Optometry Admissions Test (OAT)

Optometry Admissions Test (OAT), is a standardized test conducted by the Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry (ASCO) for candidates seeking admission into optometry school.

The OAT consists of four sections:

Section Time Limit
Survey of Natural Sciences 90 minutes
Physics Test 50 minutes
Reading Comprehension Test 50 minutes
Quantitative Reasoning Test 45 minutes

 

Survey of the Natural Sciences Section
This section includes biology, general chemistry, and organic chemistry including: Biology: Cell and Molecular Biology Diversity of Life: Biological Organization and Relationship of Major Taxa, Vertebrate Anatomy and Physiology: Structure and function of Systems, Developmental Biology , Genetics, Evolution, Ecology, and Behavior. General Chemistry: Stoichiometry and General Concepts, Gases, Liquids and Solids, Solutions, Acids and Bases, Chemical Equilibria, Thermodynamics and Thermochemistry, Chemical Kinetics, Oxidation-Reduction Reactions, Atomic and Molecular Structure, Periodic Properties, Nuclear Reactions, Laboratory, Organic Chemistry: Mechanism, Structure, and Stability of Intermediates), Chemical and Physical Properties of Molecules and Organic Analysis, Stereochemistry, Nomenclature, Individual Reactions of the Major Functional Groups and Combinations of Reactions to Synthesize Compounds; Acid-Base Chemistry, Aromatics and Bonding.

Physics Section
This section covers subjects including: Units and vectors, linear kinematics, statics, dynamics, rotational motion, energy and momentum, simple harmonic motion, waves, fluid statics, thermal energy and thermodynamics, electrostatics, D.C. circuits, magnetism, optics, and modern physics.

Reading Comprehension Section
This section requires reading of passages and the ability to organize, analyze, comprehend, and apply the information.

Quantitative Reasoning Section
This section measures the ability to perform math related calculations using formulas, word problems, conversions, probabilities, and other topics including: Mathematical Problems: Algebra - equations and expressions, inequalities, exponential notation and logarithms, absolute value, ratios and proportions and graphical analysis; Numerical calculations - fractions and decimals, percentages, approximations, and scientific notation; Probability and Statistics; Geometry; Trigonometry, and numerical reasoning problems.

Examinees will have a total of 275 to 300 minutes to complete the tutorial, four tests in the OAT battery, post test survey, and have the option for a 15-minute break after completing the second test in the battery. If an examinee chooses to take the break, the testing session will resume automatically after 15 minutes have elapsed.

The schedule for administration of the test is as follows:

Schedule Time Limit
Tutorial 15 minutes
Survey of Natural Sciences 90 minutes
Reading Comprehension 50 minutes
Optional Break 15 minutes
Physics Test 50 minutes
Quantitative Reasoning 45 minutes
Post Test Survey 10 minutes
Pre Testing Up to 25 minutes
Total Time 275 to 300 minutes

 

The Optometry Admissions Test is administered twice a year around October and February. Deadlines for applications are usually 6 weeks before the actual test date with late applications accepted about a month before the actual OAT test.

There is no limit on the number of times allowed to take the test but only the four most recent scores and total times taken are reported to optometry schools of choice. The current basic fee for registration for the Optometry Admissions Test is $130 dollars and a charge of $10 dollars per additional school you want the test results sent to after the first five free ones.

It is very helpful for applicants to score well on the Optometry Admissions Test. All optometry schools use the test score as a factor to some degree or another. Although it is not the only factor, a high score will definitely increase chances of acceptance. 

You may also be interested in reading background information on psychometric tests and aptitude tests.