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PCAT scores changed without notification

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sospny1

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i learned today from calling a school that i had applied to that Pearson...the people in charge of the PCAT exam...had changed the "norm" in their grading system to account for their changes. this meant for me that since i had taken the exam in january 2008, the scores that are now being reported to schools is lower than the transcript I have at home. i called another school and they confirmed that they have lower scores on file; my question to pearson is why penalize those who took the exam prior to the changes and WHY weren't we notified. after calling two schools i know that many on here have applied to...both confirmed this...and im sure every other school will do the same
 

PrePharmD

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I think someone on here posted something about this already. That really isn't very fair since people purposely don't re-take the exam if they had a high score, only to find out when it is too late that their scores aren't competitive. Pearson should probably be contacting people to tell them this. Just ridiculous.
 

sospny1

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why pay to take something ive already taken;;;and this new policy not only affects me but anyone who took the exam last year
 

confettiflyer

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I wonder if they'll report new scores to people who already matriculated into pharmacy school. I have a few friends that took the Jan. 2008 PCAT. Man, what an annoyance on the adcom end as well!
 

ffpickle

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did your scores change by a lot?

that happened to me with the GRE, but it only changed by 1 percentile and it actually went up
 

cuedee

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OMG! I took the test in January 2008. I'm going to call pharmcas right away to find out what Pearson sent them. Ridiculous!!
 

cuedee

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pearson wont help. tried that route.

I just called Pearson and they will not send out another score report UNLESS you PAY! :mad: I'm sick to my stomach to think that my score may not be as competitive as it was a few months ago! The lady I talked to on the phone said that everyone's score went down. Then she changed her story and said my score was the same. I'm calling again. Seriously??!!!? This is nuts!
 

cuedee

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i learned today from calling a school that i had applied to that Pearson...the people in charge of the PCAT exam...had changed the "norm" in their grading system to account for their changes. this meant for me that since i had taken the exam in january 2008, the scores that are now being reported to schools is lower than the transcript I have at home. i called another school and they confirmed that they have lower scores on file; my question to pearson is why penalize those who took the exam prior to the changes and WHY weren't we notified. after calling two schools i know that many on here have applied to...both confirmed this...and im sure every other school will do the same

Can you please tell me what exactly about your scores changed? Was it the composite or the raw scores?
 

lnmichelle

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I just called Pearson and they will not send out another score report UNLESS you PAY! :mad: I'm sick to my stomach to think that my score may not be as competitive as it was a few months ago! The lady I talked to on the phone said that everyone's score went down. Then she changed her story and said my score was the same. I'm calling again. Seriously??!!!? This is nuts!
She told me that every test institute does that (change norm w/o telling people????) so that the test is competitive!
 

Artful Dodger

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What a corrupt system!

no one can get their score reports??? You all have a right to know...this is your own performance...not pharmacy schools or the standardized test-makers. I think it's illegal for them to hide this information from you. Absolutely ridiculous. Well, I wish all of you luck.
 
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sospny1

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How can I find out what is the score that they sent out? They even have no choice to send the report to test taker.

call the schools u applied to and ask to compare scores...they wont tell u what they have because of confidentality but u can to compare
 

Artful Dodger

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I just called Pearson and they will not send out another score report UNLESS you PAY! :mad: I'm sick to my stomach to think that my score may not be as competitive as it was a few months ago! The lady I talked to on the phone said that everyone's score went down. Then she changed her story and said my score was the same. I'm calling again. Seriously??!!!? This is nuts!

WOW! sounds like a conspiracy to milk more money out of you. this is terrible.
 

cuedee

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What a corrupt system!

no one can get their score reports??? You all have a right to know...this is your own performance...not pharmacy schools or the standardized test-makers. I think it's illegal for them to hide this information from you. Absolutely ridiculous. Well, I wish all of you luck.


This whole process is rip off and now add this b.s. to it! I'm sick of it. Did anyone ask to speak to a supervisor about getting a new personal transcript?
 

PharMed2016

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I believe that you have to order the test scores again to see what you got. (Seems like an excellent way to get money) Anyways, they changed the scores so that they are scaled to the current applicant pool as oppose to the past. Pharmacy is more competitive nowadays, hence the better applicant pool... and therefore you need a better way to distinguish whom are the best canadiates as oppose to ranking them all at the top. This is especially critical since many applicants now have similar stats.

Honestly, although these changes might be upsetting... they are done for a reason. There's a old saying... "When the going gets tough... the tough get going."
 

FarscapeGirl

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Wow. Just... wow. Amazing that Pearson can do this. I can see changing the percentiles, although I think that that is a bit extreme to do to someone who took the test less than a year ago. BUT if they do change the percentiles, they should notify everyone with a new mailing, especially if someone paid to have the scores reported to PharmCAS for this year.

