Posted on Facebook by a pre-optometry student with follow-up comments from other pre-optometry students and Dr. Munroe:
From Justin J: Top Score Pro by Scholar Ware is a program that is set up just like the real OAT. The program has three practice OATs. It is set up to simulate the actual computerized OAT. After taking the three practice tests from the Scholar Ware CD I was completely familiar with the test format. It helped to raise my score because I learned how to mark questions and review only the marked questions after finishing a section. There are some downsides to the program such as the scoring which was way off. Also the practice tests were harder than the real thing but that just makes you study harder. Anyway those of you preparing for the OAT, Top Score Pro is a nice option for getting a feel for what the real computerized version of the OAT is like and familiarizing yourself with the test.
From Natasha K:
Wow. I haven’t even heard of this program. I took the OAT last fall. I can see this program being really, really helpful— especially for the reading comprehension section. I found that section relatively difficult to do on the computer since you cannot underline important points or write notes in the margins. For me there was also a kind of tactile feeling that was lost during this section since you couldn’t physically flip back pages.
For those of you who are more “old school” and want to invest in a great OAT prep book, I used the “big” Kaplan book to study and merely read it front to back and many times over and OVER at certain parts. I was able to get it used from a past student and I’m sure you can find people willing to part with it. I am a non-traditional applicant and I was nervous about taking the exam since I was out of school longer than most people. I feel that I did really well on my first and only try this way.
I think the most important thing to remember is to prepare under TIMED conditions. Most of the time, if you stare at a physics or chemistry or quantitative reasoning problem long enough, you can figure out how to solve it–eventually. Unfortunately, you do not have this “time luxury” during the real OAT so you need to get the material nailed down to second nature. Don’t be afraid to skip around and also use all of the practice materials on opted.org.
The hardest part really is merely convincing yourself that you are ready to take the test. Like Nike says, “JUST DO IT!”
From Dr. Jane Ann Munroe, Director of Admissions for SCCO:
I did some research on Amazon.com and read about Top Score Pro from reviewers who are in agreement with your comments. So many students who have taken the OAT tell me how they were shaken or upset by the mechanics of the computerized OAT exam. This translated into setting a tone for the whole exam and they lost confidence. I am a FIRM believer in the “dress rehearsal” and so any experience like the Top Score Pro which can provide it would seem to be a good bet.
From Thai N:
Here’s the link to OAT Destroyer: http://orgoman.com/
The website provides some sample problems and answers for each section of the OAT. According to Dr. Romano, the creator of OAT Destroyer, you will still need to have solid fundamentals of each of the OAT topics for the program to be effective. Like he said it’s not a quick solution to a higher OAT score. (Thai N)
I’m using the OAT Professor, which is an online OAT subscription-based prep company. This program does a decent job of simulating the computer-based OAT. You also have the option of reviewing your missed quiz items. The program includes 4 full length exams, but it only contains 2 full reading comprehension exams.
In addition to the OAT Professor, I’m using other resources to study for the OAT. Since the physics section is a conceptually based test, I’m using the MCAT Physics Book by Garrett Biehle for an overall review. I would highly recommend using this because it contains 500 problems with solutions and his explanations are easy to understand. For the Quantitative Reasoning portion, I’ve utilized GRE and SAT math sections from Princeton Review & Kaplan as a review. During the exam, you will need to know how to solve each problem quickly, so practicing each type of word problem is crucial for success. If you want to answer the more difficult and challenging QR questions, “Ace the Math on SAT” by Loren Meierding is an excellent book. He provides tons of questions and answers to the most difficult SAT math questions. For the reading comprehension section, I’m using the GRE and SAT reading passages as additional practice from Kaplan and Princeton Review. If you’re not a strong reader, I would recommend practicing daily reading comprehension passages, since it will probably be the most difficult section to improve your score in such a short time period. As for the natural sciences section, I would use any of the review materials written by popular commercial MCAT prep courses such as Hyperlearning/Princeton Review and Kaplan. You can usually purchase a used copy of these materials on Amazon.com.
Finally, I would recommend doing as many OAT computer test simulations as possible. There’s also a program called OAT Achiever which contains 3 full-length timed simulated OAT exams. I would use one as a diagnostic test to assess my strengths and weaknesses. The other two tests, I would use as a simulation practice before the real OAT.
Here are the two links to the OAT Professor and OAT Achiever, respectively: