How Hard is the PCAT? (Meaning, Difficulty, How to study, Exam tips)

How Hard is the PCAT

Have you heard of PCAT? Do you wonder how hard the PCAT test is? Then, this article is for you.

As a prospective pharmacy student in the United States, you must have accepted the fact that you must take the PCAT test to be considered for admission to your desired pharmacy school.

However, the PCAT test isn’t just passing without working hard; you will have to study hard to earn it. Or rather, be very smart in how you approach the exam.

You would agree with me that the thought of failure can be very devastating, particularly when you hear your peers asking, “How Hard is the PCAT?

How Hard is the PCAT?

What is PCAT?

PCAT, which stands for Pharmacy College Admission Test, is a standardized test taken by individuals interested in attending a pharmacy school.

The test measures each of general educational capability and medical knowledge needed for individuals who plan to pursue a pharmacy as a profession. 

Presently, most AACP (American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy) institutions require the PCAT for candidates to be accepted into a pharmacy school to earn a pharmacy degree.

Who conducts the PCAT test?

Pearson Education, Inc. conducts this computer-based standardized test. They examine fundamental scientific knowledge, writing skills, verbal, math, reading comprehension, and critical thinking skills of a student.

The exam contains 192 questions, all of which are multiple-choice and one writing topic, placed in the five different sections. 

The PCAT exam lasts for about 4 hours, which includes one brief break. It is run completely on a computer-based test format.

Is the PCAT as difficult as Advertised?

If questions could wear out and go on strike after being asked so many times, this “How Hard is the PCAT?” question would have been retired a long time ago!

Whenever the registration for PCAT begins and when the date for the PCAT exam draws closer, the question of “How Hard is the PCAT?” is heard more often on the lips of PCAT applicants.

But it isn’t a terrible thing to want to know how difficult an exam you are about to write is, as it is only natural to get worried about an exam you haven’t written before (if it is your first time writing the PCAT).

It only signifies that you are human and want the best for yourself.

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How Hard is the PCAT?

To get a basic idea of how to justify how hard PCAT is, let’s get to understand how things are termed to be hard.

First, for a start, the word “hard” is relative. It is so because what might seem hard to one person could be extremely easy to another person, and it works both ways as well.

Naturally, this ultimately implies that for students to pass their PCAT exam, it solely depends on them; their ability, willingness to study, ambition, and experience.

There have been students who beat the odds of bypassing the PCAT and getting accepted into their preferred choice of pharmacy school even though they had low GPAs.

Remarkably, each candidate has an equal opportunity to score high in the PCAT, as long as they have the right mindset. 

Some obstacles that weigh PCAT applicants only exist in their minds.

This means that if you start believing unfavorable PCAT opinions from individuals around you, especially those who have failed the PCAT in the past, you will start losing confidence in your abilities and finding it difficult to absorb the study materials.

However, if you show resilience and shoot out all negative thoughts and opinions, you will surely be determined to put in extra effort to attain a high score in the PCAT exam.

This isn’t to say that everything will be perfect when you sit for the PCAT exam, but being optimistic will help you achieve your goals.

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Taking the PCAT Exam Requires you to be Smart:

The sooner you start thinking like a winner, the sooner you start acting like one, and the results are usually positive.

If, on the other hand, you start acting like a loser, you might as well start smelling the bad consequence from afar.

You will be happy to know that most questions in PCAT are knowledge-based, which implies that when studying for the exam, you have to place more focus on understanding what you read.

And the most effective method to do so is to avoid cramming. Instead, read to understand that you may easily provide the correct answers to every question on the PCAT exam, no matter how difficult it appears.

If you study efficiently and competently, nothing will hinder you from scoring high in the PCAT.

What you Sow is What you Reap:

We can say, that if you assume the PCAT is hard and do not make an attempt to pass it, it will be hard. However, you have a better chance of passing this exam if you study effectively.

How to Study for PCAT

Like studying for any other exam, you must dedicate enough time to study for the PCAT exam. Candidates of PCAT should begin studying for the exam one to three months before their exam date.

Moreover, studying for such a duration would make candidates familiarize themselves with the official PCAT study packs.


PCAT is an exam that is guaranteed to make a candidate discover his/her potential.

To achieve a good grade, you must work smartly, which means identifying subjects in which you lack confidence and focusing on studying them for extended periods of time.

As a result, the PCAT exam will not appear to be as difficult as many people imagine.

Awesome one; I hope this article answered your question.

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