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This Scares Me!

Discussion in 'Pre-Pharmacy' started by Cdiddy, Apr 6, 2004.

  1. Cdiddy

    Cdiddy Member
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    I don't know this person personally, but my wife knows this lady that is trying to get into pharmacy school here at the University of GA. She told my wife she has been rejected for the last 2 years. She told my wife that she has a 3.9 and has and still works at a pharmacy for over a year now. I told my wife that something must be up. Either her PCAT or interview didn't go well. It still worries me though. This is my first pick for a school and I will not have anywhere near a 3.9 when i graduate. I haven't taken any science courses yet but even if I ace all of these courses I will still only have maybe a 3.2 overall. Does anyone think that me going as an undergrad to UGA will help at all? Anyway this just kind of worried me.

    Chris
     
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  3. Leah27

    Leah27 Senior Member
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    Chris,
    If you read all the posts on the site you will see that many qualified people weren't accepted into programs, and some people with less than steller credentials were accepted. To me, it seems like a bit of a crap-shoot. Personally, I've been rejected from 4/5 schools I applied too and have yet to hear from the 5th. I applied early, but ddin't take my PCAT till January of this year. I have a 3.24 GPA and 97th percentile on the PCAT and limited volunteer pharmacy experience. What you need to do in order to be competitive is maximize your experience (volunteer, or part time pharmacy job ect.) and APPLY EARLY!!! That seems to be the key to getting interviews and getting accepted. Best of Luck.
     
  4. VCU07

    VCU07 Member
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    Problem with many pharmacy schools is that they look first at GPA to give interviews. Then they will look at PCAT and whatever else. So, many people with lower than avg. GPAs wont even get considered. However, there are still good schools out there who look at the individual over all (not just GPA or PCATs) I agree that there are students who get accepted who really should probably not. I knew a girl who had a 3.2 vs my 3.9 and I also had the better PCAT, but she got accepted and I did not. So, many times its all luck and how early you apply that makes the difference.
     
  5. Caverject

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    There is probably something about her that she is withholding. We just had a student interview at my school, right down the road from UGA, she had a 3.9 GPA as well as a high PCAT and she worked in a pharmacy as well. She even had a PhD in some science (Forget what). She was rejected based on the grounds that she would be a cancer to our class. I agreed to that she would. Her personality was just awful, absolutly no empethy (sp?) in her whats so ever.
     
  6. WVUPharm2007

    WVUPharm2007 imagine sisyphus happy
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    And I know a gal that got in with a 3.8 vs. my 3.27 and she is having trouble in an assortment of classes and I am not. Undergraduate GPA is hella-overrated, IMO.
     
  7. kren

    kren Junior Member
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    i agree with WVUPharm2007. from what i've read and based on personal experience, it looks like they're looking at the overall package. if you have a lower gpa, then supplement the other stuff to ensure you don't fall off their radar. don't assume your low gpa will filter you out. i have around a 3.3 (my science gpa is lower), got around 90% on my pcat, didn't submit my apps early, only applied to 3 out-of-state schools... i still got accepted. i think it was my interview and my work experience in outcomes research and pharmacy benefits management that sealed the deal for me.
     
  8. mstrb8rx

    mstrb8rx Junior Member

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    from what i've heard, your GPA qualifies you for the interview but after this stage it's pretty much anything goes! GPA is indeed overrated. i believe those who kill themselves to attain a near 4.0 GPA are wasting their time, when in fact they could be spending this precious time preparing for interviews or volunteer/work experience. bottom line is, you must show that you belong in a pharmacy. this means, demonstrate the personality that want in their students.
     
  9. VP_Pharm2004

    VP_Pharm2004 Member
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    You know what I think is overrated? Well, it's the absurd PCAT! Anyone can buy a study guide for the PCAT and get in the 90%, except maybe in the reading and verbal portions. I would like to know how knowing this next analogy (which was on the actual exam I took) matters:

    Cat : Feline :: Cow : ?????

    Okay, how can knowing this analogy make an applicant more competitive than another applicant who doesn't know it? Obviously students who have grown up at an early age or were born in the US will do better on the Verbal & Reading portions of the PCAT. Anyways, I think it's unfair to use the PCAT to judge an individual or to reject them just because they haven't learned these analogies yet. The GPA is more important because it actually shows you put time and effort into the subject matter, and can *hopefully* comprehend what you learned. Unlike the verbal junk on the PCAT, in which basically you have to know everything in the dictionary! The Reading section is idiotic too, because there's more than one way to interpret the sections!!

