Oct 19, 2010
21
0
Berkeley, California
Status
Optometry Student
Okay I just took the exam Monday, but the more and more I think about it, I am not confident with my scores. I prepared using Chad's videos, OAT achiever, my class notes, and the kaplan review book.

When I got to the testing center, I was provided with two sheets of laminated paper and two dry erase markers and an eraser that ended up being awful because it had been used too much in the past, and when I erased, it just smeared the marker around, which ended up getting all over my hands and arms by the end of the test.

During the tutorial, I was freaking out a little bit because I was simply not ready for the OAT. I had been getting horrible scores on the practice tests and I was freaking out a little bit.... well actually a whole lot. I tried calming myself down beforehand by writing down any equation I could think of that I might need on one of the laminated sheets to use for reference. After I took a deep breath, I ended the tutorial and began the test with a reluctant click.

My strategy was to pace myself during the first science section by giving myself half an hour for each section. The bio questions went quicker than I thought, but I ended up guessing and marking a lot of questions to review later because they seemed more time-consuming or I just didn't know the answer whatsoever. I got through both chemistry sections with minimal problems and I had time to review all my questions before the section ended.

For the RC, I was scared because I had done poorly on my practice tests. For the first passage, it seemed easy so I wrote key words down from each paragraph then used the search and destroy method, which seemed to work. Then I realized the second passage was difficult, so I marked and skipped all the questions about this passage. For the third, I used the same method as the first. I was running out of time when I went back to the second passage, so I tried speed-reading it, but I was becoming frantic. I ended up guessing on a lot of these questions, which left me feeling defeated by the time the break came. My advice on this section is just to prepare yourself by practicing a lot more than I did.

After the break, the physics section was next. About half way through or something, I realized I had more time than I had paced myself for, so I think that caused me to become too relaxed, and in the end, I was cut-off at about question 36, so I had left some unanswered. I never got to go back and review the ones I had guessed on and skipped earlier. Like everyone has said before, there were lots of conceptual questions and not many computational ones. Just know concepts like kinematics, springs, and optics. You don't use many equations, and I wasted my time memorizing all these random constants and equations I never ended up using at all.

I was so caught off-guard by the physics abruptly ending, that I started to panic during the quantitative reasoning. There was also a woman who was making distracting noises during this section and my noise canceling headphones weren't working to block them out. I had two minutes left at question 28 or so and ended up guessing on the rest. I was horrified. There were a lot of fraction questions, mostly easy-to-solve algebraic problems, but it was just time-consuming with the fractions. My biggest advice in this section is to practice a lot before going in, and definitely skip questions you don't know. I took way too much time on harder questions when I should have skipped them and moved on to the easier ones.

After the survey was over, I literally covered my eyes before my scores popped up and I had completely mixed feelings over them when I finally saw them.

BIO: 390
GC: 370
OC: 330
RC: 330
PHY: 290
QR: 290

TS: 340
AA: 330

A couple days later, I look back at the whole experience and now know what I would have done differently. I spent my time focusing so much on GC and OC that I ran out of time to go over physics and practice basic reading and skills. Time was my biggest enemy in this test. I struggled with time for every section but the natural sciences. I believe this is because I simply didn't prepare well for the others. I knew I could read just fine, and I'm a math tutor, so I know my stuff, but I should have practiced the problems with a timer so I could get used to how fast-paced the OAT is. If I were to take it again, I would study enough so that I would be CONFIDENT going into the exam instead of freaking out, like I was.

I am really disappointed in those 290s. I'm beginning to think that no school is going to accept me because I am applying so late in this cycle. I was really hoping for UCBSO. Hopefully they will be able to look past some of my poor section scores and recognize that I have been striving my entire college career to get to this point, and also recognize my determination and passion for becoming an optometrist.
 
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May 25, 2010
16
0
Status
I agree the markers and erasers were horrible :)

The only thing I can tell you is that I called in to check if they had a minimum score requirement on any subjects, and the answer was no. So these scores will not prevent you from getting an interview.
 

jc812

Member
10+ Year Member
Apr 11, 2006
241
0
Status
Optometry Student
Sometimes schools will give u another chance and ask you to retake the test.. this doesn't prevent u from getting into school in 2011.. so no "trying next yr"!
 
Feb 24, 2010
8
0
Status
Pre-Optometry
Maybe this will help. I scored a TS 320 and AA 320. My physics score was 290. I think my QR was 300. I did much better on the other sections. I got accepted to both ICO and NOVA, the two schools of my choice. I chose NOVA and love it here! Anyway, there is definitley hope for you so don't worry too much!
 

saiwahhh

5+ Year Member
Jan 6, 2010
55
0
Oregon
Status
Optometry Student
i think someone already mentioned this, but call their office of admissions and ask what they say about a minimum in every section.. also get the app in asap, time is against you in this process..
 
OP
S
Oct 19, 2010
21
0
Berkeley, California
Status
Optometry Student
I have already applied and was invited to SCO for an interview for next week. I'm still waiting on UC Berkeley, but I'm hoping to hear good news.
 
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