There’s no getting around it, you’re going to be judged on your PCAT score. Therefore, the higher your score, the better off you’ll be.
Don’t let this intimidate you though. With proper preparation and knowledge, anyone can score well. By the end of this article, you’re going to know what you need to do to score high. You’ll also learn about other areas of judgement that, if you do well with, will save you from a low PCAT score.
Practice, Practice, Practice.
“Practice makes perfect” has been stripped of its meaning from overuse and shallow self-help advice. So, allow us to rephrase it: If you don’t practice, you will not get a high score. Period.
There are tons of resources online, including practice tests from the producers of the PCAT, that will aid you in earning a high score.
99% of the time, difference between those who score high and those who struggle is the amount of hard work they put in studying and practicing the test. For those 1% who don’t have to study and still score well, we envy you.
Google is a great place to start. When you’re doing your research, keep these things in mind:
- Study the test itself. Look at it’s logic, patterns, common themes, etc.
- In addition to knowledge of the test’s subjects, test-taking skills will also benefit you. Mastering strategies such as elimination will increase your test scores, regardless of the test subject.
- Space out your practice, and start early. Those who cram everything into one week aren’t going to score as well as those who studied 3 hours a day, every day for two months before the test.
Capitalize on your strengths, improve your weaknesses.
Not all parts of the PCAT are created equal. If you’re advanced in one area, but weak in another, don’t spend an equal amount of time studying both areas. Spend more time practicing to improve your weaknesses. Becoming well-rounded will greatly help you improve that score.
If you become good at identifying your weaknesses, you’ll become unstoppable. Some of the common fallbacks most people have are:
- A habit of searching for the correct answer before eliminating incorrect answers.
- A habit of only studying the questions you get wrong on the practice test. This is shallower than studying ALL questions.
- Failing to recognize bad habits and common mistakes, and therefore not fixing them.
Still struggling to get that score high? Fear not.
Click the link for an excellent resource that tells you under what circumstances you need to retake the PCAT.
Remember, there are other things that can make up for a bad PCAT score, such as:
- Your stats (Pharmacy hours + experience, GPA, etc.)
- Your interview skills
- Writing skills
- “Contacts” – People you know
We advise that you read through this entire post on retaking the PCAT. It contains of wealth of knowledge useful to anyone who is getting into this field.
Wrapping it up
With your newly found knowledge, you’ll have no trouble scoring well. Remember, there are no “tricks” or “shortcuts” to the top. The only difference between those who score well and those who don’t is how much hard work they put in. Be willing to outwork everyone you know.
You’ll also have to be willing to make sacrifices. Oh, your favorite band is coming into town this weekend? Too bad, you have to a test to study. Your friends invited you out for drinks? Too bad, you have a test to study. If you want to get an above average score, you have to be above-average in your study ethic. That’s the bottom line!