NECO_OD

2+ Year Member
Apr 26, 2016
31
5
My scores:

7/17 ADA sample test: TS 340, AA 350
Bio 310; Chem 370; O Chem 340;RC 380; Phys 340; Quant 400;

7/24 Kaplan full length 1: TS 320, AA 330
Bio 360; Chem 330; O Chem 330;RC 320; Phys 270; Quant 370;

7/30 Real OAT: TS 400, AA 380
Bio 380; Chem 400; O Chem 380;RC 310; Phys 400; Quant 400;

The very first thing I want to share with all of you is: all the hard work will be paid off and the real exam is actually easier than Kaplan online full length exams. So keep studying, and you'll be fine!

I started reviewing for the test from the middle of March, and took the test yesterday(July,30, 2016). I have a full time job in a research lab, so for the very first several months I was only able to study at night ( 2~3 hours per day), and took a month off in July and studied at home for both the OAT as well as TOEFL (My first language is not English).

My study materials and how I used them
(P.S.They are all gone now)


1. The big Kaplan OAT book_2016 version: For overall review
I started my review process from reading the big Kaplan book. I read through every chapter and did all the questions. (March~June) It's worth reading as a general review, but supplementary learning materials are necessary if you want to nail the test.

2. Chad's videos: For General Chemistry and Organic Chemistry
Super super helpful! Strongly recommend!!! HOME

I took the "Chad’s Organic Chemistry Refresher for the ACS Final Exam" course and the "General Chemistry for the DAT/OAT" course from the above site. I watched the video while taking my own notes and practice the questions over and over again till I'm totally familiar with all the mechanisms for all the reactions.

The "Organic Chemistry for the DAT/OAT" course was removed from the site for some reason by the time I was reviewing O Chem, so I took the "O Chem for ACS" instead. All the basic knowledge is the same for all the tests (MCAT, DAT, OAT, ACS...)

Chad is an amazing teacher, and the courses from the above site are totally FREE! But the General Chemistry for OAT videos have been removed from the course list and currently there are only free practice questions. You can take the "General Chemistry" course instead, which is still free, or you can take the general chemistry for OAT course from his new website for only $10: ChemistryPrep

If you have tight budget, this will be the most worth spending learning material for the chemistry. If you learned it well from Chad's online course you don't even need to go through the Chemistry and Organic Chemistry chapters in the big Kaplan book.

3. Foundations of Organic Chemistry
It's a thin book. I quickly went though it as a supplement for Chad's videos.

4. The MCAT Physics Book by Dr. Garrett Biehle
View attachment 207231
I learned from a post from another site that the Kaplan review book does not cover all the aspects for the OAT physics, so I get this book and went through it and made notes. It covers all the things you need to know for the OAT.

5. OAT Destroyer(Bio+Chem+O Chem+QR), Physics, Math
I got the whole package. The destroyer books are tones of questions. I used the math book for timing practice and found it quite useful. Since I'm pretty good at biology so I spent the least time preparing biology and use the destroyer to fill all the gaps which the big Kaplan book failed to cover. And the biology in the destroyer are quite similar as what I saw in the real OAT test.

6. Crack the OAT reading package: 5 tests ( 15 reading passage)
As you can see from my score, reading is my weak spot. I simply read too slow and can't finish reading the passages and remember all the details. Well I have to say the reading package did not help me much, since the questions in Crack the OAT do not assemble the spirit of the real OAT reading.

7. OAT Flashcard Study System
As I mentioned earlier, I have to work during the day. The flashcards were used during all small pieces of time , like on the bus, small gaps between experiments, etc. I used them to reinforce the knowledge I've reviewed through Kaplan book. I usually just quickly went through the concepts and facts, didn't spend too much time on remembering all the details written on the cards.

8.Time management app

I used a time management application on my iPhone to keep tracking my daily progress. It helped me to form a regular study habit. It doesn't matter which app you use, you can get any one from the app store.

1 Week before the Test Day:
I studied 8~10 hours, reviewed around 4 chapters for each subject per day and modified my notes.
Took the Kaplan online full length test to have a general idea about the intensity of the test and get familiar with the test mode. Don't worry if you can't get high scores. In the Kaplan test, there are much more calculation in Chem and Physics, but in the real test the calculations are all the basics and are much more straight forward. But if your score is below 300, I suggest to postpone your test.

