The optometry admission test (OAT) is normally computerized and administered by committees to determine a potential or suitable applicant to take optometry programs. Colleges of Optometry and school associations play a role in conducting this test. Applicants do the tests throughout the year in Canada, the United States and its territories. However, they offer the exams on the appointment basis in Prometric test centers.
The applicant is supposed to analyze the OAT guide and understand its content and abide by the rules and guidelines on the application document. After application and payment of the charges, the candidate gets instructions on how to contact prometric.com to confirm and allocate appropriate time, date and location for the exam. Changes or corrections to the application must be done two weeks before the set date although the applicant incurs extra charges which vary with the urgency of the changes. Usually, the registration fee is 465 dollars as per 1st July 2019. Applicants who have attempted the tests three or more times can reapply where after that they can only retest after twelve months. Local texting centers cannot reschedule, cancel or schedule an appointment.
Optometry test is not just like any other exam a candidate might have encountered in the academic career. It is not a knowledge-based exam that emphasizes on memorization of information commonly found in colleges and high schools settings. A candidate competence can be assessed by a quick check on his transcript as it proves the general skills of a candidate as other academic papers do. OAT is used to asses the foundation of a candidate in carrying out successful optometry career. The focus is on the ability to think very fast as it emphasizes critical thinking, data analysis, problem-solving skills and reading of comprehension.
Optometry admission test consists of four tests designed according to their specifications. Exams are designed and structured in the English language where a candidate is required to choose from the list since they are in multiple-choice. The multiple questions add up to 220 items in all the papers where a total score of 300 is considered average performance. OAT consists of four disciplinaries; comprehension, physics, quantitative reasoning and organic chemistry.
The applicant has 60 to 90 days in advance to prepare for the exams after application. For applicants to excel in the papers, he should master the content of the upcoming review and also familiarize himself with the format of the exam. Mastering will help in understanding and preparing the information that the exam will seek.
To increase familiarity and comfort with the composition of the test, the candidate has to do more practices. Comfort helps in proper time management in the exam room as he progresses through the sections of the exam paper. A candidate should choose from Prep courses, practice tests, independent study, and written guides to prepare for the tests. Therefore crucial it is essential for a candidate to plan and allocate a substantial amount of time in exam preparations.
Good scores can successfully open a candidate’s new opportunities in the market as they indicate the abilities to deliver. Scores earned act as a common determining factor by the optometry school when making a comparison of the admission application of their candidates. The applicant can possess this power by proper preparation and useful set of the mind. Success comes by, mastering the philosophy behind the exam, reviewing each section separately, covering sample questions first, mastering methods for each section and knowing what the examiners want. A candidate should use OAT as a platform to show optometry schools what he is capable off just like any other form of application.
The OAT has no restrictions or the exact date of a calendar it should administer exams as they are done only on computers. AN applicant checks in for the test by obtaining an admission ticket which is sent via email to confirm registration. The candidate should also have two valid forms, one of which must be issued by the government and passport photos which match identify with the candidate. Government-issued documents include drivers license, passport and state ID, or the military IDs. However, IDs with no middle name or middle name written in initials are considered valid. Digital fingerprints or photos are taken at the testing stations to act as additional security to record and confirm identity.
In the testing room, a countdown timer, always at one edge of the screen is used to record and monitor the time allocated for exam sessions. A candidate cannot walk into the exam room wearing a watch and also no access to any other clock in the room. The test session has a break session of 15 minutes, typically. The proctor may give more additional breaks, although the clock timer will still be counting, and the candidate might lose this precious time. When a candidate is not at the computer, sessions of the exams will continue running as scheduled, and he will answer the ones which show automatically on the screen. The time set for the previous section will have elapsed.
Natural sciences section will provide the candidate with the on-screen periodic table and on-screen calculator for quantitative reasoning section. The testing gives the candidate a marker and noteboard for taking notes and calculations by the testing center. As a result, a candidate cannot come in with his paper, calculator or writing materials. However, the proctor can always replace a note board or marker anytime the candidate needs it. During this time the countdown timer is still counting and time is elapsing. During this period the candidates are barred from communicating with others while on unscheduled break or during exam time.
The examining body maintains the security and privacy of the candidates by obtaining and retaining personal information of a candidate to serve their candidates effectively. The testing center keeps the testing records, and examination results and third parties cannot access personal data of a candidate. Before the release of the examination, the candidates need to provide their biometric information in written form. Biometrics identifies the candidates, thereby preventing unlawful activities which may occur from third parties. This also ensures privacy of a candidates personal information and test results.
OAT program designs the understanding of scientific information and academic ability of a candidate. Candidates who complete physics, general chemistry, biology and organic chemistry should take Optometry Admission Test after completing their course. High scores in OAT can benefit a candidate who is trying to get admission to highly competitive Optometry School. Optometry school use high score mark to in conjunction with academic performance to predict performance in the admission process.
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