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hampton687

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Feb 23, 2007
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  1. Pre-Optometry
I just wrote the OAT a few weeks ago and here are my scores:
Biol 340
Gen Chem 270
Org Chem 320
Reading 310
Quant Reas 310
Physics 270
TS 300
AA 300

By the time i apply, I should have a gpa of about 3.2 and I have also worked as an optician for about a year, volunteered and have a good amount of extra curriculars. I am definitely willing to write the OAT again, however, how bad does it look if you retake it, and how good are my chances at the moment, i just need some honest opinions and/or advice!! Thanks!!! :confused:
 

RSLilly

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Simply thinking objectively and stating the facts:

Your OAT scores are well below the average scores of those accepted... by about 20 to 50 points depending on the school, and not including Puerto Rico

Your GPA is below the average of those accepted... by about .05 to .45 depending on the school, and not including Puerto Rico

Your work experience is... ok
Your extracurriculars are... ok

You can generally off-set a poor OAT with a good GPA or vice-versa.
But as is, nothing about you stands out. Your just "meh" all-around, and have no real strong point to your application.

I guess my best suggestion is to do your best in your classes right now... maybe you can show some improvement over the years? They like that. And I would suggest re-taking the OAT after some serious preparation.

Just the thoughts of a recently accepted student, though. I'm no expert.
 

pienfoo

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although i haven't been accepted anywhere, yet i hope, i 've read enough posts on this forum to give a little input.

Your GPA is good enough to get you into most places, but then your OAT is what's going to hold you back the most. The admissions committee look for applicants who are well arounded, in sense of academics and your potential to succeed as an optometrist. that means if you have a low OAT u'll need a high gpa to balance it, but you better have a GOOD reason why you scored low on the OAT or have a low GPA. As for extra circs, I think they want to see what differences you have made in your community and school. So by holding top positioins in non-BS clubs and being a leader in community service organizations would help tons more rather just joining a whole bunch of organizations and maybe serve as "food coordinator" or somethin'. You'll also probably want to get more internship experience (not shadow, but actually work there) in different settings. All n all, if you stand out above the rest in some way, then u've got a shot. your scores are above average for puerto rico so if anything you have a good shot there, even if you apply now, which i hope you have cuz the admissions committee are meeting this week. good luck to you and me! :idea:
 
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EyeQ

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Are you applying this year? If yes, then your chances are very slim. I have about the same stats as yours and I haven't received a single interview. I applied in late November. My OATs are 20 points higher than yours. My GPA is at 3.1 cumulative. I am getting ready to apply again next year and retaking the OAT.
 

hampton687

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Well i pretty much assumed, that my stats are just way too average at the moment, but im not actually applying this year, i thought id get a head start on things and take the Oats earlier than needed, i did however spend about 6 weeks studying and i guess the scores just didnt turn out as i had hoped. I definitely do plan on taking the OATS again, but am still curious as to how bad that would look, i do feel i can improve my scores the 2nd time around, because i know my weaknesses and know what i need to work on. But thanks for your input... what else can make u stand out as an applicant, great letters of reccomendation, a good personal statement?! Any other ideas? Thanks!
 

EyeQ

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Well i pretty much assumed, that my stats are just way too average at the moment, but im not actually applying this year, i thought id get a head start on things and take the Oats earlier than needed, i did however spend about 6 weeks studying and i guess the scores just didnt turn out as i had hoped. I definitely do plan on taking the OATS again, but am still curious as to how bad that would look, i do feel i can improve my scores the 2nd time around, because i know my weaknesses and know what i need to work on. But thanks for your input... what else can make u stand out as an applicant, great letters of reccomendation, a good personal statement?! Any other ideas? Thanks!

It won't look bad at all! I know someone who took her OAT 3 times. 4-5 times is excessive. 2-3 times is just right.
 

Eye-Spy

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If anything, I think that your retaking the OAT would only make you look better. IMHO, the only scenerio in which retaking the OAT would look bad is if you were to score worse on the retake than on your first try.

So study hard and show them that you are capable of a better OAT score :)

Good luck!
 

Subiedubie

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I also agree with eye-spy. I had to take the OAT twice in order to get the score that I was satisfied with. During my interview they mentioned how impressed they were with my score improvements the second time around. And on that note, only retake the test if you KNOW that you can improve on most if not all of the sections of the test.

As far as what you could do to stand out....you could always improve your academics and work on a unique personal statement. Maybe you could also consider extracurricular activities both optometry related and community based.
 

IDoctor

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I agree in that you must take the OAT over again. Some schools like SCCO, have instituted where they will not even consider your application with any subject score lower than 300, let alone a TS of 300. Your scores right now are on the low end of the applicant pool (other than for IAUPR). Like others have said, only retake the test when you feel that you know you can improve.

The admissions look at the OAT in comparison to success on the boards. They do not want a person who is not capable of demonstrating test taking skills, because if you eventually get into their school and have trouble with the boards, it does not reflect well on the school.

To improve your application, I would try to find a research position. I know finding vision related research is difficult, but something in research is better than none. This will look well for the schools heavier in research areas such as NECO, and OSU.
 
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