Application Support

Optometry Admission Test (OAT)

All students applying to optometry schools must take the Optometry Admission Test (OAT). The OAT is an admission test designed to provide optometry education programs with a means to assess an applicant's potential for success. They must also complete the online, centralized application called OptomCAS.

The OAT costs $450 and is administered year-round by Prometric test centers in the United States, its territories (including Guam, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands) and Canada. The OAT is comprised of multiple-choice test items presented in the English language. The test is developed according to established test specifications.

The OAT consists of a battery of four tests on the following: Survey of the Natural Sciences, Physics, Reading Comprehension, and Quantitative Reasoning. In the OAT, both the U.S. customary system and the metric system (Imperial System) of units are used. 

The OAT allows for unlimited repeats; however, students must wait 90 days after three attempts and permission is required. There are numerous resources for OAT preparation and students should plan on spending about 2 months to prepare. 

OptomCAS 

The OptomCAS application will give students the opportunity to record and describe the development of experiences they engage in outside of the classroom as well as provide their academic course history with the colleges and universities attended. Each experience must be categorized using one of the categories provided by the application.  

OptomCAS Application categories:  

  • Biographical data 
  • Colleges and universities attended  
  • Academic course history 
  • Letters of recommendation 
  • Work experience 
  • Extracurricular activities 
  • Honors 
  • Personal statement essay 

Pre-optometry students should check with each Optometry School for deadline dates. It takes one year to apply to optometry programs. For example, if you want to start an optometry program in the fall term of a particular year, you should be applying to the program in the summer of the previous year.  

Submitting a professional school application can be a daunting task. The advisors in the PMHSC are here to guide students through both the preparation and application process. We have workshops on preparing your application for professional schools including Optometry School that would be helpful for pre-optometry students to attend. In addition, we have workshops on preparing your personal statement that would be beneficial for pre-optometry students to attend.