PCAT Verbal Ability Review

One of the seven subtests that make up the Pharmacy College Admissions Test (PCAT) is the Verbal Ability subtest. This test is designed to measure basic word knowledge and usage. The vocabulary used in this subtest will not be specific to the sciences. This section is composed of 48 questions, and must be completed within 30 minutes. The questions in this section will be multiple-choice, with four possible correct answers. Analogies will make up 60% of the subtest, while sentence completion exercises will make up the remaining 40%. In the analogy exercises, candidates will be given one complete analogy and then will be required to select the word that best completes the second analogy.

An analogy is a basic relationship between two things or ideas. An example of a basic analogy is HORSE : PONY :: COW : CALF. This analogy would be expressed verbally as "horse is to pony as cow is to calf." In other words, the relationship of the first word to the second word in each pair is the same; a horse is an adult pony, and a cow is an adult calf. As for the sentence completion exercises, they require the candidate to select a word or set of words that makes the most sense when inserted into the sentence, providing the most clarity and consistency with the context. It is possible that some answers may fit grammatically into the sentence without being correct. The candidate will need to distinguish the answer that creates the most coherent and reasonable sentence. The vocabulary used in the Verbal Ability subtest will be at an undergraduate level, and will not require any specialized knowledge.

Last Updated: 06/14/2014

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