There are a lot of tips to follow for doing well on the exam.
Studying hard, take practice exams, taking bio and chem courses: (gen chem, O-chem, molecular bio, genetics, endocrinology, anatomy, etc.), get enough rest the night before, buy the Kaplan book, etc.
I would agree with the OP: practice tests are the most beneficial. This assumes that you have taken the prerequisite classes covering material covered on the pcat: basic bio, inorganic and organic chem, math up to calc 1.
I took the PCAT for the first time in June 08 and did well except for the math section. I basically used Kaplan's PCAT book exclusively. I did NOT do any practice tests. Had I done so, I think I would have realized that I was not well prepared for the math section (esp. since Kaplan's quant. portion of the PCAT book is pretty weak).
I'm taking the PCAT again in January and have been doing quite a few practice tests (both from Dr. Collin's PCAT Prep course and from CliffNotes 5 PCAT Practice Tests). The key is to identify the areas you scored poorly in and work to strengthen those areas.
The practice tests have helped me realize that my basic math, college algebra skills are strong but my precalculus and calc. skills are lacking. I'll spend the next month working on these areas and also doing general review.
Note, CliffNotes Practice Tests are riddled with errors and the reading sections are absolutely terrible.
I'd like to hear anyone's thoughts about Pearson's practice tests (2 for $57). I'm willing to pony up the bucks, but want to see if people have found them to be any more helpful that Dr. Collin's or CliffNotes practice tests.
I actually purchased Pearson's practice test so that I may, too, improve on the math sections. I found them to be quite useful since they cover previous PCAT test questions. They helped me to identify my strong and weak areas.
your assumptions are correct, I plan to immerse myself into the pearson pcat exam for $57 as well as purchasing more pcat exams from books offered like the cliff notes as you mentioned and etc.. good luck to all and to all a good luck . thanks for the comments and advice yall. happy new year!
I'm guessing you don't need a calculator or a periodic table for the PCAT? any constants I should memorize (gas constant? faraday? etc.) or formulas (a lot of them need need ln and stuff like .Nernst equation, should I even look at them? without a calculator all I know is ln of 0 =1 and ln of 1 = infinity so they can't really ask much about that can they)
I know the PCAT focuses on pre-calc and you need to do simple calculation fast, but should I study things like integration? is the stats portion of the Kaplan book good or is it just as bad as all the rest of the math portion?
thanks for any answers or advice cheers and an early happy new years to all
I don't recall having to memorize any constants for the exam. Basically, you should know your basic college algebra, geometry, trig, precalc and calc for the math portion. Focus on speed.
For both the Chem and Bio sections,I'd agree with the previous poster, you won't have to memorize with R equals or other constants but, for example, you should have a good understanding of the ideal gas law and how change in T affects V, etc.
It's really much more about conceptual understanding (aside from the quantitative section).
Edit: Yes, you should be able to do basic integrations.
Hi there,are we given couple of seconds at the end of pcat exam (or maybe right before the break)to do a final touch up on our answer sheet?I was thinking of saving couple of seconds by just marking inside each circle and at the end to fill in the circle completely.
I wish pcat was computer based,it would have helped us concentrate better,
Also,if you got a pcat 85-90 ,do you remember your percentages when you were doing practice tests?
thanks everyone for your support.
No, you are not allowed to go back to previous sections and are not given any "touch up" time. Make sure you fill in the bubbles completely the first time around.
The first time I took the PCAT (June 08), I did a page of problems, writing the correct answer next the the number of the problem and THEN went to the bubble sheet and bubbled in all answers for that page. I think it saved me time, instead of going to the bubble sheet for each question separately. Especially in areas like the Quantative section where you are really pressed for time, I think this helps. That being said, I (like many others) ran out of time in the Quant section.
that's a good idea only if you pay very very close attention to the time. It would be pretty sad if you answered everything but did not have time to mark it down. besides, it only takes 1-2 sec to mark the bubbles. I say spend 10 min before the test practicing ur bubbling skills =).