Pharmacy College Admission Test (PCAT)

The Pharmacy College Admission Test (PCAT) is a specialized test that measures applicants’ general academic ability and scientific knowledge in the context of pharmacy study. Through a series of multiple-choice sections and a writing component, the PCAT assesses competency in five content areas (Biology Processes, Chemical Processes, Quantitative Reasoning, Critical Reading, and Writing) as a means of pre-screening the initial pool of applicants.

All applicants to the PharmD program are required to write the PCAT and have valid scores reported directly to the University of Toronto. For the 2018 admission cycle, valid scores include tests written between January 2014 and January 2018. Failure to write the PCAT or failure to have valid test scores reported directly to the University of Toronto (in electronic format), from the testing agency, will disqualify your application.

As the Pharmacy College Admission Test is independently operated and administered, applicants must register to write the PCAT through the PCAT website. The PCAT is offered several times (July, September, October, November, and January in the 2017-2018 testing year), and in many locations each year. Applicants are advised to register early to ensure their ability to write the test on the date they prefer and at the location of their choice.

Click here for Registration instructions for the Pharmacy College Admission Test

The following chart illustrates the known registration deadlines and testing dates for 2017-2018 PCAT tests. Please note that this list is not official and may not be the most current. To access the official registration deadlines, testing dates, and testing locations, please visit the PCAT website. As well, please note that while the PCAT testing authority may add dates for each testing window based on demand, it is advisable to register early rather than waiting for new testing dates to be added.

PCAT Registration Deadline
PCAT Test Date
July 10, 2017 (regular registration)
August 23, 2017 (late registration)
For all test administrations occurring in September 2017
October  6, 2017 (regular registration)
October 11, 2017 (late registration)
For all test administrations occurring in October and November 2017
November 3, 2017 (regular registration)
December 13, 2017 (late registration)
For all test administrations occurring in January 2018

If you are planning to apply for admission to the PharmD program for September 2018, the final date to write the PCAT will occur in January 2018.  Although the testing agency may add new test dates to occur after January, these will not be eligible for consideration in the 2018 admission cycle.

Applicants may write the PCAT more than once. Test results for each test should be reported to the University of Toronto. When you are registering to write the PCAT, you must enter the University of Toronto recipient code on your PCAT application to ensure that test results will be reported to the University of Toronto (code 278).

The testing agency will report up to five of your most recent test results. Where multiple test results are reported the faculty will use the one test where all minimums are met that has the highest composite score (i.e. if one or more sections are below the required threshold that test does not meet the requirements regardless of the composite score).  The scores from different test administrations cannot be combined. 

To be selected to participate in admission interviews at the University of Toronto minimum scores (thresholds) in the PCAT must be met (amongst other criteria). The following table illustrates the minimum PCAT percentile score values that have been required to proceed to the interview stage in each of the past four admission cycles (i.e. 2014 to 2017). However, it is important to note that the following figures should be considered rough guidelines only. Individual scores on the PCAT are assessed within a competitive pool; as a result, minimum scores may fluctuate from year to year.  You should anticipate that required scores will be no lower than those used in the most recent previous admission cycle as given below.  As well, applicants should note that the PCAT thresholds used for final selections may be higher than the minimum  thresholds which are announced in March of each year to applicants.

Minimum PCAT percentile scores required to proceed to Interview stage:

Test section
Minimum Percentile Score requirements used for the four most recent past admission cycles (2014-2017)
Biology (Biological Processes)
Chemistry (Chemical Processes)
Quantitative Ability (Quantitative Reasoning)
Reading Comprehension (Critical Reading)

For other important details related to PCAT score reporting click here

Some important changes….

PCAT test administrations occurring July 2016 onward have a new test blueprint as well as score reporting changes.  The titles in the table above reflect both the former sub-test titles as well as the new sub-test titles. There are now only 4 multiple-choice sections rather than five – the Verbal Ability section has been removed.  If you wrote PCAT prior to July 2016 the Verbal Ability section, although included in your original score reports, will not be among the sections we will use for assessing minimum requirements (this is why it has been removed from the table above).  You should also note that all percentile scores will be adjusted to reflect the new 2015 ‘normative’ values as calculated by the testing agency.  The Composite percentile score is also based on a recalculated scaled score that excludes the Verbal Ability subtest. Thus, all candidates’ older scaled scores and percentile scores are comparable to those taking the test July 2016 onward.  You can view details of these changes at