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PCAT FAQs

PCAT...What is it?...and more answers

The PCAT Examination (Pharmacy College Admissions Test) is similar to an MCAT, SAT, ACT or other entrance examinations. This exam consists of several basic areas: Biological Processes, Chemical Processes, Quantitative Reasoning, Critical Reading and a Writing prompt.

You may find out more information and register for the exam by contacting Pearson at 1-800-622-3231 or the Official Pharmacy College Admissions Test web site.

Due to students' continuing difficulties related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the University of Houston College of Pharmacy will temporarily suspend the PCAT requirement for the 2022 admission cycle. The PCAT test is optional for applications submitted for the 2022 cycle.

When in my coursework should I take the PCAT?

For most students, the PCAT should be taken after the first year in college. Before taking the exam, the student should complete Intro. to Biological Science I and II (with Labs), Fundamentals of Chemistry I and II (with Labs), and Calculus I. The student does not need to complete Organic before taking the exam, but should at least be enrolled in Organic I.

Bear in mind that PCAT scores more than three years old (older than 1/2019) will not be considered.

The PCAT test is optional for applications submitted for the 2022 cycle.

Should I wait to submit my PharmCAS application until I receive my most recent PCAT scores?

No. Submit your PharmCAS application right away, and you can opt enter your Preliminary PCAT scores. PharmCAS applications can take several weeks to process, so applicants are encouraged to submit their PharmCAS application and mail required items directly in to PharmCAS early in the application cycle.

If an applicant chooses to take a PCAT exam after submitting their application, he/she can update their PharmCAS application to indicate new impending PCAT test date(s).

The PCAT test is optional for applications submitted for the 2022 cycle.

How does the UH College of Pharmacy interpret the PCAT scores?
Is my PCAT score competitive? Should I retake the exam?

Students may take the exam several times; each score will be looked at separately. If students do retake the exam, it is advised that students increase their score for each retake. The college does not drop the lowest score or average PCAT scores. PCAT scores more than three years old (older than 1/2019) will not be considered when making admissions decisions.

It is recommended that students score in the 40th percentile or above range in each of these areas of the PCAT: Biological Processes, Chemical Processes, Quantitative Reasoning, and Critical Reading.

For the 2022 application cycle, the April 2022 PCAT will be the most recent PCAT scores considered by the UH College of Pharmacy.

The PCAT test is optional for applications submitted for the 2022 cycle.

How do I get my PCAT Scores to UHCOP?

Since UHCOP uses PharmCAS, PCAT scores sent to PharmCAS will be matched to your PharmCAS record for us to review once your PharmCAS record is verified. When registering for the PCAT, Select PharmCAS Code 104 to report PCAT scores directly to PharmCAS. As a reminder, the PCAT is optional for the 2022 admission cycle.

I hear that it can take several weeks for my Official PCAT scores to reach PharmCAS after I take it. Is there any way my PCAT scores can be sent to UHCOP sooner?

Yes. We will accept the Preliminary PCAT Score Report so long as it is uploaded to your PharmCAS application shortly after the test date. PharmCAS ID should be written on the Student Score report.

Instructions for providing Preliminary PCAT Score Report:

  • Type in your preliminary PCAT scores within your PharmCAS application.
  • Scan the Student Score Report. It must be easily readable and cannot be any larger than 5 MB in size
  • Access your PharmCAS account and upload the Student Score Report in the Program Materials section for the University of Houston College of Pharmacy, in the Documents tab
  • Review the PharmCAS application instructions for more information on how to properly upload documents to your PharmCAS application

Preliminary PCAT scores will be reviewed with the understanding that any offers made are dependent upon submission of official results of the PCAT. Select PharmCAS Code 104 to report PCAT scores directly to PharmCAS.

The PCAT test is optional for applications submitted for the 2022 cycle.

How should I study for the PCAT?

While we are prohibited from recommending any of the preparatory review programs, one student who did very well on the PCAT commented "...the Peterson's PCAT study guide had the best material that aided in better preparation for the PCAT exam questions. For the Pre-Pharmacy review sessions, we used Kaplan, but I also studied from Barron's and took the online practice test located on the PCAT web site. I recommend using a variety of study aids instead of just one."

The PCAT test is optional for applications submitted for the 2022 cycle.

How many times can I take the PCAT?

A candidate may sit for the PCAT no more than five times. After the fifth attempt, a candidate must submit a written request, along with supporting documentation, for Pearson to consider permitting a candidate additional attempts. Go to the Official Pharmacy College Admission Test Website for more information.