PCAT Test Breakdown

PCAT or Pharmacy College Admission Test is a standardized test that pharmacy colleges use to select potential students. Desired qualities are good knowledge of mathematics and sciences along with strong English language skills that one needs for an education in the English medium. The test takers have a time of about 4 hours to answer a total of 240 questions from the seven sections of the test.

There will be present two types of questions:

  1. Multiple- choice type
  2. Essay writing type.
The order of administration of these sections and the time allotted to each is detailed below.
  1. Writing Section
This is the first section one sees on the PCAT. The candidates are required to write an essay which covers properly the topic that is given. The topic will be in the form of a problem for which students need to provide a solution through the essay. Hence the skills one needs to demonstrate to score well on this section are Problem Solving and English language skills. One has to write one essay within a span of 30 minutes.
  1. Verbal Ability
This section immediately follows the writing section. It tests verbal skills and vocabulary of the candidates. The questions that appear are of the type analogies and sentence completion. In this section, candidates should answer 48 multiple choice questions in 30 minutes.
  1. Biology
The third section to be administered is the biology. Students who want to pass the PCAT need to have good knowledge in the subject. Questions in this sub test are from the topics general biology, human anatomy and human physiology and microbiology. This section has 48 questions that must be completed in 30 minutes.
  1. Chemistry

The chemistry section follows the biology section. It consists of questions related to general and organic chemistry. Candidates having quite an amount of knowledge in both these will do well on this section. After one completes the chemistry section, there will be a short break. After that, the second writing task is administered. Similar to the biology section, even here candidates face 48 questions within the span of 30 minutes.
  1. Writing

This section is similar to the first writing task. A problem in the form of a question will be given for which the solution should be presented in the form of an essay to be finished in half an hour.
  1. Reading Comprehension

Appearing after the second writing section, the reading comprehension measures the ability of the candidates to comprehend texts in the English language. The section consists of 6 passages that the candidate should read to answer 48 questions. The time given for this section is 50 minutes. The passages are related to scientific topics.
  1. Quantitative Ability
The last section in the PCAT is the mathematical ability. 40 minutes are to be devoted to this section where one is expected to answer 48 questions. Candidates’ mathematical skills are tested in this section.


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