Aspiring optometrists must pass the Optometry Admission Test (OAT) before gaining admission to an optometry program. The OAT assesses the candidate's ability to comprehend scientific concepts, critical thinking skills, and visual-spatial skills. This standardized test is a requirement for almost all schools and colleges of optometry in the United States and Canada.
The OAT exam is designed to evaluate the following skills and knowledge:
- General Biology
- General Chemistry
- Organic Chemistry
- Reading Comprehension
Each section contains 40 questions, with a total of 200 questions in the exam. Candidates are allotted 4 hours and 15 minutes to complete the exam.
The OAT exam costs $435, which includes score reporting to up to four schools/colleges of optometry. Candidates can take the exam multiple times; however, they must wait at least 90 days between attempts. The OAT is delivered through a computer-based testing platform, and candidates must take the exam at a Prometric Testing Center. The exam format is multiple-choice questions, and there is no penalty for incorrect answers.
The minimum passing score for the OAT exam is 300, but the average score for successful applicants is around 330. Therefore, candidates must aim to score above 330 to increase their chances of being admitted to a top optometry program.
Who Should Take the Exam?
The OAT exam is a requirement for students interested in pursuing optometry as a career. The exam is designed to test the candidate's knowledge of scientific concepts and skills required to succeed in optometry school.
There are no prerequisites to take the OAT exam, but candidates must have completed at least one year of undergraduate coursework that includes biology, general and organic chemistry, and physics. Candidates must also hold a bachelor's degree or be enrolled in a program that will lead to a degree before starting optometry school.
Here are some of the best books to help candidates prepare for the OAT exam:
- The OAT Study Guide: Optometry Admission Test Prep and Practice Test Questions for the Optometry Admission Test by Trivium Optometry Exam Prep Team
- OAT Secrets Study Guide: OAT Exam Review for the Optometry Admission Test by OAT Exam Secrets Test Prep Staff
- Barron's OAT, 5th Edition: Optometry Admission Test by Barron's Educational Series
- The Princeton Review Complete OAT: Comprehensive Prep for the Optometry Admission Test by The Princeton Review
- OAT Prep Plus 2021-2022: 2 Practice Tests + Proven Strategies + Online by Kaplan Test Prep
It is essential to choose a comprehensive study guide that covers all the topics in the OAT exam. Practicing with mock tests and sample questions can also help candidates prepare for the exam and familiarize themselves with the format and type of questions.
By following these tips and studying diligently, candidates can increase their chances of success in the OAT exam and improve their prospects for admission to top optometry programs.