PCAT Test Breakdown

The PCAT, or Pharmacy College Admission Test, is a test that is administered and developed by Harcourt Assessment, Inc. This test is used during the admissions process to pharmacy colleges, and it measures a student’s scientific and general academic knowledge. The test is only used to aid in the pharmacy college admission process.

To register for the PCAT, a prospective test taker has two options. Registration can be completed either via mail or online at the PCAT’s website. If registering by mail, payment for the exam must be submitted with the application in the form of a United States money order. If registering online, the fee must be paid online using a credit card that is drawn from a United States bank.

The specific fees are outlined on the website, as are the registration deadline. When registering for the test, the choice of testing center must be specified, either online or in the mail-in application. Specific test center locations are outlined on the website as well. After registering for the PCAT, all successful registrants will be sent a confirmation via email.

This confirmation will include information about a preliminary exam admission ticket, which should be printed. This confirmation email is usually sent to registrants within 48 hours of when the initial application is processed. Approximately ten business days before the actual PCAT, a final admission ticket will be emailed to all test takers.

This admission ticket should be verified for accuracy and printed for use on test day. When arriving at the PCAT, the final admission ticket as well as two forms of valid ID must be presented to be admitted to the test.

PCAT Test Sections:

Writing – 1 prompt – 30 minutes
Biological processes – 48 questions – 45 minutes 
  • General Biology – 50% 
  • Microbiology – 20% 
  • Anatomy & Physiology – 30%
Chemical processes – 48 questions – 45 minutes 
  • General Chemistry – 50% 
  • Organic Chemistry – 30%
  • Basic Biochemistry Processes – 20%
Critical Reading – 48 questions – 50 minutes 
  • Comprehension – 30% 
  • Analysis – 40% 
  • Evaluation – 30%
Quantitative Reasoning – 48 questions – 50 minutes 
  • Basic Math – 25% 
  • Algebra – 25% 
  • Probability & Statistics – 18% 
  • Precalculus – 18% 
  • Calculus – 14%

PCAT Practice Tests

In order to prepare for the PCAT exam, reading all of the general information about the PCAT online at the PCAT website is a good first step. In addition, a candidate information booklet can either be ordered or downloaded online from this website. Since there is no penalty for guessing, it is advantageous to answer all of the multiple choice questions on the PCAT.