I plan to take the PCAT in June or August and I was wondering: is it too early to start studying? Or is this the time to begin? I really want to get an upper 80s score to balance out my somewhat low gpa.
Start now but keep reviewing material you already covered. It is easier to jog something from your memory than to start from scratch. Plus it will take some of the pressure off when it starts getting to crunch time and you still have material to learn. The only danger with starting early is that you will think that you have lots of time and then not take it seriously.
Def not for Verbal or Reading...those take years to prepare for...now I regret not reading during the summers when I was a kid...I was so lazy always watching TV...
I have a feeling its going to really show on my reading and verbal sections... I will be very happy with a 50 or above on those two sections! hhaha...
I'm using part of my Winter Break to do some light memory refreshing on concepts in Algebra and Calculus. I remember how I was almost screwed in Calculus my freshman year because I couldn't remember the Trigonometry I learned in high school. That hopefully won't happen with the PCAT. As for Reading and Verbal, I've been reading news articles everyday for over a year.
You could do the brute force memorization method for verbal but it is a ton of work. Back when I was taking the GRE years ago, I literally memorized thousands of words. It worked. I went from around a 50 or so on a practice exam to 97 on the real thing. Funny thing is that I changed my mind about applying to grad school and never used the scores. But I have a great vocabulary today because of all that memorization so it was worth it.
Now is the perfect time to start studying. Last year around this time, I bought the Kaplan PCAT prep book from Barnes and Noble (around 20 bucks). Look over it over night and every weekend you are free. Also, harcourt pearson lets you purchase access to an online practice pcat (around 50 bucks) which is quite similar to the actual pcat. I started really studying hard the month before the date and got a very good score.
Bio should be easy if you are a bio major. Overall you should develop a good foundation in genetics, molecular bio, endocrinology, and you will do well.
I have to warn in chemistry and quantitative there are too many questions for the time given even though questions are not especially difficult. You will have to find shortcuts to solving problems, and even then I completely skipped one question in chem and two questions in math. If you do the problems right you will do very well. Skip challenging questions which will drain your time and do easy ones first since all questions are weighted equally. Guess if you have to when time is called. Use your instinct.
Here is a link to the format of the pCAT: http://www.pcatprepinfo.com/pcat_format.htm
best of Luck!
It's never too early to start studying. Just keep track of what you have down cold vs. what you will want to cover again before the exam, so you don't forget all the stuff you're reviewing now. For example, I'd run through a "Chemistry for Dummies" book and take notes on everything I didn't have a good handle on, and put page numbers next to stuff so I could look back at the book. A couple weeks before the exam, I ran through the notebook with a highlighter and marked the stuff I wanted to review again. Then I went back to the pages I listed, or used other sources to review the same material. It kept things fresh in my mind and let me focus on the stuff that was harder for me, instead of aimlessly reviewing things I didn't need to review.
It is NEVER too early. Especially not in your situation. You have enough time to prepare for almost every section, however some time management may be required in preparing for reading comprehension and verbal...as these require some practice