To get certified as an optometrist, you will have to take the Optometry Admission Test, also commonly known as OAT. You have to pass the exam before applying to an optometry college or school. The standardized exam is administered to test your understanding and application of various optometry information.
All optometry schools and colleges in the US and the University of Waterloo in Canada require students who would like to enroll for a Doctor of Optometry program to have passed the OAT exam. Having a good OAT score will significantly increase your chances of getting accepted into optometry school.
The OAT is a high-stakes exam and most students find it stressful. However, if you are well-prepared, nothing should make you not ace the test. The extensive test comprises four sub-tests that cover Quantitative Reasoning, Physics, Academic reading comprehension, and Natural Sciences (Biology, Organic Chemistry, and General Chemistry).
So, how best can you prepare for the OAT exam?
If you are like most students, you are probably looking for the best OAT prep books and study materials you can lay your hands on. However, this can mean a significant investment. The good news is you do not need a tone of OAT study material to ace the exam. Just a handful of the best books will be fine.
Read on for the must-have OAT prep books.
Best OAT Prep- Books Comparison Table
|RANK||STUDY GUIDE||PRACTICE EXAMS/QUESTIONS||REVIEW||PRICE|
|1||3500+ questions||Read Full Review|
|2||600+ questions||Read Full Review|
|3||1 practice test||Read Full Review|
|4||2 practice test||Read Full Review|
|5||1 practice test||Read Full Review|
OAT Prep Books Review
The Crack the OAT is the ultimate package to have if you want to pass the OAT. This OAT prep course has over 65 hours of detailed-explanations and a simulation of the actual computer test. With this bundle package, you are sure to score high.
There are three general topics covered in the Crack the OAT: Science, Reading, and Math. The content is available in electronic format, including text and video. Therefore, you do not have to worry about carrying a large bundle of books in your tote bag. The electronic information is also easy to assimilate.
The Crack the OAT bundle package includes:
- 2000+ questions and their answers
- 20 simulated Science OAT examinations
- 40 hours of video explanations
- 500 questions and answers with detailed explanations
- 10 simulations of the Reading OAT exams
- 30 Reading comprehension passages
- 6 hours of video content
- 25 OAT simulated tests
- 1000 questions and their correct answers
- 20 hours of video content
In total, there are 50 simulated test sections, 65+ hours of video content, and over 3000 questions with their detailed answers. This comprehensive content will ensure you are well prepared for the concepts that will be tested in the OAT exam.
The Crack the OAT software can help you assess your performance, identify your weaknesses, and get better before the test. You can also compare your scores to that of other learners to see how you fare. The ability to compare scores is a morale booster as you will be encouraged to improve your skills to score better, which will pan out to your advantage during the real test.
You can use the Crack the OAT software on both PC and MAC. The software is limited to one computer but has no expiry date.
- You can assess your performance level and identify your weaknesses, which is important for helping you determine where to focus on
- The video content is easy to browse
- The software has tests with detailed explanations for every question
- Helps you to get used to the computer format of the OAT
- Can only be installed on one computer at a time
- Only available in electronic format (there are no books)
- Does not include the Physics section
The Kaplan OAT Strategies has all the information you would need to pass the OAT examination. The book has 1056 pages that contain in-depth reviews of concepts you should know before sitting for the exam. The book is straight to the point and comes with practice exams that are similar to the OAT test.
Below is an overview of what is included in the Kaplan OAT Strategies guide:
- Access to two online practice tests that are similar to the real OAT exam. To gain access to these tests, you will have to register your book.
- Kaplan’s strategy on how to ace the OAT exam
- Full current OAT blueprint guide that will help you know what to expect during the test
- One cheat sheet review – 16-page study sheets that you can tear out to study when you are on the move
- 600+ practice questions that cover every subject. The questions come with detailed answers and explanations
- Complete review of all the topics covered in OAT
The Kaplan OAT Strategies has up to date requirements of the exam. Therefore, you can be sure not to miss anything. Many students love the Kaplan Test Prep books for their in-depth coverage of various test subjects.
