What's a "good" PCAT composite score?

Discussion in 'PCAT Discussions' started by cuteandbubbly, Sep 1, 2008.

  1. SDN is made possible through member donations, sponsorships, and our volunteers. Learn about SDN's nonprofit mission.
  1. cuteandbubbly


    Jun 17, 2008
    I know every school is different in terms of what they define as a "good" score, but i am just curious as to what a decent score is?

    If my memory serves me right, I read somewhere that you need at least a 340 to be seriously considered by most schools. Is this true?
  2. SDN Members don't see this ad. About the ads.
  3. inquirer89

    inquirer89 5+ Year Member

    Feb 18, 2008
    A generally good composite PCAT score is around >70%. Excellent is >90%
  4. Transformer

    Transformer 10+ Year Member

    Feb 17, 2007
    ABOVE 70 COMPOSITE is marginally competitive

    ABOVE 80 COMPOSITE is competitive

    ABOVE 90 COMPOSITE is Very competitive
  5. AngelaCL

    AngelaCL 7+ Year Member

    Oct 9, 2007
    I'm not sure what a 340 corresponds to, percentile wise, but I do know that it's very, very low. 400 is about average and it seems like 450 is around the 95th percentile, so I'm guessing 340 is around the 5th percentile? So no, a school will not consider you with a raw score of 340 composite.
  6. faulkner41

    faulkner41 Pharmacy Student 2+ Year Member

    Sep 11, 2007
    my "marginally competetive" 73 composite got me accepted to 2 schools you dunce....

    these people that tell you that you can't get in with anything under 70 have NO CLUE what they are talking about... some people in my class with the lowest PCAT scores are the ones doing the BEST in school... so many other things are weighed in outside of the PCAT
  7. Transformer

    Transformer 10+ Year Member

    Feb 17, 2007

    How low is the lowest PCAT scores in your class?

    Although there are students who get into pharmacy schools with scores under 70s, they are aberration from the norm. Most of the time, these students have a high GPA that compensates their low PCAT scores.

    In addition, new pharmacy schools tend to have lower PCAT averages than fully accredited schools. This means they tend to give interviews and accept students with lower GPA and PCAT scores (65 to 75 average composite). This proves where you apply will determine your chances as well.

    I agree there are many other things that weigh outside of PCAT, but to get an interview; your GPA and PCAT scores will be critiqued before everything else.

    Your 73 PCAT composite is considered average for Auburn (65-75 average). Auburn has a minimum PCAT score of 50 percentile. Keep it mind this is not the minimum for all pharmacy schools (example: Maryland's minimum composite PCAT score is 80) :)
  8. AsianGuy26

    AsianGuy26 2+ Year Member

    May 13, 2008
    Generally the lower your score the less competitive as someone stated. I think the breakdown is...

    70~ competitve

    80~ very competitive

    90~ extermely competitive
  9. bananaface

    bananaface Pharmacy Supernerd Moderator Emeritus Lifetime Donor 10+ Year Member

    Apr 24, 2004
    gone to seed
    I don't consider average "competitive". You have a shot, but an average score relative to the applicant pool doesn't give you any advantage when you're up against 3-10 other people for every seat.

    Here are my ratings:

    50s or lower, consider a retake or to apply to non-PCAT schools
    60s = disadvantageous but you may as well apply if your app is strong in other places (esp for 65+), consider a retake if you think you could do better
    70s = decent, may want to consider a retake if you think you could do better
    80s = good, doubtful that you want to bother with a retake
    90s = great, no need to retake

    I always recommend comparing your PCAT score and GPA to the stated averages for the entering classes at the schools you apply for, as found on the AACP website. That will let you know what schools you have the best chances at.
  10. inquirer89

    inquirer89 5+ Year Member

    Feb 18, 2008

    Plus the OP asked what a "decent score is". No doubt that you can get in with a PCAT in the 60s or even 50s (providing you excel in other areas) but I believe at least a 70 is decent.
  11. Intrest1

