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OAT Breakdown

Discussion in 'OAT Discussions' started by OD2023, Sep 2, 2018.

  1. OD2023

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    Hey guys! So I retook my OAT for the second time this past Friday. I decided to do a breakdown because reading other people’s helped me so much!!

    Background: I had a lot of family visiting this summer + a full time job + shadowing, so I was in a time crunch to study. My main reason to retake the OAT was because my physics score for my first time was very low (I’m Canadian and Waterloo requires all scores to be above 300).

    Scores: OAT 1 -> OAT 2

    Quantitative Reasoning: 340 -> 400
    Reading Comprehension: 350 -> 360
    Biology: 330 -> 380
    General Chemistry: 350 -> 400
    Organic Chemistry: 340 -> 330
    Physics: 290 -> 300
    TS: 330 -> 350
    AA: 330 -> 360

    Even though my physics score only went up by 10 points and my organic chem score lowered, these scores are a lot better than my first ones!


    My Materials: Chad’s Videos, OAT Destroyer, Physics Destroyer, Math Destroyer, Cracking the OAT, Quantitative Comparison workbook I found online, Science Books for Dummies!


    My Prep: For May, we were travelling a lot so my prep consisted of watching Chad’s videos and taking detailed notes. I bought the Ultimate Package which gives access to all courses for a month including quizzes for $10 on Chemistry Prep. I think this was perfect because it gave me a chance to refresh my memory on everything. I found Chad to be a really good teacher. If you don’t want to buy the Ultimate videos, you can just watch his free videos on that website. For his practice questions, they are free on defeatthedat.com (something I realized way after)! I also did the Dummies books since they had really good practice questions.

    June was spent making flashcards for gen and ochem and reviewing them as well as going through Dynamite Bio Review and Cracking the OAT for physics. I found Cracking the OAT to be a lot more helpful than Kaplan’s book which is what I used last time. I knew my OAT score would have been higher for physics but I mixed up diverging and converging lens and mirrors and I had like 3 questions on those. Dynamite bio was a great refresher and I really enjoyed reading it. Dr. Romano does a great job explaining concepts with just enough detail for the OAT. I found a Quantitative Comparison book online with 501 QC questions. This gave me enough practice to know what the questions on the OAT were asking and how to do them quickly.

    For July and August, my cousin was over and I was working full time so there was not a lot of studying. I also bought my Destroyer in mid-July and I would do a few questions a day. The last two weeks of August, I was starting to get freaked out and decided to quit my job to focus fully on the OAT. During these weeks, I did the Bio Destroyer questions twice just re-writing everything I didn’t know on a whiteboard. I did about half of Gen Chem and found that to be enough. I did about a third of Ochem but honestly it was too much for me so I stopped and just focused on memorizing reactions - I don’t recommend this, do as many practice problems as you can instead!!! I also did all 11 Math Destroyer tests and redid all the problems that I got wrong. During my last two days of prep, I watched the DAT Bootcamp Taxonomy videos (they are a fantastic resource and cover everything taxonomy!!), and did the ADA OAT and DAT full lengths as well as the 2 OAT full lengths from Princeton Review.


    DAY OF: The Prometric people were absolutely lovely and we were allowed to look through our notes during the break.

    BIO: I had questions on basically everything. There was cell bio, taxonomy, evolution, anatomy and physiology, microscopes etc. I thought I did horribly because it was detailed and I had a lot of pictures asking me what organism it was or what kind of microscope.

    GC: I had questions on solubility, thermodynamics and that’s about all I can remember. It was all very straight forward and there weren’t a lot of calculations.

    OC: This was my nightmare. I realized that memorizing reagents wasn’t a bad idea since I couldn’t even remember what their products were. I had a few NMR/IR questions, ranking acidity and stability of radicals/carbocations, ortho/para/meta directors, characteristics of SN1/SN2, and the rest were reactions.

    RC: I started off with a very easy passage with straightforward questions and then it just went downhill from there. My next two passages were on fibre optics and language and the questions were super difficult. During this section, the power also went out however we didn’t lose any time and all our previous answers were saved which was great!

    PHYS: I don’t recommend the Physics Destroyer for this because it was a lot of calculations and the OAT was mainly just concepts. If you understand the concepts from Chad’s Videos and do your practice questions from Cracking the OAT, you will be golden. I have always had a problem understanding physics so if you are the same, please please please do an hour each day of physics! It will pay off, trust.

    QR: I thought this section was straightforward. There was a good mixture of number crunching and word problems along with 5-6 QC questions. I think the math destroyer is essential here for the sheer amount of problems you practice. There were definitely questions that I solved in the Math Destroyer that appeared on the OAT with just different numbers.


    OVERALL: This test seems really daunting once you start studying for the sheer amount of information there is. I believe that practice problems are the most essential to succeed. My first time around, I didn’t do a lot of them and on the OAT I kept running out of time. Even if you do an hour of questions for each subject and for RC, just read an article, you will be very well prepared for the OAT.

    Thank you so much for reading this super lengthy post and I wish you guys loads of good luck on your exam <3
     
    Optician2OD likes this.
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  3. preopt2019

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    Thank you so much for your post and congrats on your score! I was looking at purchasing the cracking the OAT by Princeton review but it did not have many reviews yet and no one on here used it, only Kaplan.
     
  4. OD2023

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    I thought it was a fantastic resource for physics! It broke everything down and explained it in a way that was understandable :)
     
    preopt2019 likes this.
  5. preopt2019

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    Thanks for letting me know! I will be purchasing it
     
  6. mar2018

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    can you elaborate more on how you used cracking the oat for physics?
     
  7. SKP957

    2+ Year Member

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    How did you study for the QR section? I am just worried about the comparison questions ..
     
  8. OD2023

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    I found a book online called 501 Comparison Questions that was very useful. Other than that, I used the Math Destroyer!
     
    SKP957 likes this.

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