https://prepgenie.com/blog PrepGenie PCAT Blog Fri, 07 Apr 2017 06:50:56 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.7.5 Common Grammatical Errors that Lower Scores in PCAT Essay https://prepgenie.com/blog/common-grammatical-errors-that-lower-scores-in-pcat-essay/ https://prepgenie.com/blog/common-grammatical-errors-that-lower-scores-in-pcat-essay/#respond Mon, 08 Aug 2016 07:09:37 +0000 http://prepgenie.com/blog/?p=3258 Does grammar and mechanics matter? Of course, they do. Grammar is the vehicle through which we communicate ourselves with others, build and share ideas, even make those ‘not a care in the world’ posts on Facebook. Imagine if what you said did not make sense to anyone. You can listen to this article: What would […]

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Does grammar and mechanics matter? Of course, they do. Grammar is the vehicle through which we communicate ourselves with others, build and share ideas, even make those ‘not a care in the world’ posts on Facebook. Imagine if what you said did not make sense to anyone.

You can listen to this article:

What would happen? So, learning the bedrock of language is important, no matter how we communicate, whether written or spoken, to effectively get through with people around us. One slip in grammar can ruin the impression of your essay. You can come across as careless, unintelligent and inexact. Bad impression to have if you want a high score.

Below are some the common errors which students repeatedly make in their answer sheet. All PCAT prep books will caution against grammar faux pas.

1. Subject-Verb Agreement

To cut the long story short, subject-verb agreement is where singular subjects take singular verbs and plural subjects take plural verbs.
A case in point is this:
a.Foster walks to the store. Foster is a singular subject, so we need to match it with the singular verb “walks.”
b. Foster and Felipe walk to the store. “Foster and Felipe” is a plural subject, so we need to match it with the plural verb “walk.”

2. Pronoun reference:

Because a pronoun REFERS to a noun or acts as a replacement of that noun, be clear which noun the pronoun is referring to. The pronoun should not be ambiguous and subject to equivocal references.
For instance, if you say, whenever Johnny and Richard sit down at a buffet, he eats way more. Who eats more? Johnny or Richard? In a sentence like this, avoid using the pronoun at all. Simply refer by name, that is, whenever Johnny and Richard sit down at a buffet, Johnny eats way more.

3. Run-Ons

Sometimes called a fused sentence and can happen when two independent clauses are joined into one rather than writing two independent sentences or correctly punctuating them. The following is the example of a comma splice where two independent clauses are connected only by a comma.
The sun is blazing, open your umbrella.
This sentence should be rewritten with a conjunction.
The sun is blazing, so open your umbrella.

4.Modifiers

The modifier is simply a word or a group of words that can be employed to describe another part of the sentence. Modifiers should be as close as possible to the word it is modifying
After missing an easy goal, the crowd booed the soccer player. ( it seems the crowd missed the goal)
Decorated with colorful silver bells and ornaments, we took pictures by the Christmas tree. ( we were not decorated with silver bells, the Christmas tree was)

5. Parallelism

The balance that exists amongst two or more similar words, phrases or clauses is known as parallelism .
I respect his honesty and that he is brave(bravery).
Kristin likes to shop and jogging.
Can be written either as:
Kristin likes shopping and jogging.
Kristin likes to shop and to jog.

Additional resources can be found here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/learningenglish/grammar/grammar_challenge/

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PCAT Prep: Some Last Minute Study Methods https://prepgenie.com/blog/pcat-prep-last-minute-study-tips/ https://prepgenie.com/blog/pcat-prep-last-minute-study-tips/#respond Sat, 02 Apr 2016 10:45:51 +0000 http://prepgenie.com/blog/?p=3237 The PCAT is a standardized test which is an entry requirement of the pharmacy schools across the US. It is a challenging test and a lot of preparation need to go in to come out at the top. Before a test no amount of study seems to suffice. There is always so much to cram, […]

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The PCAT is a standardized test which is an entry requirement of the pharmacy schools across the US. It is a challenging test and a lot of preparation need to go in to come out at the top. Before a test no amount of study seems to suffice. There is always so much to cram, so much to revise and so much to learn that you don’t know how to use your last few days leading up to the test.

Last minute studying can either leave you completely confused and a bundles of nerves or used intelligently to help you feel confident. Incorporating some simple tips while you prepare in the very last minutes will help you maximize your score.

MIND MAPS

Your last minute preparation should actually start much before your last minute arrives. During the time you are preparing for PCAT employ different strategies to ensure an impressive score. Like we said, studying enough is never enough. During the last few days, due to the mounting pressure, you might feel you have forgotten everything you have learnt. Methods like mind mapping can be a huge step to help you retain the information.

