What follows are highlights from the FAQ I formatted for those preparing to take the OAT. For the complete downloadable PDF of this FAQ, click here: FAQ About OAT Preparation and Scores
How does SCCO consider OAT scores? How should I prepare to take the OAT?
The OAT (Optometry Admissions Test) is administered by ASCO (www.opted.org) and is given at Prometric testing centers. You must call and reserve a test date. Should it be necessary to repeat the test to improve your scores, you are permitted to retake the OAT at 90 day intervals.
SCCO’s admissions process will take into consideration your most recent set of OAT test scores. No averaging of OAT scores is done. We take into consideration your highest set of scores.
For a traditional applicant, one applying between their junior and senior year of undergrad, it is best to take the OAT in the summer between your junior and senior year. This will give you plenty of time to retake the test, if your scores are not satisfactory, and not be too late for a rolling admissions cycle. Access the FAQ to explain Rolling Admissions Explained here.
It is not necessary to have taken the OAT before submitting your application through OptomCAS. OAT scores are reported directly to SCCO by ASCO. It is not required to submit them through OptomCAS.
The admissions cycle runs July 1st through March 1st of any given year. The last date to take the OAT is March 1st of any admissions cycle.
OAT scores expire after 2 years. When submitting your online application through OptomCAS, it is required that the OAT test date be no more than 24 months prior to the beginning of the application season which begins on July 1st of any given year. For example, if you apply for the 11-12 admissions cycle, you will have had to have taken the OAT in the time period of 24 months prior to July 1, 2011 for your OAT test scores to be valid.
OAT Preparation Information: Call 800-232-2159
What are some of the preferred ways to prepare for the OAT?
ASCO’s FAQs for the OAT: ASCO’s website also offers the option to take a practice OAT.
MCAT Prep Book: Students preferred this book over all other study guides. Their comments were that it was the MOST similar to the actual OAT test. They reported that it was “Great because it was a very condensed, straight-forward review that pulls out all the main points that you need to know for the exam.”
Kaplan Study Course and Prep Book: Kaplan offers a live-taught course and also a very good prep book. For more information go to Kaptest or 800-527-8378. The live-taught course is good but sometimes doesn’t begin and end to accommodate a desired testing date. Many courses are now offered online.
OAT Professor is a new, online subscription service with sample questions, tests and flash card formats. A fee is paid for the time interval you choose to utilize their service. It is interactive. There is an advisor who chats in live time should help be needed. Students report that it is challenging—just what one would want in this type of venue. Go online and take advantage of their free trial offer.
Exam Krackers is an online site dedicated to MCAT preparation which will also be helpful with the OAT. I like the “Daily MCAT Quiz Questions”. Membership is free.
OAT Achiever can be found at is a downloadable OAT test prep program. It is very new and I have no recommendations pro or con.
OAT Destroyer is a syllabus which encompasses a wide range of problems with detailed solutions that act as a teaching aid.
ScholarWare Offers a CD-ROM available for purchase. Someone savvy with computers could download the info to a PDA for convenient study. No user reviews were available.
Coursesaver Coursesaver is a compilation of shared resources made up by many students who are focused on a pre-health career.
Visit the OAT section of this Blog for the comprehensive list or resources on OAT preparation tips. There is also a listing of used OAT materials for sale
How does SCCO evaluate a student’s performance on the OAT?
The OAT test score is indexed on a scale of 200 to 400. If you get a score of 300 which represents the 50th percentile, it would mean that 50% of candidates taking the OAT scored higher than you and 50% lower.
To be a competitive applicant for SCCO, you are advised to be above the 50th percentile and therefore, at or above 320 in all sections of the OAT. Given the competitiveness of any admissions cycle, we may accept scores at 300 in each section.