In order to be admitted to an optometry program, individuals must take the Optometry Admissions Test. This test has been developed by the Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry to measure comprehension of scientific information and general academic ability.
Although individuals may take the OAT after completing one year of college (including courses in biology, general chemistry, organic chemistry, and physics), they are encouraged to complete at least two years of college before sitting for the exam.
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There are four main content areas covered by the OAT:
- natural sciences (biology, general chemistry, and organic chemistry)
- reading comprehension
- quantitative reasoning.
The natural sciences section consists of 100 questions and must be completed in 90 minutes. The content breakdown of this section is as follows: 40 biology items; 30 general chemistry items; and 30 organic chemistry items.
The reading comprehension test consists of three passages followed by a total of 40 questions. The physics test consists of 40 multiple-choice questions and must be completed in 50 minutes. The quantitative reasoning section consists of 40 items and must be completed in 45 minutes.
The OAT is a computerized test, and the test-taker will be provided with an unofficial score report immediately after completing the test.
The score report will contain 8 different scores:
- quantitative reasoning
- reading comprehension
- general chemistry
- organic chemistry
- total science (the natural sciences and physics scores combined)
- an academic average
Scores are calculated first by measuring a raw score on each test based on the number of questions answered correctly, and then converting this into a standard score on a scale of 200 to 400. OAT scores are always rounded to the nearest ten. The OAT is administered by Prometric throughout the year at locations around the United States. To register, visit the Prometric website.
Here are the sections on the OAT:
|SECTION||Total amount of time allotted||Number of questions||Time to answer each question|
|Natural Sciences||90 min||40||2.25 min|
|Physics||50 min||40||1.25 min|
|Reading Comprehension||50 min||40||1.25 min|
|Quantitative Reasoning||45 min||50||0.9 min|