The concept of mind mapping or spider diagrams is actually quite simple. It is about linking topics together and can be used for nearly all the sections of the PCAT, including problem solving, condensing material and planning essays. Once you have decided upon which pattern suits you best, spider diagrams is a quick and easy, if dirty, way to memorize various linked concepts. The reason why we tell you to determine which pattern suits you most is that you cannot work on someone else’s diagram. People have their own ways of linking concepts and the last thing you want is to get lost in someone else’s links. It is far better to draw out your own maps while you are studying because this serves two purposes. One, at the study phase it helps you clearly chalk out the things you learn, and while drawing the map when you get stuck and don’t know what links where, you know which parts you need to understand better. Secondly, the map you draw will not only be a tool to gauge your understanding of the concepts right then, but once you know how you are linking material, the diagram can be a huge help later when you need to brush up your material but don’t have the time to go through the entire book. A sample mind map might look like this:

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spider map

The way this student has worked out a schematic representation might seem complicated to you. What you can do therefore is create your own diagrams for similar topics, either online or in pencil on a pad to make sure that when you are studying last minute you do not need to revise from a book. A look at a similar diagram should brush up your concepts in a precise manner. Another huge advantage of having spider diagrams or mind maps such as this is that you can store a good deal of information in one diagram. If you have studied well enough you know that it is possible to create links between different concepts and then put all of them together to create one whole spider web. A mind map can help you put all your study material in such diagrams and do away with the panic when the sheer volume of words in the book makes you think there’s a mountain to be scaled.

FLASH CARDS

Another great tool to work on your PCAT last minute studies is through the use of flash cards. Flash cards use the process of active recall: you answer when you are asked a question. The concept behind Flash cards is as simple as it can get. Wikipedia defines Flash cards as “A flashcard or flash card is a set of cards bearing information, as words or numbers, on either or both sides, used in classroom drills or in private study. One writes a question on a card and an answer overleaf.” We suggest you make these flash cards when you are studying during the prep phase so that you can use them at the last minute PCAT preparation stage. Then you can employ the spaced repetition process, which is reviewing information at increasing intervals, to revise your study material. You can create your customized flash cards, according to your priorities. It could be formulae, or any other concept that can be fitted into a question and answer format. The other option is to create online flash cards. The benefit of using flash cards is that you can decide which ones you need to revise at any given time. You don’t have to plod through the entire book to locate one answer that you need at the moment.It saves time and makes visual recall so much easier when you need it most.

THE METHOD OF LOCI

Another great way to memorize things when you are running short of time is the method of loci. It uses mental imagination to encode and retrieve a list of words from your memory in serial order.

In simpler terms, the method of loci uses visuals to recollect a series of words. Suppose you need to memorize how cells make proteins. Now imagine your room and start placing the words at specific areas in your room or associate things in your room with those words,. For example, the bed is where transcription occurs. Then on the computer RNA processing takes place, and then at the printer the translation happens. So when you have to remember how a cell makes proteins, mentally walk through your room. You get off the bed, feed something on to the laptop and then get a printout. So you know that the processes that a cell uses to produce proteins are RNA transcription, RNA processing and translation, in the correct order.

The principle behind this is that our unconscious acts as a repository from our past. By associating what you learn now to events or places, you can improve your short and long term memory and spend no time trying to remember anything on the day of your PCAT.

THE BLACK-RED-GREEN METHOD

The Black-Red-Green method helps the student to ensure that the question posed has been dealt with comprehensively after taking every aspect into the consideration.The student underlines relevant parts of the question using three distinct colors (or some equivalent). Black represents ‘Blatant instructions’, i.e. something that definitely must be done; an indubitable or obvious instruction. Red is a Reference Point or Required input of some kind, usually concerns theory, definitions, cited authors terms, etc. (either unequivocally referred to or strongly suggested). Green denotes Gremlins, which are understated signals one might easily miss, or a ‘Green Light’ that gives a cue on how to proceed, or where to place the emphasis in answers.

Too many students tend to miss one or more of these parts of a question, and end up marking a wrong answer because they missed or did not understand the question correctly. Do not fall into the trap. The PCAT is used as a filter to mercilessly weed out those candidates that may not be right for Pharmacy colleges.

Everything said, keep in mind some of the age-old advice given to test takers. There is no way studying last minute is going to get you over the line in PCAT. The last minute passes like a greased lightening. Yet, revise you must, and employ any tools or strategies to prepare, but on the day before the test don’t sweat it. Go for a swim, sleep, read or watch a movie. Avoid alcohol by all means and turn up for the test with the killer confidence of a student who knows he is going to ace the test.

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PCAT Critical Reading: How to Locate the Central Idea or Theme https://prepgenie.com/blog/finding-central-idea-theme-pcat-essay/ https://prepgenie.com/blog/finding-central-idea-theme-pcat-essay/#respond Fri, 01 Apr 2016 10:56:40 +0000 http://prepgenie.com/blog/?p=3207 Get to the point! Let’s start out by imagining a situation. Here’s a teen girl talking to her mother. She says things like, ‘Come on mom, everybody has one.’ ‘You’ll be able to keep a tab on me. It will ensure my safety and your mental peace,’ and ‘It has a calculator on it, so I […]

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Get to the point!

Let’s start out by imagining a situation. Here’s a teen girl talking to her mother. She says things like, ‘Come on mom, everybody has one.’ ‘You’ll be able to keep a tab on me. It will ensure my safety and your mental peace,’ and ‘It has a calculator on it, so I can use it in math class.’ Noah’s mom says, ‘Just get to the point!’ 

