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nubian_princess

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Hi everyone..I'm very depressed! I got rejected!! Well..everything was ok, except my PCAT SCORE- was low! I scored in mid 40s! Several of my friends, got accepted with scores in the 50s!
Now, I really need a good advice...in order to really increase my pcat score..I need it at least to be above the 70s! I took the PCAT few times, and never had any luck with it..always in the same range!!
Please guide me..let me know about any techniques that would help me..whether really good courses..or books! and how to study! I decided to change my study habits..I used the KAPLAN book, which I think it was great! I don't know what's my problem with PCAT..I'm just not a good standarized test taker!!! When I'm at the exam site, I recognize the questions..and feel like I know the answer! My grades are very good! 3.4 GPA!! and I have BA.
I feel down..help me..whoever has a solution...:(
 

Dr.Biassi

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Try to retake the PCAT but be also smart to apply to schools that do not require the PCAT. I got in without taking the PCAT.
 

loneranger

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Hi everyone..I'm very depressed! I got rejected!! Well..everything was ok, except my PCAT SCORE- was low! I scored in mid 40s! Several of my friends, got accepted with scores in the 50s!
Now, I really need a good advice...in order to really increase my pcat score..I need it at least to be above the 70s! I took the PCAT few times, and never had any luck with it..always in the same range!!
Please guide me..let me know about any techniques that would help me..whether really good courses..or books! and how to study! I decided to change my study habits..I used the KAPLAN book, which I think it was great! I don't know what's my problem with PCAT..I'm just not a good standarized test taker!!! When I'm at the exam site, I recognize the questions..and feel like I know the answer! My grades are very good! 3.4 GPA!! and I have BA.
I feel down..help me..whoever has a solution...:(

you friends got in with pcat scores of ~50? what schools are that? I might apply there.
 

Benzoic Acid

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Well, what are your study habits? Did you really prepare for the PCAT or was it more like a few hours here and there? Be honest with yourself. Try studying 2 hours a day and 4-5 hours on the days you have the most free time.
 
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KellyBean

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you friends got in with pcat scores of ~50? what schools are that? I might apply there.

University of Appalachia

Schools that don't require PCAT are: Lecom, University of Southern Nevada, and Albany and they are all 3-year program. With these schools, you need to apply super early like in September or something. There might be other schools out there.
 

suntzu

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Other than studying the material via Kaplan, etc. [which it sounds like you've done] there are two other recommendations I can think of:
1. Take as many practice tests as you possibly can. Go ahead and retake ones that you've already taken. It builds confidence and speed.
2. Practice reading as fast as you can, and not necessarily about science topics. Fast reading speed/comprehension is an asset in any time-based standardized test.
Go outside the normal 'PCAT' study materials as well. There are quite a few 'chemistry review' books [inorg & org] out there that contain review questions or tests that you can use to increase your speed and accuracy.
If it's not obvious, I think speed is important. If you can rip through the easy questions very quickly, it leaves more time for the ones that really need it.
 

rxblitzrx

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you friends got in with pcat scores of ~50? what schools are that? I might apply there.

Half the people in my class scored around 50. But then again, half the people in my class came from the school's undergrad program.

Politics suck. :thumbdown:
 

rxblitzrx

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@ Nubian_Princess:

What was the breakdown of your score?

Math:
Biology:
Chemistry:
Reading Comp:
Verbal:
 

taken2

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Half the people in my class scored around 50. But then again, half the people in my class came from the school's undergrad program.

Politics suck. :thumbdown:



I guess you and I are probably in the same class, so how do you know that half of the people in that class scored around 50. Nobody I know in that class scored around 50 and the only few I heard didn't come back this semester. do you realize how many people that are on suspension? My point is that if you are not qualified to be there in the first place, it will eventually catch up with you. all the ones that came in through politics are not there this semester. politics can get you into pharmacy school but it won't write your exams for you.
 

