One of the most valuable resources to students preparing for the PCAT is a reliable PCAT study guide equipped with a PCAT practice test.
The Pharmacy College Admission Test, or PCAT, is a test that helps pharmacy schools identify qualified applicants. The PCAT is divided into five sections with weighted subsections:
- ) Writing (30 minutes) – 1 Prompt
- ) Biological Processes (40 minutes) – 48 Items
- General Biology – 50%
- Microbiology – 20%
- Human Anatomy and Physiology – 30%
- ) Chemical Processes (40 minutes) – 48 Items
- General Chemistry – 50%
- Organic Chemistry – 30%
- Basic Biochemistry Processes – 20%
- ) Critical Reading (50 minutes) – 48 Items
- Comprehension – 30%
- Analysis – 40%
- Evaluation – 30%
- ) Quantitative Reasoning (45 minutes) – 48 Items
- Basic Math – 25%
- Algebra – 25%
- Probability and Statistics – 18%
- Precalculus – 18%
- Calculus – 14%
In total, the PCAT features 192 multiple choice questions and 1 writing prompt. Yes, the test covers a wide breadth of information from several years worth of undergraduate courses.
But, don’t panic! Here are some of the best PCAT study guides and PCAT practice tests both paid and free to help you ace the exam.
Kaplan PCAT Prep
Kaplan offers a wide variety of PCAT preparation material. Kaplan offers a comprehensive study guide complete with sample questions for each section and two, full-length PCAT practice tests.
The Kaplan PCAT Test Prep book also offers insight into test strategy, information on the writing section, and explanations for answers to the practice questions.
This PCAT study guide is available on Amazon in paperback and ebook, and sells for under $40.
If students have the financial means, Kaplan also offers PCAT prep courses. These courses do not come cheap, ranging in price from $999 for a self-paced course to $2799 for a private tutoring course. Like the book, these courses are comprehensive.
They also include several PCAT practice tests that are scored and reviewed. While it’s a big initial investment, these courses are designed to boost PCAT scores and come with a money back guarantee.
Like Kaplan, Pearson offers a comprehensive PCAT study guide to help students prepare for the PCAT. The study guide is available online for $25 through Pearson’s website.
In addition to the study guide, Pearson offers students to purchase access to online PCAT practice tests. Students can purchase an individual practice test for $50, two practice tests for $70, or three practice tests for $90.
In addition to the PCAT practice tests, Pearson offers a writing practice test. This is a valuable resource to help students prepare for the writing prompt that will be given on the PCAT. These tests sell similar to the practice tests.
Students can purchase an individual prompt for $30, two prompts for $50, three prompts for $70, and four prompts for $90. After the writing test is completed it is scored electronically. Students immediately receive a score report with results. If you have any reservation on the writing prompt, this is a great way to be prepared on exam day.
Crack The PCAT
Crack The PCAT is an online service where students can purchase a PCAT practice test. Crack The PCAT offers a better “bang for your buck” if the goal is to take as many practice exams as possible.
There is an option to purchase one, five, or ten practice exams. The price for one exam is $99 (sale price $49), and $499 (sale price of $249) for 10 practice exams.
These exams offer diagnostic score reports and provide comprehensive solutions. Crack The PCAT membership also allows students to access results, diagnostics, and solutions from an iPad or iPhone making it easy to review from anywhere.
The top tier package ($249 sale price) is equipped with video explanations for all sections of the practice exams. Crack The PCAT stands out as the top value pick for PCAT practice tests.
Cracking The PCAT – The Princeton Review
The Princeton Review offers a PCAT study guide complete with two, full-length practice tests. Similar to the others, it is a comprehensive study guide. The study guide offers strategies for PCAT success and detailed explanations for sample questions and practice tests.
One thing to note with this study guide is that it has not been updated from the 2012-2013 version. The PCAT has made changes since, but the core information has remained the same. The book sells for approximately $20 online. While The Princeton Review study guide is slightly behind the times, it is still a solid resource and great value.
Master The PCAT
Peterson’s Master The PCAT is another PCAT study guide that offers students useful material at great value. Master The PCAT offers a handful of sample questions and detailed explanations for each of the subsections on the PCAT. This study guide explains test strategies, what is tested, how the PCAT is scored, and even how to register for the PCAT.
The one downside of this study guide is that it only offers one PCAT practice test. The practice test does offer diagnostic tools to assess strengths and weaknesses.
The practice test also comes with detailed explanations for all of the questions in the practice test. Peterson’s Master The PCAT is available on Amazon for $27.99 in paperback and under $10 as an ebook, making it a great value to students.
study.com is a subscription website that offers students access to practice test, tools for tracking progress, and access to instructors. The Premium Edition is available for $59.99 per month and comes with a plethora of helpful resources. Even better, the website offers a five day free trial to new members.
The website offers a detailed breakdown of all subjects and subsections on the PCAT. Available to members are video lessons and practice tests for each. The price of $59.99 per month may sound steep, but consider that PCAT preparation is normally a three month endeavor.
For everything that study.com has to offer, this is a great value for students preparing for the PCAT!
What About The Free Options?
If students learn anything during undergrad, it’s how to get things on the cheap. Here are some free options for PCAT practice tests.
Test Prep Practice
The website testpreppractice.net gives students access to PCAT practice tests for the low, low price of FREE! The only downside is that the practice tests are sectioned off by topic (it’s not one continuous exam). This could be of benefit to students struggling in particular areas.
On the flip side, this doesn’t create the proper “test day feeling.” Test Prep Practice does provide several practice exams, and serves as a valuable tool to students looking for a free PCAT practice test.
Mometrix Test Preparation
Mometrix Test Preparation is another FREE resource for students preparing for the PCAT. Similar to Test Prep Practice, Mometrix offers segmented practice tests and not a continuous practice exam. What makes Mometrix a great resource is the FREE test review courses.
These courses are available online and are sectioned off by subject matter. While Mometrix only offers one PCAT practice test, it is a great resource to students because of the FREE review courses.
PCAT practice tests and study guides are a great tool to prepare for the PCAT, but they aren’t the only option. There are other resources available that can provide added benefit to students.
PCAT study flashcards are a great way to your PCAT preparation go wherever you do. These flashcards provide sample questions and detailed responses.
PCAT AudioLearn is another valuable resource for students. With PCAT AudioLearn, students have the ability to take PCAT prep anywhere!
AudioLearn makes it easy for students to study in the car, at the gym, or even when doing tedious chores like cleaning or going grocery shopping. This is a great tool for auditory learners, or for students looking to mix up a study routine.
When studying for the PCAT, it is important to find what works best for you. Study long and hard. Use the PCAT study guide of choice, prepare with several PCAT practice tests, and be ready to dominate the PCAT on exam day!