OAT Discussion : to all optometry students and pre-optometry students


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OAT Discussion: To all optomertry students and pre-optometry students

Dear future ODs:

When it comes to finding good preparation material for OAT, per-optometry students are at disadvantage compare to premeds . For the past few years AAMC has releases a number of their old tests. Since these materials reflect the real MCAT, test preparation programs such as Kaplan, Princeton, ExamKrackers, Arco encourage their students to judge their performance by the AAMC exams, despite the fact that these test preparation courses have numerous of their own full length exams for their students to practice with.

Unlike AAMC, the perparation materials that Association of schools and Colleges of Optometry ( ASCO ) has released is limited to the materials that comes with the application which is not even a full length exam. Thus, we don't have any full length exam that is coming directly from ASCO that we can use to see how well we are prepared for the actual OAT. The OAT prep books that are on the market some of them are too easy and some of them are too difficult.

My purpose in writing the above message is not to complain or to agonize, but to find a way so we can help each other and our future collages who will be taking OAT in years ahead. I encourage anyone who has taken the OAT or planning to take the OAT share their knowledge of OAT under this post. The following is a list of all the topics that is a fair game on OAT provided by ASCO . ( I have to admit the range of these topics is very wide. It is so wide that it covers the entire text book of each subject. If you can recall anything that is tested specifically by OAT share it with everyone.

note: In ur response plz copy the topic and paste it in the subject box as well as in ur message.

I . Biology: :(

1. Cell and Molecular Biology
2 .origin of life
3.cell metabolism (including photosynthesis)
5.cellular processes
6. thermodynamics;
7.organelle structure and function
8. mitosis/ meiosis
9. Diversity of Life: Biological Organization and Relationship of Major Taxa (monera, planti, anamalia, protista, fungi, etc.) using the five-kingdom system;

10. Vertebrate Anatomy and Physiology: Structure and function of Systems- 11. integumentary,
12. skeletal,
12 muscular,
14. circulatory,
15. immunological,
16. digestive
17. respiratory,
18. urinary,
19. nervous/senses,
20. endocrine, and reproductive;
21. Developmental Biology -fertilization, descriptive embryology, and developmental mechanics;
22. Genetics - molecular genetics, human genetics, classical genetics, and chromosomal genetics:
23. Evolution,
24 Ecology,
25. Behavior -
26. natural selection,
27. population genetics!
28. speciation, cladistics, population and community ecology, ecosystems, animal behavior (including social behavior).

General Chemistry: :confused:

1. Stoichiometry and General Concepts -
2. percent composition,
3. empirical formulae,
4. balancing equations,
5. moles and molecular formulas,
6. molar mass,
7. density, and calculations from balanced equations;
8. Gases -
9. kinetic molecular theory of gases, Dalton's, Boyle's, Charles, and ideal gas laws; 11. Liquids and Solids -
12. intermolecular forces, phase changes, vapor pressure,
13. structures,
14. polarity, and properties;
15. Solutions - polarity, properties (colligative, non-colligative),
15. forces, and concentration calculations; Acids and Bases - pH, strength, Bronsted-Lowry reactions, calculations; Chemical Equilibria - molecular, acid/base, precipitation, calculations, and
16. Le Chatelier's principle;
17. Thermodynamics and Thermochemistry- laws of thermodynamics,
18. Hess' law,
19. spontaneity, enthalpies and entropies, and heat transfer; Chemical Kinetics - rate laws, activation energy, and
20. half life;
21. Oxidation-Reduction Reactions - balancing equations, determination of oxidation numbers,
22. electrochemical calculations,
23. electrochemical concepts and terminology;
24. Atomic and Molecular Structure -
25. electron configuration,
26. orbital types, Lewis-Dot diagrams,
27. atomic theory,
28. quantum theory,
29. molecular geometry,
30 bond types,
31. sub-atomic particles;
32. Periodic Properties -representative elements, transition elements, periodic trends,
32. descriptive chemistry;
33. Nuclear Reactions - balancing equations, binding energy, decay processes, particles, terminology;
34. Laboratory - basic techniques, equipment, error analysis, safety, and data analysis.

