The OAT is a standardized examination required as part of your application to optometry school. It is a very challenging exam that requires extensive preparation in the form of review and practice. The OAT is administered by ASCO with specific information on the exam available at www.ada.org/oat/index.html. It is recommended that students take the exam in the spring or summer of the year of application so scores can be available for early application to optometry school.

The OAT consists of four sections:

  • Survey of the Natural Sciences (Biology, General Chemistry, and Organic Chemistry)
  • Reading Comprehension
  • Physics
  • Quantitative Reasoning (algebra, numerical calculations, conversions, probability and statistics, geometry, trigonometry, and applied math word problems)

Your scores will receive a scaled (numerical) score and a percentile score for each of the individual sections. The scaled scores for the multiple-choice subtests range from 200 to 400. 300 is considered an average score, but 320 is considered a competitive score.

You should begin studying for the OAT at least 6 months prior to taking the test. Consider your study time to be equivalent to the time commitment of a 3-4 credit hour class. Some students choose to study on their own or with other students who are also preparing to take the exam. For students who choose to study on their own, there are various books designed to help guide you through the preparation process. Books have been published by Kaplan and Princeton Review to name a few. These books can be purchased online or at various bookstores.

Other students choose to take a prep course. Kaplan, a private company, offers an OAT prep course in Utah County. These courses may be as much as $1400 or more. Visit the company's website listed below and talk to fellow classmates before choosing a prep course.

Kaplan - www.kaptest.com