Today, we will be looking at the complete guide on optometry school requirements in this guide, to help those who are aspiring to study optometry know the right path to follow.
If there’s anything we’ve learned over the past few years, it’s that we need highly qualified medical professionals of every type.
Because they’re so important, medical professionals face one of the most difficult roads to degree and accreditation. And with good reason.
Not only is there no room for error when working on the human body, but there’s the constant need to keep up with evolving practices and innovations.
For that reason, it’s a challenge for anyone going into a medical field – not just doctors and nurses, but optometrists as well.
As health specialists, optometrists conduct eye exams using optometric equipment and general diagnostic interpretation, diagnose and treat ocular disease, and prescribe, fit, and adjust eyeglasses, contact lenses, and other vision aids.
Because optometrists serve such an important role, they enjoy a lucrative and stable career. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, people working as optometrists make on average $118,050 every year and the field will grow by 4% over the next few years.
Not only will future optometrists make good money, once they graduate, they will have a good chance of finding a job.
But graduating is the hard part, as is finding the right optometry school. Because they are fundamentally medical schools, optometry schools ask a lot of applicants.
This article takes you through each and every step. We will tell you which classes you should take, The OAT Requirements, how to fill out the OptomCAS, and so much more.
So if you’re ready to meet the challenge and make way toward your reward, read on!
1. Courses Required for Optometry School
Because they are graduate programs, every optometry school requires applicants to hold a bachelor’s degree. \
However, the good news is that they don’t require a specific undergraduate degree. Even if your degree was in English or Fine Arts, you could still apply to optometry school.
That said, experience in some courses will indeed stand out more than others. Specifically, the courses covered in the Optometry Admissions Test (OAT) will not only carry more weight with admissions counselors, but they will prepare you to pass that exam with a higher score.
These classes include the following: two semesters of general chemistry, two semesters of organic chemistry, an introductory course in organismal biology, an introductory course in cellular & molecular biology, and two semesters of physics.
Furthermore, most optometry schools look for students who have passed specific science courses during their studies. These courses provide students with a broad scientific basis, which one needs for success in the program.
The courses include two semesters each of general and organic chemistry, an introductory course to psychology, two semesters of English composition, three semesters of biology, a microbiology course, two semesters of mathematics, two semesters of physics, and a statistics course..
2. The Optometry Admissions Test (OAT) Requirements
As you might expect when trying to enter a graduate program, most optometry schools require students to take a standardized exam.
The Optometry Admissions Test (OAT) is the exam that programs use to assess an applicant’s skill level. In particular, the test looks at the scientific knowledge a student has acquired over their undergraduate studies.
The OAT consists of four major sections. In the first section, students have 90 minutes to answer 100 questions that survey all of the natural sciences.
This section is broken into three subsections of biology, general chemistry, and organic chemistry. Students must answer 40 questions in the biology subsection, and 30 questions in the general and organic chemistry subsections.
The second section tests students’ reading comprehension, giving them 50 minutes to answer 40 questions about pieces of content. The exam will present students with three passages, usually from scientific articles.
Each question will require students to demonstrate their understanding of the passage and their analysis of the scientific information. Physics is the focus of section three, as students have 50 minutes to answer 40 questions.
The final section covers quantitative reasoning, and students have 45 minutes to answer 40 questions. These questions include both mathematical problems and applied mathematical problems.
After completing the OAT, students will receive their scores. Scoring of the exam ranges from 200 to 400, and the 50th percentile is set at 300
3. How to fill out the OptomCas
A key aspect of entering optometry school is the Optometry Centralized Application Service (OptomCAS).
Although not all programs require that applicants use it, the OptomCAS allows students to file one application and send it to multiple programs.
With the application, students can submit to several programs their biographical data, colleges, and universities attended, academic course history, letters of recommendation, work experience, extracurricular activities, honors, and a personal essay.
The OptomCAS simplifies the application process for both students and programs. For admissions counselors, OptomCAS keeps all the information in the same place, which makes it easier for them to find what they need.
At the basic level, students must complete the OptomCAS application, which collects personal information, grades, work history, and more.
Students will then use OptomCAS to acquire transcripts from all applicable schools. The OptomCAS also allows students to collect up to four letters of recommendation. Finally, students must pay an application fee to use the OptomCAS.
While the OptomCAS unquestionably simplifies the application process, it doesn’t make everything happen immediately. It still takes time to gather all of the information, and you’ll need to give your recommenders time to write their letters.
You should begin registering your OptomCAS account at least three months before the application deadline.
You should also contact your recommenders at that time and keep them informed of any deadlines. With this three-month lead, you’ll have plenty of time to gather your transcripts and craft excellent answers to the application prompt.
Letters of Recommendation
As the discussion about GPAs shows some parts of an application for optometry school matter more than others. Few are as important as letters of recommendation.
Letters of recommendation matter because they are personal. In them, important people talk to one another about your qualities and abilities. It’s like an introduction at a party.
As a result of that, successful students work hard and plan early to get the best letter possible.
Too often, students make easily avoidable mistakes when getting their letters ready. They either ask for letters from professors who gave them low grades (A is ideal, a B is the absolute lowest) or from profs who don’t know them well enough to write with authority.
All you have just read on optometry school requirements is all you need to know to make your admission process easier for you. Don’t fail to send your questions to us, if you have any.
Last Updated on December 23, 2022 by Admin