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OAT (Optometry Admission Test)


The Optometry Admission Test (OAT) is the entrance exam required by most optometry programs. The OAT is one of many tools that admission committees use to ascertain the suitability of applicants to their schools. The OAT is administered by and overseen by the Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry (ASCO).
Click here to link to the main Web site for the OAT.
The OAT is currently offered year-round on an appointment basis at more than 400 Prometric test centers. Most testing centers offer weekend and evening appointments. It is a computer-based exam.
You must register for the OAT and schedule your appointment 60-90 days in advance of when you want to take it. Each testing center has a limited number of seats it can offer on any given day. The closest testing centers to San Marcos are in Austin and San Antonio, but there are a number of test sites located throughout Texas. For the 2021 administrations, the cost to take the test is $490, but partial fee waivers are available if you apply well ahead of time and can demonstrate financial need.
Click here to learn about Prometric testing centers throughout the United States.
When you register for the OAT please remember to check the box that releases your scores to the pre-health advisors at your university.  We never share your OAT scores with other people, but knowing how our students do on the exam is important information we need as we work with other students in the future.
The OAT consists of four tests with a total of 220 multiple choice questions. Each test results in a numerical score of 200-400. The results are scaled such that a score of 300 represents the average national performance.   
Test 1 Survey of Natural Sciences = 90 minutes, 100 questions - 40 questions cover biology, 30 questions cover general chemistry, and 30 questions cover organic chemistry
Test 2 Reading Comprehension = 50 minutes, 40 questions - three reading passages each with 13 or 13 questions about each passage
Test 3 Physics = 50 minutes, 50 questions - covers topics in the field of physics
Test 4 Quantitative Reasoning = 45 minutes, 40 questions – questions cover: basic math, algebra, numerical calculations, probability and statistics, geometry and trigonometry and applied (word) problems.
To do well on the OAT you should strive for three things:
  • Master the content that will be tested.
  • Become familiar with the format of the exam itself and understand what kind of information the exam seeks to test.
  • Practice taking exams to increase your comfort and familiarity with the exam format and to ensure that you time your progress through each section effectively.
There are a number of ways to do this (prep courses, independent study, practice tests, written guides, etc.) and you need to think about what is the most effective way for you to study. Plan to spend a substantial amount of time preparing for the exam.