Frequently Asked Questions About the Optometry Admission Test (OAT)

What is the OAT?

The Optometry Admission Test (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. All schools and colleges of optometry in the United States and the University of Waterloo, Canada require the OAT.

OAT Newsletter, Volume 1 Issue 1 (Summer 2016)

What subjects does the OAT cover?

The OAT consists of four tests: Survey of the Natural Sciences (Biology, General Chemistry, and Organic Chemistry), Reading Comprehension, Physics and Quantitative Reasoning.

When should I take the OAT?

Successful participants who take the OAT typically complete at least one year of college education, including courses in biology, general and organic chemistry and physics. Most applicants complete two or more years of college before taking the test.

When is the OAT examination administered?

The OAT exam is computerized and examinees are allowed to take the OAT an unlimited number of times, but must wait at least 90 days between testing dates. Applicants who have three or more OAT attempts must apply for permission to test again, and from that point forward may retest only once per twelve-month period. Scores from the four most recent attempts and the total number of attempts will be reported.

Where can I get more information about the OAT?

You can submit your application for the OAT examination and/or request additional copies of score reports online. You can view the Optometry Admission Testing Program – Online Candidate Guide, here: On-line Registration for OAT. For additional information on the OAT, please call or write:

Optometric Admission Testing Program
211 East Chicago Avenue, Suite 600
Chicago, IL 60611-2678
800-232-2159 or

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