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OAT experience 9/29/17

ked87

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Hi all,


I'd like to share with you guys my OAT experience since SDN helped me a lot.

Background:
I started studying 3 weeks before the test. About the first 1.5 weeks, I studied about 4 hours a day, and about 6 hours everyday for the last 1.5 weeks. The study materials I used were the OAT course videos on Coursesaver (Chad's videos) and the OAT achiever near the last week. (computer program that mimics the testing environment). I am also a biology major, so I didn't really as much for this section as much as I did for the others. I used the big Kaplan book only for the bio section, and nothing else.


What worked:
-Chad's videos. Watched every video and did the quizzes. Extremely helpful. Make sure to take your own notes even though his notes are printable. Be careful though, there are some topics that are included in the OAT videos but are not actually on the test. Such topics include fluid dynamics (not to be confused with fluid statics which IS on the test), geometry, and trig. While there is no trig on the QR, you do need to know your sin and cos values for 0, 30, 60, and 90. I also didn't have any magnetism on the test and it's not included in the 2017 ADA guide, however I'm not sure if this was completely removed so I would still go over magnetism, but not that much.

-Oat achiever. I personally used the 3 test program and completed 2 tests since I didn't really have much time left. Do note that the OAT achiever is HARDER THAN THE ACTUAL TEST. Especially for physics, reading comprehension, and the QR; don't give up if you score as low as I did!. Although it's harder, it is amazing practice if you go through the tests as if you were taking the real exam. There are some questions on the QR that will not be included on the actual exam such as Trig/geometry. After finishing each test, review both what you got wrong and right the next day.

-Take as many practice tests as possible with the same conditions as the testing site. This is probably the most important thing to do once you finish watching all of chad's videos.


What didn't work:
-Studying for only 3 weeks. Please do yourself a favor and do not do what I did. I underestimated the amount of time needed for studying. Even with having no classes and studying for 3 weeks, I felt super stressed 1 week before the exam date. My suggestion: if you don't have classes, study at least for a month before you take the test. I can't really give a suggestion of the amount of studying while taking classes, but it would obviously be more than a month.

-Taking practice tests within a week of the exam date. In my opinion, dedicate at least 2 weeks to test days. One day for the practice test, and the next day to review what you got wrong + review all of your notes. Repeat this process as much as possible.

-Studying while being distracted. I know this is super hard, and I don't know if I'm in the position to give this advice but, leave your phone in another room.


General Questions that were Asked:

Bio: Like everyone says, it's really hard to pinpoint exactly which topics will be chosen. I do recall problems with hardy Weinberg equations, photosynthesis + respiration (Really important to know where the processes take place as well as what's going into each process as well as the products made. I would also remember where the protons are accumulating and where they flow into when they make the ATP). Had like 2 or three questions on dealing with the mechanisms of evolution such as genetic drift, gene flow, selection, etc. Had a few problems with genetics, though definitely not as hard as your typical genetics class. Had questions on bloodtype punnet squares and sex linked disease punnet square questions.


Gen Chem: Again a lot of random questions, however all of the topics were covered by Coursesaver. A few questions I can recall dealt with equilibrium stuff like Ksp, enthalpy calculations, calculating moles when given a certain amount of grams, colligative properties, la chatliers principle (too lazy to spell check), questions with pH, bond energy calculations, ideal gas questions (know difference between an ideal gas and real gas), properties of the periodic table, electron configurations. I did not have any electrochemistry questions, however I would still review it since it is still listed in the ADA guide

Ochem: Again use coursesaver videos; all questions asked were covered by this site. (I swear I'm not being paid to advertise this). Know sn1, sn2, e1, e2 inside and out. Your ortho, para meta directors. What makes something a stronger acid/base. There are a lot of reactions that you should know but I can't really tell you what they're called cause I honestly don't know what was going on in this section. There was a lot less "complete the reactions" problems that I thought there would be. I maybe had 5 reaction questions? Also know r and s configuration, what makes something chiral, a chiral. And know the difference between constitutional isomers, stereoisomers, etc.