Noah’s point of her argument could be simply stated as, ‘I would like for you to get me a smartphone.’ The central idea isn’t hard to figure out; however, it is not always as easy. So basically, a big text of several paragraphs can be actually reduced to two or three lines. Our job is to boil down to those central lines. These are the lines which contain the core idea of the passage.

Well, critical reading passages you would be given has central ideas, too. The central idea of a passage is what the passage is all about, stated in a broad sentence. Determining a text’s central idea is like figuring out the puzzle. Put together the details to arrive to a conclusion about the moot point of the author. Some writers may state the main idea, but it is often implied, which means the reader has to make inferences about it.

Since this is a higher order skill and requires inference and conclusion drawing, it is a difficult skill for people to master. Also, it becomes crucial because it is tested not only in PCAT but also in other examinations.

The central (main) idea can be found in three places: in the beginning of a text, near the end of a text, not stated but implied through most of the sentences. To uncover the central idea, try to uncover the text structure. Transition words show you the text structure; text structure helps indicate the writer’s purpose. Does the text make use of chronological order to explain a historical event? Does the text compare (how these things are similar) and contrast (how these things are dissimilar or how they contrast)? Does the text describe a problem and explain ways to solve it?

If all else fails, locate the thesis statement: introduction and the conclusion will be the places to look. However, some will not offer you the thesis statements on a plate because the central idea is something you should infer. These passages will not state the theme directly. On the contrary, it will be made as obscure as possible by camouflaging the central idea. You will have to remove the nets and branches to get to the core. Good readers find the details and events to figure out the main point.

To explain the core idea, the author has to provide examples, details, information, statistics and reasons.

Start practicing by reading academic texts and articles to find out the main idea. Start writing down some main words and ideas which revolve around the central topic. Understanding the central idea will better equip you to understand the purpose of author. Once you know the author’s purpose it will be also be easier for you to answer separate questions.

When we say Turkey is a good country to visit, we present a very general picture. Now, we can illustrate this general idea with specific details like places to visit in Turkey, its history, the kind of people, the kind of landscape it has, the variety of food that is available, shopping options that are available. So, the passage is not going to be about a specific detail but about the general idea, so opinion becomes more important than fact. If you can eliminate all the specifics then you will be able to eliminate about 80 percent of the text. So you have to be conscious of the movement of specific to general and general to specific.

Grasping the general idea will be helpful in skimming through the specifics faster and on the other hand if you cannot comprehend the general idea, the specific may throw light on it.Grasping the general idea will make all other task of reading comprehension easy.

Use the supporting details only as a mean to the end, that is extract the main idea. Otherwise, they are of no value. Try to get the small elements out of your way to identify the main idea, topic or issue. These ideas are too specific to be what the whole article is about. These are only little ideas which contribute to the main idea of the text.

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Why Should You Use a Topic Sentence in a PCAT Essay https://prepgenie.com/blog/use-topic-sentence-pcat-essay/ https://prepgenie.com/blog/use-topic-sentence-pcat-essay/#respond Mon, 21 Mar 2016 05:28:56 +0000 http://prepgenie.com/blog/?p=3108 Topical sentences, as sometimes also referred as topic sentences, usually occur at the beginning of a paragraph, giving you, in short, what to expect in the paragraph.Topical sentence gives out the moot point of the paragraph. It not only gives is a tool to structure your essay, it also gives the reader a bird’s eye […]

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Topical sentences, as sometimes also referred as topic sentences, usually occur at the beginning of a paragraph, giving you, in short, what to expect in the paragraph.Topical sentence gives out the moot point of the paragraph. It not only gives is a tool to structure your essay, it also gives the reader a bird’s eye view of the topic of discussion that is going to follow. It improves the readability of the essay. It unifies the content of a paragraph and dictates the order of the sentences; it informs the reader of the subject to be discussed and how the paragraph will discuss it.

Topical sentences alert the reader to the high points in the paragraph. It gives the reader, in short, the synopsis. It shows the reader the direction the essay is going to take and prepares him for what comes next.

It also lends coherence to the essay and an is an essential feature in the overall structure. Not only does it link to the thesis statement, but also to the previous paragraph, thus suturing the essay into a whole, seamless unit. It can be considered a structural block. It is these little elements that make a difference between a good essay and a run of the mill.

The topic sentences cap the paragraphs and are linked to the thesis statement and corroborates supports an essay’s thesis statement; only incorporate a keyword from the thesis sentence of the introduction in your topic sentences of body paragraphs. Use only a keyword so that the connection is made, yet, introduce variety in formulating the sentences. If you keep repeating the same sentences given in the introductory paragraphs your essay will sound repetitive and monotonous.

