Best PCAT Study Guides

Taking on the Pharmacy College Admission Test (PCAT) can be a daunting task. The test must be completed in four and a half hours and covers: Verbal Ability, Quantitative ability, Chemistry, Biology, Reading Comprehension and Writing. With the right prep books you can be more confident come test day.

ExamPrepBooks has personally researched and reviewed every major PCAT book on the market to make things easier for you. The comparison chart below will help you figure out which prep books best fit your needs.

Helpful Comparisons + Best Pricing Options

PCAT Books






COMPANY   Crack the PCAT  Kaplan PCAT  Master the PCAT  Barron’s PCAT  PCAT Flashcards
PRICE  $149  $31.62  $20  $14.77  $12.21
PRACTICE QUESTIONS  2420 500  N/A  NA  350
PAGES  N/A  972  752  400  480
FORMAT Downloadable Software Program  Paperback Book, Online Access  Paperback Book  Paperback Book  Paperback Book, Online Access
SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS  See Full Review for Program Compatibility  Internet Access  None None Internet Access
DIAGNOSTIC EXAMS  Diagnostic Online Quizzes
MORE DETAILS Read Full Review Read Full Review Read Full Review Read Full Review Read Full Review

Crack the PCAT (2016-2017 Premium Edition)


Technically this is not a book, but is way too effective not to mention. If you are really looking to master the PCAT this will give you the practice you need. What really stands out about Crack the PCAT is that it offers over 2400 practice questions and video explanations to go along with them. The software tracks your progress on the tests and allows you to learn and improve through video explanations.

The software includes: 10 complete practice tests, 2420 practice questions, comprehensive solutions,  along with video explanations for all verbal, biology, chemistry, reading, and math questions. The software does not expire and users can upgrade any new features for free. Some new features include: peer score review, 6 hours of bonus reading strategy videos, and bonus writing prompt questions. The software allows you to track the exact areas of the test on which you need to improve. It is recommended that students have internet access to get the full course features.

This is a great course for students who already have a grasp on the concepts and really want to test themselves.  It may be good to get an affordable comprehensive book to supplement some more learning before testing yourself.

  • Either a PC or MAC. On PC, it will support Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8. On MAC, it will support MAC OS X Lion (10.7), Mountain Lion (10.8), Maverick (10.9) and the latest Yosemite (10.10).  The software is NOT compatible with the iPad because the purpose of the program is to emulate actual testing conditions through a laptop or desktop.
  • Monitor with a resolution larger than 800×600 pixels.
  • Internet Connection to activate software.

Kaplan PCAT 2016-2017 Strategies, Practice, and Review


This Kaplan guide was completely reformulated to the 2016-2017 PCAT blueprint to prepare students for what they’d encounter on test day. A couple of things that stand out about this book are that it is the Official PCAT Prep Provider and is very popular amongst students.

Part of it’s popularity has to do with how organized and easy to comprehend it is, along with it’s many great features. The book offers nearly 1000 pages of content which is much more than other leading prep providers.  Students will have a comprehensive review of all test subjects on the PCAT, 2 full-length  online practice test, over 500 practice questions with explanations, and test strategies to conquer the PCAT with.

All in all this is the most popular prep book because it is an authoritative reference and includes the most content out of any PCAT prep book around.

Master the PCAT


Here we have another very comprehensive and popular book to consider when studying for the PCAT. What stands out about this book is that is straight to the point with less fluff than other books. It also goes into detail for each subtest subject including: Writing (part 1 &2), Verbal Ability, biology, Chemistry, Reading comprehension, and Quantitative Ability.

The book includes: “numerous” practice questions with explanations, a diagnostic test to give a better idea of what to focus study efforts on, 1 full-length practice test with explanations, study tips, and helpful details about the exam itself. Although it was released in 2012 and some items may need to be updated, it still remains a main contender for PCAT preparation.

One major disadvantage of Master the PCAT is that certain sections are much less comprehensive than similar sections in other books. For example, the verbal section is only 28 pages, and the reading comprehension section is just 10 pages.

Overall this book offers a lot of quality content at a very affordable price and covers all of the main test topics. It is also is one of the only books to offer any sort of diagnostic testing, so that students can start off studying the right things.

Barron’s PCAT, 6th Edition


Barron’s recently updated and released this book so students would have a more current reference for the test. What stands out about this book is that it practices and explains questions from each test topic in about half as many pages as other leading books. Obviously it won’t have as much detail as others but rest assured it will have quality material coming from a large test prep company like Barron’s.

While this book may need to be supplemented with another study book in order to achieve more extensive coverage of the subtest materials, it is still one of the best PCAT prep books for its extensive provision of practice questions. Moreover, the helpful information on life in pharmacy beyond the PCAT is definitely a nice bonus.


PCAT Flashcards, Premium Edition


REA’s flashcard book for the PCAT allows users to gauge how ready they are for the test. This is more of a supplemental resource for other books of study.

These 350 flashcards along with their detailed answer explanations are presented in book format. The fact that students can take a diagnostic online quiz (total of 4 quizzes) every time they go through the book allows them to study much more efficiently. The book has practice questions for each category of the PCAT. This is a really excellent way to focus on improving areas of weakness for the test.

Overall this is a great supplemental or additional source of study. It might be a nice change of pace from other fully comprehensive materials.