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6 November, 2023

How to Register for the OAT?

How do you register for the OAT? In this article, we will review how you can register for the OAT.
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OATBooster is the #1 study tool for the OAT and contains everything you need to prepare for the OAT. See why OATBooster is used by most pre-optometry students.

The optometry admission test (OAT) is a standardized computer-based test spanning 4 hours and 50 minutes and is required by most optometry schools for admission. It costs $500.00 USD to register for and includes 6 sections: Biology, General Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, Physics, Quantitative Reasoning and Reading Comprehension. For students taking the OAT for the first time, the registration and scheduling process can be quite lengthy and confusing – in this article, we will walk you through the steps of registering for the OAT.

1️⃣ Create a PIN

First, visit https://www.ada.org/en/oat and navigate to “Apply to Take the OAT” on the left sidebar. Once there, click the “Apply Now” button and you will be directed to a registration page and prompted for a PIN. If it is your first time applying for the OAT, you must register for a PIN first. The PIN is an individual code that not only allows you to log in and schedule your exam but also helps the optometry schools identify your OAT scores once you begin your applications.

Pro-Tip: Check and double-check to ensure your name and birthdate are entered correctly – the testing centers will deny your admission if anything does not match up!

2️⃣ Submit Your Application and Testing Fee

After about a week, you should receive an email with your OAT PIN. Head back to the same website, click the “Apply Now” button, and now you can enter your PIN to submit an application to take the OAT. The application includes your personal and contact information, as well as other information such as accommodation requests and which optometry schools you want your OAT scores to be sent to (2-4 weeks after your test date). There are also optional questions about your high school background, college education, preparation for the OAT, financial debt, and parent education/occupation. To complete and submit your application, you will be prompted to pay the $500.00 fee at the end.

Pro-Tip: When choosing which schools to receive your OAT scores, it can be difficult to decide early on whether or not you want to attend certain schools. However, it is best to select all of the schools if you are not entirely sure! There is no extra cost on top of the registration fee if you do so in the application, but there will be a fee for each school if you want your OAT scores sent to individual schools later on in the application cycle. Make sure to select all schools, as this is a good way to reduce some costs of the entire optometry application cycle!

3️⃣ Schedule Your Exam

After submitting your OAT application, you should receive an OAT eligibility email within a few days. This email will include your OAT PIN again, as well as confirm that you can schedule a testing appointment 24 hours after receiving the email.

To schedule your exam, head to https://www.prometric.com/test-takers/search/oat and click on the “Schedule” tab in the left sidebar. You will be directed to the scheduling site and prompted for your PIN. From here, you can select your program and region before selecting a date and time for your OAT exam. Once everything has been completed, submit the form and you will receive a confirmation email. This email will also include the date and time of your exam, as well as other information, such as directions to the testing center, security procedures, identification policies, and rescheduling or cancellation policies.

🌟Planning Ahead

After you submit your OAT application, you will receive an email confirming that you are eligible to schedule an exam time. However, note that this eligibility period only lasts for 6 months from the time that you receive the confirmation email – in other words, you must schedule and take the OAT within the next 6 months. This means you should plan ahead and think about when you want to take the OAT so you can work backward to figure out when to apply for an OAT PIN and submit an application to schedule your test appointment.

In addition, keep in mind that some regions have more Prometric testing sites than others and the availability of seats can vary. If you already have an idea of when you want to take the exam, you should register for an OAT PIN in advance and submit an application early enough to have more dates and times to choose from. Unlike other standardized admission tests, the OAT exam is not only offered on specific days. Instead, it is offered on both weekdays and weekends for 5.5-hour slots from 8:30 AM to 2:00 PM, depending on the testing site.

In my experience, I knew I wanted to take the OAT in August before my third year of undergrad, so I applied for a PIN in January of my second year so that when I was ready, I could submit an exam application without any trouble. In April, I already had my PIN ready and was able to easily apply for my OAT exam date 4 months in advance. This allowed for more test dates to choose from and made the whole application process a lot less stressful!

With all of the registration and scheduling complete, all that’s left to do is work hard and prepare for the OAT exam itself. If you liked this article, be sure to check out our other article on strategizing your OAT test date. In the event you are considering rescheduling the OAT, be sure to check out our article that discusses when to reschedule your OAT. Other than that, good luck!