OAT Breakdown/Experience June 8 2023 (Score: 370 AA, 400 TS)


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Jun 12, 2023
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Hi everyone, I just took my OAT last week in June and was happy with my scores. I will attempt to share my experience prepping for the OAT.

Background: I did some light studying during my winter break (Dec. 2022, ~2 weeks) but had to stop due to school. I started heavy studying for the OAT right after I got back from school so I had around a little over a month to prep. However, as a Bio major, I was taking a lot of science classes (biochem, evolutionary bio, physics 2, biocalculus) my spring semester so I was indirectly studying for this exam.

Study Schedule

This is how I studied given the little time I had to study. I do recommend taking a least a month and a half to study for the exam but if you’re also in a time crunch, it is possible! I also only used OATBooster during this time.

Week 1: I took 3 days to study all of gen chem (only read through the study notes and did not watch the videos or extra problems), 4 days for physics (watched all videos and study notes) as well as did 4 gen chem practice exams and 1 physics practice exam (would’ve taken more but I only had time to take only one)

Week 2: This week was all Bio. I watched all the videos first and read all the sections except Chapter 2 (Diversity of Life). This chapter was super long and so I decided to only read the cheat sheets (super helpful) and learn more as I took more practice exams. The taxonomy, cellular respiration, and photosynthesis videos were extremely helpful in learning just enough for the exam and not spending too much time on these topics. Took around 4 bio practice exams this week.

Week 3: The week that I dreaded. Orgo. Organic was definitely my worse subject in college but the videos for this section are honestly all you need. I didn’t use the study notes but rather just screenshotted the video slides so that I can make my own notes with them. Took around 4 practice exams this week as well.

Week 4: This was my last full week and the first two days were for reading and QR together. I spent 2 more days on physics and then started taking full-length practice exams up until the actual exam to build my endurance.

Final few days: I took the last few practice exams in OATBooster but only in Bio, GChem, Orgo, and Physics since I felt that I needed more practice on these sections. I took notes on everything that I missed and on the day before the exam, I reviewed those as well as skimmed through my own notes.

Study material I used

OATBooster 10/10
: Honestly the only thing you need to do well on the exam. My friend who was studying for the DAT said that they used DATBooster to study so I thought I would give it a shot (with the OAT version haha). It was honestly one of the best investments I made as it gave me almost everything that I needed to know for the OAT. There were some topics that I wished would be covered in more detail mainly in the physics section but I used notes that I used from my college class to compensate. I heard a lot of good reviews on Chad’s video for physics but personally, I didn’t use them.

Kaplan Book 6/10: One of my senior friends is currently in Optometry school and was kind enough to give me the book that she used to study. I only used it when I was studying over winter break and felt that I wasn’t learning the material as fast as I would’ve liked. I made a schedule of how much I needed to study each day and I felt as if I was falling behind since I’m a bit of a slow reader. I also didn’t use any KAPLAN tests since I only got the books from my friend.

Tips for each section:

Biology (Scored: 400)

Honestly, this section requires just plain memorization. As someone who memorizes fairly quickly but forgets the information just as fast, I would watch the videos and screenshot important slides and study them toward the second half of my prep. Do not try to memorize every little detail but rather a general idea of everything. The questions in this section were very broad but there are some specific questions every now and then.

General Chemistry (Scored: 370)

Personally, I feel that there’s not a lot of content in this section (which is why I started with this first) so my recommendation would be to read through the study notes and do as many practice problems.

Organic Chemistry (Scored: 400)

For this section, knowing the reactions and practice is super important! I felt that I was understanding the content when learning the material but during the practice exams, I just blanked out. I realize that I wasn’t able to apply what I learned until doing more practice problems. Organic is a topic that you need to apply what you learned through repetition and practice and not just memorizing!

Reading Comprehension (Scored: 340)

Reading has always been one of my weak points. I did do well on the practice exams (around 360-380) but I feel like it was because, during the practice exams, I always had one or two sections where I knew a good amount of background knowledge. During my actual exam, I wasn’t too familiar with each topic which is why it took me longer to answer each section.

Physics (Scored: 350)

For this section, it’s honestly just knowing which equations to use and how to apply them. I personally found the actual exam harder than my practice exams as the questions were fairly vague and didn’t have a lot of information that I could extrapolate from. However, I did get what I expected so I think Booster does give you a good idea of what your score would be.

Quantitative Reasoning: (Scored: 380)

Honestly was very surprised that this section was harder than my practice exams since people found the actual exam to be easier than the practice exams. I took around 5 practice exams and scored 400 on 4 of them and 390 on one with usually some time to spare so I was a bit shocked with this section. However, the structure was really similar to the Booster practice exams so I would still recommend doing those.

ADA 2006 practice exam: This exam was definitely easier overall but I did get similar scores so personally I felt like it’ll give you a good idea of where your actual score would be.

Final Advice

Personally, screenshotting the video slides and turning them into notes/slides saved me a lot of time studying afterward. Taking notes of everything that you don’t know is really important as it could show you a trend on what your weakest topics are. While it is tedious and very time-consuming upfront, it did help me cut down on the time I was spending on relearning the material.

And finally, don’t stress too much about this exam! My senior friends who took the OAT before me all told me that it wasn’t as bad as I thought, which is something I wished I took more seriously. Always take time to do something you enjoy doing in between studying to prevent burnout. Everything will work out in the end. Good luck and you guys got this!

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