So….you’re applying to pharmacy school, realize you need to take the PCAT, don’t know how to study for it, and then you run across all of the online courses. Which do you choose? Do they work? Are they worth it?


To be completely honest with you, yes, I do think they are worth it! However…you will quickly realize how crazy expensive they are! How do you come up with the money? Do you work while you’re in school? Ask your parents? Put it on a credit card? Ask — is this really for me?


NSTP – say what??


This review is focusing on the Next Step Test Prep (NSTP) PCAT Online Course that costs $599. Now, before you scream about that price (trust me, I did), compare it to these:

  • As of January 21, 2018:
    • Next Step Test Prep – $599 (but this includes free webinars, customized study planner, lesson videos, and live office hours!!!) Don’t believe me, check out the pic below 😉
      • PCAT 5 exam bundle – $99 
        • Upgrade to the course for only $500!
    • Kaplan Self-Paced Review Course Online – $999
      • Live Online Course – $1499
      • Private Tutoring Course – $2799
    • Dr. Collins In-Person Class – $695
      • Self-Paced Study – $375

What do you get?

  • It was designed based upon the updates the PCAT went through in 2016 (and keeps getting continuously updated!)
  • FREE trial and FREE practice test – just click here
  • Essays are graded within 48 hours! Yes… receive feedback! 🙂
  • Mimics the actual exam
  • 6 months access to all of this material – woohoo!
  • One-on-one orientation when you begin – you gotta know what’s going on
  • Study plan generator that will help you fit the material into your time frame, whatever that may be
    • Day by day study plan
  • Full answers and explanations to questions
  • The only course built by 99th percentile instructors with 7+ years of teaching experience (who do full-time PCAT test prep!)
  • Extra guided practice in whichever area you need — yes, please!
  • Office Hours with the instructors who built the exam!! (See below 🙂

Live Access to Instructors!!


Yeah, you heard that right – live access to course instructors, all of whom scored in the 99th percentile.

These live office hours are led by Bryan or Sophia, two expert instructors, and not just junior TA’s.

You’ve probably seen Sophia post about these Q&A sessions in our PCAT Study Group! These sessions are even recorded. If you can’t make it, don’t worry – you can watch it later.


Any extras?!

You bet there are.  

  • Next Step Test Prep’s Online PCAT Course was developed by exceptional instructors, all of whom scored in the 99th percentile on the exam.
  • If you upgrade and get the one-on-one tutoring, the same instructors will set aside time to help you rock the PCAT!
  • There was a Beta course….??? Yeah, I didn’t know what that was before, either, but it was their trial period where they worked out all the kinks and bugs, continuously improved the program, and now it’s good to go!
  • PayPal Credit is accepted as payment


Is this for me?? Is it worth it?


Alright, so you see what the course has to offer, but is it right for you? To be 100% honest with you, I would not have been able to afford this in my pre-pharmacy years without putting it on my emergency credit card.


With that being said, maybe some of you are in that same boat. Others, however, may be able to add this cost into their student loans (planning in advance!) so they have the money for it. Some students may be fortunate enough to have their parents help out and purchase it for them.


It’s all about perspective and each student’s individual situation.


I want to let you know that this course will 100% be worth it (and yes, I’m still speaking honestly!)

Let me put it in perspective:

  • You started pharmacy school knowing how expensive it is, right? You invested in yourself and in your future.
  • You invested the time to study on your own, so think about how much more beneficial it will be to learn from live instructors and/or videos. (Khan Academy on YouTube anyone?! haha)
  • There are sacrifices you will have to make while in pharmacy school. That might be a night’s sleep, a night out on the town, or even a 10 point assignment that you just couldn’t fit into your busy school/work schedule. So why not sacrifice a payment for something that will help to improve your PCAT score?
  • When you look at the big picture, $599 will be pocket change once you become a pharmacist.


Still not sure?? Free PCAT bundle!

Don’t worry if you’re still undecided! NSTP has some free options for you to check out to see if you even like learning this way. Check out the free PCAT bundle to start off! Get it here. It comes with:

Free Webinars!

Check out the free Webinars, too! Get them here.



That was a ton of information! If you have any questions/comments/concerns, please please please reach out to me or join in our PCAT Study Group at this link! I’d love to help you make the right decision for you and your budget and to ultimately help you to invest in yourself! 🙂


Kimberly A. Hill, Student Pharmacist Class of 2020

“I am a student pharmacist who is passionate for patient care, an advocate for interprofessional collaboration, an aspiring clinician, a promoter of the legislation to recognize pharmacists as providers, and I will faithfully and passionately serve my community and future generations of pharmacists in all ways possible.”


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