What is the latest format of PCAT exam?

Certification: Admission Tests PCAT - Pharmacy College Admission Test


The PCAT (Pharmacy College Admission Test) exam refers to a standardized test that has been designed for the candidates who want to take admission into the pharmacy colleges. According to the latest format of PCAT exam, This PCAT test is comprised of seven sections on the basis of six types of content areas. Those content areas include: Writing (part-1), Verbal Ability, Biology, Chemistry, Writing (part-2), Reading Comprehension and Quantitative Ability. The total duration of PCAT exam spans for 4 hours. This exam measures the aptitude of the examinees through 240 questions in total along with 2 essay questions. The question type falls in two categories: multiple choice items and essay item. Among them 240 questions belong to the multiple choice items, where each question is followed by 4 possible answer options. These multiple choice questions are presented in the format of either direct question or fill-in-the-blank.

Writing

The ‘Writing’ section comes in two phases (part 1 and part 2) among the seven sections. Part 1 comes at the first sequence among the seven sections. And the part 2 comes after the ‘chemistry’ section following a short break. The time duration of both part 1 and 2 sections is 30 minutes. The total number of question required to be answered in both parts is one and the question type is an essay writing question. In The ‘Writing’ sections the examinees are given an essay prompt along with several given problem. In the question format the examinees are asked to write down an essay which will solve the given problems. In the essay, the examinees are supposed to find out every possible solution to the given problems using their skills and aptitude. Therefore, the ‘Writing’ sections have been designed to measure the Problem solving expertise, conferencing skills and hoard of non-scientific vocabulary in the memory of the examinees.

Verbal Ability

The time duration of the ‘Verbal Ability’ section is 30 minutes. The total number of question required to be answered in The ‘Verbal Ability’ section are 48 and the question type is multiple-choice question. In the ‘Verbal Ability’ section the examinees face questions from two categories; those are: analogies and sentence completion. Among the total 48 questions presented in this section, about sixty percentages of questions are drawn from ‘analogy’ and the rest forty percentages from the ‘sentence completion’ category. In the question format the students are asked to choose the correct answer among the provided multiple options.

Biology

The time duration of the ‘Biology’ section is 30 minutes. The total number of question required to be answered in The ‘Verbal Ability’ section are 48 and the question type is multiple-choice question. In the ‘Biology’ section the examinees face questions from four categories; those are: General biology, Human Anatomy, Microbiology and Human physiology.  Among the total 48 questions presented in this section, about sixty percentages of questions are drawn from general biology, twenty percentages from microbiology and the rest twenty percentages belong to the category of anatomy & physiology. In the question format the students are asked to choose the correct answer among the provided multiple options.

Chemistry

The time duration of the ‘Chemistry’ section is 30 minutes. The total number of question required to be answered in The ‘Chemistry’ section are 48 and the question type is multiple-choice question. In the ‘Chemistry’ section the examinees face questions from two categories; those are: General Chemistry and Organic Chemistry.  Among the total 48 questions presented in this section, about sixty percentages of questions are drawn from ‘General Chemistry’ and the rest forty percentages from the ‘Organic Chemistry’ category. In the question format the students are asked to choose the correct answer among the provided multiple options.

Reading Comprehension

The time duration of the ‘Reading Comprehension’ section is 50 minutes. The total number of question required to be answered in the ‘Reading Comprehension’ section is 48 and the question type is multiple-choice questions. In The ‘Reading Comprehension’ section the examinees are given 6 numbers of passages based on diverse scientific topics and the contents of these passages are be selected randomly out of the general curricula of the exam. In the question format the examinees are asked to choose the correct answer among the provided multiple options on the basis of what they have comprehended from the contents of the given passages. Among the total 48 questions presented in this section, thirty percentages of the questions tests comprehension ability; forty percentages of the questions tests analytical skills; and the left over, thirty percentages of the questions tests the evaluation skill of the examinees.

Quantitative Ability

The time duration of the ‘Quantitative Ability’ section is 40 minutes. The total number of question required to be answered in the ‘Quantitative Ability’ section are 48 and the question type is multiple-choice question. In the ‘Quantitative Ability’ section the examinees face questions from four categories; those are: Math, Algebra, Probability & statistics and Pre-calculus & calculus. Among the total 48 questions presented in this section, about fifteen percentages of questions are drawn from fundamental math skills, twenty percentages from algebra, another twenty percentages from probability & statistics, twenty-two percentages from pre-calculus and the rest twenty-two percentages belong to the category of calculus. In the question format the students are asked to choose the correct answer among the provided multiple options.

Experimental Section

It should be noted that in the latest format of PCAT exam, several numbers of items in each section, – that are composed of multiple-choice items are ‘experimental’, which indicates that those items have been placed in the test in order to assist the research of the future versions of the PCAT exam and they are excluded from both the section-based and combined exam score. However, it is beyond the ability for the examinees to identify which question-items belong to the experimental category.


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