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OAT Bootcamp Review
Full analysis of the OAT Bootcamp program after using it to prep
OAT Bootcamp is one of the most popular courses on the market for OAT prep; however, at $500+, it is not a cheap investment. Not to mention, you want to make sure you are using the best possible resources to prep for the OAT. In this review, I break down how this course works, what features you get, how the price compares to other courses, and of course, I’ll give you my thoughts on whether I think it’s worth it.
Given that this is a lengthy post, we’ve included jump-to links above for your convenience.
Video: Is OAT Bootcamp Good?
In the video above, John from the Test Prep Insight team discusses the pros and cons of the OAT Bootcamp course. For more detail, be sure to continue reading our full written review below.
OAT Bootcamp Program Overview (i.e. How It Works)
Let’s jump right into my review with an overview of how the OAT Bootcamp course actually works. Looking at the organization of the course from a high level point of view, OAT Bootcamp is essentially a massive collection of study materials. Here are some of the features and different materials:
written study notes
strategy guides, and
a few other small features
Generally speaking, all of these materials (except for the full-length practice tests) are grouped by subjects tested on the OAT (meaning Biology, General Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, Reading Comprehension, Physics, and Quantitative Reasoning).
So you’ve essentially got these six modules, where all of the different study materials are stored. For example, in the Biology module, you will see all of the Biology-related practice tests, question banks, quiz questions, video lessons, notes, flashcards and strategy guides.
You probably get the picture. There is a ton of study content, all categorized based on tested subjects.
Without any guidance or instruction, if you were just dropped into the course, this does give the program a sort of unstructured feel. You wouldn’t really know where to begin. However, wrapped around everything in the course is the study schedule. This is a critical piece of the puzzle.
The Bootcamp team gives you a PDF study schedule which guides you through all of the study materials in a very specific order. It gets very granular and provides a day-by-day breakdown of exactly what you need to be completing, even including which days to rest.
In short, 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 studying.
If you want to move slowly and methodically, and review every last scrap of information, it will take you closer to 6 hours each day, but that’s not always the case.
I think that’s a good high-level summary of how OAT Bootcamp works. You take things day-by-day and work your way through all of the practice work and study content, with the schedule being fairly back-weighted for full-length practice tests.
OAT Bootcamp Cost & Course Options
Before we dive into what I like and don’t like about OAT Bootcamp, let’s briefly discuss the different course options that Bootcamp offers, as well as how much they cost. In short, you have two options:
Bootcamp Pro costs $499 and gives you access to almost all of their study materials for 90 days (the one thing you don’t get is a bundle of five extra full-length practice exams).
Bootcamp Plus costs $899 and kicks in those five additional full-length practice tests, plus gives you 180 days of access.
In essence, for $400 more, you double the access period to six months and get some extra practice work. Whether that upgrade is worth it just depends on your individual study timeline and needs.
Putting these price tags in context, Bootcamp costs about $200 less than Kaplan’s self-paced course, yet costs $150 more than the course from their next closest competitor, OAT Booster.
Thus, Bootcamp is sort of in the middle of the pack when it comes to cost. It’s not the most expensive or least expensive. However, do be sure to check for OAT Bootcamp discount codes.
What We Like About OAT Bootcamp
Now that we’ve covered how the program works, as well as how much it costs, let me break down a few things I really like about OAT Bootcamp, as well as a few things I didn’t really like. Let’s start with the positives.
Study How You Learn Best
The first thing that I really like about Bootcamp is how they take multiple approaches to teaching the same content. Rather than taking a one-size-fits-all approach to teaching, and only delivering one means of content review, Bootcamp basically allows you to review how you as an individual learns best.
For Organic Chemistry, as an example, you can get your content review by reading a condensed outline of high-yield chemistry notes, watch video lessons from their chemistry guru Dr. Mike, do “reaction bites” (short quiz questions with video explanations), or work test-like practice problems and review your answers.
Essentially, you learn however you want based on whether you’re a visual learner, text-based learner, or experiential learner. And even if you don’t necessarily learn any better one way or another, seeing the content from different angles like this really drives home material retention. I very much liked this aspect of the course.
The second highlight of the OAT Bootcamp program is the question tagging system. This is pretty unique. As you work through the practice material, after each question, you mark the problem as Learning, Reviewing, or Mastered. This is pretty much just what it sounds like.
You essentially categorize your practice material based on how well you know it as you go. That way, as you get closer to test day, you can circle back to your weaker spots marked with a red Learning tag and make improvements for some last minute gains. I thought this was a cool and useful function.
