Jul 19, 2015
Hey everyone!! I'm pretty new at SDN and I've really used this website primarily for OAT advice, experiences, etc. Since I've found everyone else's experience SO helpful, I've decided to post my own to help anyone who needs it! I took the OAT this afternoon (Aug. 15) and I want to write about it before I start to forget.

So to prep for the exam I took Kaplan's online course and used all of their study materials including the big blue book, flash cards, practice and section tests/quizzes/etc. Kaplan was also the only prep I used for this exam, nothing else. I honestly felt Kaplan had everything I needed and their strategies were very helpful, especially with time management. I started studying in the beginning of June, so in total about 2.5 months which I felt was plenty of time. Here are my test scores:

FL1: 310/300/230/ 370/ 250/ 260/270/290
FL2: 320/370/330/310/ 270/ 280/ 330/310
FL3: 340/310/340/370/ 270/ 320/ 320/ 330
FL4: 370/350/350/330/290/300/ 350/ 330
FL5: 350/330/360/360/ 280/ 270/340/330

Test Day
I was REALLY nervous about the exam. You'll be able to tell from my Kaplan practice scores that some subjects I consistently wasn't scoring too great and I was very anxious about how they would turn out on the real exam...I really didn't want to retake it.

If anyone else gets test anxiety like me, my advice would be to do the tutorial!!!! It gave me time to calm my nerves and it tells you some pretty useful stuff like how to highlight and cross out answers.

To be honest I have no clue how I scored so well. I didn't think the section was necessarily hard, but it was very random and there were some questions that I just never have seen before. Definitely know your genetics, components of the cell, hormones, what parts of the body are from the ectoderm, mesoderm and endoderm, and things pertaining to the 5 kingdoms and the characteristics of each kingdom. Even on the questions that seem confusing it's pretty easy to narrow it down to two and make an educated guess.

Gen Chem
I actually thought this section was so much easier than Kaplan. It doesn't really reflect on my score, but there were definitely less calculations and more conceptual questions on my test, and even the calculations weren't as in depth. Know acids/bases, redox, equilibrium constants, the rate formula, solutions, periodic properties!

Orgo Chem
Educated guessing helped me a lot on this section too. I was tested primarily on reactions, so know the different reactions, what reagents do to a molecule, spectroscopy, activating/deactivating groups, acids and bases and stereochemistry! There were some reactions that didn't look familiar to me, but mark it, go back to it, and if it still doesn't ring a bell then make an educated guess. I'd say if you're familiar with reagents and what they do to a molecule in a reaction, you'll be set for a good portion of the section.

Reading Comp
This section I personally thought was really easy, especially compared to the Kaplan practice. The questions were so much more straight forward, and the passages I had weren't too boring either which was nice. After reading each paragraph I wrote a few words about it on my scrap paper to help me easily locate it in the article when answering questions.

I was the most nervous for this section. Physics was just something that never quite clicked and I knew it was my weakest subject. I felt that it was very similar to the Kaplan physics practice conceptually, but the calculations were a bit less in depth. Most of my section was kinematics and forces/statics. Other than that were a few resistance questions and a few periodic motion and standing waves questions as well. Although I didn't score too great in this section I'm hoping the rest of my scores will offset this one.

Quantitative Reasoning
This was another subject I struggled a bit with during my studying, but I did feel that the real exam was a little easier. The best strategy for this section is don't get too caught up on a question that takes a long time to complete. If it even looks like it may take a while, mark it and come back to the end. I've had a lot of trouble with time management with QR while studying, but it really pays off to go through the section and do all the simple calculations first, and then go back through and take some more time on the longer ones. My test mostly had algebra on it, some geometry (know trig functions), percentages. Also make sure you know characteristics of certain triangles, like isosceles and 30/60/90 triangles!

When I received my scores I was shocked but I will say if you are taking the Kaplan courses do NOT get discouraged like I did! I felt the overall exam was a bit easier than Kaplan's materials and you will definitely end up being more than prepared!

If anyone has any further questions or want to know anything specific please feel free to ask!! And good luck everyone :)
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Apr 8, 2013
Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
Hey I'm just curious
On the actual oat, is the format like the kaplan practice test to where at the end of each section when we finish it shows which questions we skipped and we can clickdirectly on that question to go back to it?
Jul 19, 2015
Hey I'm just curious
On the actual oat, is the format like the kaplan practice test to where at the end of each section when we finish it shows which questions we skipped and we can clickdirectly on that question to go back to it?
Yup! It's actually exactly like how Kaplan does it where you can review only marked questions, skipped questions, etc.