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Finishing up my pre reqs in time to take the OAT

Discussion in 'Pre-Optometry' started by Lrivs92, Apr 14, 2012.

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  1. Lrivs92

    Lrivs92

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    Pre-Optometry
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    I am finishing up my sophomore year of undergraduate college and still have to take Organic chemistry 1 and 2 as well as physics 1 and 2. I heard that physics 2 is not really tested on the OAT exam. However, I do not know if it is a good idea to take orgo 1 in the summer and then take orgo 2 during the fall semester of my junior year. Then I would take physics 1 during the spring semester of my junior year. Need advice since I am not sure which classes to take since those are the only pre requisites I have left for optometry. Also, I want to do well in the OAT yet am afraid that taking these big sciences will take away time studying for the OAT exam.
  2. optoapp2012

    optoapp2012

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    I took the OAT last August. I did Orgo 1 lecture and lab in the summer as well as Physics 2 lecture only (took the lab after the OAT...in retrospect, I should have taken the lab before...I think it would have helped because electricity and magnetism made more sense after lab). I took the OAT a little less than a month after I finished those courses. I never took Orgo 2.

    I think you should prioritize Physics 2 over Orgo 2 for the OAT, because Physics 2 IS tested on there. Electricity, magnetism, and optics are all tested and I wouldn't say it's "barely on there" either. I remember having quite a few questions over those things. Optics was pretty basic though...nothing about multiple lenses. Orgo 2 is not heavily tested in my opinion. It'll help, but I think you mostly need to get an understanding of ortho/meta/para (which was covered in Orgo 2 where I took Orgo 1, but I think some schools cover that in Orgo 1). Again, I never took Orgo 2 and I did fine on the Orgo section (despite having taken Orgo 1 lecture and lab together during a 4-week summer session...eek!).

    I started studying a lot for the OAT by the beginning of the summer. I studied multiple hours per day (up to 7 some days). I canceled my social life and cut back hours at work. I studied from the Kaplan materials (I'd taken the course in Feb so I had access to the online materials still). That helped me a lot and I did well on the test. I tutored chemistry a couple hours per week too, which helped refresh my brain on that material. So if you put your study time in and don't take anything during the summer that's not a pre-req (that would just be an unhelpful distraction), you'll do just fine.
  3. Lrivs92

    Lrivs92

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    I have to take Orgo 2 as a pre req to some schools, so I thought maybe I would take it along with physics 1 in the fall. Bad idea? Also, If I decide to take the OAT exam in the summer of 2013, can I apply to optometry school in January of that year?
  4. optoapp2012

    optoapp2012

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    Okay, that makes sense that you have to fit it in sooner or later anyway. I didn't think Physics 1 was too bad, but I would pad out your schedule with non-science courses other than those if you can. And preferably classes with low reading/writing requirements too.

    The application cycle for optometry schools opens around July 1st. If you mean apply January 2014, then I think you are waiting too long. I would apply as soon as you take the OAT. Plenty of people wait and apply in January, but it takes OptomCAS awhile to process your application and send it out, schools have to take the time to review your application, and by then you are looking at possibly interviewing in March (the very end of the cycle for many schools). Lots of schools only have waitlists left open at that time. You are MUCH better off applying EARLY in the cycle. I felt late when I applied in late September. You don't have to finish all of your pre-req's before applying. So as long as you have most of them done (less than 5 left is best...but you can still get the application process going if you are in the process of some of them and have more than 5 outstanding) and you've taken the OAT. You can even submit everything online before you take the OAT, and then everything will be left pending until you complete the test.

    I would talk to your letter-writers at the end of the spring semester to get the okay from everyone who will write a letter. Then designate them as your letter writers in OptomCAS as soon as the cycle opens July 1st. That will allow them as much time as possible to get your letter in (a couple of my writers took up to a month or longer).

    I can't stress enough how important it is to apply early! Your chances are SO much better to be accepted into any and all of the schools you apply to, you'll have more flexibility to choose when you will interview (like scheduling the schools in order of your preference for admission so that you don't even have to bother interviewing at later ones if you get into the early ones), and you will know where you are going earlier and be able to have peace of mind.

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