PCAT Essay Topics and Scoring Procedure

The PCAT essays are classified into different categories. They are health issues, science issues and social, cultural and political issues. Some sample topics in each category are:

A) Health Issues
* Discuss a solution to problems resulting from insufficient supplies of donated organs.
* Discuss a solution to the problem of providing proper health care for those who are not insured.
* Discuss a solution to the problem of promoting healthy dietary habits, especially among young adults and teens.
B) Science Issues
* Discuss a solution to the problem of hike in fuel rates and developing affordable alternatives to fossil fuels.
* Discuss a solution to the problem of protecting endangered species of flora and fauna.
* Discuss a solution to the problem of dealing with global warming at an individual level.

C) Social, Cultural, & Political Issues
* Discuss a solution to the problems resulting from a lack of participation in civic life.
* Discuss a solution to the problem of establishing fair immigration policies in your country.
* Discuss a solution to the problem of preventing terrorism in an open and democratic country.

The candidates are expected to provide their answers in the form of an essay that is of considerable length and has the following features:

* An appropriate solution to the problem presented.
* A thesis with relevant examples that supports the essay, taken from academic or personal experience.
* Discussion of possible alternative solutions to the one that is suggested in the question.
* Use appropriate and conventional grammar, punctuation, usage, and style.
Conventions of Language
Score Point 5.0—Superior
Shows good command of language, good sentence structure and perfect grammar. The concern in the question is properly addressed.
• Score Point 4.0—Efficient
Shows correct language but grammatical mistakes. Response is strong and not masked by the mistakes.
• Score Point 3.0—Adequate
Good language but mistakes in the structure, grammar and flow. Meaning of the response is clear.
• Score Point 2.0—Limited
Average language skills but too many mistakes and poor structural pattern. Weak meaning and poor presentation.
• Score Point 1.0—Weak
Limited language skills. Difficult to understand the response.
• Score Point 0—Invalid
Un-attempted section or presented in a language other than English.
Problem Solving
• Score Point 5.0—Superior
Sophisticated response and relevant opinions. Alternative solutions as well as good examples are presented.
• Score Point 4.0—Efficient
Some instances of weak reasoning. Clear solution and proper analysis of the problem. Relevant examples and alternative solutions.
Score Point 3.0—Adequate
Reponse not convincing. Unclear discussion of the solution. Loose organization of the essay.
• Score Point 2.0—Limited
Solution not clear and support weak. Haphazard organization and redundancies in the essay.
• Score Point 1.0—Weak
Ineffective presentation and irrelevant solution. No logic used.
• Score Point 0—Invalid
Un-attempted section or presentation in a language other than English.


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