168533

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Just wanted to get a thread started for those who plan to retake the PCAT in 2009, especially for those of us that are trying to get into pharmacy school for fall 2009 since this is our last shot of getting a good score for this cycle. :scared:

What did you think went wrong, and what do you plan to do differently?

To be honest, I didn't study enough at all. I read through almost the entire Kaplan PCAT book, but I was just reading and not comprehending. I can read a book and if it's really boring, I won't be able to tell you anything right after reading it. I registered for the October test probably a little over 2 months before the test date. I maybe studied 1 month averaging 4-5 hours for the week. I had access to 3 practice tests (2 from the PCAT peeps and 1 from Kaplan), and I only did 1 practice test.

This time around (starting Monday after all the thanksgiving festivities die down) I'm going to spend about 3-4 hours a day studying. I read about 6 chapters a day last time, but I was just reading words, so this time I'm going to only read 2 chapters a day and make sure I really understand the material. I also plan to look for outside material away from this Kaplan book that's not too expensive. It says it has all the material one needs to do well on the PCAT, but I don't believe that. Some sections seem to have too much material when others don't have nearly enough. I wish I could afford that $300 study manual that people are raving about, but I can't buy anything too expensive.

Anyways, sorry for rambling. Just figured it would be nice to have support for us retakers! :D
 

FaBpHaRm2Be

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The last PCAT I took was the August one. I did poorly one it so I am also planning to retake it in January. Since then I've been brushing up on my verbal since it's my worse section. I took the Kaplan course so I am just going to use their materials along with some Examkracker books for Orgo and Reading comp. I got books for A&P and micro to help me remember important concepts. I just need to do practice problems. Everyone here seems to say that's the best way to prepare, so I am not going to focus on reading for Bio and chem too much. Practice definitely will help with my speed and test my knowledge of the material. Everyone try to do the same!! And good luck guys, this is our last hope of Fall '09! :luck:
 

pune

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i already have pharmacy degree 4m back country but caught in undertowl. i have to redo all the things that's why i am appering for pcat on january.. i don't know anything about pcat. i just took date and searching online...i ordered two books KPLAN and barrons. Are this books helpful? is there any online material or test which help me for the exam?
 

pune

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How to fill out answer? i have confusion about that, we have to fill out on the letter on a circle by pencil or :) make a whole black dots on alphabet letter..... how to fill out the answer? just circle or whole black circle on alphabet?????????
 

hokierx

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good luck on the pcats in january!

if you're looking for books outside kaplan, i used the cliff's 5 practice tests (watch out for typos...its aggravating) and the flashcard book... all that and other test prep companies can be found on overstock.com, and usually for 2.95 shipping for the whole thing (its christmas, so maybe its like $1 shipping). i took the flashcard book with me everywhere. literally everywhere. last year i sat at a basketball game during half time doing the flashcards.

i cant say it would be much help for verbal or reading comp. the verbal was basic words that you did in 5th grade, and i got a 35 in reading comp, so i'll blame them.

my composite was 89, so getting that from the 35 in rc, you can see how much better i did in other sections. but you really have to commit to studying. when you read a few chapters a day, make sure you mix it up among sections.

good luck
 

sashagrl259

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How to fill out answer? i have confusion about that, we have to fill out on the letter on a circle by pencil or :) make a whole black dots on alphabet letter..... how to fill out the answer? just circle or whole black circle on alphabet?????????
It's multiple choice, and you fill in a little circle on the answer sheet which corresponds to your choice. Check out the books I used below - they were all very helpful.
 

bluesickle

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Speaking of filling in the answers, I was really disappointed that the proctor didn't care that half the class was using mechanical pencils even though she said that we weren't allowed because I was sitting there with my ghetto pencil. :(
 
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168533

168533

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Speaking of filling in the answers, I was really disappointed that the proctor didn't care that half the class was using mechanical pencils even though she said that we weren't allowed because I was sitting there with my ghetto pencil. :(
:laugh:

I was about to freak the morning of the test because I forgot to see if mechanical pencils were okay. I saw that they weren't, and I had old school pencils but no sharper, and I doubt they were going to have one at the testing site (was held at my school). Luckily, I'm like I have an eyeliner sharpener! :idea: Once I got there though, almost everyone had and used the mechanical pencils. The proctor never said anything. :p
 
