PCAT Reading Practice Test
Most pharmacy schools require that prospective students take the PCAT. The Critical Reading portion of this exam is computer-based and made up of sets of questions that are associated with reading passages.
You will be given 50 minutes to answer the 48 questions.
There are special accommodations available for individuals with conditions approved by the Americans with Disabilities Act 1990 and ADA Amendments Act 2008. Some of these accommodations include:
- Screen reading technology
- Extended time
- Wheelchair-accessible testing station
- Permission to take medication during the exam
- Distraction-free room
This request must be made in writing and approved prior to the day of the exam.
What are the categories covered on the exam? What percentage of questions are there for each category?
The three categories of Critical Reading that are covered in this subtest include Comprehension, Analysis, and Evaluation. Within each category, you will find several topics and sub-topics on which you should focus. They are:
Comprehension – 30%
- Words in context
- Main ideas
- Supporting details
- Drawing conclusions
Analysis – 40%
- Relationships between ideas
- Purpose of author
- Tone of author
- Facts vs. Opinions
- Rhetorical strategies
Evaluation – 30%
- Support in an argument
- Author’s conclusion/thesis
The passages on the Critical Reading Subtest address a variety of issues, such as historical, social, and political, as they relate to science, social science, and humanities.
In order to properly answer the stems, reading comprehension is crucial.
What is the most convenient way to register for the exam?
Using a credit card from a United States bank, register online.
What is the cost of the exam?
Critical Reading is one section of the PCAT. The cost for the entire exam is $210.
What are the testing dates and locations?
There are specific dates in which you can register for the exam for various testing windows. See below.
Regular registration opened 04/02/2018 and ended 05/11/2018 to take the exam the following dates:
- July 11th and July 18th 2018
- September 6-7, 2018
- January 3-4, 2019
The late registration deadline was 06/27/2018.
In addition to the dates above, there are testing dates in 2018 and 2019 with limited seating available.
- October 22-31, 2018*
- November 1-2, 2018*
* Regular registration opened 09/05/2018 and ends 10/05/2018. The late registration deadline is 10/10/2018.
- February 1-14, 2019*
* Regular registration opens 12/20/2018 and ends 01/16/2019. The late registration deadline is 01/23/2019.
You may take the test at one of the many sites in the U.S. or outside of the country.
What should I do the day of the exam?
Be sure to bring two forms of identification. Ensure one ID consists of your name, photo, and signature. Your name is the only requirement for your other ID.
This exam does not require a calculator, and you will not be allowed to bring one into the testing area.
Examples of other prohibited items:
- Cell phone
What happens after I take the exam?
On the same day of taking the exam, you will get an unofficial score report.
You will also have access to the official score report within five weeks of the closing of testing window.
Your score transcript will be sent to the schools you requested.
How do I know if I passed the exam?
The pharmacy schools to which you applied can tell you whether or not you passed, according to their standards.
What happens if I don’t pass the exam?
You are given five opportunities to take this exam. If you have not passed by the fifth attempt, you must request permission to re-take the exam. In this request, you will be required to provide additional documentation establishing why you should be allowed another chance to undertake the test.
When you submit this request, ensure you also include your name and PCAT ID.
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