    Sorry about the rant, but DOWN WITH THE PCAT! THEY ARE JUST STEALING YOUR MONEY! I'm glad most pharmacy schools have already realized this and don't require the PCAT!

    PS. I know what the answer to that analogy is, but I'm just using it as an example for all the other similar ridiculous analogies on the PCAT!
     
  10. shal

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    Well said! :thumbup:
     
  11. VP_Pharm2004

    VP_Pharm2004 Member
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    Thank you shal! :)

    Standardized exams are the worst thing created and they don't judge how well a student will do in college or at a pharmacy school!!!
     
  12. ooscubaoo

    ooscubaoo Member
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    what's the answeR?
     
  13. LVPharm

    LVPharm SDN Moderator
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    Bovine! And, it kinda matters...you'll see words like murine, ovine, bovine, porcine, etc in much of the scientific literature.
     
  14. VP_Pharm2004

    VP_Pharm2004 Member
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    LVpharm is correct. I think I put down Equine on the exam, but I kind of knew it was wrong. Equine is for horses, and so I thought that cows might fall under that too. But I had to look it up after the actual exam and found out that Bovine was the correct choice.
     
  15. 28657

    28657 Smile like you mean it
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    The PCAT is a very useful tool for adcoms. The fact is that it's a standardized method to compare the applicant pool. Therefore it will equate everyone's knowledge in various *important* subjects without the bias of GPA which can be positively affected by an easier teacher, easier course, easier college, etc.
    I think I've seen one post were someone received a 4.0 but got like a 60%ile PCAT score (or maybe it was even lower). Now what do you think happened there - it's possible that the applicant wasn't able to retain the knowledge they *memorized* which afforded them the 4.0.
    As for your dislike of the verbal and reading portion of the test. I was in class the other day and our professor said that 60% of the U.S. can't fully read the front page of the newspaper. (link ) Analogies should be simple for anyone who graduated an American high school. It's something that we've been taught to do since 2nd grade. I'm in no way intending to be demeaning but it's sad that a pharmacist hopeful doesn't know the answer to the analogy- cat:feline :: cow:
    Having a full understanding of the English language is a very important skill. Analogies not only take into account the breadth of your vocabulary but also your ability to reason and analyze the relationship given.
    I agree with LVPharm and then some....if you are accepted to pharmacy school but "flunked" the verbal and reading portion of the PCAT, you will have a very hard time understanding not only the scientific literature - but simply your textbooks and the professor's notes. One of my professor's lists a dictionary as a required textbook.
     
  16. lord999

    Pharmacist Faculty Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

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    And also coming from the interview side, it's pretty sad how many people can't at least put up a front for thirty minutes to a committee of 3 people.. I've had some ridiculous answers to questions. Some people have managed to thoroughly scare me at interviews by their lack of interpersonal skills or incompetence.

    It doesn't matter how good your scores are, if you cannot interview and communicate on at least a marginally effective level, forget about entering pharmacy.

    Yes, I had the same prof. who required a dictionary. And yes, I use that dictionary (Taber's) quite often. It's better than having your foot in your mouth at rotations.
     
  17. VP_Pharm2004

    VP_Pharm2004 Member
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    I understand your point AmandaRxs, but all I'm saying is that...How can you know all the terminology tested on the PCAT? What if you were never specifically taught it? I can recall most of the information I learned in high school and college, but it's different when you've never learned this type of material in the first place. I know many pre-pharm students who couldn't answer that specific analogy when I asked them; I even gave them choices. But does that mean they're stupid? No, they might have not been taught it.

    It would be interesting to have current pharmacist, who have been working for 5+ years, take the verbal and reading sections on the PCAT and see how well they do. If all the pharmacists with below 50% were fired, then I bet we'd be losing some great American pharmacists who just have a little trouble with English but are experts when it comes to the sciences!
     
  18. 28657

    28657 Smile like you mean it
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    The point is that we aren't TAUGHT everything in life. The information and vocabulary are out there, it's up to you to take interest and learn it for yourself. I don't know if I ever had "bovine" as a vocab word in junior high, but I do remember in my undergrad micro class when I was introduced to Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (mad cow disease) - and I knew what bovine meant. The ultimate point is that it's up to the student to look up what bovine means if your professor isn't going to spoon feed you the answers.

