nc2tarheels

10+ Year Member
Apr 8, 2008
477
2
Status
Optometry Student
I haven't taken the OAT yet, but I will be before long. I notice all the scores and I read over peoples experiences with the different study materials, but I'm still unsure how the scores work? What is a 360? Or a 320? Or whatever. What does that amount to? From reading some people's reviews and experiences, I have begun to understand what is decent and not, but how are these #'s figured?
BTW, I know what is covered on the OAT but what classes are MUST HAVES before taking OATs? I'm looking at having Biology I & II, Chem I, Physics I, Calculus all done but what is something that I can't "self teach" myself. For example, I've heard Physics II isn't covered much on the OAT and the parts that it does touch on, you can do and learn on your own with Kaplan, destroyer, etc. All help is appreciated! Thanks
 

blysssful

SUNY c/o 2013
10+ Year Member
Aug 9, 2007
817
5
NYC
Status
Optometry Student
The test is scored from 200-400. Each section (bio, gen chem, organic, physics, quantitative reasoning and reading comprehension) is scored separately. There is a total science score (TS) which is comprised of the natural sciences section (chems & bio) and physics, and there is an academic average (AA) which is all the scores.

It might be useful to understand that the TS score is not an AVERAGE of your science scores, but it takes the amount of questions answered correctly verses the total amount of questions for all the science sections. That number is then compared to a standardized number that gives you your score from 200-400.

Also, something else to keep in mind is that your percentile score will vary by section. For example, a score of 350 for the biology section corresponds to a percentile of 88.1, while a score of 360 for the reading comprehension section corresponds to a percentile of 69.1 (at least when I took the OAT in Sept).

As far as courses go, trig & stats are important for the quantitative reasoning section (if you remember them from high school though, that's probably good enough w/ a little bit of review). For the bio section, make sure your intro bio courses covered the topics on the OAT (there's definitely a full list posted in one of the threads here). There were some topics that I needed to learn that I hadn't gotten to in my classes, like physiology & hormone stuff. For physics, there is DEFINITELY an emphasis on the first part... make sure you can do force & kinematics in your sleep, and you'll be more than okay. You'll need to take organic though. IMO, it's not something that you can teach yourself and be able to still adequately prepare for the other sections.

Happy studying :)
 

zyg0te

10+ Year Member
Jan 16, 2007
310
23
Status
Optometrist
Great well thought out and researched question nc2, and great informative answer blysssful.

I'd like to add that you should check the scores on opted, and confirm them with your individual schools if possible. [ http://www.opted.org/i4a/pages/index.cfm?pageid=3449 ]
Then aim to get 10-20 points above their AVERAGE.

For example, if you want to apply to SCCO, looks like their AA is 340, aim for 360. See what it will take for you to reach that.

After seeing the scores posted of various people on here, my goals when taking the test was to get 350 on every section of the test. What I did was look at the opted practice tests [ https://www.ada.org/oat/oat_sample_test.pdf ] and looked at the very last page. For the bio 29/40 (72.5%) correct answers gets you a 350. Orgo on the other hand, 19/30 (63.3%) will also get you a 350.

Almost everyone will agree 350 is a good score. Looking at the numbers, it is not impossible to achieve. If you know 1/2 the answers, you can eliminate and guess on the other 1/2 to get a good score.
 

blysssful

SUNY c/o 2013
10+ Year Member
Aug 9, 2007
817
5
NYC
Status
Optometry Student
Thanks zyg0te :)

One more word of advice for the OP: make sure you're well prepared, but seriously, don't freak out about it. The test is NOT very detailed, and is written in a straightforward manner, for the most part. Don't let the prep material overwhelm you.
 
OP
N

nc2tarheels

10+ Year Member
Apr 8, 2008
477
2
Status
Optometry Student
Thanks for all the advice and answers. It really helps A LOT! BTW, I tried to search for the things that are covered that were recommended by the 2nd poster, but couldn't find them. Does anyone know where the info is that shows what is covered on the OAT. Physiology and Hormone stuff was recommended by the 2nd poster. Thanks!
Keith