Sunday, February 23, 2014

I had a terrible PCAT score - should I just give up?

Question: Hello!
I applied to pharmacy school for this fall, and I have some major concerns. I just received my PCAT scores not too long ago for January, and they are HORRIBLE. And I knew they would be. I studied and have great understanding in a lot of the areas, but I was definitely very time pressured and shocked by the types of questions asked with the limited time for each question. I don't know what each pharmacy school weighs more on, so I wanted to ask what my chances are for getting accepted with such lows scores on my PCAT.
My Composite SS-382 PR-11

My GPA, that was just recently calculated by PharmCAS, is at 3.42. I currently am enrolled in my last classes for pre-reqs - Organic Chemistry II w/ lab, Microbiology w/ lab, and Anatomy and Physiology II w/ lab. So with that, if all goes well, should bump up my GPA a little more. Would this help my chances?

I have worked in the medical field since I was 16.  Will this help my chances?

I had 3 LOR written for me. If all recommendations are extremely positive, will that increase my chances?

I feel that if they were to give me a chance for an interview, they would see how serious and passionate I am about this career and take my grades into more consideration vs. my PCAT scores, as they are FAR FROM reflecting how I perform in school. I have great verbal ability and feel I have the right personality for the field since I have been working in the medical field for so long.

I'd love to hear back from you with an honest answer. I am worried, but hopeful. I hope the other factors outweigh my PCAT scores and that I am still given the opportunity to further prove myself to the school I applied to.

You ask some good questions, but unfortunately there are no obvious answers. I think your GPA is poor enough that it will keep you from being admitted despite your experience and other beneficial parts to your application. I think you need to retake it and score much better. You might ask your LOR writers to amend the letters they submitted to indicate that despite your low PCAT scores, they believe that you are a capable student with the necessary aptitude to succeed in pharmacy school. Sometimes, that helps.

Good luck-

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