    Intrest1 2+ Year Member

    Aug 14, 2008
    DO you too have problem interrupting the percentile rank? I have composite of 365 or 372 and percentile rank is 2. some how the scoring systeem has changed or something.
  12. homeslice

    homeslice 7+ Year Member

    Aug 23, 2007
    The scoring system hasn't changed. A percentile rank of 2 means you did better than only 2% of the norm group. For the 2008 PCAT, the norm group is everybody who took the test for the first time in 2007. Nobody knows for sure how the scaled score (which supposedly ranges from 200-600) is calculated. But from what I've seen a scaled score of 400 is about a 50th percentile score though. I don't know how far along you are in your college career, but I would suggest getting a few more PCAT relevant classes (gen. chem., orgo, a & P, calculus, etc.) under your belt if you haven't already. If you haven't taken the basic classes no amount of studying is going to significantly raise your score.
  13. ILikeDrugs

    ILikeDrugs pre-attending 2+ Year Member

    Jul 19, 2008
    i would say it depends on your grades.
    if you have a 3.7-4.0 an 80%-90& should be ok.
    if your gpa is lower you should strive to get a 90%+ to help balance that low gpa out or other areas you might lack in.
  14. ILikeDrugs

    ILikeDrugs pre-attending 2+ Year Member

    Jul 19, 2008
    if the highest score on a test is 20/100 and you get a 19/100 you could potentially be in the 95%+ percentile.
    if the highest score on a test is a 99/100 and you get a 90/100 you could potentially be in the 10% percentile.
    of course these are extreme cases to help you see how the percentile system works.
    your score is being compared to the score of others who took the same test.
  15. Nottingham

    Nottingham Accepted Pharmacy Student 7+ Year Member

    Mar 22, 2007
    But what happens when your comp is high but your sciences low? I had only taken two science courses (chem 101 and bio 101) when I sat the PCAT the first time. My comp was 87, but that's only because I kicked butt in everything except chem and bio (64 and 58 respectively). I've taken more courses and am retaking the PCAT in October, but how much will I be penalized for such low science scores?
  16. triumphbr

    triumphbr Yeah I'm accepted. 2+ Year Member

    Mar 22, 2007
    In theory everybody taking the PCAT is hoping to go to pharmacy school... so anything above a 50% should technically give you an edge on the average applicant. Right?

    If you score a 51% you did better than more than half of the people that took it.

    Assuming thats correct and the average comp. score for most schools is in the 65-75% range then they only want the top 30ish percent of people that want to go to pharmacy school.

    Thats the way I always looked at it. The average for most schools is in the low 70's.

    Assuming you score a 70% that means you did better than 2/3 of the other people that want to go to pharmacy school. Why should you worry if you are in the top 30% of the people wanting to apply.

    Don't misunderstand me, making a 90+ would be awesome but at the end of the day I have a feeling kicking ass through your pre-reqs will carry more weight than 1 test. Especially when you realize the difference in 40% and an 85% score is less than 15 "points" or whatever they call them.

    Make A's and the rest will take care of itself.
  17. RXFanatic

    RXFanatic 2+ Year Member

    Sep 8, 2008
    What is the lowerst PCAT score you have seen and someone was accepted into a pharmacy school?
  18. medicalCPA

    medicalCPA PhD to be Moderator Emeritus 7+ Year Member

    Mar 26, 2007
    In lab
    The University of Minnesota says they accepted someone with a 19 PCAT last year.
  19. Prepharm1214

    Prepharm1214 7+ Year Member

    Nov 26, 2007
    Not to mention they are fairly high ranked as well, I wonder if it's safe to assume people get accepted with lower scores. That's a bit scary.
  20. mug3n

    mug3n 5+ Year Member

    May 19, 2008
    Well, that just goes to show that with a good GPA, ECs, etc, that could make up for the bad score. But still, 19 is kind of hard to believe, lol.
  21. inquirer89

    inquirer89 5+ Year Member

    Feb 18, 2008
    Maybe he/she was a physician crossing over to pharmacy?