comet81

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Hi everyone..I'm very depressed! I got rejected!! Well..everything was ok, except my PCAT SCORE- was low! I scored in mid 40s! Several of my friends, got accepted with scores in the 50s!
Now, I really need a good advice...in order to really increase my pcat score..I need it at least to be above the 70s! I took the PCAT few times, and never had any luck with it..always in the same range!!
Please guide me..let me know about any techniques that would help me..whether really good courses..or books! and how to study! I decided to change my study habits..I used the KAPLAN book, which I think it was great! I don't know what's my problem with PCAT..I'm just not a good standarized test taker!!! When I'm at the exam site, I recognize the questions..and feel like I know the answer! My grades are very good! 3.4 GPA!! and I have BA.
I feel down..help me..whoever has a solution...:(

First few times when I took the PCAt, I got about 40s and 50s. Then, I studied very hard and raised my science and math scores upto 90s. My English scores are still low.
Here's my tip.(Sciences only)
-use MCAP book instead of PCAT. especially, Kaplan book is USELESS!!.
I want to recommend
(1)MCAT ExamCrackers for biology
(2) 1001 Questions in MCAT Organic Chem/chem
(only problems)
For math, I never studied. I still got around 90s for math.

Well, good luck.
 

rxblitzrx

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I guess you and I are probably in the same class, so how do you know that half of the people in that class scored around 50. Nobody I know in that class scored around 50 and the only few I heard didn't come back this semester. do you realize how many people that are on suspension? My point is that if you are not qualified to be there in the first place, it will eventually catch up with you. all the ones that came in through politics are not there this semester. politics can get you into pharmacy school but it won't write your exams for you.

I was using the estimated PCAT scores previously posted in this thread as reference. My point was a) the school I go to is easy to get into, because b) the political influence favors their undergrads. Now, yes it's true that I don't know how well everyone did for sure, but I do know that half the class came from the undergrad program. Also, from the buzz last year, the highest scores I heard were mid 70s, one in the 80s and one 92 (myself excluded). In a class of 110 students, half being 55 from their undergrad, that only accounts for a small percent of the whole. Now I'm going to make an assumption here that those who did well wouldn't keep too quiet about it because I heard a lot of shameless talking in the classrooms about scores in the 40s to 60s. So I totally think people have a good shot at getting in if their scores aren't the greatest. But as I implied earlier, your best chance is coming in through their undergrad program. So what are the scores you've heard?
 

taken2

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I was using the estimated PCAT scores previously posted in this thread as reference. My point was a) the school I go to is easy to get into, because b) the political influence favors their undergrads. Now, yes it's true that I don't know how well everyone did for sure, but I do know that half the class acame from the undergrad program. Also, from the buzz last year, the highest scores I heard were mid 70s, one in the 80s and one 92 (myself excluded). In a class of 110 students, half being 55 from their undergrad, that only accounts for a small percent of the whole. Now I'm going to make an assumption here that those who did well wouldn't keep too quiet about it because I heard a lot of shameless talking in the classrooms about scores in the 40s to 60s. So I totally think people have a good shot at getting in if their scores aren't the greatest. But as I implied earlier, your best chance is coming in through their undergrad program. So what are the scores you've heard?

Alot of people in that class came from UH and community college, I know at least 5 people that have >80 on their PCAT and yes most of my friends have mid 70 but at the same that's not a bad score if you ask me, forget about the African American, I only know about a guy that was offered admission two days before summer academy and he had like 55 on the PCAT, he didn't make it back this semester. He had 3 non-passing grades last semester and is on suspension . You need to stop giving people false hope because that school is really difficult to get into. I know people who have been trying for the past 3 yrs and in their undergraduate program and still didn't get in.
You might not like the school that much but I personally do not think it is that bad.
(Tell me that chemistry exam we took today wasn't challenging enough). Remember we are only in P1
 
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Julianne

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mnykr

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are they reputable? I guess what I really mean, is the PCAT not "required" in the pharmacy community. If i was at a job , and the other pharmacist said, what did you get on the PCAT. would I look stupid :)


Yep - Check out this link (AACP's website): http://www.aacp.org/issi/membership/survey_psar.asp?CID=104&TrackID=&TrackID&TrackID=

If you do a search by checking the "no" box on the "Schools that require PCAT for admissions" line, you'll get a list of 32 schools that don't require it.
 

eelo

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are they reputable? I guess what I really mean, is the PCAT not "required" in the pharmacy community. If i was at a job , and the other pharmacist said, what did you get on the PCAT. would I look stupid :)

No, I don't think so. Remember, the PCAT is only one of many indicators of how well a candidate might do in pharmacy school; it's an Admissions/Aptitude test. Once you've completed school and have your license, nobody is going to care about your PCAT score. Now, people in school might be all concerned about it, especially if they're the type to keep reminding others that they got 99s across the board, but once you're out of school and in the real world, the true measure of your ability to be a pharmacist will be your licensure and your work itself. even then, the person who scored highest on the test and the person who got the lowest barely passing score, both get to put PharmD after their name.

