What is the Optometry Admission Test?

What is the Optometry Admission Test (OAT)?

The OAT is a standardized examination designed to measure general academic ability and comprehension of scientific information. The OAT is sponsored by the Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry (ASCO) for applicants seeking admission to an optometry program.

University of Melbourne Optometry School
Study optometry at the University of Melbourne

The OAT consists of four tests: Survey of the Natural Sciences (Biology, General Chemistry, and Organic Chemistry), Reading Comprehension, Physics and Quantitative Reasoning.

Do you need to study for the OAT?

Yes, you should definitely study for the OAT, as it will affect your chances of being admitted to the Doctor of Optometry program. When you are preparing to take the OAT, OzTREKK recommends the following:
  • Look for test preparation materials and a sample test. Check out the Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry (ASCO) website. They also have an OAT User Guide and helpful tips.
  • Study guides are usually available and through book suppliers. Search for “optometry admission test sample” or “optometry admission test preparation.”
  • Do an online search for “optometry admission test.” YouTube has many videos about the OAT.

When should you take the OAT?

At least one year of university education, which should include courses in biology, general chemistry, organic chemistry and physics, is required prior to taking the OAT. Most students, however, elect to complete two or more years of university prior to taking the exam. If you plan to apply to the February/March 2017 intake of the Doctor of Optometry at Melbourne, you should consider writing the OAT as soon as you feel you are ready so that if your results are not as you expected, you have time to rewrite the exam.

When is the OAT examination administered?

The OAT exam is computerized and examinees are allowed to take the OAT an unlimited number of times; however, you must wait at least 90 days between testing dates. Only scores from the four most recent attempts and the total number of attempts will be reported.

You must apply for your test with the OAT Program and receive your electronic notification prior to scheduling your testing appointment with Prometric. Tests are administered year-round at Prometric Test Centers in the United States, its territories including Guam, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Canada.

Doctor of Optometry at the University of Melbourne

The Doctor of Optometry is four years in duration, and consists of a combination of on-campus teaching and clinical placements, with the clinical component commencing in Year 1 and gradually increasing to full time in the final year. Opportunities exist for clinical-related research to be conducted as a required component of the degree.

Program: Doctor of Optometry (OD)
Location: Melbourne, Victoria
Semester intake: Late February or early March
Duration: 4 years
Application deadline: TBA. For the 2016 intake, the early round application deadline was July 30, 2015; the timely application deadline was September 29, 2015.


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