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168533

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Ok, so I now have two schools email me and tell me they want me to sit for the January PCAT. I guess this is a good sign that the schools are interested in me and want to see me obtain a better score. I hope so anyways. :p
 

medicalCPA

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Speaking of filling in the answers, I was really disappointed that the proctor didn't care that half the class was using mechanical pencils even though she said that we weren't allowed because I was sitting there with my ghetto pencil. :(
I was told that as long as the mechanical pencil was a #2 pencil, it was OK.
 

bluesickle

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Ok, so I now have two schools email me and tell me they want me to sit for the January PCAT. I guess this is a good sign that the schools are interested in me and want to see me obtain a better score. I hope so anyways. :p
Maybe they need you to fill a quota. :p

I'm kidding, you must have good stats outside of your PCAT score. I've only heard back from one school and the others, I'm still waiting.
 

illtreaturite1

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ok, I had no idea about the mechanical pencil thing, but as long as they are #2 why does it matter. I used them on the August and October test and had no issues with scoring.
 
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168533

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ok, I had no idea about the mechanical pencil thing, but as long as they are #2 why does it matter. I used them on the August and October test and had no issues with scoring.
I didn't think it would matter either, but I looked on the site and it said none whatsoever. I think it's because they don't create as dark of a mark as an old school pencil. I didn't want to take any risk though. :p
 

TpharmD

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Ok, so I now have two schools email me and tell me they want me to sit for the January PCAT. I guess this is a good sign that the schools are interested in me and want to see me obtain a better score. I hope so anyways. :p
can you tell us which school sent u those letters?
I am in same situation and retaking PCAT in Jan.
 

inquirer89

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I've also had a school send me a letter that said that they would review my application after the Jan Pcat....so I'm not out of the running yet!

I took the Pcat in August, which turned out to be a huge mistake. I thought I could get away with not taking OChem 1 and Calc before the test, and that didn't turn out so well. I am now taking those classes and will be better prepared in January.

I plan to study full time over Winter break once my finals are done. Good luck to everyone!
 

little miss f

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Is anyone worried that they might do worse the second time around?...i got a 76 comp. on the october one and am kinda worried i might do worse and the school that i'm applying to takes the most recent score rather than the higher score so if i do worse im screwed :(. Also my worst sections were verbal ability and reading comp. any ideas on how i can improve those since its impossible to learn every word in the english dictionary. What books would u guys recommmend for these sections i used kaplan and cliffs 5 practice tests the first time.
 

bluesickle

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I know. It was weird when I got the email. Maybe they don't take first time January pcat scores? I'm not sure. I'm just going by what I was told. :)
Which again makes me wonder about the quota. :smuggrin:

Hehe don't worry, I didn't apply to your schools so we won't cross paths anytime soon. :p
 
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Pharmdapp87

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Yeah, I put in a lot of studying and was solid for the first time, and then when I got to the chemistry section started having chest pains so that section (being my strongest section actually) was a 37 :( and even after that I didnt perform to my highest ability during the last two sections. Overall I got a 73 but I need to do better seeing as Pearson did the rescaling and my 79 probably went down. Frustrating... when I got my scores, I was literally angry at my heart. Anyone wanna trade lol.
 

pune

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I am appering for first time in PCAT....I already finished my rading....Kplan..and extra reading....now what's the best idea for practice exam means which books good for me for practice?;)
 

sample86

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I am appering for first time in PCAT....I already finished my rading....Kplan..and extra reading....now what's the best idea for practice exam means which books good for me for practice?;)

I am doing the same and i think the Dr. Phill Collins package is a good review and practice material. Also, pearson has got some online
 

iwh77

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hi there,I am preparing for PCAT too,it's my first time,hopefully I will finish Kpln by the end of this week and then Ill start practic tests,I am canadian,have not sent appl to any us school yet,do you guys have any idea at what salary pharmacists start in Canada?Ive heard they're being paid more than optometrists,is this true?any of you canadian here?anyway good luck everyone,lets keep this thread going ,till we get admitted,
 

nkavandi

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Just wanted to get a thread started for those who plan to retake the PCAT in 2009, especially for those of us that are trying to get into pharmacy school for fall 2009 since this is our last shot of getting a good score for this cycle. :scared:

What did you think went wrong, and what do you plan to do differently?

