OAT Jan 9 2019


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Feb 4, 2019
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Hey guys I took my OAT this morning and in the weeks leading up to it I read literally every thread I could find, so I decided to share mine experience.

I'm in my senior year of college, so a lot of the concepts covered on the OAT are pretty fresh, I studied for about a month but only got really hardcore into it (like 8 hours a day) in the past two weeks. This probably won't work for many people but I'm really good at studying a lot of material in not a lot of time, you know your study habits and capabilities more than anyone else. I'm also really strong in organic chem, which is usually people's worse subject, so I hardly had to study that at all.

I focused mainly on physics because it's my worst subject and bio because of the breath of material (I'm not a bio major). I used the big Kaplan book to review everything (It was especially great for physics) and borrowed textbooks from my school's library to supplement. For gen chem, I tried to focus on topics I saw coming up over and over again on Kaplan practice tests and on the free sample OAT. Things like stoichiometry, ideal gases, acid/base and equilibrium. For orgo I just went over my old class notes and study guides I made when taking the classes, paying special attention to reactions with names and general concepts rather than memorizing a million reactions. Its more valuable to know what ortho/meta/para directors are than memorizing every reaction. I took the free shorter kaplan test, two full-length practice tests, and the free sample OAT in the week before my exam to study and figure out other things I need to know.

Pretty basic check in procedures, the woman was really good about bringing me fresh sheets for scratch work, the room was quiet and during my break I ate a granola bar and went to the bathroom. They do provide noise cancelling headphones and the cubicle is private

I thought I did a lot worse on this section than I ended up doing. Either I knew more than I thought, was good at guessing, the curve was forgiving or some combination thereof. It was pretty random, but I remember thinking there wasn't as much about cellular mechanisms (the nitty gritty of cellular respiration and photosynthesis) as I thought there would be. More questions about mitochondria and where different steps happen. I also remember questions about embryology, populations, genetics and taxonomy. Wish I had studied embryology a little more but otherwise it was a balanced section, I got a 320.

Gen Chem
I remember feeling really good about this section, but it ended up being my lowest percentile :/ but I still did fine. I've never liked Gen chem. Lots of equilibrium, make sure you know Le Chat principles. A few questions about orbital theory too which was easy. Some entropy, gases, BDE and stoichiometry. Honestly it was pretty standard and I had hoped to do a little better. I got a 310.

I'm not very helpful with this section because I'm just good at it. Not trying to sound full of myself but some people just have a knack for it and I'm one of them. Make sure you know R/S, seterochemistry, aromaticity, ortho/para/meta, Sn1 Sn2 E1 E2. There were questions about friedel-crafts and diels alder too and maybe two or three on spectroscopy (C/H nmr and IR). Less reactions than conceptual/chirality/aromaticity questions. I got a 400

I had plenty of time for natural sciences to revisit all the questions I marked and still had time to spare, I actually ended up moving forward with like 15 minutes left.

Not too bad at all, I use the search and destroy method. They all seemed about the same level of difficulty to me. If theres a questions about the overall tone/message of a passage, I marked it and went back to it last after answering the other questions. I was able to get the gist after answering everything else without having to read the whole thing. I had about 15 extra minutes so I moved on. I got a 390

Mostly kinematics, force, springs, energy, momentum and lenses/mirrors. Make sure you have the "big 5" kinematics equations memorized. No projectile motion which I was surprised by but I would still study it. It really wasn't bad at all but I'm just not very good at physics. I got a 310 which is 75th percentile, so I'm happy. The curve for this section is definitely the most forgiving and people generally score lower on this section compared to the others. Remember, it's not just about your score, it's about how everyone else scores too. Knowing sin/cos for 30/60/90/45 degrees definitely helps. I had plenty of time in this section too

I'm pretty good at math so I was expecting a good score for this one. In the Kaplan tests it was the subject I was more pressed for time but on the real exam I had plenty. I was pretty easy I really only studied from my practice tests and did fine I got a 350. Kaplan book covers everything, lots of word problems, multiple variables and multiple equations and some probability and like one statistics question. No triangles which I was really surprised about, I had read that practically the whole test was triangles.

So in summary: My scores are (Kaplan diagnostic/Kaplan1/Kaplan2/OPTED/Real OAT) and percentiles after
Bio: 280/290/330/320/320 61
Gen Chem: 270/270/280/320/310 49
Orgo: 280/320/330/400/400 99
Physics: 260/280/290/310 75
TS: 280/280/290/--/330 74
RC: --/390/330/--/390 93
QR: 310/320/350/--/350 84
AA: 290/300/310/--/350 88
I took the free kaplan test having barely studied and the other two within a week or so of my exam.
*the first RC I was too tired to actually try so I just guessed on every one and got like a 210 haha. It was only one passage because it was a shorted test anyway. I also skipped it and QR on the OPTED exam. I'm lazy.

I'm pretty happy with my scores, the only subject I wish was higher was Gen chem; but I didn't do poorly enough for me to retake unless one of my top schools asks me to. I'll be applying this summer for the 2020 cycle.

Like most people say, I found the Kaplan exams to be tougher and the free OAT to be pretty close to the real thing. Practice makes perfect! I improved every time I took a practice exam and I think it's the best way to study. The exam really wasn't that bad, nothing seemed really out of the blue.

Sorry if this got kind of long, let me know any questions and I'll try to answer them. GOOD LUCK

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Wow your scores are great! I'm scoring similarly to your practices as well and also starting to apply for 2020. I'm trying to improve my 310s in Physics and GC but my exam is next week, so I'll just try my best the day of.

Was the free Opted exam you took the one from 2006? I found it on a different post, but was wondering if it was helpful since they updated the exam since then. I'm debating purchasing the $100 official practice exam that they have on their website but feel like I don't have to if the free one is representative of the actual test.