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8 November, 2023

What Is a Good OAT Score?

You might be wondering β€œWhat is a good OAT score?” In this article, we will discuss exactly what a good OAT score is.
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If you are considering optometry as a profession, the optometry admission test (OAT) is an important standardized exam you will have to take. The OAT is a 5-hour test required by most optometry schools for admission. Scores reported for each section on the OAT range from 200 to 400. Therefore, it plays an important role in optometry schools’ admission decisions and adequate preparation should be completed to increase your chances of being accepted. It is best to figure out how the exam works and what score you should be aiming for. In this article, we will cover what the average OAT score is and what defines a good OAT score for admission to optometry school. To learn more about how the OAT is scored, click here.

πŸ“ˆ What Is Considered to Be an Average OAT Score?

With your performance on the OAT in mind, you must be thinking: What is the mean OAT score and how can I perform better than the average score?

According to the ASCO, the mean standard score for the OAT is 300, with a standard deviation of 40. This score corresponds with the 50th percentile, meaning 50% of other test-takers perform just as well or worse than you, while 50% perform better than you. As shown in the chart below, the mean standard AA and TS scores of the entering class profiles of US optometry schools have stayed relatively consistent around a score of 320 from 2010 to 2020. Any fluctuations from the ideal mean are closely monitored by the ASCO and if a significant drift occurs, the test will be recalibrated to set the mean back to 300.

Source: Profiles of the 2010-2020 Optometry Entering Classes, published online by the Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry

However, note that the average OAT score is not always 300. Because the OAT is a large-scale test held across North America, there will always be variations due to different factors. Even more, these factors help define a good OAT score for optometry school admission.

πŸ’‘ What Is a Good OAT Score for Optometry School?

In general, it is best to be fully prepared and aim for as high as possible on the OAT. However, multiple factors play a role in determining whether your OAT score is good enough for admission into optometry school. One factor is the level of competition – your percentile ranking and score depends on your performance compared to other test-takers. Even though admission decisions are not based solely on percentile rankings, they still provide a metric for applicant comparison. Since a score of 300 corresponds to the 50th percentile, it would be best to aim for over 320+. For more competitive schools, you should aim for a score of over 350+.

Furthermore, optometry schools vary in both the number of seats and expectations for their applicants. Schools with less seats will likely be more competitive and hold higher expectations for their entering classes. To learn more information about the admission statistics for each Optometry school, click here to view our article on Optometry school statistics.

πŸ‘‰ Conclusion

Although optometry school applications encompass more than just a test score, the OAT is an important metric for admission. Therefore, it is best to look into the schools you want to apply to and check their admitted class profiles. You want to have an idea of what you are getting into and what score to aim for. This way, you can allocate enough time to find the right resources and properly prepare to excel on the OAT. Good luck!