Reading comprehension: Easier than the OAT Achiever but still requires you to focus and pace really well. Questions were similar to the actual exams but finding the answers on the OAT achiever were harder to find than on the actual test. You will probably score low on this section for the achiever, but don't let that discourage you. Each topic was equally as hard to me on the real test. I personally did the search and destroy method. Do whatever works for you. I did run out of time with the last two questions so I just put C for both of them without reading the questions lol. 30 minute break: Used this time to eat my lunch, drink some caffeine in the form of tea and use the bathroom. I was not allowed to write or review notes during this time.

Physics: My kryptonite, however a lot easier than the Oat achiever since most if not all math questions involved only using one equation rather than combining two. About half conceptual, half math. Many questions with kinematics, force, circuits, springs, wavelength, simple harmonic motion, lenses and mirrors (mostly determine whether if image is real or virtual and also some calculation problems).

QR: Very similar to SAT math to be honest. Unless you were good and still know how to do SAT math, the Achiever will make you feel like an idiot. Worry not, this section was a lot easier on the actual test. Again, no trig or geometry. Some questions I can recall are solving absolute inequalities, solving for x types of questions, solving for x-y given two equations, probabilities, combinations/permutations. Know exponents rule inside and out. There will probably be a rate problem such as "if bob paints a room in 4 hours, and joe paints a room in 5 hours, how fast will they paint the room if they worked together?" Calculating means and averages. There were "comparing questions" where you choose which is larger between A or B. There was another type of question which I didn't expect at all. They give you two statements and then they ask a question. You have to determine whether each statement is enough information to answer the question. Pacing is really important, I ran out of time in the last 2-3 questions?

My scores
Achiever 1 / Achiever 2 / Real Oat

Bio 310 / 290 / 350
GenChem 330 / 320 / 370
Ochem 330 / 330 / 320
RC 270 / 300 / 390
Physics 270 / 300 / 320
QR 310 / 320 / 380

TS 320 / 310 / 350 (85 percentile)
AA 300 / 310 / 360 (92 percentile)


If you have any questions, i'll try to answer them to the best of my knowledge!
 
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Zack56

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Thank you for posting this! It was super helpful! Congrats on your amazing scores! I'm actually taking mine in about a week, and I'm super nervous. I used Kaplan to help prepare me, but it's just got me feeling all kinds of underprepared! I have heard a lot on this forum about how Kaplan is harder than the actual OAT so I'm hoping it helps. I was wondering, how important is it to memorize every single constant for gen chem and physics? my biggest worry is mixing up all of the different constants, that have horrible values. Also, as for physics, what do you think the best practice and preparation for physics would be? the kaplan physics section is near impossible, and I've heard from a lot of people on ere that its nothing like the physics on the oat. does the actual oat physics test you a lot of sound? are many of the questions convoluted and trying to trick you or are they more straight forward? even the conceptual ones? also for gen chem, were there a lot of two or three part problems where we had to say, write out a chemical run from the names and then balance it, and then find the answer? were the ksp and Hrxn problems fail difficult or straight forward? sorry to ask so many qs, im just really nervous about it all lol. Also! for orgo, were the determine the strongest acid/base relatively straightforward molecules where you could easily tell, or really different molecules which each has exceptions that you need to know? And finally, for the QR section, were the permutations and combination and probability qs all single type qs or did they involve a lot of different problem solving amongst a single problem? If you could get back to me on any of these i would be super grateful!! especially with the remembering constants! Thank you!
 

ked87

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I didn't remember any constants at all, except maybe for avogadro's number and the speed of light. They should give you the constants if the question asks for it. I can't really compare the actual physics w/ kaplan physics because I only used kaplan the refresh my bio. Sound wasn't a big part of the test; in terms of like doppler effect, I didn't really have any questions, but I would still study it. In my opinion, the best way to study for physics is to do a lot of practice problems. I'll finish answering the rest of your questions later, I'm actually preparing for an interview at the moment.
 

Zack56

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I didn't remember any constants at all, except maybe for avogadro's number and the speed of light. They should give you the constants if the question asks for it. I can't really compare the actual physics w/ kaplan physics because I only used kaplan the refresh my bio. Sound wasn't a big part of the test; in terms of like doppler effect, I didn't really have any questions, but I would still study it. In my opinion, the best way to study for physics is to do a lot of practice problems. I'll finish answering the rest of your questions later, I'm actually preparing for an interview at the moment.

Thank you!! and Wow Congrats and Good Luck!! Hope it goes well!
 
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