May 2024 OAT Breakdown (370AA/390TS)

optom432

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I took the OAT early May and my overall scores were much higher than I was expecting! I’m just giving a breakdown of what worked for me when I studied. For some background, I graduated last year and hadn’t studied or taken a test in a while so I was nervous going in, but using only using OATBooster was good enough for me to relearn the content to the level needed for the OAT within 2-3 months.

Study Materials

I took the OAT early May and my overall scores were much higher than I was expecting! I’m just giving a breakdown of what worked for me when I studied. For some background, I graduated last year (bio + psych majors) and hadn’t studied or taken a test in a while so I was nervous going in, but using only using OATBooster was good enough for me to relearn the content to the level needed for the OAT within 2-3 months.


OATBooster 10/10
  • This is the only resource I used and I would definitely recommend
  • Supplemented with YouTube videos on concepts that weren’t sticking and wanted to learn in a new way

How I Prepared

I gave myself 3 months study. During the first month I did light studying with no strict schedule - I started watching the bio and chem videos and doing the associated practice questions the day after completing each section, also starting working through QR questions. During the 2nd month it hit me how much time I had left so I started seriously studying then.

I set aside ~7 weeks for the learning phase and ~4-5 weeks for the practice tests (Booster practice tests within each section and full lengths during last 2-3 weeks)- I learnt the most during the practice phase so be sure to set aside enough time for this to identify gaps in knowledge early!
I studied 5 days/week for ~5 hours and 6 days/week for ~7/8 hours during the last month.

I did four full length tests plus the 2006 ADA practice test

Biology (400)
  • For this section I watched all of boosters videos (very informative and laid out very nicely), I had a pretty strong background in bio so I felt watching the videos was enough to get a refresher
  • I read the notes + did the associated bio bits questions for concepts I needed more help on
  • I really liked the cheat sheets (reviewed after learning each section then again during last two weeks to make sure I didn’t forget things I learnt in the beginning)
  • The content in the diversity section wasn’t really sticking for me just because the amount of information seemed overwhelming, I saved this section for last - I memorized the cheat sheets and read through the taxonomy sheets
  • I found the real test much easier than Booster’s tests - the questions were quite broad and didn’t ask for very many specifics (anki decks and bio bits go way more into detail), I feel like I could have spent less time on bio
  • Every test is different and they can only test on so much - I got no questions on the reproductive system, immunity, circulatory system, plants, central dogma and others
  • But good to review everything since you don’t know what will show up

Chemistry (360)
  • I watched all of the videos (they were very helpful) then most of the practice questions for each section
  • As I watched the videos I wrote out the formulas and some relevant concepts on index/flash cards and used those flash cards to help memorize
  • My test was a mix of both conceptual and calculation questions, everything that showed up was covered on Booster
  • I redid the chem practice tests multiple times until I was confident with each question type and was able to do them without hesitation (I spaced out when I took the tests so I didn’t just remember the q’s)

Organic Chemistry (350)
  • This was one of my weaker subjects when studying and I kept putting it off until the last month
  • I watched all the videos but those were mostly for me to get back in the OC mindset
  • To actually study I read through Booster’s notes and rewrote all the reactions, then would try rereading all my notes at the end of each study day
  • It seemed overwhelming at first, but after doing that I started to recognize the patterns, reactions and reagents
  • I also tried to get through most of the reaction bank questions then moved onto the OAT level practice test questions
  • The real test was a bit easier than Booster’s, I scored about the same as practice tests - no complex reactions, predict product, some arrow pushing, acidity, basicity, EAS, aromaticity, Fischer projections, NMR, etc.

Reading Comprehension (380)
  • I didn’t really study for this section, I did four practice tests (within the full lengths I did), I was really crunched for time in the practice tests, but in the real one I finished with enough time to go through a couple of my marked questions - but you still have to work quickly
  • I used the method of reading the full passage first and highlighting important info, points I thought they may ask about, and numbers/percentages
  • The reading passages were pretty straightforward and question difficulty was similar to Booster

Physics (350)
  • I watched all the videos on Booster for this too but didn’t find them as helpful, I found doing the practice tests helped the most for learning the concepts
  • I haven’t taken physics ii yet so I learnt all the content on Booster alone
  • Like for chem, I wrote out formulas and relevant concepts on flash cards to help memorize
  • I really struggled on time on the Booster practice tests but had more than enough time on the real thing
  • I found the real test to be a bit trickier than the practice tests (but this may have been because concepts I wasn’t fully confident in showed up on my test multiple times)
  • If you get a question wrong on the practice test make sure you thoroughly read through the explanation and go back and read the notes too so you’re more confident in the concept rather than just that type of question - wish I did this more

Quantitative Reasoning (350)
  • I did almost all the practice questions and watched associated videos for concepts I needed to relearn
  • I was quite surprised by this section since I was pretty confident in all the concepts and was scoring bw 390-400 on practice tests
  • I also struggled with time on the practice tests and although I was able to put an answer down for all the questions on the real test, I wasn’t able to review questions I marked
  • I found the questions a bit trickier than boosters - but the questions were doable, if I had more time I probably would have been able to solve my marked questions

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