Can a low score on ONE section of the OAT be the crux of your admissions decisions?

Jan 6, 2021
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Hey guys. I've officially submitted my Optometry school applications and am currently panicking about an abysmal score on one section of the OAT. I plan on re-taking the OAT next week and feel a bit better prepared, but if by some chance I end up doing worse than last time, what are my chances of getting interviews/being accepted?

Here are my stats:

OAT AA: 310
OAT TS: 290
But I scored a 230 on the Bio section...(embarassing)

- GPA: 3.5
- Work as a Medical Scribe
- Around 50-60 hours of shadowing with an Optometrist
- Two solid letters of recommendation, one from an Optometrist, another from my employment as a Scribe
- Studied abroad for a semester
- Two-week service trip abroad in Fiji along with other service experiences
- A few other things, but those are the ones that I wanted to really stand out.

Scores for all other sections were above 300, but I am freaking out about how AWFUL my Bio score is. I think a lot of it was just a major confluence of nerves with it being my first time taking the OAT, so hopefully I'll do better next time.

Can you guys give me your unfiltered, 100% honest opinions about my chances of getting accepted? I was really hoping to be accepted this cycle but I'm mainly panicking about how awfully low my Bio score was. What do you guys think?

Thanks.
 
Nov 23, 2020
18
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  1. Pre-Optometry
How are your grades in biology courses? If they’re all around A’s and B’s then that can help. If not, then a low section score (especially if well below 300) can be problematic IMO.

Also, is that your OptomCAS GPA? Just making sure since they don’t take grade replacements anymore.
 
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Jan 6, 2021
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How are your grades in biology courses? If they’re all around A’s and B’s then that can help. If not, then a low section score (especially if well below 300) can be problematic IMO.

Also, is that your OptomCAS GPA? Just making sure since they don’t take grade replacements anymore.
I've never made below a B in a Bio course, and that's my OptomCAS GPA because I haven't had to retake a course. Still very skeptical about how low my score on the Bio section was.
 
Nov 23, 2020
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  1. Pre-Optometry
I've never made below a B in a Bio course, and that's my OptomCAS GPA because I haven't had to retake a course. Still very skeptical about how low my score on the Bio section was.
A bigger concern is that the cycle is closing in a few a months. As long as you score higher on your next attempt I think you can still get accepted at those schools you listed above.

No pressure!
 
May 10, 2020
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  1. Pre-Optometry
I had a 230 on physics and a 250 on chemistry but I got interviews to pretty much everywhere I applied to like Midwestern, Salus, Pacific, and Western. So you should be fine since your GPA is decent with solid letters of recommendations and your other scores are 300+.
 
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preopt2019

2+ Year Member
Jul 22, 2018
169
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I had a 230 on physics and a 250 on chemistry but I got interviews to pretty much everywhere I applied to like Midwestern, Salus, Pacific, and Western. So you should be fine since your GPA is decent with solid letters of recommendations and your other scores are 300+.
what was your AA? i got a 250 in physics and nervous to know if i have a chance
 
Jan 6, 2021
8
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Quick update! So far I've been offered three interviews at MCPHS, Salus, & Chicago. ICO & NECO put my application on hold until I retake the OAT in February. Haven't heard anything from Nova yet. Hoping everything goes well!
 

preopt2019

2+ Year Member
Jul 22, 2018
169
29
Quick update! So far I've been offered three interviews at MCPHS, Salus, & Chicago. ICO & NECO put my application on hold until I retake the OAT in February. Haven't heard anything from Nova yet. Hoping everything goes well!
did ICO and NECO ask you to retake or did you tell them you would ?
 
Jun 3, 2020
20
2
Quick update! So far I've been offered three interviews at MCPHS, Salus, & Chicago. ICO & NECO put my application on hold until I retake the OAT in February. Haven't heard anything from Nova yet. Hoping everything goes well!

Did ICO ask you to retake you OAT by a certain date? I scored similar to you and admissions told me to retake but the only date that was open was early March, I’m worried thats gonna be really late. Also does this mean they wont even offer you an interview until your new OAT score?
 
Jan 6, 2021
8
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Did ICO ask you to retake you OAT by a certain date? I scored similar to you and admissions told me to retake but the only date that was open was early March, I’m worried thats gonna be really late. Also does this mean they wont even offer you an interview until your new OAT score?
They didn't give me a certain date. I had already scheduled to retake it in February so they just e-mailed me saying my application was on hold until I complete my retake! They did say I could go off of my unofficial scores that I receive the day of the test, though, so I won't have to wait the 2-3 weeks for my official scores to come in.
 
Feb 18, 2021
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  1. Pre-Optometry
I had a 230 on physics and a 250 on chemistry but I got interviews to pretty much everywhere I applied to like Midwestern, Salus, Pacific, and Western. So you should be fine since your GPA is decent with solid letters of recommendations and your other scores are 300+.
Did you get accepted anywhere?
 

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