MCAT vs PCAT: Difference and Comparison

It is a confusing decision for you to choose between the 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, like a golden ticket that helps you realize your dream successfully.

Key Takeaways

  1. MCAT stands for Medical College Admission Test, a standardized test used for admission to medical school. In contrast, PCAT stands for Pharmacy College Admission Test, a standardized test for pharmacy school admission.
  2. The MCAT covers biology, chemistry, physics, and critical thinking, while the PCAT covers biology, chemistry, math, and verbal reasoning.
  3. The MCAT is longer and more complicated than the PCAT, and it is more focused on scientific concepts and critical thinking, while the PCAT is more focused on math and verbal reasoning.


MCAT is an admission test for a medical college. This test contains multiple-choice questions. It is an online test. Students must have a computer, laptop, and internet connection to attempt this test. PCAT is an admission test for a pharmacy college. The duration of this test is three hours and twenty-five minutes.


MCAT is the medical college admission test. It is a standard test in which all the questions are multiple-choice. It is not a pen-paper-based exam; it is an online examination attended by students through the computer.

It has been around for nearly 90 years, and more than 80000 students take the exam.

PCAT is designed to test students based on their skills and knowledge. Students take pharmacy degrees and programs by attending and succeeding in the PCAT exams.

They are easier to crack and attend. It includes sessions like verbal ability, biology, chemistry, and reading comprehension.

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Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonMCATPCAT
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 most 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 formulates 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 a student’s life. Though challenging and difficult to crack, once you prepare and clear the exam, your career will peak.

This exam is one of 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 assistance 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.

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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.

Again, This is conducted online, and candidates take the test with a computer under vigilance. Each and every question are well curated to test the creativity and presence of the mind of 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 their careers 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 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.
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Last Updated : 16 June, 2023

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24 thoughts on “MCAT vs PCAT: Difference and Comparison”

  1. The MCAT and PCAT comparison table offers a comprehensive overview of the distinctions between these exams. It’s crucial for students to analyze these differences based on their individual strengths and goals.

  2. The MCAT and PCAT comparison sheds light on the inherent differences between these assessments. Students should leverage this information to make a well-grounded decision about their future in healthcare.

    • Nicely phrased, Shaw Lucas. Informed choices will undoubtedly lead to favorable outcomes in students’ professional journeys.

  3. The MCAT and PCAT hold significant value in the medical and pharmaceutical fields, respectively. Students should be well-informed about the nature of these tests and their implications for future educational pursuits.

  4. The MCAT and PCAT are pivotal considerations for healthcare aspirants. A thorough understanding of the distinctions between these tests is necessary for making a calculated and informed choice.

    • Well said, Chris92. Informed decision-making will undoubtedly set the course for a successful career in the healthcare domain.

  5. The MCAT and PCAT are both essential assessments for pursuing careers in healthcare. Students should recognize the nuances of these exams and align them with their personal and professional objectives.

    • Well articulated, Amrshall. A holistic approach to this decision is indispensable for aspiring healthcare professionals.

  6. The MCAT and PCAT examinations carry their own set of challenges and opportunities. It’s pivotal for students to weigh these factors to determine the most suitable path for their academic and professional pursuits.

  7. The MCAT and PCAT discussion presents a thought-provoking analysis of the differences and nuances inherent in these tests. This understanding is indispensable for individuals aspiring for careers in medicine and pharmacy.

    • I couldn’t agree more, Frichards. It’s crucial for students to delve into the intricacies of these examinations before deciding on their academic path.

  8. Choosing between MCAT and PCAT can be a difficult decision, but it ultimately depends on your career goals and the field of study you’re interested in. Both tests have their own unique benefits and challenges.

    • Absolutely, Jake71. It’s crucial for students to consider their strengths, interests, and long-term career aspirations when making this decision.

  9. The differences between MCAT and PCAT are clear, but it’s important to emphasize that both are vital for the healthcare industry. Aspiring professionals should weigh these distinctions carefully before making a choice.

  10. Navigating the choice between MCAT and PCAT requires a deep dive into the specificities of each test. It’s imperative for students to evaluate their individual strengths to make an informed decision.


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