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Pharmacy College Admission Test (PCAT)

The Pharmacy College Admissions Test (PCAT), an exam developed by PsychCorp, a brand of Harcourt Assessment, Inc., is a specialized test that helps identify qualified applicants to pharmacy colleges. It measures general academic ability and scientific knowledge necessary for the commencement of pharmaceutical education. The PCAT is constructed specifically for colleges of pharmacy. Their web site is:


How is the PCAT structured?

The PCAT consists of approximately 280 multiple-choice questions and an essay. Each question has four answer choices listed, only one of which is correct. The answer to each question can be derived independently of the answers to any other question.

You will have approximately 4 1/2 hours to complete the test (not including a short rest break about halfway through the test). The PCAT is divided into separate sections, each of which is timed separately. During the time allowed for each section, you will be permitted to work only on that section. You will not be allowed to go back to earlier sections or on to later sections. As you work on each section, it is advisable to answer first those questions which are easy for you, skipping over those questions to which you will need to return for further thought.

Reporting Your Score

The University of Kentucky College of Pharmacy uses a centralized application service, PharmCAS, Please report your PCAT scores to PharmCAS only using code 104. PharmCAS will match your PCAT scores to your application based on your social security number.

What sections are on the PCAT?

Complete information is available in the PCAT Candidate Information Booklet. There are six content areas measured by the PCAT:

The Verbal Ability section measures general, nonscientific word knowledge using analogies and sentence completion. There are 48 questions in this section.

The Quantitative Ability section measures skills in mathematical processes and the ability to reason through and understand quantitative concepts and relationships, including applications of basic math, algebra, probability and statistics, pre calculus, and calculus. There are 48 questions in this section.

The Biology section measures knowledge of the principles and concepts of basic biology, including general biology, microbiology, and human anatomy and physiology. There are 48 questions in this section.

The Chemistry section measures knowledge of principles and concepts of inorganic and organic chemistry. There are 48 questions in this section.

The Reading Comprehension section measures ability to comprehend, analyze and interpret reading passages on scientific topics. There are 48 questions in this section.

The Critical Thinking Essay/ Writing section measures conventions of language and composition skills in a written essay. There is one essay topic in this section that requires you to write either an argumentative or problem-solving essay. You will be given 30 minutes for this section.

Critical Thinking skills are also measured in items throughout the test and in a separate essay section.

What are the test dates?

The PCAT is only given a few times each year and the dates may vary from year to year. For current year test dates and deadlines, go to

Important Note: PCAT scores prior to July 2013 will NOT be considered for the 2015-16 application cycle. If you took the PCAT prior to July 2013, you must retake the PCAT if you wish to be considered for admission for the 2015-2016 application cycle. PCAT scores from a test taken in January of the year for which you are applying are not guaranteed (if they are your only score) because they might not reach us in time. PCAT allows 5-6 weeks to send scores to students and schools.

page last modified: June 08 2015     

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