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OAT Breakdown (LONG POST!)

Discussion in 'OAT Discussions' started by Flyingbunnies94, Oct 12, 2017.

  1. Iwantobe0D

    Iwantobe0D SDN Gold Donor Gold Donor Classifieds Approved

    Jul 5, 2017
    I have been following the forum for a while and it has helped me out a lot. I took the OAT today and would like to put my experience out there and hopefully this could help someone.

    First, these are the resources I used: (from most useful to least)

    -Khan Academy: The best resource out there for anyone taking a Pre-Health exam. They have everything; physics, Gchem, Ochem, Bio... I personally watched the videos at 1.5x speed because I think Sal talks slow. The best part is that it's FREE!!
    -Chad's videos and outlines: Chad is amazing; you learn a lot of strategies and tricks from him that are a must for these exams.
    -Kaplan book from library (only for physics): didn't use this book for anything but physics. And I stopped using it and watched Khan Academy videos instead.
    -Physics for dummies I&II (only used for circular/rotational stuff): I only used this because I had a few topics in physics that I wasn't very good with.
    -Destroyer~ barely used... these problems are wayyyy too difficult that the real thing. But it is excellent practice and I would still recommend.
    -Crack Oat: STAY AWAY and save your money... This software is so bad that I don't even know where to start... that's like $300 wasted for me.

    Time I took to study: maybe 2-3 weeks max. I was scheduled to take the test in July, but I kept procrastinating, and started studying a week before my test date. All I did was watch chad's videos and take notes on the outlines. I ended up postponing my exam due to a medical condition. Then I ended up going out of the country for a family event for the entire month of august. When I came back in September, I scheduled my test for October 12th, but kept procrastination until I had only 2 weeks left. At this point I just thoroughly reviewed my notes and started watching Khan Academy videos and and doing practice problems.

    Practice tests: 3 days prior to the exam, I took the Kaplan practice test the came with the book and scored: 270 AA/270 TS/260 BIO/290 GC/270 OC/330 RC/270 Physics/ Skipped QR
    At this point I was very disappointed and stressed. I was going to postpone my test again, but I read a few posts that mentioned the ADA practice test and how close it is to the real exam. I decided to study intensely using all the resources and taking the ADA practice test a day before the exam.
    The ADA scores I got were: 330 BIO/370 GCHEM/360 OCHEM/RC Skipped/330 Physics/350 QR

    Test Day:
    I underestimated the morning traffic and ended up arriving to the center only 10 minutes prior to my exam. There was one person ahead of me, and a few people behind me. As we all waited, one of the employees in the testing center collapsed and passed out; the ambulance was called and she was taken out on a stretcher. I was a bit shaken from this incident when I was about to start the test. I just took a deep breath and relaxed a bit during the 15 minute tutorial in the beginning.
    BIO: The questions weren't really difficult; they required a bit of thinking. I didn't read any books or memorize random facts and I though that I was going to do horrible on this section. I would suggest going over cellular respiration, genetics(mutations, punnet squares, etc), and some physiology basics. Knowing common hormones and enzyme names and function helps a lot. There were maybe only 2 immunology questions on there.
    GChem: I feel that this test was more conceptual than calculations. A few graphs(ionization energy), a few stoichiometry questions and equilibrium questions. Knowing the periodic trends, thermodynamic laws, and Hess's law was helpful.
    OChem: Was not bad at all; concepts, reactions and only 1 IR question. Knowing ortho/para/meta, the key reactions, acids /bases was very helpful.
    RC: I'm not a fast reader, in fact I read slow. I did not practice this section at all; I only took one practice test. My strategy was to just look at the key words of the question first and just skim the passage for the answer. I suggest looking at how many question come from each passage at the beginning of the exam. There are 3 passages, and one of them has 20 question and the other 2 have 15 question each. I suggest spending time reading the passage with the most questions.
    Break: 30 min break. I suggest eating something very light and drinking little water. I ate 2 pieces of dark chocolate and drank some coffee; this was a bad mistake....
    Physics: This was surprisingly a breeze. I was really struggling with timing on my practice tests. I suggest skipping though the question and doing ones that take a short time first. Mostly conceptual question. Some questions are conceptual questions disguised as calculation questions. Optics has a few questions, so I suggest focusing on optics. Also, be comfortable with concepts; for example, understanding that KE=PE helps you find 'h' given only velocity. Also go over graphs of acceleration and velocity. A few ranking questions in circuits, and applying kirchoff's rules.
    QR: Luckily, I have always been really good with math. I did not study much for this test, I just looked over a few sample question a day before. A lot of algebra, probability, percentages and graphs. I honestly don't remember much from this exam because of how uncomfortable I was feeling the entire time. I wish they could let people run to the bathroom during the test! I strongly feel that I could do much better on the test if this wasn't an issue, but oh well...

    At the end there is a survey which I could not even bother to read since I was in a rush, and then your scores appear on the screen.

    3 biggest Tips:
    1) Take the ADA practice test to truly determine where you are.
    2) Always stay positive
    3) Plan your daily study schedule, especially if you're on a tight schedule like me.

    Thanks to everyone who posted on here to help other people, and good luck to those who are about to take the test.
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2017
    LUC78, icosmiclatte and WhyNeedAName like this.
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  3. Jeffspnz

    Jeffspnz SCCO c/o 2022

    Feb 26, 2017
    Awesome scores!
    Flyingbunnies94 likes this.
  4. icosmiclatte


    Oct 8, 2017
    Flyingbunnies94 likes this.
  5. LUC78


    Apr 30, 2016
    For someone who is short on time, how do you suggest studying for the Organic Chem sections? Is it important to memorize all the reactions/are there many reactions from orgo 2?
    Flyingbunnies94 likes this.
  6. Brisks


    Oct 7, 2017
    To give a short answer I would say you don’t need to memorize ALL the reactions and there weren’t too many reactions overall from Orgo 2 on the OAT.
    Flyingbunnies94 likes this.
  7. Iwantobe0D

    Iwantobe0D SDN Gold Donor Gold Donor Classifieds Approved

    Jul 5, 2017
    I don't think memorizing all the reaction will help much. But knowing a trend/pattern of what happens help (ex. recognizing electrophile and nucleophile and be able to predict what happens). Going through chad's videos helped a lot because he taught in a way that promotes being able to predict the product rather than memorizing all the reactions.
    LUC78 likes this.

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