7 Best OAT Prep Books (2020)
The Optometry Admission Test (OAT) is an exam that optometry schools across the nation require students to take before admission.
With four primary subject areas and deep roots in science and critical thinking, the OAT covers a lot of information. Our best OAT prep book selections can assist you in your studying process by explaining fundamental concepts and offering sample tests to reinforce what you’ve learned.
The Best Books to Prepare for the Optometry Admission Test
Table of Contents
- Top 7 OAT Prep Books
- OAT Prep Book FAQ
- Is the OAT a required exam?
- What subjects are included in the OAT?
- What’s the best way to study for the OAT?
- How long should I study for the OAT?
- What should I look for in an OAT prep book?
- Can I use an old OAT test prep book to study?
- Do OAT practice tests reflect the actual exam?
- How many times can I take the OAT?
- Conclusion: The Best OAT Prep Book
Top 7 OAT Prep Books
The following are our selections for the best OAT prep book options you can use to complete your studies:
1. OAT Prep Plus 2019-2020
This book is a one-stop resource for students preparing to take the OAT that includes two full-length practice tests to help you review its material.
Publisher: Kaplan Grad Test Prep
Number of Pages: 1104
Our Grade: A-
Although anyone studying for the OAT should expect to use a variety of study materials to prepare for the exam, the OAT Prep Plus 2019-2020 edition from Kaplan Grad Test Prep is one of the most comprehensive test prep books you’ll find.
This book has it all, from guided and informative explanations of each subject area you’ll find on the OAT to two full practice exams to test your knowledge of what you’ve learned.
We also love that this book includes 16 pages of full-color study guides to help you study and remember critical concepts that you’ll need to understand for OAT success.
Although OAT Prep Plus 2019-2020 doesn’t stray far away from its previous version, it does align with the most current OAT guidelines and content to ensure accurate and efficient studying.
- Includes test-taking strategies
- Each subject has more than 600 practice questions with full explanations
- Full-color study guide sheets
- Simplified explanations of concepts
- Not much of a change from the previous edition
- Some content seems repetitive
2. OAT Prep Book 2019 & 2020
OAT Prep Book 2019 & 2020 packs in a lot of information to assist your understanding of the OAT’s sciences, reading comprehension, and reasoning sections.
Publisher: Mometrix Media LLC
Number of Pages: 511
Our Grade: B+
Not to be confused with the similarly-titled book from Kaplan, OAT Prep Book 2019 & 2020 comes from Mometrix Test Preparation and offers a more concise overview of the subjects and concepts you can expect to find on the OAT.
Still, this book is anything but lacking in information. You’ll still find plenty of material to enhance your studies, such as testing tips and strategies, explanations of concepts and procedures, supplemental video links, and practice questions with answers and guided walk-throughs.
- Simplified content and explanations
- Includes information and strategies for all four subject areas
- Access to video tutorials
- Separate sample tests for each subject
- A lot of text without many diagrams, illustrations, or charts to supplement your reading
3. Cracking the OAT
This updated version of Cracking the OAT features expanded content, end-of-chapter summaries, and graphics and illustrations to support all types of learners.
Publisher: The Princeton Review
Number of Pages: 528
Our Grade: B-
Cracking the OAT comes from Princeton Review, an authoritative resource in the education space. This second edition has taken what worked from the first edition, expanded it with new, more informative material based on feedback and current OAT guidelines.
If you’re someone who struggles to learn independently, this book could help you work through challenges. It not only has sample problems throughout each section, but it also offers step-by-step explanations for solving them and chapter summaries to reinforce the material.
- Several diagrams, tables, and charts to supplement the content
- About 250 practice questions
- Includes updates that reflect recent OAT changes and feedback from students
- More in-depth coverage of physics than other subjects
- Practice tests are only online
4. OAT Secrets Study Guide
This basic study guide could be a good one to add to your arsenal if you want basic concept coverage to streamline your study time.
Publisher: Mometrix Media LLC
Number of Pages: 420
Our Grade: B-
OAT Secrets Study Guide is designed to set you on the path to OAT success without overwhelming you with material.
This book is smaller than more comprehensive guides, but it’s intended to be more concise, covering the most critical, necessary information in the OAT. You’ll also have access to hundreds of practice questions covering each subject area.
- Includes links to supplemental online videos for further review
- No extraneous information; simplified for quick studying
- Tests for all four subject areas
- Organization of material could be better
5. OAT Practice Questions
If you’ve studied for the OAT but want to feel more confident before completing your exam, you could get an extra boost from this book filled with sample questions from the OAT.
Publisher: Mometrix Media LLC
Number of Pages: 144
Our Grade: C
OAT Practice Questions is a full book of questions based on the material you’ll find in the OAT, making it an excellent choice for supplemental learning material to help you during your studies.
The questions in this book tend to be less complicated than those you’ll find on the OAT. Still, they can test your basic knowledge of OAT subjects and concepts to keep building your confidence as you prepare to sit for the OAT.
- Detailed explanations for answers
- Answer keys for all questions
- Questions categorized by subject
- Focuses only on questions rather than study guides and information
- A bit outdated
6. The Gold Standard OAT Physics
The physics section of the OAT gets broken down and simplified in this subject-specific study guide.
Publisher: Ruveneco Inc
Number of Pages: 236
Our Grade: C
Many takers of the OAT often regard the physics portion as one of the most difficult to get through.The Gold Standard OAT Physics test prep book focuses solely on the physics portion of the exam to strengthen your understanding of its key concepts.