It goes without saying that it should be interesting enough to prompt to read on. Do not try the cliched method of using a quotation as a topic sentence. This is for the simple reason quoting someone else will deprive you of the scope to include the specific information relating to that topic in your own words. Thus, it will reflect the author’s opinion rather than yours. In an essay the graders are looking for your ideas on the subject and not a author’s, no matter how famous he is.

topic sentence

Aiming at incorporating topic sentences in your essay will lend coherence and unity and also enhance readability. Readers generally look to the first few sentences in a paragraph to get a gist of the subject and perspective of the paragraph.

It’s more effective to place a sentence at the end of the previous paragraph—for example, a sentence linking the current paragraph to the previous one, to improve the connection.

There will be many a PCAT prep book advising on how to prepare for the exam. Not all of them would throw light on how to handle such nitty gritties of the essay. Nonetheless, it is an important factor of your essay.

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Musings of the PCAT Sitter: About the Exam and Everything Else https://prepgenie.com/blog/musings-of-the-pcat-sitter-about-the-exam-and-everything-else/ https://prepgenie.com/blog/musings-of-the-pcat-sitter-about-the-exam-and-everything-else/#respond Mon, 08 Sep 2014 08:56:06 +0000 http://prepgenie.com/pcat/?p=3011 Months of studious late nights went into the PCAT prep, and, truth be told, I had my fair share of dry throats and cold sweats in the period leading up to D-Day. I wished fervently- and unsuccessfully- for time to slow down, and voila! it was exam eve before I knew it! The morning of […]

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Months of studious late nights went into the PCAT prep, and, truth be told, I had my fair share of dry throats and cold sweats in the period leading up to D-Day. I wished fervently- and unsuccessfully- for time to slow down, and voila! it was exam eve before I knew it!

The morning of the test was blink-and-you-miss-it, and I found myself standing in the elevator leading to the centre. Once there, I found I was really, really early, so the polite Pearson official asked me to come back 30 minutes prior to my appointment. So I went for a stroll, and returned 15 minutes later. And this was the really good part; I had totally braced myself for another long wait when a lady- another PCAT official- informed me I could sit the test immediately if I so wished.

This is how I felt right then:

f17ff7c5ef2b35e22d4df1d255bdf97bacd5fce6feffa4a0aeafe1cff9e2e39f

This was a good thing; the interminable wait was jittering my nerves anyway. I nodded an enthusiastic affirmation, and went inside. And here’s a tip if you get this chance as well: we’re usually at our best on the exam morning; delaying the test might result in the onset of panic (we know how fuzzy-brained it leaves us), so it’s best to start ASAP. Of course, this might vary from venue to venue- I guess it depends on the discretion of the officials at the centre- so I wouldn’t expect the same privilege if I am sitting PCAT again.

But I digress. So I went inside, and was asked to present my ID- the originals, photocopies are not needed. And this is something I must insist upon, keep in mind guys, do NOT hesitate to carry multiple IDs to the venue. There might be some problem with one of the IDs, especially with the photograph, and you might actually get turned out of the venue! Even if you are carrying your passport, driving license etc, take your credit/debit cards with you. At least these can pass off as primary IDs if the others are rejected. And besides, make sure the photos on all these IDs are absolutely traceable, I mean with clear, visible eyes and nose, scratched and bent IDs generally go through a lot of scrutiny.

For instance, this won’t do:

736cb0e50a4534c25c52383d8f5b65c7

I presented my photo-ID, one that contains a clear photo, name and signature. Having verified the same, I was photographed (I looked straight at the camera and had to remove stray hairs off my forehead. Twice.). Next, my palm vein pattern was taken by a device where I placed both palms consecutively.

Following this, I was given a booklet containing all the rules of the PCAT, but it has pretty much what the Pearson PCAT Info booklet says.

I’ll take a minute to remember the venue itself. I looked around once I was through with the rule-book, and I honestly cannot imagine any place better suited to an examination. Clinically clean, the few officials speaking in muted voices, the rows of lockers and water-coolers on one side- the brightly-lit room gave out the message: we are friendly, and we mean business. The very quiet is enough to calm your nerves and rearrange your thoughts.

The nice lady asked me if I was done with the rules, and I was, so I turned it back to her (you can take a minute more if you need, it’s alright as long as you don’t cross your appointment time), and then I was asked to declare my immediate possessions. You are allowed nothing inside the test room except what the venue permits, so I had to submit by bag, turn out my pockets and roll up my sleeves. Don’t bother wearing a watch, and leave home any jewelry. I took only myself, the key to the locker where my possessions safely lay, and the photo-ID I presented there.

Again, I was directed to another lady in a cubicle, where I presented my ID, had my palm vein pattern taken again, and was given a rough sheet and a pen. The lady took me to my cubicle, where she typed in my unique details, and informed me that the testing cubicles are all monitored, so if I needed anything, I just had to raise my hand, and she would reach me in a few seconds. Of course, I wasn’t to leave my seat under any circumstances, until the scheduled break, and I could get n number of rough sheets and a pair of earplugs if I asked.

So the test began!

battle-of-thermopylae

The first section was the writing task. Do make sure you type carefully, because auto-correction is not available, and the interface doesn’t point out errors either. Practicing in Notepad or some such interface would be a good idea.