Organic Chemistry: :rolleyes:

1. Mechanism (Energetics, Structure, and Stability of Intermediates)
2. -SN1, SN2,
3. elimination, addition,
4. free radical, and substitution mechanisms;
5. Chemical and Physical Properties of Molecules and Organic Analysis -
6. inter- and intra-molecular forces separation,
7. introductory infrared spectroscopy,
8. 'I{NMR spectroscopy, '3CNMR,
9. chemical identification, stability, solubility, and polarity;
10. Stereochemistry -
11. conformational analysis,
12. optical activity,
13. chirality, chiral centers,
14. planes of symmetry,
15. enantiomers, diastereomers, and meso compounds;
16. Nomenclature - rules, and
17. functional groups in molecules; I
18. ndividual Reactions of the Major Functional Groups and
19. Combinations of Reactions to Synthesize Compounds; Acid-Base Chemistry - 20. resonance effects, inductive results, and prediction of products and equilibria; 21. Aromatics and Bonding -
21. concept of aromaticity, resonance, atomic orbitals, molecular orbitals, hybridization, bond angles, and bond lengths.


What did u use ( or using ) to prepare for this section ?


1. Units and vectors,
2. linear kinematics,
3. statics, dynamics,
4. rotational motion,
5. energy and momentum,
6. simple harmonic motion,
7. waves, fluid statics,
8. thermal energy and thermodynamics,
9. electrostatics,
10. D.C. circuits,
11. magnetism,
12. optics,
12. and modern nuclear physics.

Mathematical Problems:
1. Algebra - equations
2. expressions,
3. inequalities,
4. exponential
5. absolute value,
6. ratios and proportions
7. graphical analysis;
8. Numerical calculations -
9. fractions and decimals,
10. percentages,
11. approximations,
12. and scientific notation;
13. Conversions-temperature,
14. time, weight, and distance;
15. Probability and Statistics;
16. Geometry;
17. Trigonometry,
18. and Applied Mathematics (Word)


Senior Member
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Jun 13, 2001
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It is true that there are a wide range of questions that can be asked, but they are straight-foward questions. If you understand the basic principles under each topic, you'll be ok.

Every year the OAT asks different questions pertaining to these topics, so you need to know each topic well.

I took the Kaplan course, and the many practice exams specfically for the OAT were so helpful. Doing practice exams over & over again is the key in doing well on the OAT.

I don't remember specifically what categories that you listed were on the OAT, but if I were someone taking the test next month, I would recommend studying all the categories.

Yes, the OAT is a lot of info to know, but its not a tricky test. Whats tricky is trying to answer the questions from the limited time they give you. Keep timing yourself when doing practice exams, so that you can pace yourself when it comes time for the real thing.

Good luck! :)


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I agree with Christie, mastering the time element means everything on the OAT. It is very important to keep a good pace, and to skip questions you can't answer immediately. Come back to these questions after you have answered all of the "easy" ones, that you are able to answer right away. I did not practice for the OAT, and my reading comp score suffered because of time issues. Don't make the same mistake!
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I'm so scared that I'm going to do badly on the OAT. I am scoring well in Reading Comp (340), well in Bio (330, without studying) but I am having trouble cramming in all chemistry, physcs and especially ESPECIALLY QUANTITATIVE REASONING
:mad: :mad: :mad: :mad:

I am so frustrated and feel like I'm running against the clock.

I suck.


I've found the Lippincott book to be too easy and some of the outlines aren't representative of everythign that needs to be studied (e.g. general chemistry). The top score stuff is often harder than the actual OAT stuff (based on the OAT booklet for 2002). My scores above are from TOP SCORE. I'm really really scared about the OAT. What if I throw my chance to go to ICO?? I would be so so heartbroken.



Just tried general chem 290, first one, 270 next one..:mad:
I'm pathetic
I shoudl become a sanitation engineer


Hmm i think it's because it's late at night. I am quitting onw. I tried the same bio section I got 330 on before, and got 270. I need sleep.

Forget what I said earlier


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I think your being way too hard on yourself. Your scores seem fine. Try to think positive, and stay calm. The more stressed you get , the worse you'll do. It is so important to relax during the OAT. You can do it. :)


Thanks Christie,
As usual you are the light at the end of the tunnel...
I'm just very frustrated with the OAT right now. I don't want everything I've worked for to come down to whether I can bubble in answers fast enough.



I have a great tip for all that I discovered this week--when doing general chem, organic, bio, physics--do the problems first that don't have any numbers in them. This gives me a huge confidence boost and lets me get a lot of questions right rapidly.

Good luck to all studying for that OAT. IF anyone gets their admittance card, please let me know. :cool:
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