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The Best Books to Study the PCAT With

Discussion in 'PCAT Discussions' started by sarahjth, May 5, 2004.

  1. sarahjth

    sarahjth PharmD Wannabe!
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    I am going to begin the horrifying task of studying the PCAT this summer. :eek: But I was wondering if anyone had good book recommends or feedback on what is good, what is not, etc. Thanks!
     
  2. Brill

    Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

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  3. angelil_yu

    angelil_yu Member
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    I think there are a lot of PCAT editions from different publishings. But you can go for ARCO and KAPLAN since they are well-known for publishing books for MCAT, DAT, TOEFL as well.
     
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  4. pharmel

    pharmel Senior Member
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    I found the Arco book was useless. It in no way resembeled the PCAT. Check out Brill's link. It is all there!
     
  5. djbacklash

    djbacklash Member
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    I went through the Kaplan 2004-2005 PCAT Review and found it helpful.
     
  6. Caverject

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    In all honesty, I would wait till about 10 weeks before to open that book and really turn up the intensity about 2 weeks before the test. You want to peak at the test, not before! Hope this helps
     
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  7. goheel

    goheel Senior Member
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    I think they should offer the PCAT in the summer. In the school year, it's hard to concentrate on just the PCAT when you have other school activities to worry about too.
     
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  8. 28657

    28657 Smile like you mean it
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    If the PCAT was offered in the summer it would mean that there's yet another opportunity for someone to re-take the test. Offering the PCAT multiple times per year, in my opinion, makes the test less competitive. It's unfair to equate first time test takers to those retaking it for the 'n'th time.
     
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  9. jdpharmd?

    jdpharmd? Turning lead into gold
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    The bottom line is that there is no way to have a perfect standardized exam or perfect method of administering the exam. There are always going to be people who have to work 30 hours/week plus take 18 credits in undergrad, and squeeze the PCAT into their "free time". At the same time, there are going to be people who take 6 credits, with no job, and plenty of money from daddy to take a $1500 MCAT prep course (twice).

    The good news is that the PCAT is not that big of a deal. If the two example students above have similar knowledge of the appropriate subjects, they will, in all likelihood, score within a similar range. I'm sure it's possible to take the PCAT on a "bad day" and pull off an 80, while two weeks later; it might be possible to get an 86. Just because the test is "in the summer, during the year, too far away, too hot, too cold, etc" doesn't really affect scores as much as people might like to think. A 49 is not going to turn into a 94 just because it's summer or a student took a patricular review course (even an expensive one).

    My advice would be to prepare a little bit and take the exam before freaking out about it. It's always possible to re-take the exam if something really bad happens. Everyone is nervous before the exam. Not as many people are freaked out after the exam. It's not that bad. ;)
     
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  10. UT-Frank

    UT-Frank Senior Member
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    I recommend only 2 weeks in advance to study for the PCAT, especially the week before. Sounds simple enough, but make sure you have enough time to study for in (in addition to exams and classes).

    Barron's PCAT Review book is the way to go. 2 sample tests? Great review for all sections. I just reviewed the ARCO for vocabulary and practice verbal but other than that, the questions are not that helpful. Maybe for some biology review..that's it. Study chemistry from the barrons.

    Hope this helps.

    Frank
     
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  11. dgroulx

    dgroulx Night Pharmacist
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    Not all schools do this. I know that UF looks at PCAT 1, then PCAT 2, etc. If you scored highly the first time you took it, you would get ranked higher than someone who took it again with the same score.
     
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  12. rxRyan

    rxRyan Junior Member

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    I'll second Barron's - it gave me an excellent preparation, I felt really confident taking the test after that.
     
  13. matotom

    matotom Junior Member
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    does anyone who has taken the pCAT think that the review books would suffice for someone who had general bio and chem sequence 7 years ago and has had microbiology and organic in the past year? I really would rather not retake classes just for the pcat. opinions welcome
     
  14. 28657

    28657 Smile like you mean it
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    I would take a look at some of the questions in Barron's PCAT. If you can't answer them easily I would buy Cliff Notes review for Biology and Cliffs review for Chemistry. It's a lot easier reviewing subjects with these concise books than retaking the entire classes! :)
     
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  15. matotom

    matotom Junior Member
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    cliffs notes for bio/chem...........excellent didnt think of that...muchas gracias
     
  16. off2skl

    off2skl Senior Member
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    To answer your question, yes the review books (and maybe a little outside review if you have a weak area) should suffice. I took my general bio and chem about 7 years ago, used the Barron's review (and frankly I did not spend a lot of time with it until 2 weeks before the PCAT since I was also in the midst of closing on a house and planning a wedding). I also sat down and really reviewed some general chemistry since I was not as confident in that area. I took the PCAT (the day before my wedding) and scored in the 96th percentile. It's all pretty straightforward.
     
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  17. OSURxgirl

    OSURxgirl Senior Member
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    I took the PCAT in October 2003. I hadn't had general chemistry or general bio since 1998. To study, I used Barron's PCAT, along with Peterson's PCAT Success. Both had content outlines, I went through every outline and made sure I knew everything contained in them. To get more details, I used my texts from bio, chem, etc. I wrote down everything onto notebook paper and studied it. Along with that, I did a few practice tests. Also, something I highly recommend for the Bio section, is taking A&P as close to your PCAT date as possible. The PCAT is HEAVILY weighted on Human A&P, and the fact that I completed it a month before the PCAT is why I feel I got a 99 in Biology. Cliffs Biology review contained everything relevant to the Bio section, including basic A&P. Something I highly recommend is working on your timing for the math section. The time goes fast. Overall, I got a 97 on the PCAT, so I have to say, these methods worked for me.
     
  18. kwakster928

    kwakster928 A Legal Drug Dealer
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    there is this thing called pcat professor. it is web based prep program. i believe it is www.pcatprofessor.com but just go to any search engines and type in pcat it should show up. I think PCAT is definitly doable compare to DAT or MCAT. PCAT is considerbly easier than others and if you have pretty good back ground in sciences i do not think you need extnesive lengthy prep. I studied 2 weeks hard with pcat professor and i got 90 percentile overall. it is good website. good luck.
     
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  19. Vuitton27

    Vuitton27 Member
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    I also used PcatProfessor on the internet and also used Barron's. In my opinion, they both helped and I ended up doing well on the PCAT.
     
  20. afrikankoffee

    afrikankoffee Junior Member
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    I started actively studying for the 2002 PCAT about 6-8 weeks before the exam.
    I used Barron's and Peterson's (or was it Thompsons??).
    Anyway, I only studied these two books, practised the tests in them- the answers come with explanations which actually teach you snippets of the topic.
    I got a 99% overall.
    I'd say first go over review books and if you feel you are not up to par, dig into your own texts/lecture stuff. I think the stumpers in the PCATs are the english sections.
     
  21. Glycerin

    Glycerin Commercially Unavailable
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  22. Fermata

    Fermata Hold me.
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    So when we going fishing?
     

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