The health sciences reasoning test in the pharmacy admissions process

Am J Pharm Educ. 2014 Feb 12;78(1):9. doi: 10.5688/ajpe7819.


Objective: To evaluate the impact of including Health Sciences Reasoning Test (HSRT) scores in the doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) admissions process compared with other criteria used.

Methods: The HSRT was administered to all prepharmacy students who were selected for an interview (n=122) as part of the PharmD program admissions process. The HSRT score and other evaluation criteria were used to establish candidate rankings. The correlation between total HSRT scores and other measures used in the admissions process then was evaluated.

Results: Candidate rankings were not noticeably different when the HSRT scores were excluded from the admission process. The HSRT scores were significantly and highly correlated with applicants' Pharmacy College Admission Test (PCAT) cumulative percentile scores.

Conclusions: The HSRT can be an effective method to evaluate critical-thinking ability as part of the admissions process into a PharmD program. However, the usefulness of the HSRT as an admissions screening tool is mitigated by information redundancies with other evaluation criteria, specifically the PCAT.

Keywords: admissions; critical thinking; health sciences reasoning test.

MeSH terms

  • Education, Pharmacy / methods
  • Education, Pharmacy / standards*
  • Educational Measurement / methods
  • Educational Measurement / standards*
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • School Admission Criteria*
  • Schools, Pharmacy / standards*
  • Students, Pharmacy*