You'll be fine.
 

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suppaman808

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Non PCAT schools usually have really high GPA standards...esp if you're an out of state student. If you're GPA is only 3.4, chances are you won't get an interview unless you have amazing LORs and experience. Well that's from my exp with a 3.5 GPA but I didn't exactly apply early. I'm guessing the PCAT was my saving grace since I was invited to interviews at all the schools that required it. That was even with a pathetically low reading score of 28.
 

suppaman808

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University of Washington, Washington State University, Oregon State U, CU Denver, Midwestern CPG, Creighton. WSU, OSU, and CU all turned me away without an interview. I got interviews at the other 3.
 

binghamkid

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Hi everyone..I'm very depressed! I got rejected!! Well..everything was ok, except my PCAT SCORE- was low! I scored in mid 40s! Several of my friends, got accepted with scores in the 50s!
Now, I really need a good advice...in order to really increase my pcat score..I need it at least to be above the 70s! I took the PCAT few times, and never had any luck with it..always in the same range!!
Please guide me..let me know about any techniques that would help me..whether really good courses..or books! and how to study! I decided to change my study habits..I used the KAPLAN book, which I think it was great! I don't know what's my problem with PCAT..I'm just not a good standarized test taker!!! When I'm at the exam site, I recognize the questions..and feel like I know the answer! My grades are very good! 3.4 GPA!! and I have BA.
I feel down..help me..whoever has a solution...:(

To address the original question, I have a few points that you might want to consider.

The first is to consider what type of test the PCAT really is. As you noticed, you know the questions and you know the answers. But what's the real problem with that test? It's the timing. You have to do most of those questions in 30 seconds or less! Sure everyone can probably some of those questions in 30 seconds or less, but you have to do it for 4 hours STRAIGHT. That's not an easy feat. That takes practice and a lot of training your mind mentally to think the right way. With a 3.4 GPA you'll definitely want at least a 75% to get into average schools, an 85% or higher to get into a top tier school (exceptions do occur). If you approach the test thinking you have to memorize everything and all you're doing is plugging and chugging, then you're approaching the test in a way that's not as efficient. Remember this test is designed to be FINISHED. It's designed by the writers to be doable. Therefore, the only way, you can finish that many questions in 30 seconds is if there are shortcuts you can take while taking the test.

And there ARE shortcuts, if you practice enough and have constantly kept that mentality to look for these shortcuts. If you train yourself to constantly look for answers to be quickly eliminated, simplification and question rearrangement techniques that will help you shorten the # of steps to answer a question, then your exam will go much easier.

For example, take this random math question I just made up off the top of my head. 4283 x 0.483 = ? Answers are a) 206.86 b) 20686.3 c) 2068.6 d) 239482.44

Right off the top of your head, that question should look strange to you. Why should you be forced to do a ridiculous amount of multiplication? Instead, you should instantly recognize that you probably can eliminate some answers because they're unreasonable. If you just move the decimal point around, you can already arrive at your answer C. Or, you could also just do a simple case of rounding 0.483 to 0.5 and finding the answer that's closest. There's no need to sit and do the actual math. This is of course a pretty clear example.

You can also do this for chemistry questions as well and biology questions, although these are more based on your ability to utilize your own memorization and pull basic concepts for use. There may be a complicated question asking you to reference a really long chemical equation that they've diagrammed, but if you read the question carefully, all they're asking you for is which compound will react with a base. If you can boil the essence of the question down, you'll have a much easier time of finishing questions in the time frame needed.

That being said, you need to practice. Timing is everything. It's a 4-hour marathon where you have to do your best every step of the way. That's why getting comfortable in the stressful environment is key. Everyone has their own way of adjusting to the stress level. If you want to know how I did it, send me a PM. But in general, you need to get used to the pressure well beforehand, because when you get there, there's no time to worry. You just have to be confident, work fast, and know you've got your answers.

