Feb 22, 2019
17
0
1
Status
Pre-Optometry
Hello.

I am interested in applying for optometry school this coming year. However, I am lacking a few things:

-OAT

-Calculus I

My questions are these:

-Could I apply for optometry school without these, indicating that I will be sending these things later on?

-If I have to apply with both of these, when is the latest I should finish the optometry school application? My GPA is in the 3.2-ish range, so its not very strong. However, I did see it is the average for a few optometry schools. I'm interested mainly in California schools.

Thanks.
 
May 14, 2019
11
5
11
Status
Pre-Optometry
Hi! I believe you can apply without these as long as you complete them by the end of Spring semester. But, taking the OAT ASAP is recommended since it contributes a lot to your application. Berkeley closes their application in December so it's probably best to take calculus over the summer and take the OAT around July/August so you can have time to study and retake it if you need to.
 
OP
I
Feb 22, 2019
17
0
1
Status
Pre-Optometry
Hi! I believe you can apply without these as long as you complete them by the end of Spring semester. But, taking the OAT ASAP is recommended since it contributes a lot to your application. Berkeley closes their application in December so it's probably best to take calculus over the summer and take the OAT around July/August so you can have time to study and retake it if you need to.
Hello. I was planning on taking the OAT in August - maybe early and then late. I heard that you get your score back ASAP.

For Calculus (I'm looking at the UC Berkeley Extension online one - something UC Berkeley at least said is alright), could I just indicate that in my application and then take it...or will it affect my application heavily if I don't have a Calculus on record? I would like to get into Berkeley if possible, though I know I'll have to do well on the OAT in order to compensate for my GPA.

XX

So my guess is that apply for optometry school when it opens up (late June) and then add the rest of the materials later?
 
May 14, 2019
11
5
11
Status
Pre-Optometry
Yes there should be a question that asks if you're still missing anything and when/where you're planning to take it. I don't think Calculus will have a big impact unless you fail haha
 
OP
I
Feb 22, 2019
17
0
1
Status
Pre-Optometry
Yes there should be a question that asks if you're still missing anything and when/where you're planning to take it. I don't think Calculus will have a big impact unless you fail haha
Okay! I definitely won't do that :bookworm:.

So...for this coming cycle:

-Submit Optometry app late June

-Indicate missing Calculus (and when I'll be taking it) and OAT

-Take OAT in August and do well

-Send scores to Optometry app

-Hopefully get in somewhere

-Finish Calculus before maturating, if I get in somewhere

Is that an ideal timeline? I apologize since I'm kinda new at this. I'm mostly looking at this option because I have 2000+ hours at an eye clinic with some research experience on the side with eyes. It's quite interesting work.
 
May 14, 2019
11
5
11
Status
Pre-Optometry
That sounds about right to me but if you want, you can call and ask the admissions officer wherever you want to apply to as well. They will be able to tell you the best course of action. Good luck :)
 
OP
I
Feb 22, 2019
17
0
1
Status
Pre-Optometry
That sounds about right to me but if you want, you can call and ask the admissions officer wherever you want to apply to as well. They will be able to tell you the best course of action. Good luck :)
Thank you.

I think my biggest block is the 3.2 GPA (with a dismal 3.0-ish science GPA). I probably should be shooting for a pretty good OAT score if I want to get past that hump, right?

Would 2000+ hours at an eye clinic be considered pretty effective on an application? I worked mostly with ophthalmologists, but I have also done work alongside optometrists as well. I also was involved with running a few research studies concerning diabetic retinopathy.

Just figuring out ways to stick out because my grades are pretty weak.

I live in California, so I'm looking at applying to California schools: Western, UC Berkeley and Ketchum. While Western seems to be the safe spot, I'm kinda concerned about the pass rate for the boards...which seems low.

What do you think?
 
