Tackling the OAT
This exact time last year was extremely stressful and challenging. Alongside working a full-time job and studying for the OAT, I was also figuring out and navigating the logistics of applying to optometry school (letters of recommendation, personal statements, etc.) While I felt like the majority of my application was strong and met admission requirements, the OAT seemed like the most daunting task ever. Even though a lot of the content was stuff that I had learned in previous undergrad courses, the quantity of information that I had to know was, at times, overwhelming. However, I quickly realized that this was what the academics in optometry school were going be like. I devised some strategies that helped me succeed.
The first strategy was developing a study plan that would maximize my time outside of work to tackle all the topics covered on the test. Furthermore, I focused added attention on the topics that I struggled with more. After every study session, I would quiz myself to test my understanding. The following morning, I would go over flashcards on my commute to work to reinforce the concepts once again. To compensate for the rigorous work load, I made sure I wasn’t setting myself up to burn out; I allotted one day a week to do nothing but relax and spend time with family and friends.
I followed this regime till the end of the summer, when I finally got to writing the OAT. Hitting submit on the testing computer and seeing my final scores pop up on the screen was a great feeling! Flash-forward a year and I am now starting my first year of optometry school at ICO!
For all those preparing to take the OAT, work hard and trust the process! :)