    Either that or a nobel prize winner lol
  22. hottie08


    Feb 23, 2010
    I made a 384 on a practice test. and i have a 4.0. how competitive am i?
  23. pharmacygirl116


    Aug 9, 2009
    don't be discouraged by a low composite score. i have gotten into two pharmacy schools already with a 58 percentile composite. they consider many things, not just the PCAT :D
  24. twinspharm


    Feb 14, 2010
    Murrysville, PA

    PCATS are one component

    How competitive your score is reflective of what else your application has:

    GPA non science
    GPA science
    Pharmcas essay
    Work experience
    Degree or no degree
    Overall Character
    What college u did ur undergrad at (ie. cc < state college < Ivy Leage)

    If you only got one or two of these going for you, shoot for a high score. (maybe 85 and up). I know of people rejected with a 90+.

    If you got a bunch or almost all of these your score could be much lower, as low as 50's, but I don't recommend being content with a 50 either
  25. wgt5


    Nov 22, 2009
    U need to make a list of potential pharmacy schools. Compile average GPA and PCAT scores for each of the schools. If they aren’t online call and find out. Then see how our GPA and PCAT score stacks up to get a feel for what is in range. Obviously the rest of your resume needs to be super competitive which TwinsPharm said.

    EX: I applied to Pitt and LECOM Erie.

    GPA~ 3.5
    PCAT- upper seventies to mid 80's

    LECOM Erie
    GPA~ 3.5
    PCAT~ 58

    These are there scores. I know they are both in reach for me.

    PS- People weight way too much on PCAT, Pitt does not weight it heavy at all. Considering how competitive they are, it is only 15 points out of 122, that like 12%, but you need every point you can get.
  26. gator09

    gator09 Accepted Pharmacy Student

    Jan 26, 2010

    What schools did you get accepted into with a 58 composite?
  27. Astridb12


    Jun 28, 2010
    Hey what schools did you get into with that score? thats great congrats! did you have a lot fo extracurricular activities? GPA? :)
  28. BH07

    BH07 2+ Year Member

    Apr 2, 2009
    Hey guys, what if you have this scenario

    good essays
    GPA: 3.7
    pre-requisite GPA: 3.8
    bachelor degree finish next spring
    good recommendations
    200 hours of pharmacy experience

    but based on how I took the august PCAT i feel i might get like a 65-70 composite.

    I think I am worried about my chem and math scores, bc even if i have a good score these might look bad

    Will schools such as UT-Austin, Univ. Illinois Chicago and University Utah look also at individual scores even tho everything else on my app looks fine?
  29. NervousForSure


    Aug 8, 2010
    I feel like you'd def. get an interview. If you can nail the interview, then I think you still have a good chance of getting in. The PCAT isn't everything and you have a great GPA. You also have pharmacy experience which I heard is becoming more favored among pharmacies schools especially UT Austin.
  30. Dave4468

    Dave4468 7+ Year Member

    Mar 16, 2008
    Anything above a 70 composite seems to be the general consensus for a good score from what I've heard/read.
  31. PharmStudent305

    PharmStudent305 Garnering Study Tips 2+ Year Member

    Jul 23, 2012
    I got a 78% but i know i can do way better. I did not do so well in the math and reading section probably since i did not prepare well enough for those sections(reading i didnt prepare at all!!). I feel with some more studying and practice i can score well over an 85% guaranteed. Anyone think that retaking would be worth it? or is 78% an ok score?:confused:
  32. Smieling


    Jul 3, 2011
    69th percentile
  33. Thomas Ewald

    Thomas Ewald

    Oct 29, 2013
    I scored a 93 percentile with a composite 428. The composite seems low for the percentile. Is this accurate?
  34. Rickyray

    Rickyray 2+ Year Member

    May 1, 2011
    Hey, how did you find the verbal and reading section
  35. Thomas Ewald

    Thomas Ewald

    Oct 29, 2013
    Verbal - 419 - 78% Reading - 409 - 68%
  36. Rickyray

    Rickyray 2+ Year Member

    May 1, 2011
    Did you use Dr collins for verbal? Also how was the math with time? Did you finish all the question on time.
  37. Seeker5

