What Is a Good PCAT Score?

October 17, 2023


Reviewed by:

Akhil Katakam

Third-Year Medical Student, Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University

Reviewed: 10/17/23

Understanding what is considered a good PCAT score is essential to setting a competitive target score and building a study schedule you can stick to. Want to learn more about what PCAT score you should aim for? Read on. 

Each professional school tends to have its own unique standardized exam: for law school it’s the LSAT; for medical school it’s the MCAT, for dental school it’s the DAT, and for pharmacy school it's the PCAT

However, the PCAT is no longer required to apply to pharmacy schools in the US, and will not be administered past the 2024-2025 admissions cycle. Nonetheless, if you are planning on writing the PCAT before these dates in hopes of boosting your application, you might be unsure of what score you’ll need. 

You may have several questions such as “what is a good PCAT score?”, “what score will make me a competitive applicant,” and “what is a bad PCAT score?” Rest assured, this guide will answer all of these questions and more!

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Average PCAT Score

The PCAT consists of 192 questions but is scored on a scale of 200-600. Your raw score will consist of all of the questions you answer right and will be converted to a scaled score, which is the one you will see on your report.

The average PCAT score is 400. This score puts you at the 50th percentile rank.

What Is Considered a Good PCAT Score?

Knowing a 400 is the average PCAT score, you may be wondering how far from this average you need to be considered a competitive applicant. While what’s considered a good score largely depends on the school you’re applying to, here’s a general breakdown of how competitive each score range is:

Below Average Scores

Any score below a 400 is considered to be below average. In specific, most students scoring below average have scores between 340-399. It will be difficult to get into accredited pharmacy schools with this score, as you’ll be below the 50th percentile rank. 

You may be able to get into lower-ranking pharmacy schools, but should consider retaking the test or writing other admission exams that your school allows.

Competitive Scores

A competitive score will be anything around the average or slightly above it. This means scoring between 400-415. 

Good Scores

A good PCAT score will be well above the average and put you in the competitive range to apply to higher ranking pharmacy schools. A score between 416-430 will surpass the minimum PCAT requirements to get into most pharmacy schools.

Top Scores

Scores past 430 are considered to be extremely high PCAT scores. While top scorers typically have PCAT scores of 430-450, students have scored well into the 460 range! Scores this high will be guaranteed to be competitive at any pharmacy school that allows students to submit the PCAT.

FAQs: What Is a Good PCAT Score?

In this guide, we’ve answered the question, “what is a good PCAT score?” and provided you with some ranges to consider when determining your target score. For any remaining questions, read on to find your answers.

1. What Is a Competitive PCAT Score?

The competitiveness of any PCAT score is determined by the school you’re applying to and the strength of your application otherwise. If you have a high GPA and excellent extracurriculars, your PCAT score will not be given as much consideration as it would if you had a weaker application.

However, in general, scores between 400-415 are considered to be competitive, but scores around 416-430 will help you get into a larger range of schools. 

2. What Is the Average PCAT Score in the US?

The average PCAT score is 400.

3. What Is the Best PCAT Score?

Scoring any higher than a 430 will put you amongst the top PCAT test takers. The highest PCAT scores students receive typically fall in the 460 range.

4. Is the PCAT Harder Than the MCAT?

No, the PCAT is considered to be less difficult than the MCAT. The MCAT is far more extensive, covers more topics, and asks more specific knowledge-based questions. The MCAT will also take almost double the time to write, meaning it has more questions and requires more preparation!

5. Is the PCAT Mandatory?

No, the PCAT is no longer mandatory for admission to US pharmacy schools. The majority of schools have stopped accepting the PCAT altogether, and some have left it as an optional or recommended exam. 

But, by 2024, the exam will no longer be accepted as an application material by any pharmacy school! Pharmacy schools may accept other standardized test scores, such as the MCAT, GRE, GMAT, OAT, SAT, or DAT instead. 

6. Should I Write the PCAT?

The PCAT is not a required admission material anymore. As such, you should strongly consider whether or not writing it is worth it. For some schools, you may not need to write any exams for your application. If you have a good GPA and a strong application, there’s no need to also write the PCAT! 

On the other hand, for schools that give you the option to write other exams instead, such as the MCAT or GRE, you should assess which exam will best reflect your abilities. Since the MCAT is notorious for being difficult, you may want to write the PCAT or GRE instead. 

7. Is the Writing Section Factored Into My Final Score?

You will receive a separate score for the writing section. This score will range from a 1.0-6.0, with the median score being a 4.0. Students should aim to score a 4.0 or higher to be considered competitive applicants.

Final Thoughts

While the PCAT won’t be used for much longer, it’s essential to know what a good PCAT score is if you choose to write the exam! Your PCAT score can make up for any weak parts of your application, such as a lower GPA or low prerequisite grades. 

As such, setting a target score that will give you the most opportunity and options will help you stay motivated and increase your chances of getting into your top pharmacy school choices!

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