PA-CAT Candidate Support Page

We're here to help you understand the PA-CAT and answer any questions you may have.

Based upon the hundreds of conversations we have had with candidates like yourself who are planning on taking the PA-CAT, we have created this support section, that should answer many of your questions. If you need additional support, don’t hesitate to reach out to our PA-CAT support team.

Let’s start with an overview of the PA-CAT Exam

FAQs for Candidates

GENERAL QUESTIONS

What's new for the 2022 Admissions Cycle?

**Starting in January 2022** Scores are processed on the 20th of each month and posted by the 1st of the following month. E.g., if you take the exam between Jan 21st and Feb 20th, your score will be available in your Candidate Score Portal by March 1st. Check with the PA programs you are applying to for their program-specific deadlines and allow enough time for them to receive your official scores.

Where can I take the PA-CAT Exam?

The PA-CAT exam is administered at Prometric testing centers across the US or via Prometric’s Live Remote Proctor.

To find a physical testing center location near you, visit the Prometric website and select the PA-CAT exam. Click the action buttons on the left and follow the instructions for finding a center and scheduling your exam. This information is available even if you are not ready to schedule the exam.

Remote availability cannot be searched on Prometric’s website until after the registration is complete and the candidate has an eligibility number. To confirm that your computer meets the minimum technical requirements for a remote exam, visit prometric.com/emc.

When should I take the PA-CAT Exam?

PA programs have two types of admissions processes, rolling and fixed. If you are applying to any program using rolling admissions, we recommend you take the PA-CAT as early in the cycle as you can.

Currently, scores are pulled on the last day of each month and posted to your account and any programs you selected in your Candidate Portal by the 10th of the following month.

**Starting in January 2022** Scores are processed on the 20th of each month and posted by the 1st of the following month. E.g., if you take the exam between Jan 21st and Feb 20th, your score will be available in your Candidate Score Portal by March 1st. Check with the PA programs you are applying to for their program-specific deadlines and allow enough time for them to receive your official scores.

What is the cost of the PA-CAT Exam?

The cost of the PA-CAT exam is $228. This fee includes both the exam fee and the test center or remote proctor fee. The cost to take the PA-CAT via Prometric’s live proctor is also $228.

How do I apply for Special Accommodations?

Please see the detailed special accommodations procedures in our Resources section.

How often can I take the PA-CAT Exam?

The PA-CAT can be taken every 6 weeks with a max of 3 times over the course of 12 months. Any candidates that do not adhere to this policy will have all scores invalidated and will be barred from taking the PA-CAT exam again in the future.

REGISTRATION

How do I register for the PA-CAT exam?

To begin the registration process, visit pa-cat.com to submit your application for the PA-CAT exam. To schedule your test day and time with Prometric, the following must be completed:

  1. Your registration must be complete.
  2. You must be approved for the exam by Exam Master.
  3. You must have received the confirmation email with your eligibility confirmation.

You will receive your eligibility confirmation email after your registration has been completed and payment has been received.

After you received your Eligibility Confirmation Number, visit prometric.com/emc to schedule your exam date and time.

Can I change or reschedule my exam date and/or test center?

Yes, you can still make changes to your scheduled date and center directly with Prometric. All changes must be made at least 5 days before your examination appointment. Prometric can be reached at 1-800-853-6769.

There is a $50 fee for changing an appointment 5 to 29 days before your examination appointment. There is no charge for changing more than 29 days before your examination appointment. If you are within 5 days of your exam date, your appointment can no longer be canceled or rescheduled. Prometric reserves the right to change these timelines. Please contact Prometric directly for questions.

How can I change my test center appointment to a remote proctored exam?

If you already scheduled your exam at a Prometric testing center you will be able to reschedule your test date to test remotely. You must be more than 5 days out from your exam appointment to change your test center appointment to a remote proctored exam. Fees may apply.  

To reschedule your exam, visit prometric.com/emc to cancel your current test center appointment. This will reset your eligibility. After canceling your original appointment, schedule your remote proctored appointment using your original Eligibility Number.

What is Prometric's contact information?

Prometric can be reached at 1-800-853-6769, or visit prometric.com/contact-us

CONTENT & PREPARATION

What is covered on the PA-CAT exam?
PA-CAT Exam is a 240-item assessment covering the following 9 science subject areas:
Anatomy
Physiology
General Biology
Biochemistry
General and Organic
Chemistry
Microbiology
Behavioral Sciences
Genetics
Statistics

What resources are available to prepare for the PA-CAT exam?

This full suite of free PA-CAT study resources has been structured as a Physician Assistant Pre-Matriculation Bootcamp to help provide each candidate with a strong overview of the key prerequisite subjects covered on the exam.

Included in this physician assistant pre-matriculation bootcamp are 9 Subject-Specific Practice Exams covering the nine subjects on the PA-CAT, two 120-Question PA-CAT Practice Exams, 30+ Hours of Video Subject Learning Modules, and a 3,200+ Subject-Specific Question Bank, whereby the candidate can create their own self-assessment quizzes.

After you register for the PA-CAT exam, login into your Candidate portal at pa-cat.com to access the study resources.

How do I access my free study resources?

To access your PA-CAT Study Resources, you need to be registered to take the PA-CAT exam. After you complete your registration, log into your Candidate Score portal at pa-cat.com and click on the link located on your dashboard.

TEST DAY

How long is the PA-CAT exam?

The PA-CAT consists of 240 multiple-choice questions. The allotted time for the exam is 4.5 hours, which includes mandatory pre-exam questions, a break between exam sections, and a post-exam survey.

What items am I allowed to bring to the exam?

PA-CAT SCORE

How is the PA-CAT exam scored?

PA-CAT scores are scaled, which involves statistical analysis and modeling. Scaled scores allow for accurate reporting of results across different versions of the exam and over time. Scaled scores account for the variability of question difficulty and more accurately measure candidate performance compared to raw scores. The scoring range is between 200 and 800, similar to the PANCE. Scores are valid for 2 years.

To read more about the scoring process, click here.

How do I select the schools to receive my PA-CAT scores?

To select your schools, log into your PA-CAT portal at pa-cat.com. Any schools selected will receive your PA-CAT score and your complete PA-CAT score history up to 2 years.

When and how will I receive my PA-CAT scores?

Currently, scores are pulled at the end of each month and posted to your Candidate Portal and any programs you selected in your Candidate Portal by the 10th of the following month.

**Starting in January 2022** Scores are processed on the 20th of each month and posted by the 1st of the following month. E.g., if you take the exam between Jan 21st and Feb 20th, your score will be available in your Candidate Score Portal by March 1st. Check with the PA programs you are applying to for their program-specific deadlines and allow enough time for them to receive your official scores.

What is the passing score?

The PA-CAT does not have a passing score. Candidate scores are ranked and compared based on the results of all other exam takers. Quintiles are used to group candidates into five equal scoring ranges based on how they performed on the PA-CAT exam.

The PA-CAT reports two types of scores: a composite score, which is the score for the entire exam, and sub-scores for the three largest components of the exam (Anatomy and Physiology, Biology, and Chemistry).
What are quintile rankings?

Due to the impact of COVID-19 on test centers, initial candidate rankings are presented as quintiles rather than individual percentile rankings for better statistical validity. 

Quintiles are used to group candidates into five equal scoring ranges based on how they performed on the exam. A candidate whose score is equal to or better than 80% of all the candidates who took the exam would be in the top quintile on the PA-CAT.

For any additional questions regarding the PA-CAT please:
visit our website
 or contact our PA-CAT support team.

Thanks and good luck with your exam!

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