The interface is really friendly, you can flag questions for later, and when you are given the option to review your attempts, you can go back to the questions systematically according to those you have flagged, those you have not viewed and those you have left incomplete, that is, viewed but did not answer. Besides, when you are ending the subtest, you are asked if you really want to move on to the next subtest; affirm only if you are certain, because you cannot revisit a section you have ended.

Remember to keep your rough sheet on the desk when you are working on it; you are not allowed to keep it on your lap even though that might seem comfortable. I guess it looks somewhat suspicious.

Not having a watch gets a bit unnerving at first, but the interface notifies you when there are only 5 minutes to end the subsection, and you get used to it after the first task. The first break came after 3 sections were over, and it was optional. I took it, and was informed that I could not leave the building. The palm vein pattern was tested again, and I submitted my ID, drank some water at the cooler (if you have a biscuit or two in your bag you can eat that too), and went back, right through all the turning-out of pockets and rolling up of sleeves rigmarole; that was a bit of a drag, especially when you are itching to get back to the test, but rules are rules.

I must say, the computers are awesome, and your fingers can just fly over the keyboard! They’ve made the testing experience as smooth and pleasurable as possible; all we have to do is get our studies straight.

You can almost type like this:

tumblr_lybigeWrUk1qbeqn2o1_400

Having finished the exam, I was asked whether I wanted the test to be scored and the results sent to schools, or I would rather not know my scores. Be careful and click on the right one, I almost didn’t, and nearly sent all my efforts down the drain! Phew!!

I raised my hand, and an official was with me in 30 seconds. She took my rough sheet and pen, and I was shown out of the door. They just took a palm vein pattern this time, and I was given a tentative scorecard with percentile ranks on it; it contained the ranks of all sections except the written task. Henceforth, I went to collect my belongings from the locker, and just like that, PCAT was over!

It was a good experience, all in all. There are no problems to be faced at the centre, and things would go really smooth if you follow the instructions given in the booklet. And carry out some basic work on your own, like checking out the venue beforehand if you are travelling out of town to sit the test.

So, this was PCAT for me. I had imagined, whenever I thought of this day, that I would feel like a battle-worn general when I emerge from the testing room, but fact is, it was pretty breezy. At least, as breezy as exams can get.

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Building a Vocabulary for PCAT Essays: Contextual Use of Words https://prepgenie.com/blog/building-a-vocabulary-for-pcat-essays-contextual-use-of-words/ https://prepgenie.com/blog/building-a-vocabulary-for-pcat-essays-contextual-use-of-words/#respond Wed, 20 Nov 2013 11:40:55 +0000 http://prepgenie.com/pcat/?p=1407 PCAT most stringently tests your command over the English language, what with the Critical Reading and Essay sections. The essay section sees how well you can express yourself. Now, expression of ideas depends a lot upon the way you use words. As we all know, a single word has a variety of alternate meanings; not only that, […]

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PCAT most stringently tests your command over the English language, what with the Critical Reading and Essay sections. The essay section sees how well you can express yourself. Now, expression of ideas depends a lot upon the way you use words. As we all know, a single word has a variety of alternate meanings; not only that, they can also be used differently in a variety of contexts. Learning how to use a single word in multiple contexts will allow you to express yourself more eloquently.

Using a Word in Multiple Contexts in a PCAT Essay

Here, let’s see in how many different ways we can use the word ‘ace’.

  • Ace: to excel (verb)

She worked hard to ace the exams.

  • Ace: a person great at his/her job (noun)

He is an ace photographer.

  • Ace: a hidden advantage kept in reserve until the requirement arises

The Grand Master had an ace up his sleeve that changed the course of the otherwise mediocre game.

  • Ace: come very close to (used as the idiom: within an ace of)

He came within an ace of losing his grip on reality.

In fact, this word is used differently in American and British English.

How to Build a Vocabulary?

  • There is no alternative to reading up when it comes to extending your vocabulary. Every time you come across a new word, or a different application of the same, make a note.
  • Use in your everyday communication the new words you learn. Applying them extensively will ensure that they become ingrained in your mind.
  • Read up more and more challenging material. This will provide you with better words and new implementations of the same.
  • Build up the habit of looking up new words in the dictionary. If a dictionary is not available, check on the online dictionaries.
  • Play word games like Scrabble and Boggle.

Of course, a good vocabulary is not enough for acing your PCAT essays. You must know how to implement them most aptly so as to strengthen your arguments and make your point crystal clear. Above all, being lucid is most important.

 

 

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How to Choose a Pharmacy School https://prepgenie.com/blog/guidelines-for-applying-to-pharmacy-schools/ https://prepgenie.com/blog/guidelines-for-applying-to-pharmacy-schools/#respond Wed, 27 Mar 2013 11:06:58 +0000 http://prepgenie.com/pcat/?p=1302 You intend to get into pharmacy school, and for that you must sit the PCAT. But there’s some more work to be done even before you get to the registration process. You need to provide the names of the schools to which you wish to send your scores as part of the registration process. While […]

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pharmacy

You intend to get into pharmacy school, and for that you must sit the PCAT. But there’s some more work to be done even before you get to the registration process. You need to provide the names of the schools to which you wish to send your scores as part of the registration process. While it is possible, on the one hand, that you have always had a particular school in mind, it is still important to weigh all your options. After all, there are dozens of pharmacy schools in the United States, and you need to really, really look at the pros and cons of each before you settle on your choices.

