Scoring on the PCAT
- Aug 30, 2016
- PCAT Blog
The PCAT is unlike many other graduate school entrance exams, because your actual scaled PCAT score is not what the schools are looking at. Typically, graduate schools are interested in your section or composite scores; pharmacy schools, however, are interested primarily in the percentile rank of your composite score. The percentile is determined by comparing your scaled section and composite scores to PCAT test-takers over a period of time.
The scores on the PCAT are based on the number of questions you answer correctly in each section, or your raw score. Since there are several versions of the test, each differing in overall difficulty, the raw score is not an accurate representation of how you have performed. Each raw score is converted to a scaled score, ranging from 200-600, to accurately represent how a student did comparatively.
The relationship between the raw score and scaled score was established in 2004, when the 200-600 PCAT scoring scale was put into effect. So, in order to see how well one test taker did compared to another, the scaled score is associated with a percentile ranking. Unlike the scaled scores, the percentile ranking changes regularly as it is based on a sample of students for a set amount of time.
Your scaled score will tell you how you did on each section, but your percentile ranking will tell you how you did compared to everyone else taking the exam.
Upon Completion of the Exam
After you’ve finished your exam, you will be given the option to discard your scores. If you feel like these scores would not accurately represent your abilities and knowledge of what was tested, you can choose the “no score option.” If you feel comfortable with how you did, you can keep your scores. Once you choose to keep your scores, an unofficial score report will be provided.
Your official PCAT scores will be released within 5 weeks of your testing day. Your official PCAT scores will be available to view online for one year from the test date and will be valid for five years.
If, for some reason, you feel that the official PCAT scores you received are incorrect, you can choose to have the multiple-choice sections or the writing section rescored. This is based off of your official scores, so they must be released before this process can begin. Rescoring must be requested no later than 60 days after your testing window has ended.
You have a limited window to request a rescore. So, if you truly feel that your scores are incorrect, don’t wait to put in the request.
The PCAT allows you to send your scores to three schools free of charge. The schools you want to receive your scores must be listed prior to registration. Once you’ve registered, the schools on your list cannot be removed or updated. You can choose to send your scores to additional schools for a fee.
How Confident Are You?
The PCAT can be an important part of your application to pharmacy school. You want to make sure that you are confident in your knowledge and abilities going into test day. If you’re unsure about where you stand, consider getting outside help. You can set up a free consultation with one of our Academic Managers to go over whether or not our one-on-one PCAT tutoring is right for you. For more information on our tutoring packages and pricing, click here.
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