The Best PCAT Review Books of 2019

By March 25, 2019 October 16th, 2019 Medical Book Reviews
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The Pharmacy College Admission Test (PCAT) assesses your preparedness for pharmaceutical education. In that regard, it is used to tell which whether or not you are qualified to be admitted into a pharmacy college. That said, if you want to get the highest score possible and to get admitted into the most reputable pharmacy school in the country, it is high time for you to use our top picks of PCAT prep books.

Our Favorites for the Best PCAT Review Books (the best out of the bunch)

PCAT Prep Plus by Kaplan Test Prep

Kaplan Test Prep is a known leader in the field of prep books especially when the topics are related to the medical or health sciences. Their book for the PCAT continues that trend of excellence as it is a material that is even endorsed by the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy as the official prep material for the PCAT. That in itself is already enough to tell you that this book is the real deal.

With about 1,000 pages of good content, this book is perfectly comprehensible to the point that it will not feel too lengthy or heavy. It delivers an in-depth review experience of all of the topics covered by the PCAT while putting more focus and emphasis on Chemistry, which is regarded as the most difficult topic covered by the exam.

Other than the comprehensive review part, this book comes with practice questions for every topic or subject covered by the exam. It also contains test-taking strategies you might find useful on the day of the PCAT. And, of course, it has two full-length practice exams that mirror the difficulty of the actual PCAT.

For its price tag on Amazon, Kaplan’s book for the PCAT is an affordable choice especially if you consider its quality. Of course, it also gets a lot of five-star reviews on Amazon and is a material that most satisfied customers believe to be worth every penny.

What makes it unique:

  • It is the official prep book of the PCAT.
  • It is consistently updated to reflect the changes in the field of pharmacy.

Why choose this book:

  • It was chosen to be the PCAT’s official prep book for a reason.
  • This best PCAT review book is a great choice for anyone looking for a perfectly comprehensive and all-around review material that does not seem too lengthy.

PCAT Secrets Study Guide by PCAT Exam Secrets Test Prep Team

PCAT Secrets from Mometrix is a great option if you want a book that tends to be comprehensive yet still precise at the same time. How does it do it? Well, the book lays out all of the topics in a logically sound fashion while making sure that it summarizes the most important details in a way that is easy to understand. It is also known to be a book that is quite easy to read and readily digestible for any kind of student looking to pass the PCAT.

At just only 344 pages, it is amazingly thorough when explaining the key concepts that will be tested by the PCAT. In that sense, it was able to weed out all of the unnecessary fluff to give you a content review that is as comprehensive as any other but contains only the important details you need to pass the exam.

On top of all of that, the book includes over 50 practice questions that are very PCAT-like. Of course, all of those questions have their own corresponding answers and explanations. You also get an overview of the PCAT so that you will know what to expect from it.

For its price, it might be a little more expensive compared to the other books on this list but it pays for itself considering that it is as effective at giving you only the most important concepts you need to get a passing score. Plus, it is consistently rated well on Amazon particularly because of how comprehensive its general review of the subjects is.

What makes it unique:

  • The sections are logically arranged.
  • It was able to summarize the topics in a comprehensive manner.

Why choose this book:

  • If you do not have the time to go over a book that is nearly a thousand pages long, this might be the best choice for you.
  • Though it might not be as lengthy as some other books, it still ranks as one of the most thorough and in-depth review materials on the market.

The Runners-Up for the Best PCAT Review Books (still good but a little lacking)

Master the PCAT by Peterson’s

Peterson’s book for the PCAT ranks as one of the most effective tools on the market because of how it is able to help you pass the exam in its own unique way. With nearly 800 pages of content, it is as comprehensive as any other book but still manages to find its own niche and strength to make itself stand out.

One of this book’s major strengths is its diagnostic test. By taking this test, you will be able to ascertain your level of preparedness as well as find out your weak areas. In that regard, you will be able to pace yourself during the review while also focusing on the topics and subjects you are weakest at. If you think about it, that saves you time and effort.