So what are the factors you need to keep in mind?

The Quality of Education

True, this is a fairly difficult decision to make. While the commonly-held belief goes that the older the college, the better its standard, and vice versa, that is not always the case. Older, better-known colleges don’t necessarily employ the best teachers, and newer ones don’t settle for incompetent tutors. So what’s the best way of finding out? Try out some investigation yourself. Try to get in touch with alumni- if you know someone, all the better- have a heart to heart talk. Check out the ranking of the college- it’s not foolproof, but a good place to start.

Work Placement

This is by far the most important part of your research. Find out what job opportunities the colleges provide. How many students are placed in residencies? How many are directed to hospitals and retails? The numbers, weighed along with your career goals, will be a major determinant in your choice.

Course Details

Of course, you cannot overlook this. You must choose the course outline that is most conducive to your career plan, whether you wish to land a job immediately after completing the course or pursue further studies. Browse the websites carefully and make a comparative study of the course details.

Money Matters

Yes, this is almost as important. The college of your dreams might simply be too expensive with no significant edge over another you hadn’t really considered. It’s no meager amount you will be shelling out even with the considerably inexpensive courses, so make your decision carefully. Check out the availability of scholarships and grants.

Location

As in real estate, choosing a college is often a lot about the location. And this is closely related to the previous pointer, for obvious reasons. Are you willing to move base? In that case, you need to account for the additional expenses, like accommodation and daily commute. How do you plan to bear the additional costs? Will be possible to hold a job at the same time?

Admission Criteria

Check out the admission criteria of the different universities. Not all will emphasize equally on PCAT scores, and almost all colleges will impart considerable weightage to GPA and overall academic career. You will be able to eliminate a few colleges based on those requirements as well.

Further Considerations

There are a few other, smaller considerations to be made as well in the process. Do you wish to go only for the accredited colleges? Not all the colleges are accredited; some are candidates or partly accredited. Now, accreditation does not mean the best educational infrastructure, and non-accreditation does not mean below par standards. But you might face some issues in the employment market if you enrol in an unaccredited college. Again, this is not a norm, but a possibility. Apart from that, you might also take class size into account. Would you be better off in a small class, with more scope for one-to-one attention, or are you perfectly comfortable in a larger group?

All this might seem a lot of work, and to be honest, it is. But there really is no way around this. You will be spending a lot of your time and money in the next few years on this course, so be cautious and make the most informed choice.

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Pharmacy Schools that Accept PCAT Scores https://prepgenie.com/blog/pharmacy-schools-that-require-the-pcat/ Sun, 03 Mar 2013 10:37:46 +0000 http://prepgenie.com/pcat/?p=1269 You’ve always wondered how to become a pharmacist, and then you discovered PCAT. You’ve gazed at pictures of great universities and their esteemed alumni, and imagined yourself time and again sitting down in classes within those revered walls. But here’s the catch: which school to apply to? How many schools accept PCAT scores? There are over a hundred […]

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You’ve always wondered how to become a pharmacist, and then you discovered PCAT. You’ve gazed at pictures of great universities and their esteemed alumni, and imagined yourself time and again sitting down in classes within those revered walls. But here’s the catch: which school to apply to? How many schools accept PCAT scores?

There are over a hundred schools that require you to take the PCAT and score well enough to get in. The definition of “well enough” varies across schools, so be sure to read up on your choices to know better what they expect of a prospective candidate. Some schools may like a higher PCAT score and may allow for lower GPAs.  Other schools  may weigh heavier on the GPA, allow for a lower PCAT and may be more interested in the work you may have done.

Given below is a comprehensive list of schools that accept PCAT scores.

