The Pharmacy College Admission Test (PCAT) helps pharmacy colleges and educational facilities to determine if applicants are prepared and qualified to attend the school.

This page contains valuable information on the PCAT contents, eligibility requirements, cost, and registration process. The review will help anyone interested in taking the PACT to prepare and increases their chances of scoring higher and passing the exam.


To be eligible for the test, you must be at least 18 years old and have a high school diploma (or some equivalent).

Test Outline Review

The PCAT contains 192 multiple-choice questions and one writing prompt, and you will be given a time limit of 3 hours and 40 minutes.

The test is split into five subtests. Each subtest, with the exception of the Writing subtest, contains 40 scored questions and 8 unscored questions. The unscored questions are used to evaluate those questions for use on future versions of the PCAT.

1. Writing

For this subtest, you will be given a prompt/topic that presents a problem. You will then have 30 minutes to address the prompt by presenting a solution to the given problem.

2. Biological Processes

For this subtest, you will have 45 minutes to answer questions in the following three areas:

  • General Biology (50%)
  • Microbiology (20%)
  • Human Anatomy and Physiology (30%)

3. Chemical Processes

For this subtest, you will have 45 minutes to answer questions in the following three areas:

  • General Chemistry (50%)
  • Organic Chemistry (30%)
  • Basic Biochemistry Processes (20%)

4. Critical Reading

For this subtest, you will have 50 minutes to answer questions in the following three areas:

  • Comprehension (30%)
  • Analysis (40%)
  • Evaluation (30%)

5. Quantitative Reasoning

For this subtest, you will have 50 minutes to answer questions in the following five areas:

  • Basic Math (25%)
  • Algebra (25%)
  • Probability and Statistics (18%)
  • Precalculus (18%)
  • Calculus (14%)

exam outline for the PCAT exam, which contains 193 questions and has a time limit of 220 minutes

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To register for the exam, you must first create an online PCAT user account. You can register for the exam through this account, and you will be able to schedule your examination appointment after you register.

The examination fee ($210) is due at the time of registration.

Test Day

On the day of the test, you should arrive at the testing center 30 minutes early. If you arrive late, you will not be able to take the exam, and your exam fee will not be refunded.

Once you arrive, you will be asked to show a form of valid photo ID, sign a digital signature pad, and scan your palm veins for authentication purposes. You will then be asked to leave all personal items in a locker outside the testing room.

Before the exam begins, you will be given specific instructions on how to take the exam.

You will be permitted an optional 15-minute break after the Chemical Processes subtest. This 15 minutes does not count against your overall testing time.

How the Test is Scored

The multiple-choice subtests are given a raw score, which is based on the number of questions you answered correctly. That raw score is then converted to a scaled score between 200 and 600.

The writing section is given a score of 1-6 by two different raters. The average will then be taken from these two scores.

The report of your score will not be a passing or failing score. Pearson provides the exam and the scores you make on the exam, but the determination of the score you will need to enter a pharmacy college is made by the college.

Before leaving the center, you will get an unofficial score report of your multiple-choice items. You will have access to the official score report within five weeks of the closing of the testing window. The official score report will include the multiple-choice items and writing section.

Your official score transcript will be sent to the pharmacy schools/colleges you designated.

Retaking the Test

If you wish to retake the test, you are allowed to do so up to five times. If you have not passed the exam by the fifth attempt, you must request permission in writing to re-take the exam.

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By Peter Rench

Peter Rench joined Mometrix in 2009 and serves as Vice President of Product Development, responsible for overseeing all new product development and quality improvements. Mr. Rench, a National Merit Scholar, graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering and a minor in mathematics from Texas A&M University.


by Mometrix Test Preparation | This Page Last Updated: April 17, 2023