Waterloo Optometry 2015
7+ Year Member
Jul 11, 2009
Optometry Student
I'm sure there are some threads out there on this (probably numerous) but I just want to get some updated information, or what people's thoughts on prepping for the OAT recently.

I plan to buy kaplan's 2009-2010 edition (Not review book, just the book with practice questions). But before this, I really need a good REVIEW book out there to get me started.

I hear the Kaplan MCAT review book is good. So is the Kaplan DAT. Which should one choose if cost is not an issue?

Also I heard some books won't cover certain subjects that will be on the OAT. That is fine, since my school notes can cover for this, but is there a way to know "What subjects will be on the OAT and which ones won't be?"

Thanks everyone :) I appreciate any help I can get.:)


SCO c/o 2014
Feb 10, 2010
Mewing at cakes
Optometry Student
Uhm...I guess I would say you could stick by this mantra: "ya, that will be on test too". Though the subjects are technically defined (like ya chemistry, bio, physics, and math will be on there) i'm sure that every single sub-subject (like stoichiometry in chemistry, hydrolysis in ochem, and embryology in bio) is featured in at least one question in the test bank.

I recommend staring with the basic concepts and building up as high as you can. But make sure you have your basics covered first. Don't spend all your time understanding rate of reaction if you still have a hard time in nomenclature. It would suck if you missed out on a three/four questions because you can't name or draw chemical compounds but you got one titration problem right.

I'm not sure if the point system is like the SAT where the points are awarded according to question difficulty, but it sucks to lose out on the easy pointers.


10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Jun 4, 2007
Review Books
I used an old hand-me-down Kaplan MCAT Review book from 2001. My friend had the brand new ultra-fat Kaplan OAT Review from 2009. We compared them side-by-side, and they were practically the same thing; chapter-for-chapter, topic-for-topic, figure-for-figure. So I think it's safe to assume they don't undergo any huge revisions year to year, so a slightly older one will not hinder you in any way. Nor will you be disadvantaged just because it is not labeled an "OAT" review book. I would choose MCAT over DAT books so that you'll have the physics section.

Like Mewcakes said, the subjects will always be the same, but the topics might be harder to predict. Biology is the worst, as it is the most broad and review books will probably under-prepare you (aka: rude awakening during the exam). Physics on the OAT is far easier than the MCAT, so the review books might over-prepare you (aka: freak you out). OChem and Gen Chem were alright.

Practice Books
I'd say the real OAT is slightly harder than the sample opted test, and slightly easier than the Kaplan practice tests. From what I've seen, the Kaplan practice test questions are the exact same year-to-year as well. Personally I used the OAT Destroyer. The format is nothing like the actual exam, but it is arranged in such a way that if you can answer and understand their questions, you will ace the exam.

No one seems to have good material for RC prep, but there are lots of exam strategies you can employ to boost your score. QR involves more thinking and practice than actual studying. I think Arctic and a few others have posted some nice guides about these sections on optometrystudents.com.

I'm pretty sure all questions are equally weighted, so cover as much as you can! Good luck, and happy studying! ;)


10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Mar 12, 2009
I felt the OAT Destroyer, the supplemental Physics book included, did well helping me review material for the O.A.T. As for practice tests, the on-line one (at http://www.opted.org) and those in Kaplan's book were adequate.

I hear the exam will be altered, some, soon, though (you'll be permitted to use a [computer-based] calculator), so I expect the mathematics of questions (not just those in the quantitative-reasoning section of the test) will change.

Regarding the reading-comprehension portion, I found the best way to prepare was simply to read a good bit (novels, articles — whatever).


ICO 2014!
Feb 23, 2010
I took the Kaplan class and used their HUGE book they gave me. I also used the OAT destroyer and the kaplan book(the small one).