PCAT Reading Comprehension

One of the seven subtests that make up the Pharmacy College Admissions Test (PCAT) is the Reading Comprehension subtest. This test is designed to assess the candidate's ability to understand, analyze, and judge scientific documents. The Reading Comprehension subtest consists of 48 multiple-choice questions on six different passages; it must be completed within 50 minutes. The questions can be broken down as follows: 30% have to do with reading comprehension; 40% are to do with analysis of a given passage; and 30% require evaluation of the text. The passages will be written at the level of a scientific journal article. In order to succeed on this part of the exam, the candidate will need to be well versed in scientific terminology and in the common structure of scientific writing.

For this reason, candidates are advised to look over some recent scientific journals before taking the PCAT. In the reading comprehension subtest, candidates will be given a passage of several paragraphs and asked around eight questions. Each of the questions will have four possible answers. Candidates may be required to complete a sentence, or to answer a direct question.

Comprehension questions will require factual information taken directly from the text. Analysis questions will require the candidate to consider the ramifications of the information in the text. Evaluation questions will require the candidate to consider the overall tone and possible implications of the passage.

Last Updated: 06/14/2014