OAT (Optometry Admission Test) Practices: The Guide to Acing Your Test Paper

If you are aspiring to become an optometrist, the Optometry Admission Test (OAT) will likely be a significant milestone in your educational journey. The OAT is a standardized examination designed to assess the academic ability and comprehension of scientific knowledge required for optometry school. To ensure that you achieve a commendable score, it’s crucial to understand the test’s format and employ the most effective study strategies. Here’s your guide to mastering the OAT practices test paper.

Understanding the OAT

Structure and Format:

The OAT comprises the following sections:

  1. Natural Sciences (Biology, General Chemistry, Organic Chemistry)
  2. Reading Comprehension
  3. Physics
  4. Quantitative Reasoning

Each section tests different skills and knowledge, so preparation should be tailored accordingly.


The scores for the OAT range from 200 to 400, with an average score typically being around 300. It’s vital to target a score above average to enhance your chances of admission into competitive optometry programs.

Key OAT Preparation Strategies:

(a) Create a Study Schedule:

Having a well-structured study schedule is essential. Break down your study material by topics and allocate specific times and days to each. Don’t forget to include breaks, review days, and mock test days.

(b) Utilize OAT Official Study Materials:

Official guidebooks and resources are invaluable. They provide a clear insight into the kind of questions you might encounter, making them indispensable tools for your preparation.

(c) Take Practice Tests:

Regularly taking practice tests will not only improve your speed and accuracy but also familiarize you with the test format. Analyze your performance after each test, focusing on areas of weakness.

(d) Focus on Weak Areas:

It’s easy to concentrate on subjects we are good at. However, the key to a high OAT score is ensuring that you perform well across all sections. Spend more time on topics you find challenging.

(e) Join Study Groups:

Discussing topics and solving problems with peers can offer new perspectives and methods of understanding or remembering tricky concepts.

(f) Stay Updated:

Always be on the lookout for new study resources, apps, or tips that can help enhance your OAT preparation.

Test-Day Tips:

  1. Stay Calm: Anxiety can hamper performance. Take deep breaths and stay focused.
  2. Time Management: Keep an eye on the clock. If a question seems too difficult, skip it and come back to it later.
  3. Read Carefully: Ensure you understand what the question asks before answering.
  4. Stay Hydrated and Nourished: Bring water and a light snack, but remember to follow the test center’s rules.

Post-Test Analysis:

After taking the OAT, it’s essential to evaluate your performance. If you feel your score isn’t up to par, don’t lose heart. Identify where you went wrong, improve in those areas, and consider retaking the test.


Preparing for the OAT is not just about studying hard but also about studying smart. Remember, the journey to becoming an optometrist is demanding, but with dedication, determination, and the right resources, you can excel in the OAT and pave the way for a successful career in optometry.


OAT Mini-Practice Test

1. Natural Sciences

Biochemistry/Cell Biology:

1.1. Which organelle is responsible for ATP production in the cell? a) Golgi apparatus b) Nucleus c) Lysosome d) Mitochondrion

General Biology:

1.2. What is the primary role of ribosomes in the cell? a) Lipid synthesis b) Protein synthesis c) Cellular respiration d) DNA replication

2. Reading Comprehension

Consider the following passage:

“The process of vision begins when light rays from an object enter the eye and are refracted by the cornea and lens, focusing on the retina. Photoreceptor cells in the retina, known as rods and cones, detect this light and convert it into electrochemical signals that are then transmitted to the brain through the optic nerve.”

2.1. Where does the conversion of light into electrochemical signals occur? a) Lens b) Cornea c) Photoreceptor cells d) Optic nerve

2.2. What is the main function of the cornea and lens in the vision process? a) Detection of light b) Transmission of signals to the brain c) Refraction of light rays d) Conversion to electrochemical signals

3. Physics

3.1. A ray of light traveling from air into water (n=1.33) is incident at an angle of 30° to the normal. What is the angle of refraction? (Note: Use Snell’s Law, �1sin⁡�1=�2sin⁡�2) a) 22.2° b) 30° c) 45° d) 55.8°

4. Quantitative Reasoning

4.1. If a shirt costs $50 after a 20% discount, what was its original price? a) $40 b) $60 c) $62.50 d) $75

Answers: 1.1 – d, 1.2 – b, 2.1 – c, 2.2 – c, 3.1 – a, 4.1 – d

Please note that this mini-test is significantly shorter and simpler than the actual OAT, but it should give you a general idea of the types of questions you might encounter.