Difference Between MCAT and PCAT (With Table)

It is often a confusing decision for you to choose between PCAT and MCAT when you would like to lay your career path in the direction of healthcare. These tests help you to gain an opportunity to study at universities in Canada and the United States. Usually, MCAT is the most popular, and it is like a golden ticket that helps you to realize your dream successfully.


The difference between MCAT and PCAT is their purpose, format, and pattern of examination, the total scores, cost of applying for the examinations, and much more. Though they share a few similarities, like the objects they test the students and rules like the forbidding of calculator is same for both the sheer purpose and method of preparation varies.

MCAT is the medical college admission test. It is a standard test in which all the questions are of multiple choice. It is not a pen paper-based exam, and it is an online examination usually attended by students through the computer. It has been around for nearly 90 years, and more than 80000 students take the exam.

PCAT is usually designed and aimed at testing the students based on their skills and knowledge. Pharmacy degrees and programs are usually taken by students by attending and succeeding the PCAT exams. They are easier to crack and attend. It includes sessions like verbal ability along with biology, chemistry, and reading comprehension.

Comparison Table Between MCAT and PCAT

Parameters of Comparison
Full form MCAT is the medical college admission test.PCAT is the pharmacy college admission test.
Duration of Test It is lengthier comparatively, and the test is conducted for about a duration of about 7 hours and 30 minutes.It is shorter when compared with MCAT for about 3 hours and 25 minutes.
EligibilityClearing and scoring a good MCAT score makes you eligible and helps you compete in United States, Canada, and Australia.  Pharmacy colleges in North America take you in with your PCAT scores.
ScoreThe total score is in the range of 472-528.The score of the examination is around 200 – 600.
FeeThe enrollment fee is costly comparatively.  The enrollment fees are very much affordable than that of MCAT.

What is MCAT?

Though a lot of admission tests and entrance exams exist, MCAT is one of the popular, and a lot of students prefer to take the exams since it is the admission test for a lot of popular universities in both Canada and the United States.

A board of well-trained board of professionals that includes medical educators, health specialists, physicians, and medical students identifies and formulate the syllabus and pattern for the examination. The syllabus of the examination is classified into four sections. The MCAT exams are conducted several times a year. Usually, students take the exam the year previous to the actual year of their graduation.

The MCAT exam is a very important and significant step and a milestone in the life of a student. Though challenging and difficult to crack the exam, once you prepare and clear the exam, your career will reach its peak.

This exam is one of the easy yet difficult at the same time, in order to dodge money being a barrier from giving obstacles for aspiring students who would like to pursue healthcare as a career. Foundations and assistant boards are prevalent to provide and aid financial assistance to encourage them. Once you satisfy all the prerequisites, the registration fee for the exam is considerably reduced.

What is PCAT?

The PCAT exams are easy to take comparatively. The score that you gain is converted with the help of a scale. The PCAT exam score is between the range of 200 to 600. It is the pharmacy college admission test.

It is used to test the candidate’s academic ability, knowledge, and necessary components to ensure the student’s knowledge and prerequisites to take up the healthcare course. It is particularly meant for the universities offering pharmacy courses.

This is again conducted online, and candidates take up the test with a computer under vigilance. Each and every question are well curated to test the creativity and presence of mind in students. The questions are not direct, and they are twisted. The benefit is that it includes a break since it is a longer exam.

It is quite comfortable for the students to plan about the career and immediately decide as they get an unofficial score immediately after they complete the test. There is no fixed benchmark for the passing score, and it is individually decided by the universities and the colleges that offer relevant courses. In a lifetime, the candidates have the privilege of taking up the PCAT tests about five times.

Main Differences Between MCAT and PCAT

  1. The medical college admission test is abbreviated as MCAT, whereas the pharmacy college admission test is abbreviated as PCAT.
  2. MCAT exams qualify you to enrol in many foreign institutions, including North American universities and the PCAT exams are generally only for North American universities.
  3. MCAT exams are lengthier than the PCAT exams.
  4. The duration of the MCAT is exams is very much higher than the PCAT.
  5. The total score for the MCAT is higher than that of the PCAT.


 Though these exams have their own benefits and level of difficulties, it is important for you to be aware of all the details of these examinations and consider which one will best suit them and their career choice. Choosing the right option will help you to have a more focused goal, and it allows to you prepare confidently and in a way that is much suited and inclined for your goal. MCAT is considered to be more challenging than the PCAT. To take the MCAT, you would have to prepare for a long time, including a lot of basic and fundamental concepts. PCAT is easier and requires less time for preparation.


  1. https://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/wk/acm/2020/00000095/00000003/art00030
  2. https://psycnet.apa.org/record/2011-08408-001
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