  1. Auburn University Harrison School of Pharmacy
  2. Samford University McWhorter School of Pharmacy
  3. Midwestern University College of Pharmacy–Glendale
  4. The University of Arizona College of Pharmacy
  5. Harding University College of Pharmacy
  6. University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences College of Pharmacy
  7. California Northstate College of Pharmacy
  8. Loma Linda University School of Pharmacy
  9. Touro University California College of Pharmacy
  10. University of California San Diego Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences
  11. University of California San Francisco School of Pharmacy
  12. University of the Pacific Thomas J. Long School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences
  13. University of Southern California School of Pharmacy
  14. Western University of Health Sciences College of Pharmacy
  15. Regis University School of Pharmacy
  16. University of Colorado Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences
  17. Saint Joseph College School of Pharmacy
  18. University of Connecticut School of Pharmacy
  19. Howard University College of Pharmacy
  20. Florida A&M University College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences
  21. Nova Southeastern University College of Pharmacy
  22. Lebanese American University School of Pharmacy
  23. University of Wyoming School of Pharmacy
  24. University of Wisconsin–Madison School of Pharmacy
  25. Concordia University Wisconsin School of Pharmacy
  26. West Virginia University School of Pharmacy
  27. University of Charleston School of Pharmacy
  28. Washington State University College of Pharmacy
  29. University of Washington School of Pharmacy
  30. Virginia Commonwealth University School of Pharmacy
  31. Appalachian College of Pharmacy
  32. Shenandoah University Bernard J. Dunn School of Pharmacy
  33. Hampton University School of Pharmacy
  34. The University of Utah College of Pharmacy
  35. The University of Texas at Austin College of Pharmacy
  36. University of the Incarnate Word Feik School of Pharmacy
  37. University of Houston College of Pharmacy
  38. Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center School of Pharmacy
  39. Texas Southern University College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences
  40. Texas A&M Health Sciences Center Irma Lerma Rangel College of Pharmacy
  41. The University of Tennessee College of Pharmacy
  42. Union University School of Pharmacy
  43. Lipscomb University College of Pharmacy
  44. East Tennessee State University Bill Gatton College of Pharmacy
  45. Belmont University School of Pharmacy
  46. South Dakota State University College of Pharmacy
  47. South Carolina College of Pharmacy
  48. Presbyterian College School of Pharmacy
  49. University of Rhode Island College of Pharmacy
  50. University of Puerto Rico School of Pharmacy
  51. Wilkes University Nesbitt College of Pharmacy and Nursing
  52. University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy
  53. Thomas Jefferson University Jefferson School of Pharmacy
  54. Temple University School of Pharmacy
  55. University of the Sciences Philadelphia College of Pharmacy
  56. Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine School of Pharmacy
  57. Duquesne University Mylan School of Pharmacy
  58. Pacific University Oregon School of Pharmacy
  59. Oregon State University College of Pharmacy
  60. The University of Oklahoma College of Pharmacy
  61. Southwestern Oklahoma State University College of Pharmacy
  62. The University of Toledo College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences
  63. The University of Findlay College of Pharmacy
  64. University of Cincinnati James L. Winkle College of Pharmacy
  65. The Ohio State University College of Pharmacy
  66. Ohio Northern University Raabe College of Pharmacy
  67. Northeast Ohio Medical University College of Pharmacy
  68. North Dakota State University College of Pharmacy, Nursing and Allied Sciences
  69. Wingate University School of Pharmacy
  70. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Eshelman School of Pharmacy
  71. Campbell University College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences
  72. Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences
  73. University at Buffalo, The State University of New York School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences
  74. Touro College of Pharmacy–New York
  75. St. John’s University College of Pharmacy and Allied Health Professions
  76. St. John Fisher College Wegmans School of Pharmacy
  77. Long Island University Arnold & Marie Schwartz College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences
  78. D’Youville College School of Pharmacy
  79. The University of New Mexico College of Pharmacy
  80. Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy
  81. Roseman University of Health Sciences College of Pharmacy
  82. University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Pharmacy
  83. Creighton University School of Pharmacy and Health Professions
  84. The University of Montana Skaggs School of Pharmacy
  85. University of Missouri–Kansas City School of Pharmacy
  86. St. Louis College of Pharmacy
  87. The University of Mississippi School of Pharmacy
  88. University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy
  89. Wayne State University Eugene Applebaum College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences
  90. University of Michigan College of Pharmacy
  91. Ferris State University College of Pharmacy
  92. Western New England University College of Pharmacy
  93. Northeastern University School of Pharmacy
  94. Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences School of Pharmacy–Worcester/Manchester
  95. Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences School of Pharmacy–Boston
  96. University of Maryland Eastern Shore School of Pharmacy
  97. University of Maryland School of Pharmacy
  98. Notre Dame of Maryland University School of Pharmacy
  99. University of New England College of Pharmacy
  100. Husson University School of Pharmacy
  101. Xavier University of Louisiana College of Pharmacy
  102. The University of Louisiana at Monroe College of Pharmacy
  103. University of Kentucky College of Pharmacy
  104. Sullivan University College of Pharmacy
  105. The University of Kansas School of Pharmacy
  106. The University of Iowa College of Pharmacy
  107. Drake University College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences
  108. Purdue University College of Pharmacy
  109. Butler University College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences
  110. University of Illinois at Chicago College of Pharmacy
  111. Southern Illinois University Edwardsville School of Pharmacy
  112. Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science College of Pharmacy
  113. Roosevelt University College of Pharmacy
  114. Midwestern University Chicago College of Pharmacy
  115. Chicago State University College of Pharmacy
  116. Idaho State University College of Pharmacy
  117. University of Hawaii at Hilo College of Pharmacy
  118. The University of Georgia College of Pharmacy
  119. South University School of Pharmacy
  120. Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine School of Pharmacy–Georgia Campus
  121. Mercer University College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences
  122. University of South Florida College of Pharmacy
  123. University of Florida College of Pharmacy
  124. Palm Beach Atlantic University Lloyd L. Gregory School of Pharmacy

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Pharmacy School Application: Letters of Recommendation https://prepgenie.com/blog/applying-to-pharmacy-school-and-letters-of-recommendation/ Sun, 24 Feb 2013 12:55:21 +0000 http://prepgenie.com/pcat/?p=1259 When you apply to pharmacy school, you will be asked to provide several pieces of information.  There will be forms to fill out giving information about you, your academic performance, your plans or intentions as a pharmacist, and possibly, letters of recommendations.  Depending on the school you are applying to, you may have to provide […]

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recommend

When you apply to pharmacy school, you will be asked to provide several pieces of information.  There will be forms to fill out giving information about you, your academic performance, your plans or intentions as a pharmacist, and possibly, letters of recommendations.  Depending on the school you are applying to, you may have to provide 1-4 letters.  You should also find out if they require you to use a school-specific form in lieu of or in addition to the letter.

