The American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy, the national organization representing pharmacy education in the United States, announced today that Kaplan Test Prep is its official test prep provider for the Pharmacy College Admission Test (PCAT), required for admission by over 75% of U.S. pharmacy schools. The announcement comes in conjunction with the launch of the Kaplan Test Prep and AACP co-sponsored Foundations of the Future Pharmacist Program, which seeks to make PCAT prep more accessible to all students. As part of this program, Kaplan will significantly reduce tuition for its PCAT prep programs (on site; online On Demand; and live, online Classroom Anywhere), offering more tuition assistance, and giving 250 scholarships to AACP to award at its own discretion. A critical piece of the pharmacy school admissions process, the PCAT is scored on a scale from 200-600 with the median being a 400. The 90th percentile is typically a 430. Many pharmacy schools require that applicants score above a particular level on the exam in order to be considered as a candidate for admissions. “We applaud AACP in its efforts to enable more individuals to enter a field with promising career opportunities, and are pleased to support this goal by providing greater access to PCAT prep for pre-pharmacy students,” said Amjed Saffarini, Vice President of Graduate Programs, Kaplan Test Prep. Saffarini noted that studies of PCAT scores and pharmacy school GPA show a correlation between success on the PCAT and success in pharmacy school. Members of AACP believe that students who prepare for the PCAT are more likely to succeed in pharmacy school as well. With a low 3.1% unemployment rate (less than half the national average) and a median annual salary of nearly $115,000, pharmacist is currently ranked as the third best job in the United States, according to the 2013 U.S. News & World Report Best Jobs ranking -- just behind dentist and registered nurse.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects pharmacist positions to increase 25% between 2010 and 2020, from 274,000 to 345,000. Advances in healthcare and technology, coupled with great career opportunities, make now an ideal time to pursue pharmacy school, for those with the interest and drive for it.AACP CEO & EVP, Lucinda L. Maine, Ph.D., R.Ph., said, “AACP looks forward to working with Kaplan to increase access to PCAT preparation for prospective students seeking careers in pharmacy.” Dr. Maine also added, “This type of partnership assists us in meeting our strategic goal of assisting our member institutions in attracting, motivating, developing and retaining the highest quality and most diverse students.” The initiative to make PCAT prep more accessible comes on the heels of a decline in the number of exam takers. In the most recently recorded academic year (2012-2013), the PCAT was administered 28,400 times to aspiring pharmacists , its lowest level in nearly a decade. According to the Pharmacy Manpower Project, a shortfall of as many as 157,000 pharmacists is predicted by 2020, which, added with the projected physician shortage, could have a sharply negative effect on patients and their access to healthcare. About the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy Founded in 1900, AACP is the national organization representing the interests of pharmacy education. AACP is comprised of all accredited colleges and schools with pharmacy degree programs accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education, including more than 6,500 faculty, 62,500 students enrolled in professional programs and 5,100 individuals pursuing graduate study. To learn more about AACP, visit www.aacp.org. About Kaplan Test Prep Kaplan Test Prep ( www.kaptest.com) is a premier provider of educational and career services for individuals, schools and businesses. Established in 1938, Kaplan is the world leader in the test prep industry. With a comprehensive menu of online offerings as well as a complete array of print books and digital products, Kaplan offers preparation for more than 90 standardized tests, including entrance exams for secondary school, college and graduate school, as well as professional licensing exams for attorneys, physicians and nurses. Kaplan also provides private tutoring and graduate admissions consulting services. Note to editors: Kaplan is a subsidiary of The Washington Post Company (NYSE:WPO)