This is a question asked on SCCO’s Facebook Group for Pre-optometry Students (http://www.facebook.com/groups/SCCOadmissions/). Bulleted, you will find answers from both SCCO students and Facebook Group members:
I have a question regarding the OAT. I am taking the exam in a few weeks and I am beginning to become a little concerned. I was wondering if any formulas at all are given for any of the subjects, particularly Physics? I realize the calculator provided is very basic so I’m assuming this eliminates the ability to use some formulas (ie: trig functions, exponents, etc.). Is this accurate?
- “There are no formulas given for any of the subjects on the OATs. You’ll have to memorize them all. A basic periodic table of elements is given as a pop up window during the necessary subjects. Also the calculator is also a pop up window that you will have to use your mouse to click on the numbers (I would not use this as it slows you down dramatically). You also only get to use the calculator on the QR section. Good Luck on the test and remember to BREATHE!”
- “I freaked out about the same thing a few weeks before my exam. Thankfully, most of the calculations involve cancellation of variables. I recommend doing all of your calculations on the sheets of paper they provide you and then plugging in the final equation. It helped me keep everything organized. The mouse clicking being annoying – it wastes more time than you realize. Yes, you will need to memorize as many physics equations you can, but I would try focusing on the main equations from each subcategory that help you remember conceptual ideas. The best thing about physics is that a variable in 1 equation is often relatable to another variable from another equation.”
- “I would recommend not stressing too much about it. There are so many formulas in the study guides because they want their guides to be comprehensive, but the OAT itself (or at least when I took it) doesn’t have 50 formulas you need to know by heart. The most important formulas to memorize are the position/velocity/acceleration ones. I went into it pretty rusty on physics though (there are SO MANY formulas you need to be able to apply in the study guides), and it was fine. You’ll do great!”
- “Since time is such a large factor on the OAT, having a quick recall on formulas is important. There are ways to derive formulas and not commit them to memory, but it all depends on how much time it will take you. Also, it is good to be able to do arithmetic on paper or approximations when appropriate. It’s good to do many practice problems that the formulas will automatically stick in your head. Also helps to build confidence. Good luck!”