Also, don't fudge on your essay sections. The pharmacy schools DO look at them. If you go to an interview, many schools do ask you for a writing sample. I have heard from various adcoms that they do comparisons to make sure that your writing is consistent and well-thought out before they make decisions.
 

manutdmax

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So how do we study for the test if we do not memorize....i heard the verbal section is tough..i just do not know why schools make it difficult for people with these kind of exams..they should give exams with more time to finish and not to consider only few people and kill other people dreams...
 

binghamkid

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So how do we study for the test if we do not memorize....i heard the verbal section is tough..i just do not know why schools make it difficult for people with these kind of exams..they should give exams with more time to finish and not to consider only few people and kill other people dreams...

The whole point of the test is to test your aptitude; if they made the exam with plenty of time, the test wouldn't be testing anything. Most of those questions are really easy given the time; the point of this exam is to provide the schools with another mechanism for evaluating the applicant pool. Besides, if applications were based solely on GPA, schools that are notorious for being tough would place their students at a disadvantage.
 

manutdmax

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The whole point of the test is to test your aptitude; if they made the exam with plenty of time, the test wouldn't be testing anything. Most of those questions are really easy given the time; the point of this exam is to provide the schools with another mechanism for evaluating the applicant pool. Besides, if applications were based solely on GPA, schools that are notorious for being tough would place their students at a disadvantage.

i agree with you in some part...but think about it..if someone got into pharmacy school he/she has to stay in good standard and be able to survive the pressure and prove her abilities,i think some schools really make it hard and tough for other students who have worked hard during their pre-pharmacy and got 3.7 GPA but did not do well in the PCAT simply because they are not good in these tests...u think this is fair...
 

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my advice... get the collin's course! my friend just took the pcat and got a 97. he gave me the course to look over as an additional aid/practice study guide even though im taking the DAT. It has some exact pcat questions is what he told me.
 

binghamkid

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i agree with you in some part...but think about it..if someone got into pharmacy school he/she has to stay in good standard and be able to survive the pressure and prove her abilities,i think some schools really make it hard and tough for other students who have worked hard during their pre-pharmacy and got 3.7 GPA but did not do well in the PCAT simply because they are not good in these tests...u think this is fair...

As a matter of fact, I do think it's fair. Let me preface what I am about to say with the fact that I have the highest respect for everyone who goes through a community college system as well as the academic programs which offer grade inflation and does well. A 3.7 GPA can be easily attained if all you do is take the basic requirements and then take the easiest major possible (to boost your GPA; yes, it's totally possible that someone has a 3.7 GPA while doing a dual degree in biochem and neuroscience and props to them). However, if you go to an institution or knowingly pursue a degree where the average GPA in the major is horrendous (2.6 for mine), you can't really say that someone who receives an above-average GPA in my major is any less prepared than someone who gets a 3.7 GPA elsewhere (and yes, a 3.7 is quite respectable and I wish I had that myself). There's no comparison. If that were the case, sign me up for a for-profit institution that will give you A's by paying for them, because that would be the easiest way in. The PCAT is a benchmark to test whether you are able to critically think in a situation that you are not comfortable with and not familiar with. No matter what, everyone comes to the PCAT at the same level; there's no advantage regardless of what institution you come from. That's why I feel that if you can do well on the PCAT (it's not like you need a 99% in order to get accepted), it's a valuable contributor of information which schools can use to analyze whether you're ready for the stress of pharmacy school. I just went to University of Maryland's welcome day today, and speaking with some of the 2nd year students...it's really rough. You WILL feel pressured the instant you begin the curriculum all the way until you finish. If you can't handle a test because "you're not a good test taker" that's not a good excuse. Otherwise, I may as well go to my interview and tell my interviewer that the reason I didn't get a good grade in chemistry is because "i'm not a good test taker." If you were an Adcom, how would you feel if someone said that? Seems kind of weak sauce to me (I couldn't bring myself to say that in an interview). If you can't do well on a test because you aren't a good test taker, then ask how to become a good test taker. There are lots of resources (commercial and free) that you can rely on to help you.
 
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