The process of applying and getting accepted into Optometry School is a long and extensive process that requires months of effort and dedication. Many individuals do not realize that all Optometry Schools require the OAT (Optometry Admissions Test) exam to be taken as part of the application. The OAT exam can be thought of, in a similar sense, to the SAT for undergraduate or the MCAT for Medical School. Adequate preparation for the OAT exam requires approximately four months of studying with 4 hours per day five times a week. There are several organizations, such as Kaplan and Princeton Review that offer in-classroom or online review courses, as well as review materials to assist in the preparation. When the day of the exam finally comes, there are a few simple steps to follow to ensure quality performance.
- Get a good night of sleep
- Eat a healthy and filling breakfast
- Do not study the morning of the exam
- Stay calm and relaxed. You have put in ample amount of time and effort into preparing, and you are more than prepared.
- A little amount of test anxiety is normal and ok!
- If you get distracted or discouraged during the exam, take a few deeps breaths, close your eyes for a few seconds, and remind yourself why you are sitting there taking this exam.
However, the OAT exam is just a fraction of the application for Optometry School. In addition to preparing for the exam, the application needs to be completed on a site called Optomcas. All 21 Optometry Schools are registered on this site. Along with the general Optomcas application, each school will have a supplemental application that will need to be completed, as well. After submitting all the application materials, you will start hearing back from schools regarding interviews. The interview is the final step. Once the interview process is over, the acceptances will start rolling in. While this process is time-consuming process and can be stressful and most definitely frustrating at times, it is important to keep reminding yourself why you even began this process in the first place. You began because you are passionate about becoming an Optometrist and you care about improving the quality of life for individuals through improving their vision.As someone who just recently completed the process of applying to Optometry School, I can confidently say that as long as you put your mind to it and are fully dedicated, it can and will all get done, and it will feel amazing once it is complete. I am currently taking a gap year before I head off to Optometry School, and I recently got hired by Optix Family Eyecare as an Administrative Assistant. I have only been at Optix for two months now, and I already feel part of the team. I have learned a great deal of information since I have been hired, and I am confident that Optix, over the course of the next year, will provide me with valuable experiences and knowledge that I can carry on with me to Optometry School. After only these two months, I have learned so much about the field of optometry and working within an Optometric practice.