PCAT Biology Study Guide

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PCAT Biology Practice Test
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PCAT Biology Test

In order to understand pharmaceuticals and their effects, it is imperative to have a firm grasp of the building blocks of life and how they function in the human body. The Biology portion of the Pharmacy College Admission Test assesses student knowledge and understanding of biological processes and systems. Test takers must answer 48 multiple choice questions, both passage-based and stand-alone, within a 40-minute block of time. In preparing for this section, memorization plays a heavy role. The PCAT Biology Flashcards provide the perfect quick, portable study method to help remember the vast amount of terms students need to know in order to be successful. When used with the PCAT Biology Practice Test, students focus on the most vital information, preventing wasted time and energy. That’s a fantastic benefit, because biology encompasses an immense number of topics that would be insurmountable without guidance.

What’s On the PCAT Biology Test?

Biology is the study of living things. Pharmacists need a strong foundation in this field so that they can carry out medical orders with competence. Knowing people’s lives are at stake, the creators of the exam want to be certain each candidate for entry into pharmacy college possesses the aptitude for learning the complicated and intricate details of living organisms. Biology is a vast subject with many subcategories, and students preparing for the PCAT will want to be thorough when studying. Our PCAT Biology Review helps narrow the focus and emphasizes the most important information students must know, making study time more productive in a smaller amount of time. Questions on the biology PCAT can be organized into three main sections. Here are some of the topics that are mandatory for pharmacy students’ success:

General Biology--

Questions from this area make up 50% of the PCAT Biology test. Pharmacists must have a firm understanding of life and its vital processes. Within this part of the test, students face questions in three main areas.

  • Cellular and Molecular Biology – Be familiar with cellular structure and functions, metabolism, and energy transformations. Here, the PCAT Biology
    Flashcards come in handy when committing each part of the cell and what it does to memory.
  • Diversity of Life Forms – Life comes in a wide range of forms, and pharmacy college candidates need a working knowledge of them. Students should review the classification of both animal and plant species, as well as genetics and how they affect human development.
  • Health – Understandably, this subject is of utmost importance for pharmacists. Students wishing to be successful here must review nutrition, diseases, and drug use. The PCAT Biology Review gives test takers a better idea of exactly what information is emphasized on the test.


Microbiology studies life on its smallest scale. Because much of a pharmacist’s job brings them into contact with microorganisms like bacteria, fungi, and viruses, it is mandatory to be cognizant of what they are and how they work. 20% of the biology test centers on this topic, so students should review carefully.

  • Microorganisms – These microscopic organisms usually consist of a single cell. Bacteria, protozoans, fungi, and certain algae species make up this branch of biology. Battles for health often take place within this realm, pitting medications against foreign bacteria or other organisms. Pharmacists need a strong foundation here when working with illnesses and diseases.
  • Infectious Diseases and Prevention – Obviously, the pharmacist’s role in the medical field centers on treatment and prevention of disease. Understanding how these illnesses develop and their effects on the human body is vital for their proper treatment.
  • Microbial Ecology – This studies the microorganism’s environments and interactions. Although tiny, these organisms have a huge impact on the world.
  • Medical Microbiology – This branch of biology studies microbes and their clinical applications for health improvement. Pharmacists join forces with scientists and doctors to understand how infectious diseases operate and to create new treatments for disease.
  • Immunity – This studies a microorganism’s ability to resist certain diseases through the prevention of development or by counteracting its effects.

Human Anatomy and Physiology--

This last portion of the exam evaluates the examinee’s familiarity with the human body and their comprehension of its many systems. Because a pharmacist works daily to improve the health of many people, mastery of this information is mandatory. 30% of the biology test contains anatomy and physiology questions. This section presents the most terms and definitions needed to be memorized. Not only do students need to review the parts of the body, but the parts of the various systems and their role within the body. Using the PCAT Biology Flashcards when reviewing this material would give examinees an advantage, making memorization easy.

  • Structure – This requires knowledge in mapping out the human body with its many structures, such as cells, tissues, and organs.
  • Systems – Each part of the human anatomy functions within a system vital to life.

Students should know the parts and functions of:

  • Skeletal System – Students should study the bones and their locations within the body.
  • Muscular System – Review the names of the various muscles, the types of muscle fibers, and know what they do.
  • Nervous System – You need to understand the role of the brain, spinal cord, and nerves within the body, their various parts, and how they work together.
  • Circulatory System – Know how the blood moves throughout the body and what parts of the anatomy are utilized. Be able to follow the path blood takes as it circulates and what each component of the system does as it passes through.
  • Respiratory System – The inhalation of oxygen and exhalation of carbon dioxide keeps the human body functioning. You will need a strong understanding of how this process works and what parts of the anatomy are involved.
  • Excretory and Digestive Systems – These systems are responsible for the intake of nutrients and the disposal of wastes. Focus on the break-down of food and the organs involved in that process.
  • Endocrine System – Made up of many glands, the endocrine system produces hormones that regulate the metabolic processes in the body. Students should be able to identify each part and the role it plays in the human body.
  • Reproductive System – Study the parts of both male and female reproductive systems, how they work, and what systems are affected.
  • Integumentary System – You will need to have knowledge about the different parts of skin and their purposes.
  • Immune System – Study the parts of the body utilized in producing the immune response needed to protect the body from foreign substances.

Plainly, the PCAT Biology test contains a tremendous amount of information. Without guidance on how and what to study, students waste valuable time and energy. Using our PCAT Biology Practice Test provides the opportunity for students to see the types of questions they will face and work with the testing format until they become comfortable. This test gives students only forty minutes to demonstrate their grasp of biology and its many branches. Our PCAT Biology Practice Test aids examinees in zeroing in on the most vital topics, making the most productive use of study time.

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by Mometrix Test Preparation | This Page Last Updated: June 24, 2022