Students will need to check the admissions requirement for each optometry school to which they plan to apply. The most common prerequisite requirements for admission into optometry school are:
The OAT exam has four test sections
When should I take the OAT?
Students who are planning to start optometry school after they graduate college should take the test in the spring quarter of their junior year. Students should pay to program admission deadlines to decide when to sign up for the test and allow themselves enough time to re-test if they need a higher score. Students will need to check with each program regarding which score will be considered for admission if they re-test.
Create a study plan for the OAT:
Step 1: Gather Information about OAT
Step 2: Take a practice test
Step 3: Gather study materials
Step 4: Make a study calendar
Step 5: Study!
Step 6: Prepare for test day
How many times can I take the OAT?
Ideally, you should only take the OAT one time. If you need to re-test, you must wait at least 90 days from your last attempt before you can re-take the OAT. Candidates who have had three or more OAT attempts must apply for permission to test again. From that point forward, they may retest only once per 12-month period.
Are other exams considered for admission?
Yes, some optometry programs will also accept GRE, MCAT, PCAT, or DAT.
How long are OAT scores valid?
Generally, scores are valid up to 2 years from the dates of testing.
Is the exam expensive?
The cost of the OAT exam is $465.
Application fee waivers are available on a case-by-case basis.
The Optometry Centralized Application Service (OptomCAS) application opens on June 30, 2021 and will close on May 27, 2022.
It is the applicant’s responsibility to check the deadline for each school. Most schools offer rolling admission, so it is best to apply early in June through August. Students who apply after November may have a harder time gaining admission as seats may be filled.
Students should know that OptomCAS calculates their own GPA and factors in all prior grades and attempts. For example, if you took the same General Biology class twice, both grades get calculated into the GPA. Some schools use the OptomCAS GPA when considering admission.