What is the OAT?

4 February 2015

If you’re considering applying to optometry school, then you have heard of the Optometry Admission Test (OAT). OzTREKK has gathered a little bit of background information about the OAT from the Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry (ASCO) website in order to help prepare pre-optometry students.
The University of Melbourne offers the Doctor of Optometry (OD) program, a master’s-level professional-entry degree that creates a new benchmark in 21st century optometric education. It is an internationally recognized qualification and the first of its kind in the southern hemisphere. As part of the entry requirement into the Doctor of Optometry, applicants must take the Optometry Admission Test (OAT).

University of Melbourne Optometry School
Learn more about Melbourne Optometry School

What is the 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.
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 Optometry Admissions Test (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 2016 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.

University of Melbourne Doctor of Optometry (OD)

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

Apply to the University of Melbourne Optometry School!


Would you like more information about the University of Melbourne’s Doctor of Optometry program? Contact OzTREKK’s Australian Optometry Schools Admissions Officer Rachel Brady at rachel@oztrekk.com or 1-866-698-7355. Find out how you can study in Australia!