OAT 2017: Survey of Natural Sciences

This is Part 2 of a series of breakdown posts that will outline the OAT 2017!


Ready? On the menu today: The Survey of Natural Sciences, which is the longest section of the test, both in time and in number of questions!

Survey of Natural Sciences is the first section of the OAT,

there are 100 questions, and you have 90 minutes.


Within the section, there are 3 sciences tested: Biology (40 questions), General Chemistry aka Inorganic Chemistry (30 questions), and Organic Chemistry (30 questions). The content of these questions is limited to the things you learned in your entire first-year course in biology, general/inorganic chemistry course, and the organic chemistry class. Basically this means no upper level concepts beyond what you saw in those courses.


The ASCO gives a fairly detailed list of topics within the subsections so you can really hone in on certain areas when studying. Check out each subsection topic breakdown and a couple ASCO-supplied sample questions below:

Biology, 40 questions

DAT:OAT biology topics

Sample Question: OAT biology sample

General/Inorganic Chemistry, 30 questions

DAT:OAT gen chem topics 1

DAT:OAT gen chem topics 2

Sample Question: OAT gen chem sample

Organic Chemistry, 30 questions

DAT:OAT org chem topics

Sample Question: OAT org chem sample


The Survey of Natural Sciences is first big hump in your OAT day adventure and it’s a doozy. The key is perfecting your time management to keep you calm so you can focus on the questions and not worry about running out of time. Practice and ace it with OAT Cracker, where you can take practice tests in each section with questions that look and feel like the real thing! Stay tuned for further breakdowns!


P.S. Here are the sample question answers:

10. C

47. A

89. D