What's a Good PCAT Score?

What's a good PCAT score?

What’s a good PCAT score? What’s the average PCAT score? When considering your PCAT score goal, it’s always wise to look at average scores at the schools to which you’re applying. For starters, though, here is what you need to know about your PCAT score:

PCAT Scoring

The PCAT is scored on a 200 to 600 scale. For each section of the test, the actual number of multiple-choice questions you answer correctly per section is your raw score. All multiple-choice questions are worth the same amount—one raw point—and there’s no penalty for incorrect answers. That means you should always fill in an answer for every question whether you have time to fully invest in that question or not. Never let time run out on any section without filling in an answer for every question.

The Writing section is scored numerically from 0 to 6 with 6 as the highest score and 4 as the approximate median. Your essay is evaluated by two essay graders who each assign a cumulative Writing score based on your appropriate use of grammar and style and your ability to create and support a solution to a problem. The Writing score you receive is an average of the scores given by the two graders. Note that if the scores given by the graders vary by more than one point, a third grader scores the essay in order to ensure that grading follows the standardized rubric.

Your raw scores will not appear on your score report. Instead, they are converted to yield your scaled scores, the ones that fall somewhere in that 200–600 range. These scaled scores are reported to schools as your PCAT scores.
In addition to scaled scores for individual sections, schools are also provided a composite score, which is a scaled score that factors in your performance on all the sections, except the writing section. Your composite score is not merely an average of the scores from all the sections but rather an evaluation of your performance on the entire test.


Top PCAT Scores

Scores that will put you in the top 10% of all test takers


Real practice for the real thing. Take a practice PCAT anytime, and get a detailed score analysis with answers and explanations.


Competitive PCAT Scores

These scores will put you in a highly competitive place in admissions (top 25% of all test takers)

BIOLOGY 422-439


Good Enough PCAT Scores

These scores put you ahead of the pack (50%+), but won’t be as advantageous when applying to highly competitive programs
BIOLOGY 405-421


Below Average PCAT Scores

These scores may be enough to get into a wide variety of pharmacy schools, but will be below average compared to the testing population

ACADEMIC AVERAGE 401 and below
BIOLOGY 404 and below
QUANTITATIVE 401 and below
READING399 and below
CHEMISTRY401 and below

What PCAT score do I need?

What defines a good score can vary significantly based on personal situation. Much depends on the strength of the rest of your application (e.g., if your transcript is first-rate, then the pressure to do well on the PCAT isn’t as intense) and on where you want to go to school (e.g., different schools have different score expectations). For each PCAT administration, the average scaled scores are approximately 400 for each section; this equates to the 50th percentile. To be considered competitive, you’ll want to score above the 50th percentile. Especially competitive schools may want scores above the 70th percentile or even higher.It’s important to check the scores for each individual school. One commonality is that most schools will consider scores that are evenly distributed across sections to be more favorable than a very high performance on one section offset by a very low performance on another section. Performing consistently across the board is preferred. Because all of your section scores factor into your cumulative score, maximizing your performance on every question is important. Just a few questions one way or the other can make a big difference in your scaled score. Make an extra effort to score well on a test section if you did poorly in a corresponding class; the best revenge for getting a C in a chemistry class is excelling on the Chemical Processes section of the PCAT.