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How Do I Interpret my PCAT® Scores?

A PCAT score is the average score a person received on all of the multiple choice parts of the test.
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  • Last Modified Date: 22 October 2014
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To interpret Pharmacy College Admission Test® (PCAT®) scores, you may start with considering the five multiple choice sections of the test as well as the writing portion; the multiple choice parts consist of biology, chemistry, reading comprehension, verbal, and quantitative sections. PCAT® scores range from 100 to 300, and higher scores are better. Aside from this range, you may consider your scaled and composite PCAT® scores as well as your percentile ranks in evaluating how well you tested. You may also find it beneficial to contact the pharmacy schools to which you are applying to learn their scoring cutoffs.

PCAT® scoring ranges from 100 to 300 for the test overall, but the individual sections are scored differently. For example, the writing topics are scored on a scale that ranges from zero to five. If you receive a zero, this means your writing was deemed incomplete. Five is the best score you can earn for this part of the PCAT®.

There is also a scaled score for each of the multiple-choice sections on the test. These scores depend on the number of correct answers you select, and they range from 200 to 600. You do not lose any points for incorrect answers when it comes to scaled PCAT® scores.

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Your composite PCAT® score is the average score you received on all of the multiple choice parts of the test. The score you see when you consider your composite score is unweighted. There also is a percentile composite score, which is a bit different from your composite score. It provides your composite rank, based on the multiple choice questions, when compared to others who took the test. If your rank is 70 percent, 30 percent of test takers scored higher than you.

PCAT® scoring also includes percentile ranks. These ranks are reported for the different sections on the test. They are figured using the scaled scores and are measured in comparison to a normed group. These PCAT® scores let you know how many in the normed group had lower scores than you earned.

Aside from reviewing your PCAT® scores to evaluate how well you performed and compare yourself with other test takers, you may do well to contact the schools to which you are planning to apply as well. By doing so, you can learn the cutoff scores set by each school on your list. Then, you can evaluate your scores based on the likelihood that they will help you gain admission to the college of your choice.

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Discuss this Article

John57
Post 4

One of my best friend's daughter is going to school to become a pharmacist. She wanted to be involved in the medical field, but didn't think she could handle the schooling and stress that would be required to become a doctor.

I don't think she realized how hard it was though until she began studying for the PCAT. She didn't feel confident enough studying for the test and going through the PCAT practice questions on her own so took some classes which helped her quite a bit.

I know she put a lot of time and effort in when she was preparing for this test. It isn't something to take lightly as you want to get as high a score as possible.

She is very driven and intelligent and will make a great pharmacist. She has a few years left to go, but I know all her hard work will pay off for her.

LisaLou
Post 3

It does take a lot of work and several years of schooling to become a pharmacist. I remember when my nephew was taking PCAT prep courses before taking the exam.

I know he studied much harder for this test than he did for his ACT before going to college. I know he felt like there was a lot more at stake when taking his PCAT test.

The field is very competitive and getting a good score on this test can make a big difference in which schools you may be accepted at. He had his sites on one particular school that was his number one choice.

He is very smart and a very good student, so did quite well on his PCAT test and was accepted at his college of choice. It won't be long before he is a licensed pharmacist and and is really looking forward to it.

SkyWhisperer
Post 2

@David09 - I agree. The article also mentions finding out your school’s cutoff score on the PCAT exam, and this is good advice in my opinion. The average PCAT scores for my alma mater are in the 80% range.

As you can see, that’s a fairly high range and it’s meant to weed out the people who really aren’t serious I suppose, not to mention that the schools want the cream of the crop for their pharmacy program.

I should point out that the PCAT exam is only one of the steps for admission, however. You still have to interview with a board and answer some tough questions about your managerial style.

As a pharmacist, you will be called upon to handle a lot of difficult situations with customers and employees. You may still score high on the PCAT and still not get admitted to the school if you can’t persuade them that you’re a good manager.

David09
Post 1

My wife passed the PCAT test when she applied to pharmacy school. It wasn’t easy by any stretch, but she had a lot of practice before the actual exam.

She bought a book with a PCAT study guide that contained a practice PCAT exam along with lots of review questions. One of the things that she found challenging was the reading comprehension and verbal questions section.

Since English is not her first language, this was a little tough, but I helped her a lot in the practice sections of the study guide.

She managed to do okay in the actual exam. One bit of advice that I would give anyone wanting to take this exam is to practice, practice, practice.

Pharmacy school is very competitive and you want to get the highest score possible to boost your chances of getting accepted.

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