Apr 28, 2013
11
0
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Pre-Optometry
anyone apply to optometry schools without a bachelors? i would like to know how you overcame your academic weaknesses and proved to the admissions committee that you are worthy of being in optometry school. what were your stats, etc?

this is my only chance to apply for many reasons. i am just worried because i had to retake 5 courses (calc 1, orgo 1, bio 1, phy 1, gen chm 1) back in my beginning semesters because i was having time management issues, but its different now. i understand what i did wrong and learned from it. my current science gpa is 2.76. i still yet have to take the OAT and four other pre-reqs. i am volunteering at an optometry clinic and i do research at the biology department related to the eyes of different specimens. those who went through a similar situation what do you advise? thanks.
 

thisguy88

5+ Year Member
Aug 8, 2013
65
33
Status
Optometry Student
Typically an applicant who is applying without their bachelors (or an applicant who will NOT be receiving their bachelors upon matriculating into OD school) is a student who is already very qualified based on their statistics, e.g. high GPA/OAT score.

In your situation, you would need a VERY high OAT score to even be considered. It is getting late in the cycle and a lot more competitive now and your 2.76 science GPA does not prove to any admissions committee that you would be successful in a science heavy graduate program.
Studying for the OAT would take a substantial amount of time and by then, I would fear that you would be too late into the cycle.

But then again, you may have a chance at IAUPR or some of the newer schools. But I would just say wait off for the school you want and not rush things.

I am sorry to hear you have only this year to apply, but if you can make it work, I would strongly recommend you to wait off until next year (if any way possible).

----> For your question, I am not applying without a bachelors (I will be receiving one this Spring) but my friend has applied without a bachelors nor will he be receiving one this year, way back in November. He has been accepted to PCO and has received interviews to Pacific and Houston. So it is definitely possible. He has a 3.65 GPA, 330/330 OAT.
 
Sep 29, 2013
57
10
Status
Pre-Optometry
anyone apply to optometry schools without a bachelors? i would like to know how you overcame your academic weaknesses and proved to the admissions committee that you are worthy of being in optometry school. what were your stats, etc?

this is my only chance to apply for many reasons. i am just worried because i had to retake 5 courses (calc 1, orgo 1, bio 1, phy 1, gen chm 1) back in my beginning semesters because i was having time management issues, but its different now. i understand what i did wrong and learned from it. my current science gpa is 2.76. i still yet have to take the OAT and four other pre-reqs. i am volunteering at an optometry clinic and i do research at the biology department related to the eyes of different specimens. those who went through a similar situation what do you advise? thanks.
I posted in your other thread, but to apply without a bachelors, you need to be highly qualified/above average. Your GPA as it stands is on the lower end of the spectrum and below average even with a bachelors. As such, you are not the best candidate for applying without a bachelors.

If you really wish to pursue optometry, work your butt off for the next couple years, raise your GPA, do well on the OATs, and apply the year that you will finish your degree.
 
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Apr 28, 2013
11
0
Status
Pre-Optometry
@thisguy88 from your experience studying, how do you recommend studying for the OAT to receive such a high score? and how many months would you recommend to prepare for this exam according to my situation? did your method of studying work? how well did you do?

i contacted a few advisors at various optometry schools and they told me in terms of the retake classes they only look at the last grade by itself (even though it is indicated on the transcript that there was a retake throughout the students school years). i will work really hard to get my gpa the highest it can get with the remaining courses left....but im just a little worried that they might consider these retakes a weakness even after all that work? did your friend have any retakes?
 

thisguy88

5+ Year Member
Aug 8, 2013
65
33
Status
Optometry Student
@thisguy88 from your experience studying, how do you recommend studying for the OAT to receive such a high score? and how many months would you recommend to prepare for this exam according to my situation? did your method of studying work? how well did you do?

i contacted a few advisors at various optometry schools and they told me in terms of the retake classes they only look at the last grade by itself (even though it is indicated on the transcript that there was a retake throughout the students school years). i will work really hard to get my gpa the highest it can get with the remaining courses left....but im just a little worried that they might consider these retakes a weakness even after all that work? did your friend have any retakes?
Those were not my OAT scores. I scored 310/330. 330 is slightly above average I would say, 310 is slightly below. With a GPA of around 3.4 and a 320 OAT, one would be a solid candidate (hypothetically including that they've had some volunteer/shadowing work somewhere...). But with a 2.76 science gpa (idk what your cGPA is) you would probably need like a 350+ OAT to even be considered....

I honestly can't see your science GPA being raised that much with your remaining retakes - do you think you can get it at 3.00+? Also, a school may consider you if they see a trend in your GPA. For example, Pacific does the "last 45 semester credits GPA calculations" thing, which shows them your recent GPA trend. I think a lot of the schools knows that you may have messed up earlier in your undergraduate college career and they do take that into consideration.