The Kaplan OAT Strategies is more than just a book with concepts and explanations. By going through the guide, you will also learn how to prepare for the final test. The practice exams are similar to the ones you will sit in the real test. The format, colors, and controls are similar to that of the OAT test.
Studying for your exam using the Kaplan OAT Strategies will improve your score. The book follows a practical approach and is complemented by an in-depth online resource.
- The concepts are well explained in a concise manner
- Has practice exams that are similar to the real tests
- In-depth review of the concepts
- The online resources are not very comprehensive
Another OAT prep book you should consider getting is the OAT Secrets Study Guide. This book is put together by experts and highlights specific important areas you should focus on as you prepare for the exam. The 420-pages book follows techniques adopted based on years of experience of taking the OAT examination.
The OAT Secrets Study Guide has up to date information and will teach you how to apply the knowledge you have learned in the different sections of the test. Unlike the classic OAT prep books that focus on teaching the concepts, the OAT Study Guide teaches you how to apply what you have learned when answering the test questions to ensure you get the best results.
Another thing we love about the OAT Secrets Guide is the several time traps that are built into the simulation. These time taps will help you know how long you are spending to answer a question and guide you on how to apply the best technique to maximize the time you have for each question.
If you usually get anxious during exams, the OAT Secrets Guide has five secret keys that will help you change your point of view and overcome your weaknesses and fears. This comprehensive guide comes with 20 original tips on taking the OAT exams, 5 secret keys that will unlock the test and 1 full-length simulation.
However, the information is not well organized and you can get lost at some point.
- Comes with several online videos that complement it
- You learn how to deal with time traps, which may ruin your OAT examination even if you are well prepared
- You learn how to apply the knowledge to the test for maximum benefits
- The information is not organized well
#4. Cracking the OAT
Cracking the OAT is an OAT prep book by The Princeton Review that is known for its high-quality test prep materials. This prep book has a lot of information on the topics covered in the OAT exam. Apart from this, it has several strategies on how you can ace the exam.
Below is an overview of what is covered in the Cracking the OAT by The Princeton Review:
- 2 full-length practice tests
- Key techniques to use when you hit a bump during the OAT test
- Detailed explanations of how the OAT is structured and what you should expect
- In-depth review of various Physics concepts, including kinematics, electricity, and mechanics
The Princeton Review Crack the OAT prep book has the best material if you would like to improve your skills in Physics. The book explains well the principles applied in the types of equations you are likely to face in your OAT test. The explanations are clear and the practice problems are relevant. Therefore, you will easily retain the information.
However, the book does not go in-depth into other topics and, hence, we recommend it as a supplement OAT preparation book.
- Affordable price
- The Physics concepts are well explained
- Easy to browse and understand the content
- Clear explanation of concepts
- Apart from Physics, the other topics are not explained in-depth
If you are looking for a quick way to review the information you know about OAT, you should get the OAT Practice Questions. This guide is packed with plenty of questions and detailed answers that will give you a taste of what to expect during the exam.
The questions in the 144-pages book are categorized based on topic, author, and category. The questions also explain why various answers are right and why others are wrong to help you understand what is expected when you are answering OAT questions.
We recommend getting the OAT Practice Questions book and going through it before the exam. These questions are excellent for revision whether you are taking the OAT test for the first or subsequent time. By going through the book, you will know the format and types of questions to expect in your final exam.
When you take the tests in the OAT Practice Questions book, you can gauge your performance and identify your weaknesses. This way, you can know which areas you need to concentrate on to ensure you get excellent scores in the OAT test.
- Explanation of why answers are right or wrong
- The questions are well-structured based on topic and category
- The book only has questions. There is no review content on the concepts tested in the exam
- There are a couple of typos in the guide
Editor’s Verdict: Best OAT Prep Book
Using any of the above OAT prep books will help you prepare well for the final exam. If you are looking for a comprehensive guide, we recommend either the Crack the OAT Bundle or the Kaplan OAT Strategies.
On the other hand, if you simply want to jog your memory by going through exam–like tests, check the OAT Practice Questions.