We’d suggest opting for this book if you’ve already studied with materials that cover all OAT subjects, yet you feel like you need a little more practice with physics.
- Excellent practice questions
- Includes links to forum threads to discuss material
- Has tips for acing your admissions interview
- You’ll need other study materials for comprehensive studying
- Lacking in study guides and information
7. Optometry Admission Test (OAT) Passbook
The Optometry Admission Test (OAT) Passbook is a concise test prep book that covers the very basics of the exam.
Publisher: National Learning Corporation
Number of Pages: 422
Our Grade: C-
If you’re looking for the mostthorough test prep book for the OAT on the market, you’re probably not going to find it in the Optometry Admission Test (OAT) Passbook. The book does target all OAT subject areas, but with more of a summary format than thorough explanations.
However, this book could be a useful beginning study preparation guide to introduce you to the concepts you’ll find on the exam. It could also be an excellent study guide for you to use along with more comprehensive prep books, giving you access to hundreds of more questions to supplement your learning.
- Up-to-date content
- Hundreds of questions and answers across all OAT subjects
- Step-by-step guidance
- Not as in-depth with content as other test prep books
OAT Prep Book FAQ
The following answers to frequently asked questions about the Optometry Admission Test (OAT), studying for the OAT, and OAT test prep books can offer some helpful information as you decide on the best route toward studying for the exam.
Is the OAT a required exam?
The OAT is an exam that all optometry schools in the United States require their students to complete as part of the admission process.
The test covers several areas of study that optometrists need to learn before they begin their optometry careers. Therefore, the OAT provides a good indication of whether a student has successfully mastered each area before accepting them into the program.
Most optometry schools will consider your OAT score in addition to your admissions paperwork, essay, transcript, and other documents that denote your academic ability.
However, scoring higher on the scaled scoring system of 200 to 400 can benefit you and your application.
What subjects are included in the OAT?
The OAT covers four primary subject areas necessary for a deep understanding of the sciences and concepts that surround the field of optometry:
- Natural sciences
- Reading comprehension
- Quantitative reasoning
The natural sciences portion of the test includes biology, general chemistry, and organic chemistry, while the quantitative reasoning portion includes mathematical calculations and word problems.
Some OAT test prep books include study guides and sample tests for each area of the OAT. Others focus on only a singular subject, which could be beneficial for you if you need a little extra help in one area.
What’s the best way to study for the OAT?
Studying for the OAT is something students entering an optometry school should be serious about.
A motivated and dedicated attitude can help you succeed in the exam. Some students might find that an accountability partner can help them stay on track with their study goals.
The best way for you to study for the OAT could look different than ways other students choose to study.
Still, many students find that a test prep book dedicated to the OAT and its subject areas can be beneficial in the studying process.
These books provide you with informative material you’ll need to know for the exam while preparing you for the test with sample questions.
You can also supplement your studying with online courses and videos, written notes, or handmade flashcards, depending on your preferred way to study.
How long should I study for the OAT?
The length of time you should devote to studying for the OAT depends on several factors, including:
- Your learning style
- How quickly you pick up material
- How much time you have to spend on studying
- Whether you can devote specific blocks of time to studying
- Your study habits
You should prepare to spend at least several days per week studying for 3-4 hours per day for 2-3 months leading up to the exam.
You might even choose to begin 4-5 months ahead of time to ensure that you have extra time to review materials and study concepts you aren’t entirely confident in yet before taking the OAT.
What should I look for in an OAT prep book?
Some OAT prep books cover all four subject areas for the OAT, while others target specific subjects. If you want a general guide to the exam, you should choose a book with all the subject areas included.
If you have already studied for the exam but want to focus more on a specific subject area, a subject-specific book can help you do that.
Other key features to consider in an OAT prep book include:
- Sample questions and answers
- Practice tests
- Fair pricing
- In-depth instruction and study guides
- Study guides and practice tests from experts in the OAT
- Study and exam-taking tips from experts
Most test prep books don’t offer all of these features, but many do include several of them.
Can I use an old OAT test prep book to study?
The Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry (ASCO) updates the OAT regularly to align with current best practices in optometry. Therefore, it’s important to use test prep books that reflect the most recent exam changes to subject matter and questions.
Test prep books you find in a library, or even some bookstores, could be outdated by several years. It’s best to look for a book with a publishing date or year within the last five years and even better if it’s within the last one or two years.
Do OAT practice tests reflect the actual exam?
If you purchase an OAT test prep book from an authoritative educational company that sources experts in the optometry field, you will likely find that the practice tests are similar to the actual exam.
What you shouldn’t expect is exact replicas of questions you’d find on the OAT in your practice exams.
Instead, you’ll see questions covering the material you’ve studied in similar ways as the questions on the real exam. They’ll test your knowledge and understanding of information and apply it to other concepts.
The practice exams in a test prep book should help you feel more confident in your ability to take the OAT.
How many times can I take the OAT?
There is no limit to how many times you can take the OAT.
However, you must wait at least 90 days before testing attempts. This waiting period gives you more time to study and review materials before you retake the OAT.
Colleges and universities will usually use your highest score out of any of the exams you take, even if your most recent score wasn’t your best.
Conclusion: The Best OAT Prep Book
We hope that this guide helps you find the best OAT prep book for you and your study habits to lead you to success with the OAT. However, it’s important to remember that you shouldn’t rely solely on the book for your study process.
An OAT test prep book can be an excellent study supplement as you prepare to take the OAT. You can also take advantage of online tests, library resources, and independent research and study guide creation to solidify your knowledge in each subject area.