OAT Exam

Explaining the OAT exam, including its content areas, question types, and scoring mechanism. Learn how to seek OAT exam help from our professional exam experts.

The statistics from the U.S. Bureau of Labor projects 4000 new jobs in optometry by 2031, representing a 9.6% employment growth. Optometry profession offers an elusive mix of perks, with job security and a median salary of $124,300. However, becoming an optometrist presents a herculean challenge of passing the OAT exam. Students pursuing health disciplines admit that the OAT examination is more challenging than the MCAT as it is heavy on math and physics. Our OAT exam experts delve into the test's purpose, content areas, and scoring mechanism. Learners stuck with their OAT exams can delegate their tests to us for discrete, timely, and accurate help that guarantees high scores.

What is the OAT Exam?

The OAT (Optometry Admission Test) is a standardized test administered to students seeking admission to the U.S. and Canadian schools and colleges of Optometry. The test was formerly called OCAT (Optometry College Admission Test) until 1987 when ASCO changed its name to OAT. ASCO (Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry) is the organization that oversees and supports OAT through the OAT committee. Schools use the OAT scores with collegiate documents to predict learners' ability to perform in the optometry school.

The OAT examination is a four-part test with 230 multiple-choice questions within 4 hours and 5 minutes. Applicants can take the test year-round at any Prometric Test Centers in the U.S. or Canada, including the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.

What is Included in the OAT Exam?

The Optometry Admission Test comprises four sections, each containing multiple-choice questions in English.

The Survey of the Natural Sciences

The first section of the OAT exam tests the learner's knowledge of the survey of the natural sciences: biology, organic chemistry, and general chemistry. This part has questions from content covered in the first-year natural science concepts. It takes 90 minutes, and a learner must answer 100 items, as broken down below.


The biology sub-content area has 40 items. Questions focus primarily on four topics: evolution and ecology, diversity of life, molecular and cellular biology, and structure and function of biological systems. Learners have 20 minutes to complete the 40 questions—around 30 seconds for each quiz.

General Chemistry

The General chemistry sub-content area has 30 items. Questions focus on various topics, including acids and bases, thermodynamics, thermochemistry, redox reactions, molecular and atomic structures, periodic properties, stoichiometry and general concepts, solutions, solids and liquids, and more. The General chemistry takes 37.5 minutes. Thus, examinees must answer every question within 75 seconds.

Organic Chemistry

The Organic Chemistry area has 30 items. The questions are spread across various topics, including chemical and physical properties of molecules, stereochemistry, acid-base chemistry, aromatics, nomenclature, bonding, and individual reactions of the major functional groups. This section takes 30 minutes. Thus, learners have 1 minute to answer each question. The 2.5 minutes from the 90 minutes should go toward reviewing the marked items..

Reading Comprehension

The Reading and Comprehension section of the OAT comprises 50 questions from three reading passages. The passages are on scientific topics. They contain approximately 14 paragraphs each. Every passage contributes 16-17 questions. Examinees must not have outside knowledge of the reading and comprehension. They must also apply contextual knowledge from the passages without personal bias or judgment.

Quantitative Reasoning

The Quantitative Reasoning sub-section has 40 multiple-choice math questions a learner must complete within 45 minutes. Calculators are not allowed into the Optometry Testing Center. Instead, examinees will access an on-screen calculator for basic operations such as division, subtraction, and multiplication. They can also find square roots, reciprocals, and percentages. Math topics prevalent in the OAT exam include Exponential Notation, Inequalities, and Equations and Expressions. Other topics include Applied Mathematics, Probability, Quantitative Comparisons, Graphical Analysis, Absolute Value, Rotation and Proportions, Data Analysis, Interpretation and Sufficiency.


The Physics Sub-section has 40 physics questions to be completed within 50 minutes. Success in the physics section requires learners to be adept at Units, Vectors, Kinematics, Circuits, Newtonian Mechanics, Fluid Statistics, and Electro statistics. Other Topics include Lights and Optics, Modern Physics, Simple Harmonic Motion and Waves, and thermodynamics.

How are the OAT Scores Calculated?

Each of the four testable OAT subject areas is graded on a scale from 200 to 400. ASCO recommends 320 points as the acceptance rate, with 300 representing the 50th percentile. A good score on the OAT is 320. Still, some colleges accept lower scores. The OAT Exam does not have deductions for incorrect answers, allowing learners to make intelligent guesses. The lowest score a learner can get is 200.

OAT Exam: Bottom Line

OAT exam requires technical knowledge of Biology, Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, Physics, and Math. The multiple-choice question types also make it challenging since it depends on the power of elimination. Our OAT exam helpers can handle your OAT test and assist in attaining 320+ points through timely and accurate help.

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