Below is our free PCAT Critical Reading practice test. The reading section includes 48 questions that are based on 6 passages. You will have 50 minutes to answer all of the questions. The skills tested are reading comprehension, analysis, and evaluation. Try our PCAT Reading questions to see if you are fully prepared for your exam.
The main idea of the passage could best be summarized as:
The progression of a tubercular infection and how the body’s immune system responds to it.
How bacilli maintain growth inside of the body.
The human body’s reaction to a bacterial infection.
The progression of a tubercular infection.
Which description best characterizes the tone of this passage?
Subjective and biased
Objective and unbiased
Scientific and caring
Clinical and respectful
It is true that bacilli:
are insensible to outside influence.
attack lymph nodes first.
produce toxins harmful to the body.
do not destroy surrounding tissue.
Based on the information in paragraph 1, it is likely that sneezing would
Expedite the progression of the infection
Impede the growth of the bacteria
Aid the body in the removal of the infection
Obstruct further passage for the bacteria
What causes tissue to convert into soft semi-fluid material?
The attacking bacilli breaking through the cicatricial tissue
Air distributed through the bronchi in the lungs
Further extension by the lymphatics
Additional movement caused by coughing
In context, efficacious, in the middle of the first paragraph, most closely means:
The author is considering the addition of another paragraph. Which of the following would serve as the best topic sentence of the added paragraph?
After leaving the abdominal cavity, the sputum makes its way to the bloodstream, where it can further infect the organism.
The lymphatics serve many purposes in facilitating the growth of the bacilli within the body.
While it may seem as if the body has given up the fight at this point, this is not the case.
It is within the abdominal cavity that tubercular infection finds its biggest obstacle.
According to the passage, which of the following is true about tubercular infection?
It can be stopped in the lungs, but not once it attacks the rest of the body.
It can always be stopped before fatality.
It can be checked until it reaches the intestines, but not after.
It can sometimes be checked in an advanced stage, but not always.
Which statement from the passage is an opinion of the author?
“…some health care professionals are also concerned about…” in paragraph 4
“Chronic pain is pain that lasts for 3 to 6 months…” in paragraph 4
“…episodes of pain vary from patient to patient…” in paragraph 2
“By increasing awareness … and promoting…” in paragraph 1
Out of this group, which of the following demographic is the LEAST likely to have SCD?
Middle Eastern women
The word “hallmarks” in paragraph 2 most likely means?
In response to a doctor’s question, a patient says, “It usually occurs all of a sudden, but I’ve noticed it happen when I’m stressed out and tired from work. And I’d say that it’s been ongoing for a few months now.”
Of the following, which is this patient probably describing?
What steps can health care professionals take to help patients and their families cope with SCD?
Raising awareness and advocating patient education
Overestimating the number of individuals affected by SCD
Focusing on the potential for addiction and adverse effects
Distinguishing the difference between chronic and acute pain
According to the passage, the major difference between acute pain and chronic pain is
The severity of the pain involved
The duration of the pain involved
The side effects of the pain involved
The methods of managing the pain involved
The passage as a whole can best be described as a
Which of the following is NOT a possible cause of chronic pain in SCD patients?
changes in altitude
The tone of the passage could best be described as?
Which of the following is NOT something pharmacists can provide information about?
myths about AD
truths about AD
cures for AD
treatments for AD
In paragraph 2, “harbinger” most nearly means?
A patient with Alzheimer’s might show language difficulties by describing a computer as:
The author’s attitude toward Alzheimer’s disease is best summarized by which of the following?
Pessimistic about the future prospects surrounding the disease and potential treatments.
Accepting of the disease’s inevitabilities and forthright about the extent of different treatments’ effectiveness.
Critical of the treatment methods utilized by health care professionals.
Apathetic toward developing new treatments for the disease.
The final paragraph primarily serves to
Detail the transition from early stage Alzheimer’s to the severe stages of the disease.
Outline the different treatment options available to patients.
Explain how patients decide which treatment to pursue.
Describe how health care professionals decide when to terminate treatment.
Acetylcholinesterase inhibitors and N-methyl-D-aspartate antagonists can do which of the following to help AD patients?
decrease disruptive behavior
stop disease progression
delay cognitive function
The side note, “often mispronounced purposefully or accidentally as ‘old timers’ disease,” best functions in what way in the first paragraph?
Give a relatable anecdote for the reader to begin a description of a serious topic.
Make a joke about a serious topic.
Provide background details about Alzheimer’s disease.
Teach the reader a nickname of the disease.