1 Day before the Test Day:
Just reviewed all my notes.

On the D Day:
A breakfast is must have. My test was scheduled at 9:00, and as I got there around 8:30 I was able to start my tests early. You need 2 ID for the test. After checking my ID, I was asked to store all my personal stuff in a small locker (It is quite small, only able to keep small stuffs, your keys, cell phone and wallet/purse. So don't bring your big backpack). And after security check and identity verification, the test center provided me 2 black markers and 2 plastic sealed paper board. I raised my hand for paper exchange during the 15 min break, and asked again by the end of physics before the math section. You don't have to wait till you full filled the 2 papers to ask for an exchange.

A fact worth mentioning is that the Periodic table you gonna see from the test is without all the group number labeling (e.g. I A, IIA, I B.....). It is similar with the following one but may not be exactly the same:
upload_2016-7-31_22-3-46.png


Attention! New update: I enclose my Math and Physics review notes with the post, please feel free to download them.
The OAT is not that bad, all you have to do is make a plan and stick to it.
 

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seaachelles

2+ Year Member
May 26, 2016
5
1
Status
Pre-Optometry
Wow, congratulations! Great scores, especially since English is not your first language. :) Hoping to get similar scores (mine is 7 days away!)
 

kilegna

2+ Year Member
Jul 8, 2016
83
28
Status
Pre-Optometry
Hey!
I can finally relate to a post! I, like you work full time and have 2-3 hrs at night to study so since I have most of the materials you have previously mentioned i would like to know What was your day to day schedule? how did you break it down. It will be a lot of help! I feel like I'm not studying right and I don't know how to break it down to cover all material in such short amount of time.
thank you in advance. :)
 
OP
NECO_OD

NECO_OD

2+ Year Member
Apr 26, 2016
31
5
Hey!
I can finally relate to a post! I, like you work full time and have 2-3 hrs at night to study so since I have most of the materials you have previously mentioned i would like to know What was your day to day schedule? how did you break it down. It will be a lot of help! I feel like I'm not studying right and I don't know how to break it down to cover all material in such short amount of time.
thank you in advance. :)
Hi Kilegna:

From March to May I read through the Kaplan OAT strategy Biology, General Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, 2 chapters per day. Then I used 2 weeks to review Physics using the MCAT physics book I mentioned above, 1~2 chapters per day. From middle of June I started to watch Chad's online General Chemistry & Organic Chemistry videos. One General Chem video+ one Organic Chem video each day, while watching videos I made my own notes, and did the after course practice. And on the next day, I reviewed the former day's notes first, then reviewed 2 new videos.

I took a whole month off in July, but besides OAT I also had to prepare TOEFL. So for July 1st~12th, I generally spent 4~6 hours on OAT, watching Chad's chemistry videos. I took my TOEFL on July 15th, so from July 16th~28th all my time were used for OAT. I reviewed General Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, Physics for the 2nd & 3rd time, using my own notes and did questions in OAT destroyer books , for each day: Biology 1 chapter+ 80 destroyer questions; General Chemistry 1 chapter+Chad's practice questions+30 destroyer questions; Organic Chemistry 1 chapter+Chad's practice questions+30 destroyer questions; Physics 1 chapter+ MCAT physics book practice questions; 1~2 Math destroyer. On July 29th, I just reviewed all my notes.

Here I enclose a summary I made for the endocrine system. Hope this could help you!
 

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kilegna

2+ Year Member
Jul 8, 2016
83
28
Status
Pre-Optometry
Thank you so much!! I can't take off a month but I am definitely using your template to guide myself. Thank you tons for including the endocrine system resume. Its amazing!!
 
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NECO_OD

NECO_OD

2+ Year Member
Apr 26, 2016
31
5
Thank you so much!! I can't take off a month but I am definitely using your template to guide myself. Thank you tons for including the endocrine system resume. Its amazing!!
You're welcome.

My first language is not English and I learned all the basic courses in Chinese, so I need extra time to "re-learn" chemistry and physics.
I'm sure you'll be fine, even without a month off from work.

Good luck with study and OAT!

Let me know if you have any other questions.
 
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NECO_OD

NECO_OD

2+ Year Member
Apr 26, 2016
31
5
Thank you so much!! I can't take off a month but I am definitely using your template to guide myself. Thank you tons for including the endocrine system resume. Its amazing!!
Another tip: if you don't have enough time, you can also skip the General Chemistry & Organic Chemistry chapters in big Kaplan book and directly review these two subjects by watching Chad's videos, and then go through these chapters in Kaplan book by the end of review stage if you have extra time.
 

bullgirl13

2+ Year Member
Aug 15, 2016
1
0
Status
Pre-Optometry
Your post is literally so helpful thank you so much!!! I'm planning on taing my OAT in two months! Do you still happen to have any of your books? and any other tips in scheduling? like did you veer take breaks, did you stop studying after a certain amount of time, did you go out and socialize at all?
 
