Oct 31

OAT

Preparing for the OAT: Part I – Courses and Registering


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After just recently studying for the OAT and going through the hectic routine of preparation, I decided I would share a few tips with you to make writing your OAT a little easier, and hopefully provide you with more confidence!

Now, I’m not saying that the OAT is easy – it is very difficult – but this is no reason to freak out! With the correct studying techniques and confidence, I’m positive that you will do phenomenally well on the OAT.
This series will be a combination of three articles: the first article will be about the MCAT preparatory course, the second will be about where to find good OAT practice exams, and the third will be about writing the OAT. So let us begin:
Registering for the OAT:
Do NOT leave this to the last minute as spots can fill up quickly. The easiest way to register for the OAT is to go to https://www.ada.org/oat/. This will allow you to register online for the course. After you’ve registered online for the course, you need to pick a date, and can do that here: prometric.com/en-us/clients/oat/Pages/landing.aspx. Prometric makes registering easy and can be done all online, just remember to write down the time, date, and location of where you will be writing your OAT as they do not send you a reminder.
Prometric OAT
Preparing for the OAT- Courses:
I was first told about the MCAT prep-course by a friend that had taken it the year before. The MCAT prep course is made for people who are taking the MCAT, but can be applied to those who are taking the OAT as well. This MCAT prep course is put on by prep-101 and is available to both Canadians and Americans. This course costs around $2000 CAD but provides you with 106 hours of: certified instructors for each subject, MCAT practice exams, and MCAT exams.
Pros:
Books
  • Two books for each subject.
  • One book is a reading book, I suggest you read it twice!
  • One book is a workbook (classroom companion).
  • Organic chemistry, biology, chemistry, verbal reasoning, physics, 1001 questions in chemistry, 1001 questions in biology, 1001 questions in organic chemistry, 1001 questions in physics, 101 verbal reasoning passages, and 16 mini MCATS.
  • Books have a practice MCAT after each module learned.

OAT

Subjects
  •   Physics
  •   Chemistry
  •   Organic Chemistry
  •   Biology
  •   Verbal (reading comprehension)
Instructors
  • Teach their speciality
  • All instructors have taken the MCAT and scored in the 90th percentile
  • Approachable and offer times outside of class
  • Provides instructions on how to tackle problems in a time efficient way
  • Goes over practice sections with class to explain best approach
  • 12 hours of work sessions with the instructors per week
  • offers weekday (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday) and weekend classes (Friday, Saturday, Sunday)

OAT

Cons:
  • Classes are late in the evening (5:30-9:30 pm).
  • Very fast paced (lots of information in a short period of time).
  • Long class with minimal breaks.
  • Does not go over math specifically.
  • Expensive ($2000 CAD).
While taking the course I felt like I did not retain any information, however after the course was completed and I started to do more practice problems, I realized that the review classes had made me more efficient at taking the exam. There is also the benefit of having all of the books to keep with you in case you need to review more specific aspects of the subject. I also found that this course helped me to realize my strengths and weaknesses, which is very important when taking the OAT. Do not feel like you have to take this specific course, as there are many other ones out there. Kaplan, from what I’ve heard, provides a very good overview and is more specific to optometry school.
In summary, I think that this course is worth the price as it provides you with reviews, books, and practice exams. It helps in determining your strengths and weaknesses, shows you how to tackle the OAT, and most importantly builds your confidence.
Any other tips or suggestions, please comment below, the more the better!

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Jade McLachlin

I am a recent BSc graduate from Grant MacEwan University in Edmonton … Read more

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