Student Ambassador Blog Articles

Lots of Other Things On Your Plate While Studying for the OAT? Advice from SCCO Student Ambassador Kaitlyn Tsou

A series of articles written by SCCO Student Ambassadors, here is Kaitlyn Tsou. To learn more about Kaitlyn, where she is from, and why she chose SCCO, find her bio here listed alphabetically.

Lots of Other Things On Your Plate While Studying for the OAT?  Here’s My Advice 

By Kaitlyn Tsou, SCCO Student Ambassador

Tsou_KaitlynI was originally a pre-dental student set on taking the DAT and going to dental school.  But I changed my mind after experiencing patients’ lives being touched by the gift of good sight.

When I decided to take the OAT, I was working, going to school as  well as studying for the OAT— and applying to optometry school! There were a lot of things on my plate. I found myself struggling to keep track of all that was going on.

To prepare for the OAT, I purchased a Kaplan OAT book and it came with 4 practice tests along with the diagnostic test. At the start of my studying, I took the diagnostic test just to see what the test was going to be like and to find out which sections I was going to have to work more towards getting a better score. To ensure I was improving after studying the material for the OAT, my goal was to complete at least one test per week . I attended all my classes during this time and thankfully, I was a bio major so I tried to apply as many of the concepts I was learning to studying for the OAT as I could. For example, at the time I was taking cancer biology, which really helped in understanding genetics better for the biology section.

Also, I worked at an optometry office 3 times per week. I was lucky enough to have a separate OAT study book in the office someone else already used. I would look over it during my free time. A lot of this had to do with time management and making sure I wasn’t wasting time since there was still homework and tests to study for, yet I was also studying for one of the most important tests of my life. Self-discipline was required for this process, especially when I felt particularly lazy on some days. It helped me to remind myself that knowlege I was learning in school as well as the information I was re-learning on the OAT would help to serve me when I would one day become an optometrist. This belief encouraged me to learn or re-learn concepts with diligence.

When I was tired of studying or tired of doing work, it is important for me to remember why I was studying and the end goal of it all, and that was to get into optometry school and to become an optometrist. I would then be able to help so many others see the world to the best of their ability. However, if I became extremely tired it is important to remind myself to take breaks–to just plain take care of myself! It is better to study effectively than to waste time because you are not absorbing as much information because your brain is tired. Lastly, remember to be organized, to mange your time well, and know your limits and take breaks if needed.

I hope this helps to encourage and keep you focused on your goal of becoming a professional who will one day make a big difference in your patients’ lives.

If you have any questions, you may reach me at kaitlyntsou.scco25@ketchum.edu

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