The New PCAT – CBT

The administrator of the PCAT, Pearson Ltd has introduced a new computer-based test (CBT) version of the PCAT from July 2011. The new computer based test is exactly similar to the paper based test, i.e. the content, syllabus, order of the sections and scoring and reporting system does not change. Only changed would be the way in which the test is conducted. Moreover, there is no change of rules either. Those that were applicable for the PBT are still applicable for the CBT version of the PCAT. The test format is going to be a simple one, which means there will not be complicated functions like the on-screen calculator, spell check or internet access provided while writing the test. Essays should be typed on the computer. The test is administered at certain Pearson VUE testing centers all over the world.

The PCAT exam is developed by PsychCorp, a brand that belongs to Pearson. The test is used to identify potential students for admission into pharmacy colleges. General academic capability and sufficient scientific knowledge are the qualities a good student would have and the test is used to identify these in the individuals who apply.
The number of questions on the PCAT will be 240, all of which will be in the multiple choice format, excluding the two writing samples. Candidates are given four hours to complete the test, which includes a short break in between.
The PCAT test scores range between 100 and 300 and the average score being around 200. There is no best score for this test as each school sets its own standards for the minimum score for admission purposes. Some good schools require a score higher than the 80th percentile, while for some even 60th percentile would be sufficient. Like the GRE, the candidate has the choice of canceling scores if he/she thinks the performance was not good enough. Also, the test can be taken only three times a year.
1. What are the important PCAT test dates for 2011–2012?
A student may take the PCAT about five times a year and not more than that. If one wants to appear on the test more number of times, then one needs to submit documentation explaining it. Before writing the test, one can cancel the registration if one wants to. To do the same, one has to visit the Pearson VUE website and cancel at the link, The scores of the test are valid for 5 years from the day the test is taken.
The dates for the PCAT for this year are as shown below.
1. July 20 and 27
2. September 14, 19, 21, 26, and 28
3. January 10 and 11, 2012.


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