Welcome CandidatesUsing our PA-CAT Candidate Hub, we’ll help you prepare for the PA-CAT and strengthen your application to PA school.
"Show PA Programs that you're prepared academically."
Savanna Perry, The PA Platform
Of PA programs have preferences for special student characteristics
Of PA programs require a supplemental application
Of PA programs offer preferences for underrepresented minorities
Facts About the PA-CAT
- PA-CAT Exam is a 240-item assessment covering 9 science subject areas
- Field-tested with over 1700 examinees at 36 PA programs
- Available at over 5,000 Prometric testing centers and at home through remote proctoring
- Cost: $228 (includes the test center fee for standard administration). Learn about our Fee Assistance Program.
- Free PA-CAT Study Resources including:
- Two 120-question PA-CAT practice exams
- 30+ Hours of video subject learning modules, with practice questions and quizzes
- 9 subject 3,200+ question bank for self-assessment quiz creation
- 9 subject-specific practice exams
PA-CAT Insights from a PA Program Director
Get the inside scoop on the PA-CAT, insights into the admissions process, and useful study tips.
PA-CAT Insights with Johnna Yealy, PA-C
Candidate Advice from a PA Educator
by Scott L. Massey, PhD, PA-C, Central Michigan University
Interview Tips for PA Program Candidates
Interviews at PA programs can vary widely. For this purpose, we will present some general information from PA faculty who have nearly 3 decades of admissions experience. Here are some general recommendations that may be helpful.
“I consider the PA-CAT a valuable assessment tool, thoughtfully designed to serve two purposes. First, it will provide a way for students to quantify their understanding of PA-specific, foundational scientific knowledge required for admission to a PA program. Secondly, and more importantly, it will help matriculated students define their personalized learning path for future success and achievements during a rigorous PA curriculum.”
Dr. Massey’s Final Tips for PA Program Candidates
Attention to Detail
Come dressed appropriately. I have interviewed thousands of students for entrance to PA school. I can remember many students who presented to the interview dressed inappropriately. This can be a tipping point whether you are accepted or not. Dress etiquette for interview usually involves a dark business suit for both men and women. Avoid powerful colors such as red and green. Bring a business portfolio and a copy of your CV. Read virtually every word from the program website. You need to try to be an expert about that program.
Perfect Application Submission
,Before you submit your application on CASPA and the supplemental application to each specific PA program ensure that there are no typographical errors. If necessary, have an editor read through your application. Most likely, you have worked with the application for weeks. You are too close to the document to know whether there are some glaring errors. Personal statements on the application with multiple typographical errors result in denial.
Study Your Profession
Read widely about the PA profession. Know the roots and the history behind your chosen profession. You should be an expert on any documents on the AAPA website. In addition, go to your individual state medical board website and read the practice laws for PAs in that state. Some programs might ask questions about the profession in that respective state. When shadowing PA’s ask about their daily practice. Know the pros and cons of being the PA. No profession is perfect. Read workforce trends and healthcare policy. A well-informed applicant will impress the admissions board.
Tenacity and Belief in Your Dream
Only you know why your dream is to become a PA. Visualize yourself walking across the stage and getting your PA degree. Being tenacious is a very positive attribute for PA program admissions committees. Be honest with yourself about your weaknesses. Your attitude must be that if unsuccessful this year you will make yourself better and apply again next year. Applicants who rise above the odds have impressed me.
Do You Have Questions About the PA-CAT Exam or Applying to PA School?
Submit a question and we'll be in touch with an answer.
Exam Master's Physician Assistant College Admissions Test (PA-CAT) is provided through on-line non-downloadable software by Exam Master Corporation.