Another key aspect that made this book stand out is that it has a lot of practice questions. About 200 pages in total are dedicated to the 1,000+ practice questions that are scattered all over the book. By answering those questions, you will be able to gauge and test your knowledge out while also adjusting to the style of questioning you will be encountering in the PCAT.

For its price, Master the PCAT is ridiculously affordable compared to some of the materials on this list. In that sense, it is both a great value for your money and a useful material that can surely help you get that high PCAT score that can get you in the best pharmacy college in the country.

What makes it unique:

  • The diagnostic test is a good way of assessing how your level of knowledge and preparedness.
  • It has over 1,000 practice questions.

Why choose this book:

  • It ranks up there with Kaplan in terms of completeness and overall usefulness.
  • The book is a great choice for those who cannot afford Kaplan and any other more expensive review material.

PCAT Study Guide by Test Prep Books Pharmacy Team

Developed by Test Prep Books, another leader in the industry, this material is meant to be a high-quality study guide that is both comprehensive and concise. It is the complete package as far as contents are concerned but still manages to be shorter than most books because of how it was able to simplify the topic review portion of the book.

Speaking of topic review, all of the subjects are discussed comprehensively and in great detail. However, they are simplified in such a way that they are easier to understand. As such, you will be able to understand the concepts without having to read through a lot of fluff and unnecessary details. Simply put, the topics are explained in a clear and concise manner that does not tend to sacrifice any important detail.

Other than that, the book also comes with PCAT-styled practice questions that are designed to drill you to become ready to take the exam. The questions each have their own answer explanations so that you will be able to avoid making the same mistakes if you encounter similar problems in the actual PCAT.

For its price, PCAT STudy Guide is a basic review material that does not have a lot of features that stand out but can still do a job that is on par with the other books on this list. It is especially enjoyed by satisfied customers on Amazon for how it was able to simplify the topics into more understandable concepts.

What makes it unique:

  • It makes the topics concise and simple to understand.
  • The practice problems give you a sense of what it feels like answering PCAT questions

Why choose this book:

  • It is a good option for those looking for a more simplified content review of the topics covered by the PCAT.

The Best Value for Your Money for Best PCAT Review Books (good and affordable)

Barron’s PCAT by Marie Chisholm-Burns

Looking for a comprehensive review book that is so affordable that it barely puts a dent on your budget? Barron’s has got you covered in that regard. This budget-friendly book is our pick for the best value for your money simply because of how crazily affordable it is if you compare it to its other competitors. But, despite being so cheap, it does not sacrifice quality.

While its content review portion seems good enough but not to the point that it stands out, its test-taking strategies are actually quite good and useful especially if you want to answer the PCAT in the most efficient manner possible.

When it comes to the practice questions and tests, Barron’s was able to deliver PCAT-quality problems that can work your mind. The best part about those questions and tests is that the answer explanations are so thorough and in-depth that it makes you feel like you are reading through a topic review again. This really makes sure that you do not just learn from your mistakes but also get a good grasp of the concepts all over again.

This book comes with an impossibly affordable price. In that sense, no other book comes as close to it in terms of affordability. And the good part is that it is also a well-reviewed product on Amazon as it consistently gets a five-star rating from its satisfied customers.

What makes it unique:

  • The tips and strategies allow you to bypass the exam writers’ tricks.
  • The answer explanations to the sample problems are thoroughly discussed.

Why choose this book:

  • Reviewing for the PCAT does not have to be expensive if you choose this book.
  • It has quite a good amount of practice tests and questions to make sure that the right amount of drills in time for the PCAT.

Summary of the Best PCAT Review Books

To sum up, here are the PCAT review books we looked at today:

ProductList PriceNumber Of Pages
PCAT Prep Plus 2018-2019 $54.99 888
PCAT Secrets Study Guide $91.99 344
Master the PCAT $29.95 791
PCAT Study Guide 2018-2019 $24.99 364
Barron's PCAT $18.99 360

The PCAT scores you based on scaling and percentile ranking and most of the top pharmacy schools in the country usually require you to have a PCAT score that puts you at the 80th percentile at the very least. That said, it is even more important for you to choose the right PCAT prep books because you are not merely competing against the exam but also against your fellow test-takers if you want to get the highest percentile ranking possible.

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