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PCAT Test Day and Security

The PCAT is administered at Pearson VUE Testing Centers around the US. You can take an online tour of the testing center layout here to get yourself more comfortable before you sit for your test.

Test Day

You should arrive 30 minutes prior to your scheduled test time to allow for check-in. If you arrive more than 15 minutes late, you will not be permitted to sit for the exam and your forfeit any  refund.

What you need

In order to check-in, you will need to bring TWO forms of original ID, a primary ID and a secondary ID. The actual ID must be present and valid; photocopies or expired IDs will not be accepted. It is suggested that you bring multiple forms of ID with you just in case there are any questions about the two forms you have presented. It is better to be over-prepared on test day than to be under-prepared; if you’re over-prepared you will still be allowed to sit for your exam.

Primary ID

Your primary ID must be government issued and contain a photograph, signature, and your name. Remember that there are strict guidelines that demand your first and last name on your registration match your primary ID exactly. If it does not match, you will not be allowed to sit for the exam and no refund will be issued.

Acceptable forms of Primary ID


Secondary ID

Your secondary ID does not need to have a photograph, but your name must match your primary ID. Like your primary ID, this ID must be currently valid.

Acceptable forms of Secondary ID


What Not to Bring

Pearson VUE Testing Centers are strict on the items they will allow into the testing center and into the testing room. None of the following will be allowed into the testing room on your test day:

o   Food/ Snacks

o   Beverages

o   Books/ Paper

o   Highlighters

o   Rulers

o   Earplugs (These may be offered by the center)

o   Calculators (an onscreen calculator will be provided when necessary)

o   Cameras

o   Headphones (These may be offered by the center)

o   Watches

o   Cell Phones

o   Any electronic devices

o   Hats not worn for a religious or medical reason

o   Clothing, jewelry, or accessories displaying test related information

It is suggested that you do not bring any prohibited items with you to the testing center. Your purse or backpack will not be accessible during the exam; they will need to be stored in a secured area at the testing center.

If you do bring electronic devices with you to the center on test day, they must be turned off while you are there. If your phone goes off during your time at the center or you try to access your phone at any time, including your break, your test will be voided and a refund will not be issued.

Security Measures


During the check-in process, you will be given a “Pearson VUE Candidate Rules Agreement” that will need to be reviewed and signed electronically once you sit for the exam. You will be asked to present the two forms of ID required to sit for the exam at this time. The testing center will take a digital photo of you for identification purposes. They will also require you to provide your signature and a fingerprint or palm vein scan where it’s available.

During the Exam

Seating is assigned by the testing center. Test takers will be taken to their workstation by the test proctor when they enter the testing room. The proctor has a clear view of all of the testing workstations and sessions are recorded with both audio and video to ensure that test takers are following the rules determined by the testing center.

During your scheduled break, a break screen will appear on screen. If you want to take your break, you should raise your hand and a proctor will escort you from the room. The break is timed on screen, so keep that in mind.

You must receive permission to leave the testing room at any time, including your scheduled breaks (this is why you must raise your hand). You will not be allowed to leave the building or check your notes, phone, or any electronics once you have started the exam. If you fail to comply with the rules and regulations set by the testing center,  your test may be voided with no option for a refund.

What This All Means For You

Once you’ve reached your PCAT test date, you’re ready to sit for the exam. Don’t derail yourself by making a silly mistake. Make sure that you know how to get to the center and leave with plenty of time to spare so that you can arrive 30 minutes early. Be sure to have the necessary IDs for check-in before your PCAT test day.

Your ID needs to be valid and match your PCAT registration exactly, so you will want to check that they don’t expire prior to your test date. Pearson VUE is very strict on what they will allow into the testing room and how they expect students to conduct themselves. Be on the safe side and don’t bring prohibited items with you on test day.

Your PCAT scores are an important part of your Pharmacy School applications. Don’t let something trivial ruin your chances. They will void your exam if you don’t adhere to their rules at the testing center.

To be properly prepared for test day, you need to do more than follow the rules of the testing center. Make sure that you are ready to take the PCAT come test day. If you’re interested in one-on-one PCAT tutoring, click here.

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