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Best OAT Prep Courses
Learn more about our top-rated OAT prep courses and study materials
Over the last few years, we have purchased, used and reviewed a number of OAT prep courses and bundles of study material (including standalone prep books). In this guide, we rank the best three OAT prep resources we’ve found based on a full evaluation of factors, including course design, practice work realism, instructional effectiveness, cost, and more.
OAT Bootcamp gets our top grade because, frankly, they just do everything incredibly well. Here’s a quick break down of how this course works. From a high-level point of view, OAT Bootcamp is effectively a massive collection of OAT study materials.
They offer video lessons, written study notes, work sheets, question banks, full-length tests, subject-specific tests, strategy guides, and a few other features. Organizationally, it’s all grouped by subjects tested on the OAT: Biology, General Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, Reading Comprehension, Physics, and Quantitative Reasoning.
Thus, you essentially have subject-based learning modules where all of the different study materials are bucketed. For example, under the Biology module, there are Biology-related Practice Tests, Question Banks, Quiz Questions, Video Lessons, Notes, Flashcards and Strategy Guides.
In other words, you’ve got a bunch of study content, all categorized out based on tested subjects (except for the full-length practice tests as those touch on all topics). Then, overarching everything in the course is the study schedule. This is a critical part of the program.
OAT Bootcamp gives you a PDF study schedule that guides you through all of the study materials in a very specific order. It gets very granular by providing a day-by-day breakdown of exactly what you need to be completing and when.
To summarize, you follow this checklist-style study schedule and work your way through all of the study material in the course over 10 weeks or so.
An average day can take anywhere from 2.5 to 6 hours depending on how quickly you move and what you’re learning. That’s more or less how it works. You take it day-by-day, and work your way through all of the material and practice work, with the schedule being pretty back-weighted for full-length practice tests.
In terms of the highlight reel, there are four big reasons we recommend using the Bootcamp course. The first reason is the practice material. It is highly realistic of what you’ll see on test day in terms of question difficulty, content, and structure. It’s close to (if not the) best in the space.
The second highlight is their video content. OAT Bootcamp has really good content-based video lectures, and the video-based solutions to problems are incredibly helpful.
Then third, their chemistry material must be called out. If you struggle with chemistry, you have to go with OAT Bootcamp. Chemistry is kind of their specialty, and their lead chemistry instructor, Dr. Mike, is fantastic.
Then the final benefit of using Bootcamp is cost. The primary OAT Bootcamp study package costs $500, which isn’t necessarily the cheapest course in the space. However, it is a very solid value. It costs a few hundred dollars less than Kaplan’s course, and it’s pretty reasonable given all of the material and support they provide.
Plus, I would just note that despite the pretty approachable price point, Bootcamp still frequently run sales and special promotions, and a lot of times you can find their course on sale, so make sure to check for coupon codes. You can usually save around 10% on the Bootcamp package.
Our second-highest rated prep program comes from OAT Booster. In short, they’re a great budget alternative to Bootcamp. OAT Booster is a lot like OAT Bootcamp, but costs about $150 or so less. Let me break down how their course works.
In terms of organization, like OAT Bootcamp, Booster is also essentially a massive collection of OAT study materials. You get study notes and cheat sheets, video lectures, practice problems, full-length tests, flashcards, and a few other features.
Plus, again like Bootcamp, all of the material is grouped by OAT subject: Biology, General Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, Reading Comprehension, Physics, and Quantitative Reasoning. In other words, the setup is basically the same.
Now, without any clear instruction on what to study, this would give the course a sort of disjointed feel because material is somewhat scattered. However, tying everything together is the study schedule. Booster gives you a 10-week study schedule that guides you through all of the study material in a sequenced order.
It literally line items out every task, and it is very thorough. It is basically the glue that holds the course together. Much like Bootcamp, you follow the study schedule and work your way through all of the materials in the course, including video lessons, practice sets, study notes, and more.
An average study day takes around 3 to 5 hours depending on how what’s on your plate and how fast you’re moving, so it does require a solid amount of commitment.
In terms of Booster’s advantages, there are four noteworthy items. The first is their study notes and cheat sheets. Booster has the best written study materials in the space, plain and simple. They layer visual elements into all of their notes for demonstrating key points, and they are super detailed. They’re great for text-based learners.
