There are some things you can do to remedy this situation.
You put in long hours, you diligently followed your study schedule for the Pharmacy College Admission Test (PCAT), and you took a ton of practice tests.
The night before test day, you drink lots of coffee, stay up late, and begin to see the PCAT in your dreams. On test day, you enter the room filled with confidence, ready to tackle the test.
Then, you get your scores back and, “Uh oh.” It looks like you scored terribly.
The first thing you think about is the massive amount of time you spent studying and preparing for the test. Now, you feel as if it was all a wasted effort.
Sounds like a nightmare, right? Fortunately, there are some things you can do to remedy the situation:
1. Evaluate what happened and retake the PCAT, if needed.
Were you mentally blocked by nervousness? Did one area of the test take too much time from other areas of the test? Did you forget your PCAT test-taking skills?
Most of the time, you’ll be able to pinpoint exactly where you went wrong and how you can improve in that area.
The next logical step is to get back to studying. This time, you’ll be smarter and better prepared.
Stick to your custom PCAT study schedule, improve your weaknesses, and practice your test-taking skills. You’ll have no problem bringing that score up the second time around.
In most cases, retaking the test and shooting for a better score is the best thing you can do to remedy a poor PCAT score. The good news is the powers that be opened up a final PCAT testing window from February 1-12, 2016.
2. Put your low PCAT score behind you and continue the pharmacy school application process.
If for some reason you can’t retake the test, or you retook it and still scored poorly, the next-best thing to do is to persevere and continue the application process. Don’t let your low PCAT score make you believe that you have no shot in getting accepted.
If you’re struggling to get a good score, some other areas you can turn to include:
Pharmacy schools have benchmarks for PCAT scores. If prospective students meet or exceed that benchmark, they are more likely to get accepted. Those who fall under the benchmark are less likely to get accepted, but not hopeless.
Say your school’s PCAT benchmark is 85, and your score is 70. If you have some pharmacy hours logged and you can write a killer essay, then you may be able to make up for that low score.
Now, say you scored even further below the school’s benchmark. You still might be able to land an interview if you have some valuable contacts at the school. Nailing that interview may make up for your super-low PCAT score.
3. Recognize that a high PCAT score doesn’t guarantee success in pharmacy school.
There are many reasons a pharmacy school may reject you.
Perhaps you applied too late, and too many other students got in before you. Or, maybe your GPA wasn’t up to par.
What if you forgot to submit certain application requirements? How about your writing skills, interview skills, and pharmacy hours? Are those figures strong?
Whatever the reason, the takeaway here is that a PCAT score isn’t the be-all and end-all in getting accepting to a pharmacy school. The perseverance to improve yourself, your scores, and other key areas for acceptance will, however, prove to be extremely valuable.