To be honest, I didn't study enough at all. I read through almost the entire Kaplan PCAT book, but I was just reading and not comprehending. I can read a book and if it's really boring, I won't be able to tell you anything right after reading it. I registered for the October test probably a little over 2 months before the test date. I maybe studied 1 month averaging 4-5 hours for the week. I had access to 3 practice tests (2 from the PCAT peeps and 1 from Kaplan), and I only did 1 practice test.

This time around (starting Monday after all the thanksgiving festivities die down) I'm going to spend about 3-4 hours a day studying. I read about 6 chapters a day last time, but I was just reading words, so this time I'm going to only read 2 chapters a day and make sure I really understand the material. I also plan to look for outside material away from this Kaplan book that's not too expensive. It says it has all the material one needs to do well on the PCAT, but I don't believe that. Some sections seem to have too much material when others don't have nearly enough. I wish I could afford that $300 study manual that people are raving about, but I can't buy anything too expensive.

Anyways, sorry for rambling. Just figured it would be nice to have support for us retakers! :D
Wt $300 book? I would share it with you if u want
 

little miss f

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hi there,I am preparing for PCAT too,it's my first time,hopefully I will finish Kpln by the end of this week and then Ill start practic tests,I am canadian,have not sent appl to any us school yet,do you guys have any idea at what salary pharmacists start in Canada?Ive heard they're being paid more than optometrists,is this true?any of you canadian here?anyway good luck everyone,lets keep this thread going ,till we get admitted,
I'm canadian, what part of canada are u from...i already took the pcat in oct and am planning to take it again in jan i haven't applied to any schools yet either. Do u plan on going to school in the US or Canada?
 

iwh77

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:)Hi little miss f ,I'm from ontario,I don't think I will apply to us schools,Ive sent appl to uoft so far,I know its very competitive,how was your first pcat?any advice for me?I just finished kaplan,and want to start tests and review,
 

little miss f

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:)Hi little miss f ,I'm from ontario,I don't think I will apply to us schools,Ive sent appl to uoft so far,I know its very competitive,how was your first pcat?any advice for me?I just finished kaplan,and want to start tests and review,
hey iwh77, my first pcat wasnt that bad i got 76 composite but since schools are so competitive im going to retake it in jan. Its good u've already finished Kaplan and started tests...I found the two practice tests on the hartcourt website the most helpful it was worth the 60 dollars. Make sure u do the practice tests under timed conditions, when you're writing the test time flies make sure u work fast!!
 

iwh77

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:luck:Thanks for your reply little ms f,I agree with you that most schools ,specially the canadian ones need high pcat.Could you tell me what your percentages were like?I want to know if I am doing well on my practice tests or I need to increase my study hours.Good luck on your Jan pcat,too.
 

anyr

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I'm Canadian as well and I took the October PCAT for the first time and did.. rather poorly! Ack! I'm trying my damned hardest to get into UBC for 2009, so this Jan PCAT will be my last shot at it. I wish Canada had more options for schools with pharmacy program since I'd really like stay up here :(

I went over the Kaplan and did 2 practice tests, but clearly that wasn't enough. I guess it's going to be crunch time everday for the next month?
 

chuntingche

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How is everyone else studying for the PCAT?

I finished the 2 Barron PCAT tests and was really happy b/c I did so well on both of them...and then I tried the Kaplan one and everything seemed so much harder. I suggest staying away from Barron's tests b/c they don't really help much since everything is so simple.

What other practice tests are other ppl using besides the official Harcourt ones?
 
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168533

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How is everyone else studying for the PCAT?

I finished the 2 Barron PCAT tests and was really happy b/c I did so well on both of them...and then I tried the Kaplan one and everything seemed so much harder. I suggest staying away from Barron's tests b/c they don't really help much since everything is so simple.