If a letter is required then it usually should be on the evaluator’s official business or university letterhead.  Be sure to find out about this and provide your evaluator with all essential forms with enough time to think about and fill out forms and write the letter.  Giving someone limited time to do something will only result in a poor product.  If you give them ample time, they will appreciate the respect you’ve shown them and the letter will reflect this.

A letter of recommendation can be provided by a pharmacist, a professor or an academic advisor. Any of these individuals who know about you can provide an evaluation of you as a person and of your work.  Be sure to select people who know you well and can speak well of your professionalism, work-ethic, dependability, compassion, ability to communicate and lead.  These are all essential qualities to being a pharmacist, and pharmacy schools want to be sure that you be a positive representation of their standards.

This is where establishing and maintaining relationships with professionals around you come into play.  It benefits you during the application process and later when you graduate and search for employment. In general, good networking is crucial to opening doors to endless possibilities.

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PCAT Writing Section: Scores, Time and Tips https://prepgenie.com/blog/pcat-essay-writing/ https://prepgenie.com/blog/pcat-essay-writing/#respond Mon, 18 Feb 2013 05:48:15 +0000 http://prepgenie.com/pcat/?p=1231 The PCAT Writing Section requires you to create a persuasive essay on the given topic. You have 30 minutes to complete the essay task, during which you must meditate on the topic, write the essay, and complete the revision. You will be scored on two criteria: Conventions of Language and Problem Solving. Remember that the […]

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writing

The PCAT Writing Section requires you to create a persuasive essay on the given topic. You have 30 minutes to complete the essay task, during which you must meditate on the topic, write the essay, and complete the revision. You will be scored on two criteria: Conventions of Language and Problem Solving. Remember that the PCAT essay must be detailed and very insightful, and requires a lot of practice. Begin with a PCAT sample test and try your hand at the essay.

Example of a PCAT Essay Topic

The PCAT Writing Task consists of a single prompt. The topic revolves around either of the following:

  • Science Issues: Issues related to research, applications, discoveries, theories, attitudes, controversies, possibilities and education.
  • Health Issues: Issues related to medicine, fitness, public health concerns, drugs, therapies, attitudes, treatments, diseases and prevention.
  • Social, Political and Cultural Issues: Issues related to politics, social/cultural trends, attitudes, habits, beliefs, laws and policies.

Your essay will be judged on the ideas you express, and the logical coherence of your thoughts. Since the exam is taken by candidates from diverse nation and backgrounds, the topics do not require knowledge regarding any particular region. The problems to be discussed in the essay will be general issues affecting the global population. Here’s an instance of a PCAT essay topic:

Certain countries refused asylum to the refugees from Syria, claiming that this leads to the risk of allowing in potential and present terrorists into the country. Discuss a solution to the problem of providing free entry to immigrants seeking asylum from a war-torn nation.

PCAT Writing Scores

The Writing Section is scored from a scale of 1-6, the parameters being Conventions of Language and Problem Solving. The scores are as following, in deceasing order:

6: Superior, 5: Proficient, 4: Effective, 3: Satisfactory, 2: Marginal, 1: Inadequate

PCAT Writing Section Tips

There are certain rules you must keep in mind in order to achieve a score of 6:

1. Conventions of Language

  • Avoid any mistakes in punctuation, spellings and capitalization.
  • Follow the essay structure. Provide the title, introduction, separate body paragraphs and a conclusion.
  • Avoid mistakes in grammar. Take care of word usage, subject-verb agreement, word order and tense.
  • Make sure that the sentences are structurally correct. This will include correctness of grammar, vocabulary, word order and punctuation, coming together to form a logical and comprehensible sentence.

2. Problem Solving

  • Stay true to the topic. Do not, at any cost, deviate from the given topic.
  • Discuss the problem and provide multiple solutions to the same.
  • Each solution must be discussed in depth, with efficient handling of the pros and cons.
  • The essay is persuasive; your objective is to establish your solutions as the most viable options. The flaws in the solutions must be outweighed by their benefits.
  • Each solution must be adequately supported by evidence. Use personal anecdotes, reference from current and historical events and facts. Make sure you are factually accurate.
  • The essay must be a unified whole instead of being an amalgamation of separate ideas; for this, you must link each solution to the given problem, and use transitional words/phrases to link one paragraph to the next.

 

 

 

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