    Seeker5 7+ Year Member

    Oct 30, 2008
    It's relative to the school average that you apply. If school average is 65. Then having a >70% is good. Depending on your gpa too.
  38. Thomas Ewald

    Thomas Ewald

    Oct 29, 2013
    No, I didn't use Dr. Collins. I wasted a lot of time studying individual terms and definitions. What I found to be most helpful was The Princeton Review PCAT study guide. Along with this book, studying strategies and techniques for the non-science sections helped significantly, specifically the types of relationships (i.e. part to whole). The only section where I had a problem with time was the reading sections. I went B's for the last 5 questions LOL. Nonetheless, the math section was close. Skip the hard questions the first time around, write the question numbers down, and go back afterwards. This was, you may only have to guess on one or two, instead of 5 or 6. I don't recommend this for everyone, but if you can do the math in your head, do so and save yourself minutes. A quick check with plugging in the numbers helps.
  39. Amicable Angora

    Amicable Angora Lagomorpha 5+ Year Member

    Oct 5, 2012
    The above is for high tier schools.

    For mid tier, subtract 10 from every category.

    For low tier, subtract 20 from every category.

    Therefore, low tier would be:

    Above 50 composite, marginally competitive.
    Above 60 compositie, competitive.
    Above 70 compositie, very competitive.
  40. mariposa1192


    Apr 15, 2015
    What do you consider UFT to be?
  41. midSC


    Apr 16, 2015
    The average composite PCAT for my school (SCCP) is 68-70 with a 3.6-3.7 GPA(supposedly it was 3.8 for incoming class). I was accepted with composite PCAT score of 87 and a GPA of 3.25 (4.0 over past two years though so that probably helped), so I am fairly certain that my acceptance was largely due to my PCAT. If you have a score above 80 and a somewhat decent GPA, I think you can consider that "good." If you have above a 70 and a high GPA, you are probably in the clear for most schools.

    As far as the verbal sections, I can't give advice on study materials but I would mainly go through prefixes and suffixes. The strategy part for the verbal skills section (I made an 87 on this section) is pretty straight forward and I found the explanations pretty mind numbing, so it is basically going to come down to your vocabulary or your ability to decipher words that you don't know. I know that I didn't exactly have all that much time to study with my school/work schedule so I know it isn't feasible to learn all the words in these books but you can learn a large % of the prefixes and suffixes. With the reading comprehension (I made a 94 on this section), DO NOT imply anything!!! The correct answer is the answer that is based on the text in the article alone even if you think another answer (that was not covered by the article) may better represent reality. You really have to forget everything other than what you just read. Read the articles... don't go to the answers first and then try to find the relevant text... there will be generalized questions that take an understanding of the whole article that you will struggle on if you try to get away with not reading the text.
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2015
  42. Char2014

    Char2014 2+ Year Member

    Apr 17, 2015
    I agree with Seeker5 that it is relative to the school(s) you are applying to. I recently got accepted and my PCAT and undergrad/prerequisite GPA were just below my school's average for the previous year. However, I am currently finishing a PhD in chemistry (at the school to which I applied) and have spent the last year and a half working as a pharmacy technician one day a week. So schools will consider your entire applicant profile.

    My best advice is to work closely with your pre-pharmacy advisor, they will offer you the best guidance as to whether or not you need to retake the PCAT or other courses. Usually they are also on the admissions committee and will root in your favor if they see you as an acceptable candidate (assuming you are applying to the same school where you complete your prerequisites). If you are applying elsewhere, they will still help to determine if you fit the successful applicant profile for other schools.
  43. Amicable Angora

    Amicable Angora Lagomorpha 5+ Year Member

    Oct 5, 2012
    What is UFT?
  44. mariposa1192


    Apr 15, 2015
    University of Toronto
  45. Amicable Angora

    Amicable Angora Lagomorpha 5+ Year Member

    Oct 5, 2012
    I can't comment on UFT then because it's not in America.

Share This Page