Next, I have to note that Bootcamp’s videos (both the video lectures and the practice problem video breakdowns) are very good. On the point of video lectures, I really liked how Bootcamp has designed their on demand video lessons.
They’re very punchy and to-the-point, and don’t waste your time with a lot of fluff or unnecessary info. Plus, the production quality is very strong.
Second, I also like the problem explanation videos. Basically, for most questions in the program, there’s a video breaking down the problem and explaining how to get to the solution.
Most other prep companies only provide text explanations, but I’m a huge fan of video solutions, especially for visual learners. These 2-3 minute videos explaining practice problems are awesome.
Lastly, the final highlight I want to call out is Bootcamp’s bundle of practice tests. I personally think Bootcamp has done a really good job mirroring the real exam.
The questions are a dead match for the difficulty, content and length of real problems, and even the interface looks just like the real Prometric exam. This allows you to practice under real test-like conditions, which is a huge benefit.
Overall, I give OAT Bootcamp very high marks in terms of creating realistic practice work.
What We Don’t Like About OAT Bootcamp
Now that I’ve laid out the reasons why I like Bootcamp, let me next break down the shortfalls of this prep program as I see it.
No Integrated Study Plan
My first real complaint about Bootcamp is the study schedule. As noted, I generally like the task-based list they give you each day, but the issue I have with it is that it’s not well integrated into the program. The study schedule is a separate PDF file that you have to print out and follow along in on the side.
You essentially use it to cross-reference what you should be working on, and then drill down to the materials within the portal. As I noted, the Bootcamp program is much like a library of materials, and the schedule directs where to go each day to find your assignments.
It’s not that bad, but I would rather see Bootcamp integrate the schedule right into the homepage of the online portal and make it the backbone of the course.
If they had an interactive schedule right at the top of the homepage where you just clicked to link over to your work for the day, that would be a nice efficiency gain and make the program feel more cohesive. Kaplan does it that way and I really enjoy that aspect of their course.
No Live Classes or Office Hours
The next negative with this course is that there are no live classes, or even live office hours for that matter. Everything in the Bootcamp course is on demand and self-paced.
If you’re good with that structure and don’t want live classes, then disregard this point. That being said, I do think there is value in live classes, especially if you’re the type of student that struggles to get motivated and stay committed on your own.
Without a fixed class schedule, there’s nothing truly holding you accountable to your studies. Of course, the study schedule is intended to provide just that, but it is just self-driven at the end of the day.
No Printed Study Materials
Lastly, I’d like to see Bootcamp include some written materials with their course. Everything in the program is digital and accessible through the Bootcamp portal, which makes it easy to study on the go, but I do think there is a benefit to printed materials.
You can highlight key points, drop in post-it notes, and make notes to yourself in the margins. I might be somewhat old school in this sense, but I know others are too, so I’d like to see Bootcamp roll up all of their text-based materials (like notes, study guides and outlines) into a comprehensive, printed text.
Verdict: Is OAT Bootcamp Worth It?
OAT Bootcamp is definitely one of the better courses I’ve used and reviewed. The videos lessons are fantastic, with tons of detail and great production value; the practice problems are highly realistic and come with solid explanations; and although I don’t like that the study schedule comes in a separate PDF, it is great for holding your hand through the material.
Therefore, at the end of the day, I have no hesitation using Bootcamp to prep for the OAT. I think it’s a very effective course and a really good value at around $500.
Is OAT Bootcamp worth it?
After using and reviewing the OAT Bootcamp course, I do think Bootcamp is a good course and worth the investment (from both a time and money perspective). The video lessons are very good, the practice materials are realistic, and I love the focused problem solutions.
Is there an OAT physics bootcamp?
Yes, the OAT Bootcamp course covers physics. Because physics is one of the six tested subjects on the OAT, Bootcamp gives it some pretty solid coverage. I especially like the physics problem explanations.
How much is the OAT Bootcamp upgrade?
The paid membership upgrade with OAT Bootcamp is fairly reasonable in terms of cost. You can upgrade to OAT Bootcamp Pro for $499 (90 days of access), or you can upgrade to OAT Bootcamp Plus for $899 (180 days of access and five extra full-length practice exams).
Are DAT Bootcamp test questions like the OAT?
I’ve seen this question pop up a lot on reddit. Yes, there is significant crossover between the DAT and OAT. Many of the bio and chemistry topics tested on the exams are identical, as well as reading comprehension and quantitative reasoning. As such, Bootcamp uses their study materials for both exam courses.