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Why the PCAT Was Discontinued This Year

Pictured is a blank answer sheet, with a pencil and sticky notes on top of it.

The PCAT (Pharmacy College Admissions Test) was officially retired on January 10, 2024.

The PCAT, a long-standing requirement for pharmacy school admissions, was officially discontinued in early January of 2024 due to recent developments. This decision was influenced by the shift towards a more holistic approach in evaluating applicants, along with challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. The discontinuation was driven by factors such as decreased interest as well as the cost and time of administering the test.

Pharmacy schools are moving away from heavily relying on standardized test scores and embracing a more holistic approach to evaluating applicants. Factors such as academic records, extracurricular activities, and field experiences are now given greater importance. This shift enables a comprehensive evaluation of a prospective student’s potential and readiness for pharmacy education and practice.

The COVID-19 pandemic has played a significant role in the discontinuation of the PCAT. Frequent test center closures and cancellations have made it challenging for students to take the test in recent years. This disruption has further contributed to a decline in student interest in the PCAT.

The decision to discontinue the PCAT was also influenced by financial and time-related factors. Coordinating and administering the test was a costly and time-consuming process. With the declining number of students taking the test each year, the cost and effort involved are no longer justifiable.

Conclusion

As of January 10, 2024, the PCAT will no longer be offered for pharmacy school admissions. The decision to discontinue the test stems from a combination of factors, including the shift towards a holistic evaluation approach, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the cost and time considerations. Prospective pharmacy school applicants should be prepared for these changes and focus on other elements of their profiles to demonstrate their readiness for pharmacy education and practice.

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