The OAT is a standardized exam measuring general academic ability and comprehension of scientific information in four areas: Natural Sciences (Biology, General Chemistry, and Organic Chemistry), Reading Comprehension, Physics, and Quantitative Reasoning. The exam runs at about 4.5 hours including breaks. Check out the Optometry Admissions Test (OAT) Guide to read more details about this exam.
The OAT is sponsored by the Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry (ASCO) for applicants seeking admission to an optometry program. All schools and colleges of optometry in the United States, and the University of Waterloo, Canada require the OAT.
You will want to take as many of the required courses as you can before the test. At least courses in biology, general chemistry, organic chemistry and physics are needed prior to taking the OAT. Most students, however, elect to complete more courses prior to taking the exam. We strongly encourage our students to take more upper level science classes, as they may also assist with problem solving, critical thinking, and overall science concepts on the exam.
Timing & Testing
You must apply to take the OAT, once approved, you can then sign up for a date to take the exam within a 12-month period. Register/Apply for OAT if you are ready.
Students must wait at least 90 days between testing dates. However, only scores from the four most recent attempts and the total number of attempts will be reported.
OAT scores are based on number of correct responses; therefore, guessing will not cause penalty. The average score is a standard score of 300 with a range from 200 to 400.
Many programs have "rolling admission" deadlines, or "early decision"; meaning they begin to fill spots as soon as their application cycle opens. This means, the longer you wait, the less spots available for you to claim. So, apply early.