Here’s a recent Facebook conversation between SCCO students with a pre-optometry student regarding OAT test-preparation:
Melisa G (pre-optometry student): I am debating on how to prepare for the OAT and I was wondering if someone could give me some advice based on their past experience with Kaplan or the OAT Destroyer?
Did you feel studying independently with the book sets prepared you well enough or is the online (demand) course worth the extra cost? Any help would be very much appreciated!
Brianna K (SCCO student): IMO, if you are disciplined and organized, you will be fine to study on your own and use prep books. I also used “Chad’s videos” and it was a tremendous help. If you feel like you need a little extra help (and would like a more scheduled structure) then taking a class can be beneficial. I used Kaplan and Destroyer, and felt the practice questions were sufficient (along with watching videos).
Jen E (SCCO student): Hi Melissa. I was in the process of answering your question when when Brianna’s post popped up. She told you almost exactly what I was going to say! Also, keep in mind that you can move your test date, so if it’s a few weeks away and you don’t feel as prepared as you would like, you can always push it back to get in a little more study time. Good luck!
Melisa G: Thank you Jen and Brianna for the advice! I really appreciate the help. Would you recommend using the Kaplan prep books with Chad’s videos and the Destroyer? Should I look into other Destroyers like the math/physics Destroyer?
Michael T (SCCO student): I took the Kaplan class and also used the OAT destroyer. I liked the class because it taught me a couple of tricks about how to think about certain questions; however, I ended up book-studying the material after the class was over. I thought the online practice tests Kaplan provided was most useful. As for the OAT destroyer, I thought the Ochem section was really helpful. If you use the OAT destroyer, I recommend you start early because it is a hefty book!
Brianna K: I agree with Michael T. If you want to get the most out of the OAT destroyer, start early to get through the material. I would do the OAT Destroyer, Kaplan books, and Chads videos. Take Chads videos first—he gives a lot of test-taking tips. Then go through the books.
Jen E: Yep, what Michael T and Brianna K said. And as far as physics destroyer, I felt like those problems were overkill and a lot harder than the physics on the actual test, but I found math destroyer to be pretty helpful.
Melisa G: Thank you all so much your amazing advice and insight! A few days ago, I was definitely feeling a bit overwhelmed by the many OAT prep options out there, but now I actually feel like I have a plan & feel a million times better I truly do appreciate it!
Che C: Hi! I came across this post and was wondering how early you started studying? I am planning on using the summer to study and taking a class at the same time, so I was wondering if that would be a bad idea or not.
Emily S: you have to figure out what works best for you and your schedule, depending on if you’re in undergrad still or not. I had just taken ochem and physics during the school year and then used most of my summer to study/refresh what I had learned. Then I took the OAT towards the end of July and it was really convenient because I could dedicate all my time to the OAT and not to other classes! In general I would recommend a few months because it’s just a lot of information to review.
Michael T: I agree with Emily. I started Kaplan courses at the beginning of summer in addition to taking summer courses and work. It was a little hectic at the beginning but I learned how to balance everything. Kaplan ended in July so I scheduled my test in August. However, after taking a couple of practice tests, I wasn’t really happy with the scores I was getting so I rescheduled my test to early September. Rescheduling the test made all the difference for me so don’t feel discouraged if you don’t feel ready to take it.
Che C: Thanks for your input! Did you start studying right after the semester ended or did you also do some during the school year, and what resources did you use?
I didn’t know you could reschedule so that’s good to hear! How long was your summer class and did you submit your applications that same cycle as well?
Michael T: There was actually a $25 fee to reschedule the test, but it was totally worth it. My summer class was 10 weeks but it wasn’t such a rigorous class. I submitted my application around late October/early November.
Emily S: I would say I slightly reviewed things like biology or math while I was still in school but the majority of my studying happened during the summer! I relied mainly on the OAT destroyer that I got from someone and any resources that I felt might be useful from undergrad like my ochem notecards for example.
Phoenix T: I took the kaplan online class and improved my OAT score by 30 points. I remember vaguely that it is a 3 months course and if you don’t feel comfortable to take the test, you can retake the class and have another 3 months of review for free.