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How to prepare for PCAT using Dr.Collins

Discussion in 'Pre-Pharmacy' started by PharmD0412, Dec 3, 2017.

  1. PharmD0412

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    Hi,
    I'm takind the PCAT soon and I have about 6 weeks to study for it. I do not know if that will be enough time to prepare for the test! I bough dr.collins prep, can you please tell me the best way to study and plan my time using dr.collins? I will be studying for about 7 hours a day. would that be enough to read the material for each section first then do the practice tests?
     
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  3. Pangaea

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    Personally, I never used Dr. Collins at all but what I did when studying was take a practice test first to see what you need to focus on the most for the real exam, then do your studying and see where you end up with another practice test. You don't wanna do all the practice tests at the end only to find out you didn't focus hard enough on a specific area. This was really helpful for me and I started studying maybe only a week or two earlier than you are.

    Good luck!
     
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  4. PharmD0412

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    Thank you so much for your advice :)
     
  5. jhawkins16

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    I used Dr. Collin's and scored 94th percentile. What I did was I just used the practice tests as study tools i.e. I just answered 10 questions from each topic (math, chemistry, critical reading, biology) a day and studied those questions. I used the official PCAT practice test by pearson to actually practice taking the test. When I did take practice tests, I broke it into sections and did one section at a time and timed myself.
     
  6. PharmD0412

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    So you did not read the material for each section first? Is there questions at the end of each section? Did you just answer those questions? How long did it take it to prepare for the test?
     
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  7. jhawkins16

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    I forgot to mention that haha. I read through a section for each topic a day as well. So, I had about 3 months of studying time before I took the test. Since you don't have as much time I'd double what I did and instead of 10, work say, 20 questions and study 2 sections per topic. Best of luck man! Also, don't get too psyched out about the test. Yes, it is important, but it's not too "difficult". As long as you paid attention in your undergraduate classes you'll do fine, the purpose of Dr. Collin's is to refresh your memory since it may have been a year since you took calculus for example.
     
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  8. jhawkins16

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    To give you a heads up on what each section is like, I'll explain what I found the most challenging about each section. For Biology, you'll have about 4-5 reading passages that you have to read and then answer questions over the passage. Some of the questions you can deduce from the passage, but some you have to answer based off of prior knowledge. For example, you may have to already know the function of the proximal tubule in the nephron or the function of glucagon. For chemistry, surprisingly it's not as scary as you'd think. I got 99th percentile on the chemsitry section....
     
  9. jhawkins16

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    Most of the general chem stuff is big picture stuff like which molecule is most polar or what is the electron configuration of this element. The rest was stuff like limiting reagent or solution chemistry. Very little was organic, and if you did get an organic chem question it was "which reagent would oxidize the alcohol to a ketone". Pretty easy stuff. The chem reading passages mostly had nothing to do with the questions associated with them, so most of them arent even worth reading, just skip to the questions.
     
  10. jhawkins16

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    Critical reading can be a little bit difficult, but it's not too bad. The reading passages are actually interesting and helped keep me engaged.
     
  11. jhawkins16

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    Now, math is the beast. Most of the questions are actually less calculus and algebra and more questions like "if person A is going 35 miles per hour and person B is going 75 mile per hour, how long until they meet?". I got 65th percentile in math. Its hard! Im not going to sugar coat it. Be prepared for intergrals as well, as that is a common calculus question. Pay attention to questions such as "find the equation of the tangent line" for example. Inequalities are fair game for the algebra portion.
     
  12. BetterPharmer88

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    Well, if you've studied the science subjects, such as biology, chemistry, and math very well the first time in your college courses, you should be fine. I've found the questions on those subjects are more general than those on my school exams, and thus easier, except the questions based on the passages. I've studied all those subjects seriously in school, so I didn't spend too much time to prepare for the PCAT and still got 99% composite. Actually, I started my study for it in May right after the spring semester ended but I completely stopped in July because of summer school. I did a little bit review a week before September, 7th, which was the day I took it, and ALL I used were DR.COLLINS and the Pearson Practice ! However, I've found Dr.colllins tests to be easier than the actual PCAT, which in turn is easier than the Pearson Practice PCAT.

    In contrast, I bombed the reading and writing sections, 46% and 2.5 respectively. That was expected because English is not my first language. But I've talked to the admission director of the pharmacy program I've applied for and he said those two scores are acceptable considering pharmacy is a science-oriented career.

    So just relax and don't try to cram every detail in the Dr. Collins study guides and tests. Instead, constantly ask yourself why you get an answer wrong and then refer it back to the study guides for the concept behind it. Good luck!
     
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