My PCAT scores, and thoughts on the test

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Sep 16, 2012
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Did a lot better than I thought I would. Can't complain!

Verbal: 427, 87%
Biology: 420, 77%
Reading: 414, 76%
Quantitative: 442, 96%
Chemistry: 455, 98%

Composite: 432, 95%

Here are some thoughts I had about the test...

Verbal: Very similar to the Pearson. If you did good on that, you should do good on this as well. There was the occasional random word analogy, but for the most part, they were pretty straightforward.

Biology: Going into the test, this was definitely the subtest I was most worried about and did the worst on in the Pearson practice test. The test I took had a LOT more microbio and anatomy questions than the Pearson and less general bio. I hadn't taken microbiology or A&P yet, so it was challenging, but also because it asked several questions about specific diseases and treatment, specific body parts and functions, etc. I had to make a ton of educated guesses, and I probably got lucky on several of them.

Chemistry: Pretty much the same as the Pearson practice test. Organic was pretty basic stuff, and if you're good with general chem, you'll be ok on this section.

Reading: I honestly was a little disappointed with my reading. I consistently performed well on this section in the Pearson practice test. Many on here said the reading was way harder on the real thing, and it's sorta true. Many of the questions are similar to the Pearson questions, but there are some occasional ones that require even deeper analysis. In addition, the topics of the passages were pretty boring, and some of them went into some technical subjects that made it harder to comprehend.

Quantitative: Luck must've been on my side for this section because I found it to be very easy. I didn't get any complex calculus on it, just basic integration and deriving. The general math was pretty easy and straightforward. I might have just gotten lucky with that though (I'm pretty sure everyone gets different questions btw). Despite that, time still is an issue and you have to pace yourself properly. I finished just in time and answered all the questions.

I could give some studying tips, but I doubt that will help. To be honest, I didn't study THAT much for this. Studying helps definitely, but I feel like it depends more on your foundation of knowledge on the subject. I had a good background in general chem, intro biology, calculus, stats, etc. It's not really how much you study, but how well you learned the subjects in class and how well you mastered the subject. I didn't take O.chem, microbio, or A&P. I used Khanacademy to go over basic O.chem, and the microbio and A&P I based on the stuff I learned from introductory biology. I bought the REA flashcards and Princeton Review books. Honestly, I didn't find either of them useful. I didn't really read much from Princeton Review at all (partly because of motivational problems...), and the REA questions were way too easy and basic. The Pearson practice tests were the most helpful by far. They're (obviously) the closest to the real thing, and they give you a sense of what you need to improve.
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