To answer your question (sorry I can get side tracked), I used Chad Videos and the big Kaplan Book. That was pretty much it. I gave myself 3 weeks to study (I would not recommend that) and that was also my second time taking it (I gave myself 3 weeks the first time too). If you have a hard time focusing on your own (like I did - especially because it was Christmas time) I would recommend a Kaplan course. They are expensive however and I believe a month long. My friend went through it and scored the aforementioned 330/330 on his OAT, however. He did not have any retakes but a lot of his class were community college classes, so you may have a better chance if your classes are from a University.

So in conclusion, if you can get your science GPA to 3.00+ and if your cumulative GPA is already above 3.00, AND if you score 350+ on the OAT, then you will definitely have a fighting chance. I would guess that after you accomplish this, it would be VERY late in the cycle however. If you do not mind going to a newer school (I think MCPHS cycle closes in May), then apply.

But my advice is to not rush things and settle for a program. You are cutting it pretty close and one setback may cost you admissions this year (e.g. bad grade, bad OAT score). Just have a good attitude about what you want to accomplish, and if, for some reason, you do not meet that goal this year, there will be plenty of years to come. Sorry this was long, hopefully I've helped you somewhat with your situation. CHEERS!
 
Jul 22, 2013
84
12
Status
Those were not my OAT scores. I scored 310/330. 330 is slightly above average I would say, 310 is slightly below. With a GPA of around 3.4 and a 320 OAT, one would be a solid candidate (hypothetically including that they've had some volunteer/shadowing work somewhere...). But with a 2.76 science gpa (idk what your cGPA is) you would probably need like a 350+ OAT to even be considered....

I honestly can't see your science GPA being raised that much with your remaining retakes - do you think you can get it at 3.00+? Also, a school may consider you if they see a trend in your GPA. For example, Pacific does the "last 45 semester credits GPA calculations" thing, which shows them your recent GPA trend. I think a lot of the schools knows that you may have messed up earlier in your undergraduate college career and they do take that into consideration.

To answer your question (sorry I can get side tracked), I used Chad Videos and the big Kaplan Book. That was pretty much it. I gave myself 3 weeks to study (I would not recommend that) and that was also my second time taking it (I gave myself 3 weeks the first time too). If you have a hard time focusing on your own (like I did - especially because it was Christmas time) I would recommend a Kaplan course. They are expensive however and I believe a month long. My friend went through it and scored the aforementioned 330/330 on his OAT, however. He did not have any retakes but a lot of his class were community college classes, so you may have a better chance if your classes are from a University.

So in conclusion, if you can get your science GPA to 3.00+ and if your cumulative GPA is already above 3.00, AND if you score 350+ on the OAT, then you will definitely have a fighting chance. I would guess that after you accomplish this, it would be VERY late in the cycle however. If you do not mind going to a newer school (I think MCPHS cycle closes in May), then apply.

But my advice is to not rush things and settle for a program. You are cutting it pretty close and one setback may cost you admissions this year (e.g. bad grade, bad OAT score). Just have a good attitude about what you want to accomplish, and if, for some reason, you do not meet that goal this year, there will be plenty of years to come. Sorry this was long, hopefully I've helped you somewhat with your situation. CHEERS!
I agree with this post! I decided to take an extra semester of re-takes, and the committee at my interview flat out told me right then and there they love those little things like seeing someone is motivated without having to be told to re-take this class or that pre-req. Schools MAINLY look at pre-req GPA. My pre-req GPA was pretty high, and then with all of my 500 level science courses not needed for school it was lower by .2-.3 even, but they said one minor thing and that was it.

I got into school, but I already signed up for an OAT re-take as a back up, so I'm still going to take it considering I paid $300 for it lol. I started Chad's videos this time around and they're awesome. Seriously, worth every penny. Time shouldn't be an issue. You would probably be better off working on the GPA and giving yourself study time for the OAT, then applying like early August in the beginning of the cycle. This will allow you a better chance with more seats to fill, to try to get into a better program. In the realm of life, waiting one extra year isn't going to kill you. I'll be 27 when I'm out instead of 26. I didn't rush into it, and it paid off.
 
Jul 22, 2013
84
12
Status
Oh and one more thing, if you do in fact get an interview. Nail that interview! Relax during it too, they aren't about answering each question with the perfect rose colored answer. They want to like you as a person so you will be good for their campus, their name, and most importantly a doctor who can be good with people!! I was told that it can have as big of an effect as your OAT/GPA, but you need those factors to get the interview. Good luck!!