When it comes to preparing for the Pharmacy College Admission Test (PCAT) there is undoubtedly a lot learn. Future test-takers are not only seeking the best (and most effective) way to help consume the information they need to know, but are also in search of a tool that will put them in a position to achieve the most competitive score possible. PCAT is an app for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch which takes one of the most basic study tools ever – flashcards – and makes them a heck of a lot more practical than a fat stack of 3×5 index cards. Take a look at PCAT to see if the app could help you gear up for the PCAT.

Quick Overview:

  • Purpose: To provide a flashcard-style study tool to help prepare for the Pharmacy College Admissions Test (PCAT)
  • Price: $2.99
  • Type of tool: Flashcard-style format
  • Topics covered: Inorganic Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, Biology, Vocabulary, Quantitative
  • Developer: Sprockit, Inc.

Purpose of App Review:

To review utility of the app for preparing for the PCAT.

User Interface:

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Based on the same format of the developer’s other flashcard-style apps, the Flashcards section is the home screen by default. This home screen not only allows you to immediately begin using the deck of flashcards, but also gives you access to useful and customizable features and additional options included with the app. Up top you will see which section of the app you are using; to the left, a Filter feature to customize the entire deck of flashcards; and to the right, an Options feature for each individual flashcard. Down below, a toolbar gives you the option to access additional sections of the app – including the Store and About sections. When using the iPad, the bottom of the screen has a button which controls a ‘zoom’ function. Using this feature you can switch between a ‘normal’ view (1X) (i.e a view similar to an iPhone or iPod display) or a zoomed view (2X). Although the 2X view appears slightly pixilated, it is better to have this option then to not have this option.

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To customize your flashcard deck, you can apply a filter by tapping the filter icon at the top left hand corner of the screen which will then display the various subject area covered by the flashcards, including Inorganic Chem, Organic Chem, Biology, Vocabulary, and Quantitative. You must then select at least one of the subject areas/categories to review and tap the filter icon a second time to return to the deck of flashcards, which will contain fewer or a greater number of flashcards depending on your filtered selections. At the top of this menu, you can also choose to turn on or off the “Flagged” option which when turned on displays flashcards that you have personally flagged (i.e. flashcards you may have answered incorrectly).

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If you would like to pare down to the tweaking a specific flashcard, the following three different Flashcard options are displayed when the Options wheel on the top right corner of the screen is tapped: 1.) delete the card, which permanently deletes the most recent flashcard visible from the deck, 2.) add new card, which allows you to create your own card by inputting a question, the answer to the question, and assigning the newly created card to one of the existing subject areas/categories, or 3.) edit this card, which allows you to edit the question or answer to the most recent flashcard visible from the deck.

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You can shuffle between flashcards in sequential order by simply swiping the screen from left to right or vice versa. Tapping the flashcard will flip it over to reveal the answer to the question. Each flashcard also has a flag icon which when selected turns red and can be later viewed via the abovementioned filter option when the flagged option is turned on.

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In the Store section, there are three .99 cent in-app purchase options: Multiple Choice Quiz prepares a 20 question quiz from existing content to help solidify your knowledge; Shuffle allows you to shuffle the flashcards, so content is presented in a random order ever time; and Add New Category allows you to create custom categories for new flashcards added. While these in-app purchases are great, make the user experience that much better, and only cost under a buck each, we think you should be at least able to shuffle your deck at no cost.

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The About section gives you a basic over of the app, offers a simple explanation of how to use it, and gives information about the developer. You are also encouraged to contact Sprockit Education with any comments or suggestions about the app via the suggestion box under the More section. And oh yeah, the developers want you to keep you motivated and remember that knowledge is power!

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The More section does not give you more user options for the app but allows you to provide feedback and access more of the developer’s apps. You can either 1.) rate the app and provide feedback by inputting your name, email address,  selecting ‘general,’ feature request,’ or ‘bug,’ and then providing your comments in the space provided and/or 2.) access two more study apps created by the developer (PTCB Exam Review, MCAT).

Subject-Areas Covered:

  • Inorganic Chemistry: 210 flashcards
  • Organic Chemistry: 145 flashcards
  • Biology: 256 flashcards
  • Vocabulary: 515 flashcards
  • Quantitative: 75 flashcards

Flashcards are a popular method for studying material, and when it comes to learning vocabulary, they are arguably one of the first study tools students use to get the job done. So, it makes a lot of sense that this app provides you with over 500 flashcards in the Vocabulary section. Having such a great number of flashcards dedicated to vocabulary, not only helps prepare for the Verbal Ability section of the PCAT, but also both Writing sections and the Reading Comprehension section. With the five subject areas/categories covered by the flashcards, the app will essentially cover all bases and help you review for all subtests of the PCAT – Writing, Verbal Ability, Biology, Chemistry, Reading Comprehension, and Quantitative Ability.

Price:

$2.99

Likes:

  • Ability to use flashcard-style format to review content areas for all PCAT subtests
  • Ability to review content areas by subtest categories
  • Flashcard flag option and feature to turn on/off flagging filter
  • 500+ relevant vocabulary flashcards
  • Substantial collection of biology and chemistry flashcards
  • Ability to delete, add, or edit flashcards
  • Multiple Choice Quiz

Dislikes:

  • Seeing About and Comments as options on subject menu
  • Limited questions for general chemistry and basic biochemistry processes
  • Zoom-in feature which created a slightly pixilated view
  • Shuffle feature not include and only offered as in-app purchase.
  • Unavailable for android devices

Students that would find this app useful:

  • Prehealth students studying for the PCAT or students wanting to review content areas tested on the PCAT.


Parting Thoughts About the App

The PCAT app provides a easy, on-the-go study tool to prepare for the PCAT. The majority of the flashcards focus on vocabulary but may help the test taker prepare for multiple subtests at once and review the most relevant content in an easily digestible way.The PCAT app is developed by Sprockit, Inc. and is compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.  You can access the app here.

PreMedLife recommended?

Yes, for the extensive review built around vocabulary which is important for performing well on multiple subtests.