PCAT Verbal Ability Section Review

One of the seven sub tests that appear in the Pharmacy College Admissions Test (PCAT) is the Verbal Ability sub test. This section measures the candidates’ vocabulary and language usage. The words used in this section will not be science-specific. It will cover a wide range of topics. There will be 48 questions in this section that are presented in the multiple choice format and which must be answered in 30 minutes. There will be two types of questions that will appear in the verbal section – the analogies and the sentence completion. 40% of the questions will be of the type sentence completion and the rest 60% will be the analogies.

Analogy – The Kaplan Strategy

1. Find the Correct Connector between the Stem Words
  • The question becomes easier if you can find the connection between the first pair of words. If that doesn’t happen immediately, do not panic, there are other ways to solve the questions.
2. Fix the Answer Choices in the Connector
  • Search for an answer choice that has an approximate resemblance to the question word as the first pair.
  • Immediately eliminate the answer choices that don't fit.
  • Try all answer choices in the blank as sometimes, more than one answer choice may fit in.
  • If one answer choice alone fits, then select that as your answer.
3. Adjust the Connection, if Needed
  • If you find multiple choices fit in your question, then try to find a connection that makes it more precise.
  • If in case, no choice fits, then you should make the connection more general.
  • Look for other meanings of the stem words. Maybe that’s why none of the answers fit.
4. If Stuck, Build Connections between the Answer Choice Pairs and Work Backwards to the Question Pair.
  • Eliminate the answer choices that have no connection between them.
  • Eliminate the answer choices that have an identical relationship as of other answer choices.
  • Look out for answer choices that reverse the bridge; they may confuse you.

Sentence Completion - The Kaplan Strategy

1. Read the Whole Sentence
  • Look for clues in the question to help you find the correct choice.
  • Try to reduce long sentences into short and clear sentences without changing their meanings.
2. Predict an Answer Based on your Understanding of the Sentence
  • For a two-blank question, try to predict answers for both the blanks.
  • Use clues to find the direction of the sentence.
3. Scan the Answer Choices, Choosing the One That Best Fits Your Prediction
  • Look for words that are similar in meaning to the word you think will fit in the blank.
  • Eliminate answer choices that don't resemble your prediction in meaning.
  • On a two-blank sentence, try to check one blank at a time, eliminating answer choices as you go.
4. Read Your Sentence with the Selected Answer Choice and Check if it Makes Sense
  • If it makes sense, then you’ve found your answer!
  • If it doesn't make sense, start from the beginning and select choices that work better.
  • If you get stuck, eliminate answer choices that seem incorrect and guess between the remaining answer choices.

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