How To Get Through Optometry Admission Test (OAT)
Optometry is an occupation which deals with eyes and vision related matters. Contrary to the general opinion, optometry is not a branch of science instead is concerned with vision correction through spectacles and contact lenses. Optometrists are the practitioners who are licensed to recommend eyeglasses for vision augmentation as well as curing various eye diseases. People aspiring to become an optometrist are required to get themselves enrolled at an Optometry school.
The Optometry Admission Test (OAT) is the examination which such aspiring optometrists are required to clear in order to get closer to the realisation of their dream. OAT is conducted by the Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry for facilitating the prospective students to grab a seat in the Optometry Colleges of USA and Canada along with the University of Waterloo.
Eligibility and Registration for OAT Test
The candidates are required to achieve academic qualification in Biology, Physics along with General and Organic Chemistry through a collegiate education for a period of one year at least before they can apply for OAT.
Any candidate can get himself or herself registered for taking OAT by applying either online at www.opted.org or by sending a written application form which can be received from the website [email protected] or via fax. After all the formalities have been fulfilled a candidate can confirm his or her test schedule after receiving his or her electronic notification. Tests are conducted at Prometric Test Centres which are situated at the United States, Guam, Puerto Rico and Canada.
Fee Structure and Payment
The fee to be paid for appearing in the test has been raised to $226 from 1st July 2012 from an earlier amount of $220. The required payment can be made via credit card during online registration and by money orders or certified cheques while getting registered through paperwork. Once an applicant has been registered he or she receives a unique identification number OATPIN which would be required during a candidate’s examination proceedings.
Test Curriculum and Question Paper Structure
This test aims at evaluating the candidates on the basis of their insight into general medical and scientific concepts. Four tests constitute OAT: Reading Comprehension, Survey of Natural Sciences including Biology, Organic Chemistry and General Chemistry, Quantitative Reasoning and Physics.
There is no negative marking for wrong answers in the test which allows candidates to earn a score within a range of 200 to 400 marks. A candidate receives his/her score along with his percentile on the completion of the examination which is his or her personal unofficial copy of the score. It should be retained by the candidates and they receive their official scores after proper scrutiny of the report cards.
The candidates appear in the Natural Survey of Science and Reading Comprehension tests first followed by the other two examinations. Candidates can avail a break of 15 minutes between the first two and the last two examinations. The total duration of the tests can vary from 275 to 300 minutesdepending upon the pretesting questions and post testing survey along with the break, if availed.
Survey of Natural Science is a test which lasts for 90 minutes requiring candidates to answer 40 questions on Biology and 30 questions each on Organic Chemistry and General Chemistry. Test takers receive individual scores also for each sub section.
Reading Comprehension Test contains 3 passages leading to 40 questions in total which are to be answered after a thorough understanding of the reading material. The candidates are allotted 50 minutes to complete this test.
Physics test is an examination assessing a candidate’s elementary knowledge of Physics studied by him or her at the undergraduate level. The duration of this achievement test is 50 minutes within with takers are expected to answer 40 questions.
Quantitative Reasoning test is an examination conducted to measure the ability of an applicant to deal with numbers and solve problems establishing numerical relationships. The question paper contains 40 questions which are to be answered in 45 minutes without using calculators.
All the institutes and universities offering Optometry to its students require the prospective candidates to appear in OAT. However, the importance of OAT score in the admission procedure varies from one college to the other. Along with the OAT score, a candidate’s practical knowledge attained by him or her during the undergraduate or collegiate programs also carry a substantial weight when colleges consider various application forms for admissions.
The prerequisite for scoring good marks in OAT is to brush up what a student learns during his or her undergraduate program. The basic focus of the test paper lies on evaluating a candidate’s knowledge of basic scientific theories and concepts.
Apart from science, candidates should hone their reading skills as well as their capability of solving numerical problems quickly and accurately. There are numerous sample test papers available on the internet which should be attempted regularly by them for better time management and identifying their problem areas.
So, everybody can fulfil their dreams of becoming an Optometrist by passing the Optometric Admission Test with a respectable score which will pave the way for their admission in reputed Optometry Colleges.