OAT study strategy- Optometry Acceptance Test Strategy

How long should I study for the OAT?

Image courtesy of :http://www.oatbooks.com/oat-physics.html

The following material was taken from the web site called: “OAT Study Schedule for the Optometry Admission Test”.

“A high science GPA and a habit of reading English editorials, books or journals (meaning you can read English and/or research articles quickly and efficiently) will usually result in a great OAT score even with little preparation (i.e. just one or two weeks, mostly spent completing and reviewing useful OAT practice tests). For most students, quality prep materials and a disciplined OAT study schedule (average 3 to 6 hours per day for 3 to 6 months) are needed to get the score to be accepted to optometry school. Within that range, in general, higher GPAs require less time while lower ones require more time to review”.

“The best OAT study schedule should include rewards, breaks and limitations in review materials. Be sure that good study habits are rewarded with breaks to go out and socialize, play sports or enjoy some other hobby. The best study habits also include a strict limitation on your study materials. Some students see OAT prep as an opportunity to accumulate a private OAT library of materials! Avoid the trap of stocking information that you cannot fully review and worse, may lead you to rush through the most frequently tested material in attempt to “see everything”. Such a strategy could lead to a suboptimal OAT score. Of course, we believe that the Gold Standard OAT materials, along with TopScore and the official practice test from ASCO (developed in conjunction with the ADA) are all that you require in order to obtain an OAT score that would get you accepted to any optometry school in the country. Should you use other OAT prep materials, you should still try to minimize what you accumulate”.

“{FYI: ASCO is the Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry and the ADA is the American Dental Association. They work together to produce the OAT which can be helpful to know when it comes time to study and to use practice tests since 3 of the 4 sections of the OAT and DAT are identical: NS (Natural Sciences), QR and RC. Physics is unique to the OAT and PAT is unique to the DAT.}”

OAT study strategy

“Buy into an OAT study strategy that works for you. Of course, everyone is different, but we will describe a strategy that works for most people. The central dogma for OAT prep is: content review -> practice questions -> full length exams”.

“Content review during your OAT prep is normally when you review books like the Gold Standard OAT Physics and OAT study guides. Our strategy with review guides is that your aim is to read a chapter once. Reading a chapter is clearly the least efficient way to study (well, unless you are including attending a typical university class which is even less efficient in terms of retaining information). So we will describe how you can retain information more efficiently”.

“Always ‘map’ first: ‘Mapping’ means that you never read a chapter before having already gauged where you are going. Start by reading the first page of the chapter which describes what you should memorize, understand, etc. You also read all the titles and subtitles in the chapter, review all tables and images (as well as their captions). Now you are ready to read and you have the proper concept and objectives”.

“Some students like to watch science review videos before or after reading a chapter. Depending on how you learn best, content review can be optimized through the synergy between video and reading material. You will find that our science review videos, which we had originally designed for the MCAT, will help you get an efficient review of all OAT sciences including OAT Physics”.

“The next step is to complete chapter review questions so that you get feedback on your understanding of the material that you read. And finally, you must encode your review and practice experience in quality personal notes. Once the content review and chapter review questions are complete, then you are ready for full length OAT practice tests”.


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