A diagnosis of mycoplasma may be suspected in cases in which
fever, congestion, and fatigue were never present
fever, congestion, and fatigue were present initially, but then went away
fever, congestion, and fatigue remain constant during the cough
fever, congestion, and fatigue go away with the cough
The primary purpose of this passage is
to give background information about mycoplasma
to describe the dangers of mycoplasma
to provide details on how mycoplasma primarily infects children
to trace the cause of the common cold
It is probable that mycoplasma pneumonia is most common in crowded areas because
they evolved from eubacteria primarily infect children.
they lack a cell wall, they glide freely, and they produce hydrogen peroxide.
they require no oxygen or host cell, they are very small, and they are able to burrow between cilia.
they have no identifiable risk factor and incubate over 3 weeks.
Approximately what percentage of known mycoplasma species live in human beings?
Within the context of the passage as a whole, paragraph 2 serves what purpose?
Give a general description of mycoplasma.
Provide specific details of mycoplasma and how it relates to the common cold.
Describe the progression of “walking pneumonia” in humans.
Define the characteristics of mycoplasma pneumoniae.
The tone of the passage can best be described as
In paragraph 2, “symbiotic” most nearly means
Which of the following is NOT true about mycoplasma infection?
It can be contracted without an identifiable risk factor.
It has an incubation period of over three weeks.
It can be diagnosed without laboratory testing.
It can cause nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea in children.
In the first sentence, “omnipresent” most nearly means?
The passage as a whole primarily serves to
outline the prevalence of lead and provide a description of lead poisoning, its causes, diagnosis, and effects.
raise awareness of the dangers of lead poisoning.
describe the causes and effects of lead poisoning.
detail the history of lead and lead poisoning.
The inclusion of what evidence would best support the author’s claim in the first paragraph that “civilization has been unable to prevent or control it satisfactorily.”
A quote from a well respected doctor.
A survey of 10,000 randomly selected people.
A collection of statistics stating the number of deaths from lead poisoning.
A series of anecdotes describing lead poisoning.
Why are infants and children more vulnerable to lead poisoning?
They can absorb a greater fraction of lead than adults with the same exposure.
The CDC announced a new, lower reference value for children.
They can become exposed through prenatal maternal-fetal transmission.
Because 450,000 American children have BLLs >5 mcg/dL.
Which of the following best explains the “many tests [used] to identify lead poisoning?”
the disproportionate number of lead hazards found in low-income housing
the 450,000 American children who have BLLs > 5 mcg/dL
the unpredictable variety, and occasional absence, of symptoms
lead’s environmental omnipresence
Which of the following is true about lead?
Humans require some of it to survive.
It is non-toxic in small quantities.
It has properties that made it attractive to certain manufacturers.
It affects only certain organ systems upon exposure.
What is NOT a test to detect lead poisoning?
In context, which of the following expresses an opinion of the author?
“Unfortunately, lead is toxic to humans.” in paragraph 1.
“Overall incidence of lead poisoning…has fallen from 4.4%...to 1.4%” in paragraph 1.
“Lead exposure can start with prenatal maternal-fetal transmission.” in paragraph 3.
“Sometimes, classic signs and symptoms are absent…” in paragraph 5.
Awareness of cardiovascular disease (CVD) among women was partially limited because:
The American Heart Association did not do enough to raise awareness prior to 1997.
There was a prevailing misconception that AVD was a “man’s disease.”
The Guidelines for Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease in Women was not published until 1997.
The AHA was ill-informed about the statistics of CVD occurrence in men and women.
Throughout the passage, it is implied that which of the following will lead to fewer deaths resulting from CVD?
Finding a cure for CVD.
Raising awareness and understanding of CVD.
Teaching women about the consequences of CVD.
Educating men and women about heart attacks.
The main idea of the passage can best be summarized as
raising awareness of the dangers of CVD to women.
educating Americans on the importance of cardiovascular health.
providing women with statistics regarding CVD.
describing the causes, effects, and treatment of CVD.
Of the following, which is an opinion expressed by the author?
“…only 13% of women perceive CVD as a health threat.” In paragraph 1.
“…the misconception that CVD is a ‘man’s disease’…” in paragraph 1.
“Unfortunately, many women may not always recognize…” in paragraph 4.
“…43% did not experience any type of chest pain…” in paragraph 5.
In context, the word “pivotal” in paragraph 3 most nearly means
The author relies upon all of the following EXCEPT which of the following to make his/her argument?
Why are women often unaware of their CVD symptoms?
Their symptoms are less obvious than those of men.
The majority of them do not believe they are susceptible to CVD.
They are misinformed by the majority of the media.
They are not correctly informed by their pharmacists and health care professionals.
Which of the following is NOT a symptom most men experience during a heart attack?
left arm tingling