Monopolies suck. I'm not really against standardized tests (they can give an idea of a student's abilities), but I'm against the bs and the money grubbing from the companies that run the standardized tests.
 

sospny1

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they did not inform students and if you think about it, how much more competitive can phamacy become in one year to warrent such a drastic change..
 

sospny1

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I believe that you have to order the test scores again to see what you got. (Seems like an excellent way to get money) Anyways, they changed the scores so that they are scaled to the current applicant pool as oppose to the past. Pharmacy is more competitive nowadays, hence the better applicant pool... and therefore you need a better way to distinguish whom are the best canadiates as oppose to ranking them all at the top. This is especially critical since many applicants now have similar stats.

Honestly, although these changes might be upsetting... they are done for a reason. There's a old saying... "When the going gets tough... the tough get going."

its true that they are scaled to the current application pool but how distant is one year really? in my case it hasnt even been 1 year, but 11 months, just as many on here who are posting
 
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ffpickle

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while this sucks, i think everyone should relax....it is unlikely that your score changed by more than 1 or 2 percentile. as long as there is a statistically sound reason, there isn't much you can do....

nonetheless, it still does suck!
 

bluesickle

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This is yet another reason why I need to get into a school for 2009. Wow, thanks for the info!

ffpickle, I know 1 or 2 percentile may sound like nothing but this is a HUGE deal for those who're borderline and are looking to apply to schools with strict guidelines. It's also bad for those who're in the low 70's who're now in the high 60's, low 80's who're now in the high 70's, etc.
 

lnmichelle

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I think at least they should notify us and let us know the score that they sent. How about some school has minimal requirement for PCAT ? 1-2% decrease might mean that some applications are not considered to be reviewed and applicants will never know why.
 

Storm90

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I sent photocopies of my official PCAT results along with my supplemental applications, just so the schools I applied to could see what I actually earned. They were the biggest strength of my application, so I made darn sure they saw it.
 

cuedee

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I sent photocopies of my official PCAT results along with my supplemental applications, just so the schools I applied to could see what I actually earned. They were the biggest strength of my application, so I made darn sure they saw it.

Storm90, thank you so much for posting this. I am definitely sending my personal transcript with my supplemental applications. My application doesn't rest solely (maybe 2/3 of it) on my pcat score but it makes it pop.

What did you do about schools that don't have supplemental applications?
 

Pharmdapp87

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Yeah, I feel the same way... It doesn't make any sense anyway. Why should my test scores from a previous year (which had things on it that current test takers do have on theirs) be compared to a "New Norm".... Maybe I should photocopy mine and send it to UF as well....
 

wolfpackhal

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I also hate that Pearson did the rescaling. They DO NOT notify us of these changes when they should. I know for a fact that my composites (from the two times I took the PCAT) went down about 5 percent points based on what Shenandoah told me they received from PharmCAS versus the score reports I have at home.

For example, what if someone had a 64 and applied to a school where the minimum to apply is a 60, but their score had been changed to a 59 without them knowing, thus, not even eligible to apply?? This did not happen to me, thankfully, but I would not be surprised at all if I heard of people getting denied from schools they applied to because they thought they had a shot when in reality their application was not even considered because their scores were changed without them knowing and causing them to miss the minimum.

From Pearson's Website:

All percentile ranks are based on the 2007 norms (see Appendix A, "Sample
Personal Score Report"). Percentile ranks earned before June 2008 (when the
2007 percentile ranks were introduced) have been converted to equivalent 2007
percentile ranks.

http://pearsonassess.com/hai/images...IB_Sections/PCAT08_CIB_Final-After.pdf#page=1 SEE PG. 19

PharmCAS will not tell you what they have on file for you even if you can give them your social, Bday, Blood type, read your essay to them word for word to them, name your fav color to prove that it is you.... and I doubt Pearson would help because they do not post scores online or over the phone. If you are worried I suggest contacting the schools you applied to with an explanation of what is going on and ask them to tell you what scores they have on file. Some schools might let you photocopy your score report to them and use those scores instead of the unfairly changed scores.

Ultimately, I understand the rescaling and that is OK, but I think it is wrong not to send updated reports to all affected. Are we supposed to magically know or assume our scores will change.
 
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drugdoc

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i learned today from calling a school that i had applied to that Pearson...the people in charge of the PCAT exam...had changed the "norm" in their grading system to account for their changes. this meant for me that since i had taken the exam in january 2008, the scores that are now being reported to schools is lower than the transcript I have at home. i called another school and they confirmed that they have lower scores on file; my question to pearson is why penalize those who took the exam prior to the changes and WHY weren't we notified. after calling two schools i know that many on here have applied to...both confirmed this...and im sure every other school will do the same

Is this JUST for the January 2008 PCAT? A friend of mine took it in October 2008 - did those change too? I'd like to let her know, since she's not on SDN.
 

medicalCPA

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Is this JUST for the January 2008 PCAT? A friend of mine took it in October 2008 - did those change too? I'd like to let her know, since she's not on SDN.
Your friend should be fine. All the scores for PCATs taken BEFORE June 2008 have been changed to the new norm group.
 

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