The next benefit is their video content. Like Bootcamp, OAT Booster has very good video lectures for content review, and their video-based problem breakdowns are really insightful.
Then lastly, we must discuss their value price point. At $349 for the premium package, Booster is a killer bargain. They clearly are the value prep provider in the OAT prep space and they offer a ton of bang for your buck.
Plus, like Bootcamp, OAT Booster is also pretty good about running sales, so make sure to check for coupons. We frequently see their course discounted by 10% or more with a code.
Kaplan’s OAT prep program is likely the most comprehensive and material intensive course we’ve reviewed. Here’s how the course works.
The Kaplan OAT study materials are broken out into different “courses” for each of the six subjects tested on the exam. This is the same as the other two companies on this list. They all structure their materials by subject. However, here’s where Kaplan differs.
Within each subject-based course, Kaplan has a number of modules to complete. Some courses have only a couple of modules, while others (like Biology) have close to ten. In any event, each module is comprised of a number of assignments and different types of study material.
Just about every module starts by having you read a chapter from the Kaplan e-book, and from there, there is a mix of tasks. You watch video lessons, work quizzes of varying difficulty, read through “ReKaps” (quick and simple explainers like condensed notes), and sometimes even review 3D models.
It’s a very diverse mix of assignments in each module. However, that’s just the self-paced materials.
Around this, Kaplan also offers several live classes per week, which is totally unique. These classes are more like livestreams on specific test topics and you can drop in and out as you want. They are totally optional.
Then finally, near the middle-to-end of the course, you’ll start taking full-length mock exams. Those are back-weighted as you get closer to exam day.
Now, if that all sounds like a lot, it’s because it is. Kaplan is very material and time intensive.
In terms of the major advantages with Kaplan, there are two very big ones. The first is that Kaplan offers live classes while the other two ranked companies here do not. Thus, if you’re more of a live class-type student because you thrive in that environment or want the commitment that with live classes, then Kaplan is a great bet.
Similarly, if you’re going to absolutely immerse yourself in prep, Kaplan probably has more material than OAT Bootcamp and OAT Booster combined. Basically, at $700+ for their course, Kaplan is more expensive than the other two companies, but they also give you a lot more material and the live classes add a lot of value.
Here are some parting thoughts. If you want or need live classes for your OAT prep, you have to go with Kaplan. They’re a great choice for students that need structure and a ton of immersive prep work.
Alternatively, if you’re trying to prep on a budget, we really like OAT Booster. They’re a lot like OAT Bootcamp, but you get their course for roughly two-thirds the price. Think of them as OAT Bootcamp lite. They’ve got great video content and realistic practice work, but the program is just a little less robust.
Lastly, if you simply want the best overall and highest-rated prep course, that is OAT Bootcamp. They do everything incredibly well. From their video lectures to their problem explanations to the quality of the practice work, it’s all very well crafted and housed in a sleek program. OAT Bootcamp is our editor’s choice pick and they get the highest grade.
What is the best OAT test prep material?
Prep courses are generally superior to prep books, as they provide video-based instruction and practice problem question banks. We have reviewed a number of the most popular courses and ranked them in our guide.
How long is the OAT exam?
The OAT exam takes approximately five hours to complete. This includes optional surveys and a 30-minute break. Be prepared for a long and taxing test day.
Which company has the most realistic OAT practice exams?
Though it’s a very close call, we rate OAT Booster as having the most realistic OAT practice exams. The content, difficulty, and length of their OAT practice problems is the best match for the real thing.
What is the best OAT prep course?
After using and reviewing a number of OAT prep courses, our top choice is OAT Bootcamp. Bootcamp gets the highest grade in large part thanks to their realistic practice material and high-quality video instruction.
How much does the OAT exam cost?
Sitting for the OAT exam will cost you $500. That is the exam fee. This covers the cost of sitting for the exam, as well as the cost of sending your scores to the optometry schools you select when you register.
Are OAT study books or courses more effective?
On the whole, OAT prep courses will provide you a more comprehensive and effective means of preparing for the OAT. Books often lack some necessary material, such as question banks.
What are the best OAT study materials?
Study materials come in all shapes and sizes, but generally speaking, prep courses are the best form of prep. They contain video lessons, practice problems and study guides.