What other practice tests are other ppl using besides the official Harcourt ones?
Studying is going slow right now. Just been busy lately, especially with the holidays. I only bought the official practice test, and I'm using the one in the Kaplan book. I'm just taking it a chapter at a time. I think I need some better study methods. I've been writing a lot of the information down from each chapter, but it's taking so long to get through one chapter, but I am retaining the information. However, it's taking me 3-4 hours for a chapter that I can read in 30 minutes, so I think I'm going to stop the writing and just sit and spend 2 hours constantly reciting the information in my head. That'll help out a lot. Good luck everyone. Test day is coming up real fast! :)
 

little miss f

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hey iwh77, my percentiles were : verbal- 45, bio-84, reading comp-52, math-81 and chem-87....the english sections really lowered my score. I've never been that good at english so it was kind of expected but i hope to do better next time.
hey Anyr....im also planning on applying to UBC for fall 2009. Have you already submitted your application?
 

anyr

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I have definitely not submitted my application yet haha. Working on my personal statement right now and studying for that cursed PCAT. :(

What other schools are you applying to? My heart has been set on UBC for years now but I'll throw another application to Alberta as well. If I don't get accepted this year, then it's down to the states I go...
 

iwh77

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Hi there UBC applicants!!!I am applying too,I have not submitted my application yet,though,busy with PCAT.If I get adm from uoft I will stay in Toronto.if none of them:scared:,yeb,next year,Good luck everyone,
My gpa is not that stellar,I hope Ill improve it this year,:)
 

iwh77

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Hi there UBC applicants!!!I am applying too,I have not submitted my application yet,though,busy with PCAT.If I get adm from uoft I will stay in Toronto.if none of them:scared:,yeb,next year,Good luck everyone,
My gpa is not that stellar,I hope Ill improve it this year,:)

What do you think of pcat website practice tests(2 for $57),Im looking for practice tests very similar to the real pcat that Im taking in Jan for the first time!has anyone taken them,worth the money?
 

hardrunner

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They are worth the money! Go ahead and purchase them!

Hi there UBC applicants!!!I am applying too,I have not submitted my application yet,though,busy with PCAT.If I get adm from uoft I will stay in Toronto.if none of them:scared:,yeb,next year,Good luck everyone,
My gpa is not that stellar,I hope Ill improve it this year,:)

What do you think of pcat website practice tests(2 for $57),Im looking for practice tests very similar to the real pcat that Im taking in Jan for the first time!has anyone taken them,worth the money?
 

stealthy1

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It's my first time, I applied kinda late and I have to write in Alberta now. I'm applying to UBC Pharm though, so hey guys! I got a book with some practice tests, I think its by Cliffs Prep. I'm not sure if the questions are representative, but if they are, I seem to have a false sense of security.

BTW, I'm new hee.
 

WhiteSnows

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Don't take the practice test of Pearson, it is a waste of money. The questions are different from the real Pcat. I took 1 the first time, and took the real test, there were nothing that I can learn from the practice test. Plus, the practice test is only s small portion compared to the real test. If you do not mind spending that money, go ahead and take it.
 

little miss f

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hey anyr, I havent applied to any other schools I really have my heart set on UBC if i dont get in this year i think ill apply again next year. I'm working on my personal statements aswell i cant wait to be done with the application and to just send it off and not worry about it anymore. I was thinking about applying to Alberta but isnt their minimum gpa 3.5? I def. dont have that :scared:
 

anyr

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Ahaha you and me both little miss f. I'm pretty dead set on UBC.

The 3.5 gpa was just the average min of applicants for Alberta, but it's not their set min or anything. You might still have a chance! I wonder when they're going to start implementing the PCAT..
 

OChemTA

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hey anyr, I havent applied to any other schools I really have my heart set on UBC if i dont get in this year i think ill apply again next year. I'm working on my personal statements aswell i cant wait to be done with the application and to just send it off and not worry about it anymore. I was thinking about applying to Alberta but isnt their minimum gpa 3.5? I def. dont have that :scared:
Don't bother applying to U of A if you have anything below 3.6. I applied last year with 3.55 pre-req GPA and I didn't get in. I've currently got (at least) a 3.6 pre-req GPA and whether it'll be 3.63 will depend on whether I can ace biochem 330. The thing is, even with a 3.6 and a 3.63 is not really that good of a chance at U of A....

So yea, I'm applying to UBC too.

Ahaha you and me both little miss f. I'm pretty dead set on UBC.

