What to Study for the Pcat

What to Study for the PCAT

The Pharmacy College Admission Test (PCAT) is a standardized exam that is required for admission to pharmacy schools in the United States and some Canadian institutions. It assesses a student’s knowledge and skills in various areas such as biology, chemistry, math, reading comprehension, and writing. If you are planning to take the PCAT, it is essential to know what to study to perform well on the exam. Here are some key areas to focus on:

1. Biology: The biology section of the PCAT covers topics like cellular and molecular biology, genetics, anatomy and physiology, and microbiology. Reviewing these topics and understanding key concepts is crucial.

2. Chemistry: The chemistry section includes both general and organic chemistry. Make sure to review topics such as stoichiometry, chemical equations, atomic structure, bonding, reactions, and functional groups.

3. Math: The math section tests your ability to solve problems related to algebra, calculus, statistics, and probability. Brush up on these topics and practice solving math problems under timed conditions.

4. Reading Comprehension: This section assesses your ability to understand and analyze written passages. Improve your reading speed and comprehension skills by practicing with various types of texts, including scientific articles.

5. Writing: The PCAT writing section requires you to write an essay on a given topic. Practice writing coherent and well-structured essays within the given time limit. Familiarize yourself with the scoring rubric used for evaluating the essays.


1. How long should I study for the PCAT?
The duration of study depends on your current knowledge and skill level. Most students spend several months preparing for the exam. Create a study schedule and allocate sufficient time to cover all the necessary topics.

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2. Are there any recommended study materials?
Several PCAT prep books and online resources are available that provide comprehensive study materials and practice tests. Some popular study guides include Kaplan PCAT, Princeton Review PCAT, and Dr. Collins PCAT.

3. Should I take a prep course for the PCAT?
Taking a prep course can be beneficial as it provides structured study materials, expert guidance, and practice tests. However, it is not mandatory, and self-study can also be effective if you are disciplined and motivated.

4. How can I improve my time management during the exam?
Time management is crucial for the PCAT. Practice solving questions under timed conditions to improve your speed. Identify areas where you struggle and try to find strategies to solve problems more efficiently.

5. Are there any specific test-taking strategies for the PCAT?
Yes, there are various strategies you can employ during the exam. For example, read the questions carefully before reading the passage in the reading comprehension section. In the math section, use estimation techniques and plug in values to save time.

Remember, the key to success on the PCAT is consistent and focused studying. Develop a study plan, seek help if needed, and practice as much as possible. Good luck!