Optometry Admission Test

The Optometry Admission Test (OAT) is a standardized, 4-hour 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. All schools and colleges of optometry in the United States require the OAT.

The OAT consists of a battery of four tests with a total of 220 multiple choice questions. Each test results in a numerical score of 200-400. The results are scaled such that a score of 300 represents the average national performance.

The four tests are as follows:

  • Survey of Natural Sciences = 90 minutes, 100 questions – 40 questions cover biology, 30 questions cover general chemistry, and 30 questions cover organic chemistry
  • Reading Comprehension = 50 minutes, 40 questions – three reading passages each with 13 or 15 questions about each passage
  • Physics = 50 minutes, 50 questions – covers topics in the field of physics
  • Quantitative Reasoning = 45 minutes, 40 questions – questions cover: basic math, algebra, numerical calculations, probability and statistics, geometry and trigonometry and applied (word) problems.

Click here to link to the main website for the OAT.

The OAT exam is computerized and you are allowed to take the OAT as many times as you would like but must wait at least 90 days between testing dates. However, only scores from the four most recent attempts and the total number of attempts will be reported.

The OAT is currently offered year-round on an appointment basis at more than 400 Prometric test centers. Most testing centers offer weekend and evening appointments.  You must register for the OAT and schedule your appointment 60-90 days in advance of when you want to take it. Each testing center has a limited number of seats it can offer on any given day. The closest testing centers to Tacoma are in Puyallup and Seattle, but there is also a test site located in Spokane. For the 2016 administrations, the cost to take the test is $330, but partial fee waivers are available if you apply well ahead of time and can demonstrate financial need.

Click here to see a list of current testing centers throughout the United States.

Click here to link to the OAT registration page.