PCAT Tutoring & Test Prep
Given your goal is to further your career by attending pharmacy school, the PCAT is probably the most important exam of your life. The PCAT (Pharmacy College Admission Test) is a standardized test that allows pharmacy schools to compare your knowledge to that of other applicants. It is a prerequisite for admission, meaning all students must take it. Because the PCAT is a standardized exam, your performance is only as good as other students perform in comparison. Therefore your performance on the PCAT has a huge impact on your admissions competitiveness, as well as your financial aid options. If you aspire to attend the best pharmacy school possible, then you must take your PCAT preparation seriously.
The test consists of seven sections:
- Verbal Ability
- Quantitative Ability
- Reading Comprehension
- Writing Sample (two sections, one of which is experimental)
The Verbal Ability section tests the range of your vocabulary and critical thinking in language skills. The Quantitative Ability section has you apply math skills in Geometry, Calculus, and Statistics to reasoning problems. The Biology and Chemistry sections assess your understanding of the foundations of each topic, including microbiology, human physiology, and organic chemistry. The Reading Comprehension section will present you with science-focussed texts and ask you to analyze and evaluate them. In the essay sections, you are prompted with “problems” related to social and physical sciences. Your essay must effectively, but efficiently, argue for a solution to the problem. One of the two writing sections and 8 questions in each multiple-choice section are considered “experimental” and do not count towards your score. Of course, you will not know which section or questions are unscored. The entire exam is about 4 hours and 30 minutes in duration. Your scores on individual sections will be considered in addition to your total score, so any weak areas will be exposed. Don’t rely on your strengths in one area to make up for weaknesses in another.
Personalized Studying Strategies
With such a broad and comprehensive test, you need to strategically approach your preparation. Begin with an PCAT practice test, preferably the official practice exam provided by Pearson (register here). This will serve as a diagnostic baseline. The section in which you scored the lowest should be your first priority. The question then becomes, if you had difficulty with one or more section, do you feel confident in your ability to improve those weak areas? Preparation books are certainly helpful, but they cannot assess the specific skills you need to improve. They’re written to provide preparation for everyone. However no two students are exactly the same in needs nor in learning style.
A TutorNerds expert can specifically tailor your PCAT preparation in order to efficiently and effectively produce results. Our PCAT tutors can outline an organized approach to the PCAT that fits with your needs as well as your schedule. Together, you will work through the concepts covered by the PCAT in order to ensure you have a solid understanding of the material from the start. From there, you will cover hundreds, even thousands, of PCAT questions. This will provide an opportunity for your tutor to explain typical types of questions and test-taking strategies while at the same time increasing your knowledge. This combination of total immersion with learning strategies designed specifically for you creates the optimal test preparation environment.
The PCAT is a very significant building block of your application to pharmacy school. It’s one thing to work with a generic test preparation book, or even a PCAT class. But to really optimize your admissions potential, you need to work with an expert who understands how the PCAT fits into your entire application. Given your goals, what score is necessary? And how close are you to achieving that score? Are your goals realistic? TutorNerds PCAT tutors and consultants will be able to provide you with the answers you need to put together a strong application. He or she will help you establish a list of goals with deadlines. Most importantly, you will have a supportive expert to provide feedback along the way.
PCAT preparation is certainly intensive given the volume of material covered by the exam. But students consistently show increased scores with adequate preparation. We recommend students begin their preparation 12 to 24 weeks prior to their exam. We offer a free consultation with one of our pharmacy school admissions experts if you have any questions.
Benefits of TutorNerds PCAT Test Prep
- One-on-one Instruction from Experts
- Personalized Approach
- Convenient Scheduling
- Distraction-free Learning
- Holistic Admissions Approach
Give TutorNerds a call today to begin your pharmacy school application preparation with a PCAT expert and your PharmCAS application process with our Pharmacy School Admissions Consultants.