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NECO_OD

NECO_OD

2+ Year Member
Apr 26, 2016
31
5
Your post is literally so helpful thank you so much!!! I'm planning on taing my OAT in two months! Do you still happen to have any of your books? and any other tips in scheduling? like did you veer take breaks, did you stop studying after a certain amount of time, did you go out and socialize at all?
Thank you!
Glad I can help.
I skipped almost all social activities, but do watched 3~4 movies during the 4 months. I didn't take any breaks from studying, but since I work full time in a research lab, so I was not literally studying all the time. I do stopped studying OAT for about a week to be able to focus on preparing TOEFL. And since my first language is not English, I need extra time to re-study all the terms for Chemistry and Physics, so I think you'll need much less time preparing the test if you've taken the courses in the US.
About the books, I still have the Kaplan OAT 2016 Strategies(with 2 full-length online tests),Foundations of Organic Chemistry, and OAT flash card system. You can email me if you need them. [email protected]
 
Last edited:
Jul 18, 2016
18
2
Status
Pre-Optometry, Pre-Pharmacy
Seeing that you are attending or planning to attend NECO from your username, do you know if they look at your highest OAT score or the average of all your OAT scores? I scored 380AA as well last year but the year before I scored 340AA. I guess this question could apply to all optom schools in general
 
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NECO_OD

NECO_OD

2+ Year Member
Apr 26, 2016
31
5
Seeing that you are attending or planning to attend NECO from your username, do you know if they look at your highest OAT score or the average of all your OAT scores? I scored 380AA as well last year but the year before I scored 340AA. I guess this question could apply to all optom schools in general
I think they'll weight more on the most recent score.
 

eyebelieveinyou

2+ Year Member
Nov 23, 2015
24
9
Status
Pre-Optometry
How did you calculate the academic average from the ADA practice test? I have a conversion chart that I found on here. I see that it has a TS score, but no AA.
 
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NECO_OD

NECO_OD

2+ Year Member
Apr 26, 2016
31
5
How did you calculate the academic average from the ADA practice test? I have a conversion chart that I found on here. I see that it has a TS score, but no AA.
AA = Academic Average.
This is the average of the standard scores you received for all of the sections.
 
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NECO_OD

NECO_OD

2+ Year Member
Apr 26, 2016
31
5
Just got my acceptance letter from NECO for the Accelerated Optometric Degree Program. Boston, I'm coming~~~
 
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Jul 4, 2017
2
0
Status
Pre-Optometry
Hey! I was wondering, could you send me a link to the foundations of organic chemistry book so I can buy one for myself? Or let me know what the authors name was? Thank you SO MUCH for all of your help.

Thank you!
Glad I can help.
I skipped almost all social activities, but do watched 3~4 movies during the 4 months. I didn't take any breaks from studying, but since I work full time in a research lab, so I was not literally studying all the time. I do stopped studying OAT for about a week to be able to focus on preparing TOEFL. And since my first language is not English, I need extra time to re-study all the terms for Chemistry and Physics, so I think you'll need much less time preparing the test if you've taken the courses in the US.
About the books, I still have the Kaplan OAT 2016 Strategies(with 2 full-length online tests),Foundations of Organic Chemistry, and OAT flash card system. You can email me if you need them. [email protected]
 
Jun 15, 2017
40
12
Status
Pre-Optometry
I literally cannot thank you enough for this post. I found this soooo incredibly helpful!!!! WOW! Congrats on your score, on your acceptance and everything! That is so fantastic! I wrote my OAT already in June and did ok, I wish I would have known all this a few months back lol. But this is great to know for next year when I want to re-write it. We need more people like you in the forum lol. Thanks again. Keep us posted with how you love Optometry school- especially the accelerated program! :)
 
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NECO_OD

NECO_OD

2+ Year Member
Apr 26, 2016
31
5
I literally cannot thank you enough for this post. I found this soooo incredibly helpful!!!! WOW! Congrats on your score, on your acceptance and everything! That is so fantastic! I wrote my OAT already in June and did ok, I wish I would have known all this a few months back lol. But this is great to know for next year when I want to re-write it. We need more people like you in the forum lol. Thanks again. Keep us posted with how you love Optometry school- especially the accelerated program! :)
Glad to hear that it's helpful. Good luck on your studying and applications!