Jun 7, 2020
16
21
Status
  1. Pre-Optometry
Hi all!

I took the OAT in July 2020 and thought I'd share my experience.

I studied for probably about 2-3 months while working two jobs, 6 days a week. I woke up early to study for about 2 hours before work, then studied for about 3-4 hours after work. I mostly went over content review since it had been 4-5 years since I took my prerequisites, and hammered down on practice questions for the last month before my exam. In retrospect I would have spent less time on content review and started my practice questions earlier. As for resources, I found OAT Destroyer to be my best resource for practice questions, as they're a little more difficult than the actual exam. Chad's videos are also really helpful for Gen Chem, Ochem, and Physics. I also had the 2017 version of the big Kaplan book, but didn't end up using it because the material was way too dense.

TEST DAY:
I showed up 15 minutes before my appointment for check-in. Pretty standard, they give you a locker to put your things in. I also got a 30 minute break, which was a nice surprise -- during the break, I went to the bathroom, walked outside for a bit to recharge, and still had about 10 minutes left when I returned.

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BIOLOGY:
Biology was my major so I spent the least time on content review. Kaplan's 100-page doc is really helpful for this, and I went through about 300 practice questions in OAT Destroyer. The scope is incredibly wide and you'll never know what you'll be tested on. I took Human Anatomy the semester before

GENERAL CHEMISTRY:
Not my strongest subject so I had to review a lot. I found Chad's videos to be really helpful for review, though the actual OAT exam focuses more on general concepts rather than calculations. Doing a lot of OAT Destroyer questions helped me the most.

ORGANIC CHEMISTRY:
My weakest subject, and it showed in my scores. I studied and memorized the DAT Bootcamp reaction sheet and did a lot of OAT Destroyer questions. Chad's videos were helpful, but I found Mike's videos (DAT Bootcamp) on Youtube to be even more helpful and I wish I knew about him earlier in my study schedule. He's an amazing teacher!

PHYSICS:
I tutored physics in college, and spent the least time on content review. Chad's videos were comprehensive and very helpful. The most important thing for the physics section boils down to practice problems, which I did with the OAT Destroyer Physics workbook. I was getting dejected because my physics scores on my practice Kaplan FLs weren't great, but I found the Physics section on the actual OAT to be much simpler.

READING COMPREHENSION:
I used the search and destroy method. Kaplan FLs were helpful and pretty representative of the actual exam.

QUANT. REASONING:
I've always been pretty good at math. I would suggest that you get comfortable with doing mental math, as there isn't a lot of time on the exam. The OAT Destroyer problems were pretty similar to the actual exam.

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FL TEST SCORES

Kaplan 1:
BIO/GC/OC/PHYS/RC/QR/TS/AA
320/270/280/280/330/330/290/300

Kaplan 2:
BIO/GC/OC/PHYS/RC/QR/TS/AA
320/320/310/290/340/310/310/320

ADA OAT 2017:
BIO/GC/OC/PHYS/RC/QR/TS/AA
320/370/370/320/340/390/350/350

Real OAT:
BIO/GC/OC/PHYS/RC/QR/TS/AA
340/340/320/400/370/380/350/360

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I'm pretty happy with my score considering I was studying while working full-time. For those of you studying, hang in there!!! It's overwhelming at the beginning, but once you set a study schedule, it becomes much easier. Feel free to reach out if you have any questions or if you'd like any advice! Happy studying!!
 
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Jun 3, 2020
18
2
Do you find it more beneficial jumping straight to practice problems or are there times where you think content review would have been more important? I am currently studying and its taking a while to get through all the concepts and I kind of want to just start doing practice problems already but as someone who didnt do amazing in undergrad science courses I thought maybe I should review first
 
Jun 7, 2020
16
21
Status
  1. Pre-Optometry
Do you find it more beneficial jumping straight to practice problems or are there times where you think content review would have been more important? I am currently studying and its taking a while to get through all the concepts and I kind of want to just start doing practice problems already but as someone who didnt do amazing in undergrad science courses I thought maybe I should review first

That's a great question! I definitely was the same and figured I would review first since it had been some time since I last took the courses. I found that in terms of test-taking, though, the practice problems were much more helpful at showing me what I already knew and what concepts I needed to work on.

It really depends on what subjects you're working on. Doing the practice problems and reading the answer helped me learn. You could start by doing just 20 practice questions a day while you're going over content at the same time, so that it's not too dense!

If you're watching Chad's or Mike's videos, I'd go through them at 1.5x or 1.75x speed so that you cover more ground in less time. I also didn't take too many notes when I went through the videos.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user
Jun 3, 2020
18
2
That's a great question! I definitely was the same and figured I would review first since it had been some time since I last took the courses. I found that in terms of test-taking, though, the practice problems were much more helpful at showing me what I already knew and what concepts I needed to work on.

It really depends on what subjects you're working on. Doing the practice problems and reading the answer helped me learn. You could start by doing just 20 practice questions a day while you're going over content at the same time, so that it's not too dense!

If you're watching Chad's or Mike's videos, I'd go through them at 1.5x or 1.75x speed so that you cover more ground in less time. I also didn't take too many notes when I went through the videos.

Thank you so much for the advice, this was extremely helpful!
 
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