OAT Breakdown (370 AA / 380 TS)


New Member
Aug 31, 2022
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I took the OAT last weekend & I wanted to share how I prepared for the test! Reading other people’s breakdowns helped me a TON while I was studying 😊

I gave myself 3 months to study - I was working full time, and I graduated in 2021 so I hadn’t seen a lot of the material for a couple years. For anyone else writing it later than usual, it may seem like a lot to relearn at first but it comes back quick!

Study Resources
OATBooster (10/10)
This was pretty much the only resource I used. I spent a lot of time searching through Reddit and other platforms to see what everyone found to be the most helpful - and OAT booster had really great reviews! I didn’t want to spend a ton of money on study resources, & I really liked that you only had to pay one fee to have access to videos, study notes, a LOT of practice questions and tests, & equation sheets.

Chad’s YouTube Videos (Free) (10/10)
I used these to supplement any areas I was struggling with after going through all of the OATBooster content. He does such a great job of breaking down concepts in a way that is easy to learn/remember. I highly recommend giving these a try, and they’re free!

How I prepared:
I didn’t take an initial practice test until about a month into studying as I didn’t feel like I knew enough of the material for it to be useful. I used OATBooster’s 10 week study guide during the first month and half to relearn all of the material, and then used the last month and a half as practice. During my review/learning phase, I studied at night/after work for 3-4 hours. I wrote out ochem reaction cue cards, biology notes, and general chemistry notes & I would review them most mornings while walking on a treadmill before work. For physics & QR, I would go through OATBooster’s material & then try practice questions until I felt comfortable with the topic. For RC, I did one practice test a week & focused on learning what kinds of questions are commonly asked. After my learning phase, I tried writing 2 practice exams a week, and would spend a couple hours every day reviewing/understanding the answers I got wrong. The last two weeks leading up to my exam I focused solely on physics as it was my weakest subject (I was scoring 250’s on the OATBooster practice exams). I took the ADA practice exam 2 days before my exam (highly recommend doing, it was a very good representation of the actual exam). The day before my exam I read through all the notes I had written out.

Biology (400)
Very broad, surface level questions in this section. I didn’t come across anything I hadn’t reviewed through OATBooster. I recommend knowing structures/functions, taxonomy (I went way too in depth while studying for this section, the information covered in OATBooster’s videos would’ve been the perfect amount to memorize), hormones, and genomics.

General Chemistry (400)
I got an even mix of conceptual and calculation questions. Again, I didn’t encounter anything I hadn’t seen during OATBooster’s practice exams. I think practice/repetition is key here - trying questions helps you remember the equations, & knowing the equations makes a huge difference (especially time-wise). I got lots of thermodynamics & kinematics questions.

Organic Chemistry (330)
I got lots of predict the product questions, substitution/elimination questions, as well as a surprising amount of spectroscopy questions. I felt well prepared for this section and was a bit surprised with how I did. I recommend memorizing all of the reactions, but also having a good overall understanding of the main concepts

Reading Comprehension (400)
I read through the entire passage & highlighted key words/phrases that I thought would come up in the questions. This would take about 8 minutes and then I would spend another 8 minutes going through questions. Because I spent that initial time understanding the passage, I could answer most of the questions in my head before confirming with the text (or I at least had an idea where the answer was). I got a lot of questions that I don’t think I would’ve been able to answer through search and destroy, but i’ve never been good at that strategy so I may be biased! Either way, I think the most important part of this section is time management.

Physics (360)
I am so proud of this score. I worked really hard during the last few weeks leading up to my exam on physics specifically - I couldn’t get above a 300 for the longest time. Chad’s videos helped me understand all the topics conceptually, and I did a LOT of practice questions. The actual exam was mostly conceptual questions, and any calculation questions were pretty basic & only required 1 step/equation. I think the most important part for this section is understanding & memorizing all of the equations. I would definitely recommend understanding forces, electrostatics, and optics.

Quantitative Reasoning (330)
Math is my weakest subject & I really struggled with time management here. There wasn’t anything I hadn’t seen before, & it was definitely easier than OATBooster’s practice questions. I wasn’t working through the questions fast enough, and ended up guessing on quite a few. I recommend practicing as much as you can so that you’re able to know what equation/method you use as soon as you read a question!

This is a really tough exam to study for due to the amount of material that you’re required to know! I was overwhelmed during the first couple of weeks, but once you get through that learning phase it gets a lot better! Take breaks and prioritize your mental health - there’s no shame in rescheduling your exam if you don’t feel ready! Feel free to message me if you have any questions 😊 good luck studying!!

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