bhc513

2+ Year Member
Apr 27, 2017
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  1. Pre-Pharmacy
Hello,
I will be taking the PCAT for the second time in July because I did poorly the first time. I am feeling a little lost because the first time I took the exam I studied with the kaplan prep book and Dr. Collins. I am more of an auditory and hands on learner so looking through the book and reading it isn't really helping me. I'm looking for some kind of advice on how to study for this exam differently than how I did before. I'm not sure if I should be looking into DAT Bootcamp for certain sections or if there are any other kind of websites like that. I'm very annoyed because PCAT doesn't have the amount of resources as the DAT and MCAT do and I really need to watch videos on each section and have more practice problems than Kaplan provides. When I took the exams the first time, I was out of luck because I probably only had like 5 questions that were similar to the Dr. Collins study guides. Any advice would help really, I am aiming for a 90 percentile.

(accidentally posted this on the wrong forum the first time sorry)
 

BC_89

Staff member
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5+ Year Member
Oct 13, 2014
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  1. Pharmacy Student
Hello,
I will be taking the PCAT for the second time in July because I did poorly the first time. I am feeling a little lost because the first time I took the exam I studied with the kaplan prep book and Dr. Collins. I am more of an auditory and hands on learner so looking through the book and reading it isn't really helping me. I'm looking for some kind of advice on how to study for this exam differently than how I did before. I'm not sure if I should be looking into DAT Bootcamp for certain sections or if there are any other kind of websites like that. I'm very annoyed because PCAT doesn't have the amount of resources as the DAT and MCAT do and I really need to watch videos on each section and have more practice problems than Kaplan provides. When I took the exams the first time, I was out of luck because I probably only had like 5 questions that were similar to the Dr. Collins study guides. Any advice would help really, I am aiming for a 90 percentile.

(accidentally posted this on the wrong forum the first time sorry)

As for Dr. Collins, it's a rule of thumb to NOT study from this section until you have refreshed yourself with the basic concepts in each topic. In creating Dr. Collins, people actually sit for the PCAT and jot down what was on the test and utilize it in a pre-exam format (this is why Dr. Collins is only available for PCAT prep). Although some questions may appear on the PCAT, it is designed to give you the question format of each topic (not the actual specific word-for-word question itself).

As for auditory / hands on learning, if you visit the PCAT tutoring services, you can get 4 to 8 weeks of personal 1 on 1 assistance or receive a pre-lecture recording with study pamphlets that go in detail for each category and practice problems. However, it comes with a price tag...

I would strongly encourage you to at least purchase the 3 pre-exam PCAT preps that Kaplan puts out: 1 test as a baseline assessment, 1 for record keeping of your progression after a period of studying, and 1 for final assessment. For many, this is a very accurate predictor of what your overall PCAT score will be. If you're looking for "free" material, all I can say is google topics and get redirects to khan academy and outside sources via youtube.

As a final FYI: Many programs do not require the PCAT for admission (unless you are limited geographically to specific schools which is a story for another day).
 
Jun 15, 2020
9
1
Status
  1. Pharmacy Student
Hello!

I received a 88 percentile composite on the PCAT (2017) after studying for a month on my own.

I used Dr. Collins, Kaplan, as well as the PCAT blueprint. I recommend using both because there were quite a bit of errors in the mechanism that I found while studying the Kaplan Organic Chemistry and General Chemistry portions. The Dr. Collins study guides are review, so they don't go in depth. I much prefer to use it for the questions.

I used the PCAT blueprint ($25) to get an outline of the test topics & do practice questions.

If you are a science major, your undergraduate curriculum should more than prepare you for the types of questions on the PCAT. The questions are very simple, but you have to be able to do them fast.

How I studied:
1. Do the PCAT blueprint questions & 1 practice test from each section of Dr. Collins. This should take about 4hrs if you want to time yourself like you are taking the PCAT.
2. Review the types of questions you got wrong and find out what you are weak at.
3. The Kaplan book goes by the blueprint, so skim the book to review what you are strong at, and slow down to focus and learn what you are weak at. I skipped the entire Biology portion because I scored above 90 on the practice test. It might take you longer to study if you are weak at Biology.
4. Take a practice test every time you finish a section.
5. If you went through the entire Kaplan book and have extra time before your exam date, do more practice tests from Dr. Collins to increase your score.

I don't believe in learning styles, but if you do Dr. Collins and consistently get above 90% on their practice tests (without cheating), it would be hard not to score above the 80th percentile.
 
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