Study Links PCAT Scores to Performance on the North American Pharmacist Licensure Examination (NAPLEX)

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Study published in the American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education says PCAT scores correlate with national licensure scores.

Harcourt Assessment's Pharmacy College Admission Test (PCAT) was featured in a study published in a recent volume of the American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education. The study was conducted by staff at the School of Pharmacy at Texas Tech University Health Services Center. The study identified a strong correlation between students' PCAT scores and their subsequent scores on national licensure exams. The PCAT is the most widely used measure for admission to pharmacy colleges.

"PCAT is a valuable tool to the admissions process in the majority of schools across the country," said Harcourt Assessment Publisher Aurelio Prifitera, Ph.D. "This study validates PCAT as a useful measure in estimating a student's potential for licensure before they are admitted to a program."

The study correlated various measures of student achievement with national licensure exam scores, but found that a student's composite PCAT score was the strongest predictor of performance on the NAPLEX examination. In addition to composite scores, the study also positively correlated PCAT biology, verbal, reading, quantitative, and chemistry scores with a student's score on the NAPLEX examination.

Additionally, the study examined the California Critical Thinking Skills Test (CCTST) and identified, through correlation, a significant overlap with the PCAT. As indicated in the study, this overlap indicates that the PCAT may be a sufficient measure of critical thinking on its own.

Used by more than 70 percent of pharmacy colleges for candidate admission and endorsed by the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP), the PCAT is the official preferred admissions test for entrance to pharmacy college. Each year, the PCAT is administered to more than 31,000 students, measuring general academic ability and scientific knowledge necessary for the commencement of pharmaceutical education.

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About Harcourt Assessment, Inc.

Based in San Antonio, Harcourt Assessment, Inc. is a leading provider of high-quality assessment instruments and testing programs published under two brand names -- Harcourt Assessment and PsychCorp™. For more than 85 years, Harcourt Assessment has been providing insight about children and adults; informing instruction, curricula, and clinical practice; collaborating with educators and clinical professionals; assisting human resources, admissions and credential professionals; and creating assessment innovations, in order to provide the most effective assessment solutions for the success of all individuals.

The company is a unit of Harcourt Education, a global education provider serving students and teachers in Pre-K through grade 12, adult learners, and readers of all ages. Harcourt Education is part of Reed Elsevier Group plc. (, a world-leading publisher and information provider. It is owned equally by Reed Elsevier PLC (NYSE: RUK) and Reed Elsevier NV (NYSE: ENL).


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Russell Schweiss
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