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When is it too late to take the OAT?

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Cloudcube

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Hi,

I was wondering if there is a date when it would be considered too late to take the OAT. I'm thinking somewhere around November would be great, but I am not sure if that would be wise with US schools? I know that early applications is great, and I plan to do that, but my OAT scores would not be sent for quite a while. Thoughts? Also, how early do most people register for the exam?

Thanks!
 

sweetmonkey

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The earlier you take the exam, the better. Taking the exam early will not only help you apply early, taking the exam early will also give you time to retake the exam if you don't do so well on your first OAT test attempt. You should not be scared into delaying to take the OAT, if I am correct most schools accept your best OAT test score. This means if you did well on the OAT on one day, and then retook it and did bad on the second day - schools will look at your first OAT test attempt.
I just took my OAT test 2 weeks ago and I will be applying for the optometry class of 2014.
 

misstd

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I'm not 100% sure, but I thought I heard that they actually take the average of your scores, not the best score.
 

sweetmonkey

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Negative. SCCO takes your best OAT test score. This is what the SCCO website says:
The Admissions Committee will take note of your best SET score. No averaging of OAT scores is done. What does this mean? We make note of your highest set score and you are not penalized for repeating the OAT. Also, we DO NOT take a sampling of section scores. In other words, we note your best set score for any given test day. You cannot break up a set score.
 

blysssful

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I think it depends on the school. Similar to retaking courses... some take the higher grade/score, some take the more recent grade/score, some average the two. Ask directly.

To the OP: The earlier the better obviously. November starts the gray "you might be pushing your luck" area... but that also depends on how strong your application is. Some people will tell you they had no problems applying even later than that, but it depends on the school, the application strength and what your test scores are.

I think the best advice is just to make sure you're ready for it the first time though. Its much better to be a little "late" with a great score than a few weeks earlier with a crappy score that you'll have to wait 3 months to retake.
 

Cloudcube

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Thanks for the responses everyone! I will look at the schools I plan on applying to and make my decision. Although an earlier test date would be ok, I want to make sure I get an excellent score. I figured that more prep. would be better for me.

Blyssful, what would be considered an "excellent" application? For example, I know that having a good GPA is important, but I am from Canada and I am not sure how the grades translate and whether the standards are the same for Canadian applicants... they seem to be, but perhaps higher average might be required?
 

blysssful

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Thanks for the responses everyone! I will look at the schools I plan on applying to and make my decision. Although an earlier test date would be ok, I want to make sure I get an excellent score. I figured that more prep. would be better for me.

Blyssful, what would be considered an "excellent" application? For example, I know that having a good GPA is important, but I am from Canada and I am not sure how the grades translate and whether the standards are the same for Canadian applicants... they seem to be, but perhaps higher average might be required?

Ooh I really wouldn't be the best person to ask about Canadian applications... I would guess the standards are the same, but I really don't know.
 
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