What You Should Know — Optometry Admissions and SCCO

Physics Preparation for the OAT

This is a discussion taken from SCCO’s Facebook Group for Pre-optometry Students:

Question:  I was wondering, when you said “You’ll need to memorize and understand the physics equations on the OAT outline” for the physics portion of the OAT, what outline are you referring to? I am kind of struggling with my physics preparation going into the OAT and I’m curious where I can find some of the more important equations, etc. Thanks again!

Answer:  I was overwhelmed at first when I started to prepare for the physics portion of the OAT, but luckily I was able discover MCAT Physics Book by Garrett Biehle. He does a great job of explaining difficult concepts and provided excellent explanations for the logic behind each physics formula. His book contains hundreds of practice problems…just focus on the stand-alone problems at the end of each chapter, which will gauge your understanding of each topic. After completing the problems in this text, you really don’t have to memorize the formulas anymore because you will understand how, why, and when to use each formula! The physics problems are conceptually based requiring short calculations, which is what the real OAT physics test focuses on. Don’t worry about doing long, length physics calculations…you won’t see them on the real OAT. In my opinion, it’s the best OAT Physics Prep book out there.

I also used an old copy of Kaplan’s MCAT Comprehensive Review (2000) as a reference text. You can probably get an old copy on amazon.com. It does an excellent job of condensing each physics topic with its equation…but to get a better explanation and practice, I would use Biehle’s text. I used the physics outline provided by opted.org, which is similar to topics and concepts presented in the Kaplan book to make sure I understood the topics to be tested. To effectively study physics, you have to do many practice problems and fully understand when and why to apply the formula for each situation.

On the actual OAT, I had time to spare on the physics portion of the test and still achieved a respectable score…I really disagree that the physics portion is the most difficult section of the test…you just have to be adequately prepared. I hope this clarifies some of your questions. I’m glad you’re finding this information helpful. When you get a chance, please participate in this forum by sharing some of your shadowing experiences, so that others can benefit from your perspective on optometry. Good luck!

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Categorised in: OAT, OAT Prep

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