins, Buy the pearson practice test. I just took my first Practice PCAT test and the explanations helped tremendously. I'm confident I will score higher and higher. You need to start asap
     
  29. AfrocanMan

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    I cant get onto his website! It wont work for me. Im using a Mac with OSx lion installed and the website aint comin up. Is there another way to buy these mythical study guides???
     
  30. futurepharmacist86

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    omo 9ja
     

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