Pearson announced today that the Pharmacy College Admission Test (PCAT) will now be available to test takers via computer-based test (CBT). A pilot of the new PCAT CBT will begin on Oct. 16, 2010, with plans to migrate to 100 percent computer-based testing by July 2011. The PCAT CBT will be delivered through the company’s electronic testing business, Pearson VUE, at its network of secure, state-of-the-art Pearson Professional Centers in the United States, Canada and around the world. Pearson VUE delivers millions of high stakes tests each year, including the North American Pharmacist Licensure Examination™ (NAPLEX®) for the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP) and the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam (PTCE) for the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB).
Developed, published, scored and reported to pharmacy schools and candidates by the Clinical Assessment business of Pearson, the PCAT measures general academic ability and scientific knowledge of candidates and is endorsed by the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP) as the official preferred admission test for entrance to pharmacy college. The PCAT consists of 240 multiple-choice items and two writing topics. Studies have found the PCAT to be both a strong predictor of performance in pharmacy school and on national licensure exams.
“Computer-based testing is an important step in the evolution of the PCAT,” said Executive Vice President & CEO, Lucinda Maine. “In the coming months the AACP looks forward to working with Pearson to offer enhanced access to the PCAT for prospective students across the entire United States.”
Interest in pharmacy as a profession continues to grow in the United States. According to AACP, professional student pharmacist enrollments at the country’s nearly 120 accredited colleges and schools of pharmacy have increased for nine consecutive years.
“Many of the candidates taking the PCAT today are true digital natives — computers have been a part of their education their entire lives. Moving the administration of the PCAT to a 100 percent computer-based testing experience will offer them the chance to take this important test in the environment where they feel most comfortable as well as numerous other benefits,” said Carol Watson, President, Clinical Assessments at Pearson. “When the migration is complete, candidates will have access to unofficial scores immediately after completing the test, allowing them to know where they stand. In addition, Pearson VUE centers are renowned for their high levels of security and quality of test administration so they can trust that their personal information and test results will be safe.”
During the pilot year, candidates taking the PCAT via computer-based test will receive their score via U.S. mail in the same time frame as paper-based test takers. However, in 2011, when the PCAT becomes a 100 percent computer-based test, they will receive an unofficial preliminary score report for the multiple choice portion immediately after the test.
For more information about the PCAT and 2010-11 test dates, go to www.pcatweb.info.
Pearson (NYSE:PSO), the global leader in education and education technology, provides innovative print and digital education materials for preK through college, student information systems and learning management systems, teacher licensure testing, teacher professional development, career certification programs, and testing and assessment products that set the standard for the industry. Pearson’s other primary businesses include the Financial Times Group and the Penguin Group. For more information, visit www.pearson.com