Why the PCAT Will Be Discontinued Next Year

The PCAT (Pharmacy College Admissions Test) is officially being retired in 2024.

The PCAT has been a requirement for many pharmacy schools as part of the admissions process. However, recent developments have led to the decision to discontinue the PCAT as of 2024.

One reason for the discontinuation of the PCAT is the shift in emphasis toward a more holistic approach when evaluating applicants. Rather than relying so heavily on a standardized test score, many pharmacy schools have started placing a greater importance on other aspects of a prospective student’s application, such as their academic record, extracurricular activities, and experiences in the field such as shadowing or work experience.

The COVID-19 pandemic has also contributed to this decision, as test centers have been closed and the test has been cancelled many times since the beginning of the pandemic, making it difficult for students to take the test in recent years.

Both of these reasons have led to the main factor that played into the decision to discontinue the test: time and money. The PCAT is relatively expensive and time consuming to coordinate and administer. Because of this, the AACP and Pearson have found that this cost and time is not justifiable given the decreasing number of students taking the test each year.

Keep in mind that the PCAT will be discontinued in 2024, so if you are currently interested in taking the PCAT you still have two admissions cycles left to take it. Applicants in the current admissions cycle (2022/2023) will be entirely unaffected, and applicants in the next admissions cycle (2023/2024) will have fewer testing sites and dates available to register for. After that, beginning with the 2024/2025 admissions cycle, the PCAT will no longer be offered.

For the convenience of any of you reading this that are part of the 2023/2024 admissions cycle, here are the available PCAT dates:

  • July 6, 2023
  • October 16-27, 2023
  • January 3-9, 2024


The discontinuation of the PCAT is driven by a combination of factors, including the shift toward a more holistic approach to evaluating applicants, leading to decreased interest and ultimately making it not worth the cost and time of administering the test. Pharmacy schools will likely continue to focus on other elements of an applicant’s profile to determine their readiness for pharmacy education and practice.

Best of luck with your pharmacy journey! -TSP

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