    Intelligence is not about learning the objectives for a test and that's it. A lot of people are book smart but can't hold a conversation because they don't really know much of anything valuable.

    I agree with you that a lot of pharmacists probably wouldn't be able to score exceptionally well on the verbal PCAT, but does that make it ok? Remember that the PCAT tests you amongst your competition, with the assumption that everyone is on the same playing field. There are people who scored 99%ile - so it's not that the test is unfair or impossible. You don't have to know ALL of the words, you just have to know as much as the most literate person on your test day - which, who knows, might only be 75% of the words.

    I'm sorry if I sound like I'm ranting - but this topic is frustrating to me. I think it's SO important to be verbally competent. I had a professor last quarter who could NOT put sentences together and had no concept of English syntax - it was almost to the point of embarassment that this person was a pharmacist that I was supposed to be learning from. People will judge you based on how well you can speak. So even if you're the most competent pharmacist, if you can't explain yourself or decipher something a lot of people will instantly think you're incompetent.
     
  19. LVPharm

    LVPharm SDN Moderator
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    VP: That's certainly a charge levelled against most standardized tests. I remember having to learn "SAT words" in preparing for my SATs more than a decade ago. I didn't learn most of those words in high school, I had to look them up and study them myself. Heck, I don't use most of those words today in my everyday vocabulary. But I had to learn them anyway, in order to perform well in the verbal section. I guarantee you that there are quite a few of those words for which I now cannot give you a good definition (without a dictionary ;) ). I think I retained quite a bit of it through college, though. Just because it wasn't taught to you previously does not diminish the importance of learning it for yourself, however. (Your analogy example, for instance, is more important than you probably thought it was).

    BTW, if you gave the verbal/reading portions of the PCAT to a retail pharmacist, he/she might not do so hot...but, if you gave it to a clinical pharmacist, he/she might score pretty well. Why? Because clinicians read a lot of scientific literature. Reading helps you learn and retain vocabulary.
     
  20. VP_Pharm2004

    VP_Pharm2004 Member
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    Well, you know what they say.."You learn from your mistakes and experiences." Thus, I guess the PCAT verbal score was a wake-up call for me. I need to be more attentive and absorb all the knowledge possible. It's most likely that I will never forget the word "bovine" now, since it bothered me so much after the exam. Hey, at least I knew what one of the four choices (equine) meant! Most people probably wouldn't have understood that term either.

    Well, it's getting late. Sorry to the original author if I hijacked this topic and turned into a PCAT discussion. Bye for now!
     
  21. dgroulx

    dgroulx Night Pharmacist
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    Analogies are commonly used in IQ testing. When I tested for Mensa, the tests we were given were full of analogies. It shows reasoning ability, not book learning. On the PCAT, there really was only one correct response to each question. The vocabulary words on the PCAT were also simple and geared to an average American college student.

    The PCAT shows not only what you have already learned, but your potential for learning more.

    That said, I know that UF doesn't look at the verbal portion. A girl I know only got 27% and was accepted last year. She has trouble understanding some of the "big words" used in lecture, which is a hinderance for her. We have to explain everything to her using simpler language.
     
  22. dgroulx

    dgroulx Night Pharmacist
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    PS.

    I just realized that I used the word "hinderance". That is the type of word that I would have to explain the meaning of to her.
     
  23. mursique

    mursique Junior Member
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    Hi
    My overrall was 2.8 but i got an interview at midwestern.
    I have 81% on Pcat so i dont think you should worry.. I am yet to hear from them.,
    Good luck
     
  24. shal

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    Don't want to turn this into a discussion about PCAT again but just wanted to point out that some of the top schools (UCSF, UMich, Purdue) do not require the PCAT. I am sure these universities have found alternative ways to test whether the student possesses all the qualifications necessary. An interview can accomplish whether the applicant can communicate well and possibly learning aptitude.
     
  25. moobymaster

    moobymaster Member
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    The PCAT isn't an indicator of success in pharmacy school, it's an indicator of potential success and there's a big difference between the two. Past learning ability does have a correlation with how you will learn in the future. It's not perfect, as indicated by the people who get 90s and suck later, but it's better than abandoning the attempt to weed out those who had a hard time with the groundwork courses in order to get the potentially successful low-scorers in because there are more potentially unsuccessfull low-scorers as well who could sneak in. Interviews are good assist, but are easy to fake if someone wants to get in.
     

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