The OAT is a standardized exam measuring general academic ability and comprehension of scientific information in four areas:
- Natural Sciences (Biology, General Chemistry, & Organic Chemistry)
- Reading Comprehension
- 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.
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. It is strongly encouraged to take upper level science classes before taking the exam.
Timing & Testing
Students must apply to take the OAT, once approved, a date can be chosen within a 12-month period.
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; meaning seats at their school begin to be filled as soon as their application cycle opens. It becomes crucial to apply early.