Mar 8, 2019
20
12
11
Status
Optometry Student
Schools tend to generally take OAT scores more into consideration than grades, and your thorough shadowing experience will help you a lot as well. I think if you perform well on the OAT and apply early, you will have a very strong chance at plenty of schools
 
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OP
I
Feb 22, 2019
17
0
1
Status
Pre-Optometry
Schools tend to generally take OAT scores more into consideration than grades, and your thorough shadowing experience will help you a lot as well. I think if you perform well on the OAT and apply early, you will have a very strong chance at plenty of schools
Okay. Would taking one good OAT in late August be good enough to be early for optometry applications? That is more of my concern...

When is "early," "on-time," or "late" for optometry applications? For the primary application, should I just submit it without the OAT + Calculus 1? I'm just trying to compensate for my pretty lackluster GPA...

For shadowing, should I have a plethora of shadowing experience (clinical, retail, etc)? I mostly work within the clinical setting and the optometrist I'm trying to appeal for a recommendation mainly works in the clinic. Also, how many recommendations should I have - the minimal three or much more than that?

Thanks.
 
Mar 8, 2019
20
12
11
Status
Optometry Student
The timeline varies based on individual schools but the central application opens in June so that would be early early for any schools. Since Berkeley's application cycle closes in December as aya stak said, August should be fine - I see people post about being on the Berkeley wait list even this late in the cycle. I personally sent in my application without my OAT scores attached but had it scheduled and was able to put that date on the application so they knew when to expect the scores. Some schools will not invite you to interview until they receive your scores and can look at your application as a whole - you'll have to look into each school about that.
All of my shadowing experience was also at one clinic but I spent three years there -- only one school of the five I interviewed at asked me about that and even implored me to shadow in a different setting before I interviewed with them. It certainly wouldn't hurt to spend a couple of days in maybe a retail setting or OD-only private practice. I believe the central application limits you to 4 letters of recommendation - I opted to do 4 because my undergrad doesn't write letters from a pre-health advisor committee and one of the opt schools I applied to required one of those or two teacher letters in leiu of it.
 
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OP
I
Feb 22, 2019
17
0
1
Status
Pre-Optometry
The timeline varies based on individual schools but the central application opens in June so that would be early early for any schools. Since Berkeley's application cycle closes in December as aya stak said, August should be fine - I see people post about being on the Berkeley wait list even this late in the cycle. I personally sent in my application without my OAT scores attached but had it scheduled and was able to put that date on the application so they knew when to expect the scores. Some schools will not invite you to interview until they receive your scores and can look at your application as a whole - you'll have to look into each school about that.
All of my shadowing experience was also at one clinic but I spent three years there -- only one school of the five I interviewed at asked me about that and even implored me to shadow in a different setting before I interviewed with them. It certainly wouldn't hurt to spend a couple of days in maybe a retail setting or OD-only private practice. I believe the central application limits you to 4 letters of recommendation - I opted to do 4 because my undergrad doesn't write letters from a pre-health advisor committee and one of the opt schools I applied to required one of those or two teacher letters in leiu of it.
Okay.

For my clinical work, I've been at the office for about three years as well, so I'm pretty versed in the eye business (from my perspective).

So maybe schedule the OAT first and then put that on my application? What about Calculus I? I haven't taken that course and I wonder if I could just take it next year and complete it before school starts, if I get in.

I'll definitely look into retail at least for a few days to say I have some experience in different optometry settings.
 
Mar 8, 2019
20
12
11
Status
Optometry Student
Yes, you can definitely take calculus after being accepted and before beginning optometry school- you are technically given a "conditional acceptance" that is conditional pending your finishing paperwork and sending them transcripts that show classes you hadn't finished yet have now been completed, like your calculus.
 
May 15, 2019
12
1
1
Status
Pre-Optometry
I am in the same condition as you with regards to low GPA, also shooting for Berkeley or SCCO and yea western is low pass rate so thats a safe school for me also. I will be taking my OAT this August and apply by October. I think you should do calc over summer or online during fall. It is needed before you start Optometry school, but berkeley and SCCO will allow you to take it in the summer before you start the school. Western says to finish it by spring before starting. Best of luck and let me know if you have any other questions