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Really need some advice here

Discussion in 'Pre-Optometry' started by bovishadopt, Aug 4, 2015.

  1. bovishadopt

    2+ Year Member

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    OK so-
    I was going to apply for last years cycle but after realizing how burnt out I was from college I decided to take a year off and apply for the class of 2020.

    I graduated with a 2.9 cumulative, biology major at a competitive university. I still need to take 2-3 pre-req courses. The first time I took the OAT I went in without studying and got a 290 TS 300 AA. The second time (last week) I took it after a very studious month, however my nerves allowed me to have insomnia the week of my exam and I took the exam after 3 nights of no sleep (scored a 270 TS 300AA). I was devastated because everything on the exam was familiar I was just so tired that the brightness of the computer screen was killing me. I know it sounds like I'm making up an excuse but I really did study my life away, I just made the mistake of not delaying my exam and getting rest...

    Anyways after a couple of days of trying to figure out my options I narrowed my "plans" into two options:

    1. Taking a break from "the classroom" to work as a tech/assistant to revamp my passion for optometry while studying for the OAT and retake it later this year (with a peaceful state of mind) -I would turn in my application whenever I get hired so they can know that I am working to improve my optometric experience and also know I plan on retaking) and take the pre-req courses in the spring.
    2. Go ahead and take my pre-req courses at my local university this fall to get my GPA up and retake the OAT when I'm done (like in Dec-Jan)- I would turn in my app after I'm done with those classes so they see the higher GPA first....(not sure)

    I just would really love your input in my situation. Be tough. I just don't want to have to take another year off, but if I have to, I will. Waiting to hear back from the admissions counselors of the schools I am interested in. I just really would like some advice!!!
     
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  3. Meeehai

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    I think you will need a very high OAT to compensate for your low GPA. I don't really buy your story, if you truly "studied your life away," you should have been able to do well even if you were tired. If your fatigue was actually to the point where you couldn't concentrate, then that's your fault entirely. I'm saying this because you have to be realistic about whether or not you're gonna do better the next time you take it. Are you saying that if you were rested you would've scored around the 360 mark? If not, then you weren't really as ready as you thought you were.
     
  4. bovishadopt

    2+ Year Member

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    I do believe if I was rested and didn't have an array of issues going on in my life (parents divorcing, my relationship of 5 years ending, etc) I would have scored higher. I thought a cup of espresso would allow me to be okay but during the exam I couldn't keep my eyes open and just wanted it to be done. To be honest I might have thought I was studying my life away but with everything going on I wasn't as concentrated as I wished I would be. I hate sounding like a damn sob story but I'm trying to figure out what my best option is at this point.
     
  5. kh93

    2+ Year Member

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    From my experience, taking a couple of classes and doing well in them is not going to effect your gpa to the point of making a difference this far in your academic career. It takes a lot of credit hours to raise a gpa when you have already taken enough courses to graduate. If I was in your situation I would take some time off to work in an optometry setting and really focus on your goals. I can totally understand being overwhelmed trying to study for the OAT. I took it while my parents where in the process of moving 12 hours away from me and I know I wasn't as focused studying as I could have been. I scored about the same as you did the first time, but my gpa was 3.5 and I had experience working in an optometry office. In the long run, taking an extra year to get things in order will not make a difference in your career. Use that time to save up some money for school and strengthen your application!

     
    bovishadopt likes this.
  6. chelle111

    2+ Year Member

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    While those are all valid excuses, it's life and we all go through difficult situations as well, some handle it better than others. I graduated with a sub-par undergrad GPA like you in '13 and with discretion of my advisor and optometry schools took time off to mature. I've worked full time and am currently doing a MS with that and it's brought my GPA up. If you don't want to go this route you'll need to kill your OAT to offset that GPA. Sometimes it's not necessarily bad to take a few years off. If anything I've found it incrediably valuable to me in that I've found interests I want to connect with Optometry and I've matured considerably. I'm applying for fall 2016. just trying to shed light on your situation :)

    As for the OAT I scored low my first attempt but 40 points higher on my AA the second attempt by changing how I approached the material and used OAT achiever. Are you sure your study method is working for you?
     
    bovishadopt likes this.
  7. carolinev

    2+ Year Member

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    I know it's hard for some people to understand that life HAPPENS and your situation may not turn out how you would've liked it to. It's understandable. I think you should really go back and look at how you studied. Were you actively learning, did you take practice exams, did you go over each subject more than once, etc. It's very easy to say, "I studied night and day for that exam." It may have FELT that way, but were there more days you weren't able to focus??
    Next time, try taking tylenol PM if you can't sleep. Works wonders! Just make sure you have an alarm set, haha.

    About your GPA - you should try to get it up to a 3.0. Some schools may not even look at your app with below a 3.0, unless you have a stellar OAT score. That being said, there might be a class or two that you can retake in addition to finishing your other pre-reqs. If that doesn't get you to where you need to be, at least you will have retaken the courses, hopefully obtaining a better grade, and showing that you were trying your best to make yourself look more competitive. Maybe there were a few classes that would pertain most to the OAT and that would allow you to "study" for the test again while also bringing up your GPA. Just a thought.

    I know you can do it! Don't let others get you down. IF you ever need to talk, I'm here. I understand how life has bad timing and went through a similar situation. Best of luck
     
    JoshDunc, chelle111 and bovishadopt like this.

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