The 3.5 gpa was just the average min of applicants for Alberta, but it's not their set min or anything. You might still have a chance! I wonder when they're going to start implementing the PCAT..
The 3.5 GPA is the CUT OFF GPA. If you don't get at least an overall GPA of 3.5 then don't bother applying. I saw this one guy on SDN who got 73% from UBC try to apply to U of A and he got rejected way before I did... although he did get accepted into UBC (lucky guy eh?)

"[FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Q18: What is the GPA "cutoff" for applying to Pharmacy?. [FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]A: Competitive applicants normally have an overall minimum GPA of approximately 3.5 out of 4.0."


source:http://www.pharmacy.ualberta.ca/FAQ-Undergrad.htm

.
 

anyr

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Oh! Well that's good to know then, I thought it was just their average. Who would of thought that getting into UoA would be so much harder than UBC.. :scared:
 

OChemTA

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Oh! Well that's good to know then, I thought it was just their average. Who would of thought that getting into UoA would be so much harder than UBC.. :scared:
Well, the U of A pharmacy program is pretty good...

"[FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Our graduating classes have placed first on the written national Pharmacy exams in 15 of the past 17 years..[FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif] The top Pharmacy student in Canada for 11 of the past 17 years has been from our Faculty."

http://www.pharmacy.ualberta.ca/About.htm

BUT,

UBC is also hard to get into... this is because you pretty much can't upgrade your grades once past your first year. At the U of A, you can upgrade your pre-req GPA by taking upper level courses. They also focus on recent academic trends. This is emphisized by the fact that they calculate your cGPA by taking the last 60 credits and not your entire acedemic record.
.
 

little miss f

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Yea thats what I thought about U of A my GPA isn't high enough to apply there :(...where are all you guys from that are applying to UBC?
 

thephoenician88

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yea i'm taking the jan. pcat as well. I'm hoping i do better, i'm going to start just doing practice tests tomorrow.

I'm having a lot of trouble with organic chemistry because i'm very used to writing out the full mechanism rather than looking at the compressed formula and figuring it out from there, can anyone help me with this? Do you guys write out the formula to show the bonds etc? Doesn't that take too much time?
 

IrishOats

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Hey guys, not sure if you saw my post in another thread but I figured I would put it in here as well, maybe it will help some of you. Just some tips from my experience with the PCAT. Feel free to PM me if you have any questions - I remember how nervous I was!

I'd recommend the Kaplan book for basic review, but you'll have to supplement in the areas of o-chem and calculus.
(I took the PCAT in August 08 and got an 88 composite, just for reference: 87 QA, 72 Chem, 94 Bio, 85 VA, 75 RC, 3/3 Writing)

The math section involved a lot of probability questions/questions intended to be done quickly without a lot of thinking - good review for these in the Kaplan book. As for calculus supplementation, if you have an old textbook - look over these: know basic log rules, basic derivative rules and basic integration rules and applications. Know what 1st and 2nd derivatives are, how to find them, and what they mean when they are zero, positive, negative, etc (concave up & down, etc).

For O-chem....if you have a good background in it and did well in the class, just review nomenclature, basic functional groups, and basic reactions (essentially 1st semester material).

The BEST practice tests are the ones made by Pearson (available on the PCAT website). I purchased both, and took the first one early in my studying period to serve as an indicator of what I needed to study most. I then focused on the areas that I was weakest on (according to the practice test) in my studying, and took the second practice test a few days before the PCAT as a final review.

I studied for a few weeks, so I'm probably not the best example as to time spent studying, but it really depends on you and how familiar you are with the material. Since I am a senior in undergrad, I had taken most relevant classes fairly recently, and I felt I would burn out if I studied for much more than a few weeks.

A final piece of advice that is particularly important is the timing issue...even if you don't time yourself on the first practice test, be sure to at least time yourself on the second one. It is CRITICAL to be aware of the time you have. It is ridiculous that there are 48 chem questions in 30 minutes on the real PCAT...but that's just the way it is - it is valuable to know which ones to answer first and which ones to skip (for example, the calculation problems) so that you use your time wisely.

***ALSO - keep track of your answer sheet - bubble the answer to the question in its respective spot on the answer booklet, and stop to double check every few questions to make sure you're bubbling in the correct spot!!! One of my friends skipped a row in the answer booklet by mistake and so she "mis-bubbled" hers - she ended up getting a 4th percentile (yes, really) in chemistry. :eek:


Good luck everyone! :luck: