Nov 2, 2010
Please give me some advice.

I have signed up for the Jan 22 PCAT test. Hoping to enter in 2011 Fall. Yes, it is a bit late. Anyhow...

Anybody have a suggestion for how I should study for the PCAT. I have taken Bio 1A (first semester) long time ago. Never took Bio 1B (taking it in the spring). I have taken microbiology and biochemistry (very good in those), but I haven't taken physiology (taking it in the spring), have taken anatomy. Have taken O-chem long time ago (but I am very good in math and chemistry and only need refereshers for O-chem). The verbal, reading comprehension, essay...I'll take my chances on those (not sweating it).

I see on this board people are using Dr. Collins (not sure what that is), Kaplan PCAT, and Pearson's test. Do they teach you the material also? Or should I buy a general biology book (is this enough?) and start reading (also an O-chem book to refresh).

Also which test prep book do you guys recommend.

Thank you.

Apr 16, 2009
If you can (thought it doesn't sound like a possibility), I'd try to take physiology first. I really felt like there were many A&P-type questions, so it's a good thing to know well.
Oct 29, 2010
There seemed to be alot of hormone questions for the Biology portion of the exam. It seemed mainly like basic biology really. The fact that you have had A&P and micorbio will help you.
I used Dr. Collins, and it seemed to let me get the feel of the actual exam (comes with many practice tests and study guides). I definitely suggest using his material; however, it is rather expensive (like $340 or something). It is possible to do well without buying his material. Also, I suggest you take the pearson practice tests online. They score you and let you know what areas you are weak in. I have heard many good things about the Kaplan Biology review book, especially if you want intense study for that area.
Good luck!


New Member
Moderator Emeritus
10+ Year Member
Mar 14, 2006
Chapel Hill
I used the AP Biology review book and it was GREAT for the exam, IMO. Some of the areas go a bit overboard, much like Kaplan, but it's far more streamlined than Kaplan.
Nov 23, 2010
San Francisco, CA
Kaplan is pretty good for Bio and Chem, very detailed, perhaps too detailed in fact as there are only 48 questions. Really, it's just general bio, because there are so few questions there are only maybe about 2-3 questions on each topic that encompasses the field of biology. I think anatomy is sufficient, I didn't really learn anything in my physio class that I didn't already learn in my anatomy class, though I did have a tough anatomy professor. I had about 2-3 questions on bacteria, 2 questions on parasitology, 2-3 hormonal questions, a couple questions on evolution and ecology, a couple on genetics, a few anatomy questions. So the test just scratches the surface of most topics. You don't need to know anything very detailed.

Dr. Collins is a 5 subject study guide, it's a bit light on bio and chem, but it's sufficient. It also has a lot of practice questions and exams, so those are pretty helpful.
Dec 27, 2009
Pharmacy Student
i used the dr collins review package to identify which topics i needed to cover. the amount of information in the kaplan bio section is enormous and actually not all of it is needed. so what i did was identify the topics in the collins package, find those topics in my bio textbook or kaplan book and review those. know your hormones inside and out, know what produces the hormones, know about water soluble/non-soluble molecules (always saw questions based on this) etc. i did this and got 96 in the bio section and although i find bio interesting, i did not do too well in bio 1 and 2. goodluck.