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OAT Frequently Asked Questions

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  • The answer to "Is the OAT test hard?" is "it doesn't have to be." The OAT does cover a lot of content and asks you to recall several years of undergraduate work, including physics, in addition to testing your stamina with a long exam. As you get to know the OAT's content and structure in your prep course, you will also learn strategies for conquering the test.

  • How you study for the OAT depends on your goals, preferred study style, schedule, and more. The best way to study for the OAT is to find a method that works for you, make a plan, and stick with it. You may want to study in a traditional classroom, live online, on your own, or even with a tutor. Your OAT study plan should include reviewing content, learning strategy, as well as realistic, full-length practice.

  • Before you can apply to take the OAT, you must obtain a Personal Identification Number (PIN). You can register for a PIN at https://www.ada.org/en/oat/pin. Once you have a PIN, you may submit an OAT application at https://www.ada.org/oat. If you meet the eligibility requirements for testing, your application will be processed. You will then be eligible to test for the next six months.

  • The OAT is designed to give optometry schools a way to assess your potential for success. The OAT is administered on a computer at Prometric testing locations and is comprised of multiple-choice test items. The OAT consists of four tests on the following: Survey of the Natural Sciences, Physics, Reading Comprehension, and Quantitative Reasoning. Your testing time, including breaks, will be just under five hours.

  • The best time to take the OAT for you will depend on your schedule and when you will be able to devote time to preparing, as well as when you will be applying to optometry school. To be able to submit your application early, you will need to have your OAT score in hand before the application window opens in late June. There is an admissions advantage to submitting an early application.