myopia0017

10+ Year Member
Nov 2, 2006
30
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Optometry Student
Is having a fairly competitive gpa and low OAT scores better than having a low gpa and high OAT scores? Assuming that extracurricular activities and experience, etc, are good. Which situation would more schools consider for an interview? Or maybe neither?
 

baophan5

10+ Year Member
Apr 23, 2008
23
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Status
Pre-Optometry
Is having a fairly competitive gpa and low OAT scores better than having a low gpa and high OAT scores? Assuming that extracurricular activities and experience, etc, are good. Which situation would more schools consider for an interview? Or maybe neither?
As a student I think it would be better to have a high gpa and low oat. This is because studying really hard could bring your oat scores up. Studying really hard can also bring your gpa up, but it would take a lot of classes to bring it up. It doesn't quite answer your question, but maybe admissions think the same way? Just my 2 cents
 

eheaps

10+ Year Member
Nov 6, 2008
126
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Optometry Student
I actually disagree with the above poster. I think that having higher OAT scores with a maybe less than stellar GPA would be better. This shows them that you can study for big exams (ie. the boards) and that you actually do know the material and maybe you can explain your gpa with some extraordinary circumstances or something.
 

EyeWitness

10+ Year Member
Jul 26, 2008
129
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Status
Pre-Optometry
I actually disagree with the above poster. I think that having higher OAT scores with a maybe less than stellar GPA would be better. This shows them that you can study for big exams (ie. the boards) and that you actually do know the material and maybe you can explain your gpa with some extraordinary circumstances or something.

A high GPA is worth far more.
 

blysssful

SUNY c/o 2013
10+ Year Member
Aug 9, 2007
817
5
NYC
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Optometry Student
A high GPA is worth far more.
Disagree. GPAs are not standardized while the OAT is. From first hand experiences, getting an A in organic or physics from one professor or one school doesn't mean you have A-worthy knowledge on that particular subject. Everyone knows that in MOST science courses, your grade is very much dependent on the professor, school or other students in the class (if there is a curve).

Of course the OAT shows who has better test taking skills... but those people will fair better on the Boards and etc.
 

sportsdude00

10+ Year Member
Jun 20, 2008
225
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Status
Optometry Student
A high GPA is worth far more.
I agree with this. Yes, a high OAT is worth noting. However, a high OAT with a low gpa, in my opinion, looks bad. It shows that you are capable of doing well on exams (board, etc), sure. But if you can do well on these exams, certainly you can do well in classes as well. It basically shows that you havent worked very hard...
(I know there are circumstances which this is not true, but for the general population I think this holds. I've seen many examples like this before, everywhere.)
 

optometry55

10+ Year Member
Feb 19, 2008
13
0
UTAH
Status
Pre-Optometry
I've found that each school has their own way of looking at those scores. Some told me a GPA weighs more and some say the OAT weighs more, it just depends on where you want to go.
 

blysssful

SUNY c/o 2013
10+ Year Member
Aug 9, 2007
817
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NYC
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Optometry Student
I agree with this. Yes, a high OAT is worth noting. However, a high OAT with a low gpa, in my opinion, looks bad. It shows that you are capable of doing well on exams (board, etc), sure. But if you can do well on these exams, certainly you can do well in classes as well. It basically shows that you havent worked very hard...
(I know there are circumstances which this is not true, but for the general population I think this holds. I've seen many examples like this before, everywhere.)
See, with undergrad admissions, I agree 100% that GPA should be more important. The SAT didn't test any knowledge, it pretty much just tested how well you take the SAT. The OAT, on the other hand does test actual material--sure it's way, way less detailed than the actual courses, but IMO, if you got an A in all your bio classes and can't get above a 350 in the bio section on the OAT, the clearly there's something missing.
 

sportsdude00

10+ Year Member
Jun 20, 2008
225
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Optometry Student
See, with undergrad admissions, I agree 100% that GPA should be more important. The SAT didn't test any knowledge, it pretty much just tested how well you take the SAT. The OAT, on the other hand does test actual material--sure it's way, way less detailed than the actual courses, but IMO, if you got an A in all your bio classes and can't get above a 350 in the bio section on the OAT, the clearly there's something missing.
true. i think the best solution is to just get a high gpa and high oat score :D
 

Penguin2012

10+ Year Member
Apr 13, 2008
80
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Optometry Student
If the school is like SCCO, they weight GPA and OAT equally I believe.

They assign a value to each and as long as it passes a certain point total you are given an interview. If you are granted an interview, gpa/oat scores are no longer even looked at.

For example, say they want an arbitrary point total of 10 points. You might get 5 points for gpa for a 3.5, 5 points for OAT of 300 and be fine which adds up to 10 where you get an interview. Conversely, you can get 2 points for gpa and 8 points for OATs and still get an interview.

The fact of the matter is that each school may or may not weigh the OAT and GPA slightly differently, regardless, both numbers are VERY important. Knowing which one is more important is not a very useful use of your time. It shouldn't change the fact that you should just have the highest GPA and highest OAT score possible lol.
 

zyg0te

10+ Year Member
Jan 16, 2007
310
23
Status
Optometrist
UCBSO weighs them equally as well.

For example say you got a 3.4gpa and a 330 OAT. They will add the two together (gpa x 100) and give you a score of 670.
 

mcsingh23

10+ Year Member
Jul 8, 2008
4
0
Status
Pre-Optometry
They also factor in the rank of your undergrad school; someone from northwestern with a 2.8 might be better off than someone with the same gpa from a lower ranked university.
 

blysssful

SUNY c/o 2013
10+ Year Member
Aug 9, 2007
817
5
NYC
Status
Optometry Student
They also factor in the rank of your undergrad school; someone from northwestern with a 2.8 might be better off than someone with the same gpa from a lower ranked university.
Are you talking about UCBSO?
 

sportsdude00

10+ Year Member
Jun 20, 2008
225
0
Status
Optometry Student
They also factor in the rank of your undergrad school; someone from northwestern with a 2.8 might be better off than someone with the same gpa from a lower ranked university.
not all of them. i know for sure berkeley does, but most, i believe, dont.
 

aDubs

10+ Year Member
Jan 11, 2008
72
0
Status
Optometry Student
NECO does that as well and I think ICO might do that as well.
I am not sure NECO does that, but I could be wrong. I can find out if anyone REALLY wants to know. But I can tell you different schools look at factors with different priorities. I am absolutely sure that Waterloo looks more heavily on GPA than OAT score. But as for most of the Northeastern optometry schools, they look at GPA and OAT scores almost evenly. But I would say that a higher OAT score with a lower GPA is better just because you can have a legit reason as to why your GPA is low, but if your OAT score is low, there's is no reason besides just not being up to par with others.