Applying to Optometry School: OptomCAS Personal Statement Writing

In case you missed the memo, the OptomCAS aka the big dental school application for next fall is officially opened! The Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry (ASCO) uses the OptomCAS aka the Optometry Centralized Application Service as a general application when applying to Optometry schools and it allows you to use one application to apply to multiple of any of the 21 programs in the U.S. If you’re planning to apply for Fall 2015, it’s time to start the process and by the way there is a PERSONAL STATEMENT required **cue the music** Although the essay is about YOU, you still have an agenda: it still needs to be written in a professional manner and highlight your professional skills, experiences, and interests. That doesn’t have to be so scary! Think of it kind of like answering that classic job interview inquiry: “Tell me about yourself.” Oh no. Did I just make it worse? **cue the music again**

tell me about yourself

Your OptomCAS Personal Statement is a place for you to “describe what inspires your decision for becoming an optometrist, including your preparation for training in this profession, your aptitude and motivation, the basis for your interest in optometry, and your future career goals” oh and do it in under 4,500 characters (including letters, spaces, punctuation (like on twitter)), which is only about a page long. So exactly why are you are seeking a optometry education? You need to articulate that you motivated, academically prepared, plus knowledgeable and passionate about the profession. This can be a little tricky; the key is balance. You want to sell yourself professional while remaining personable. By no means is this a creative writing piece; you want to be clear, concise, and professional. Keep in mind: optometry schools are making first judgments on you based on the OptomCAS application, and the OptomCAS Personal Statement is the ONLY place to make a case for yourself IN YOUR OWN WORDS!

One especially cool thing about the OptomCAS is that your Personal Statement is a school-specific question in the application. This means you can tailor your essay to each program you’re applying to and talk about specifically why this school is the best fit for you!

Remember that you’re selling yourself as a great addition to the profession. This is where you talk about your strengths, passion for the field, and all your extra-curricular hard work you’ve done in preparing for optometry school (and let’s face it also for this particular essay here).

Three key points to hit:

o   Why Optometry? – The lifelong childhood dream is all good and fine really but if that’s not the case be candid and honest and talk about your road to discovery, that’s interesting! Your journey to writing this OptomCAS Personal Statement may be long and winding. How did you land on optometry?

o   Shadowing or Assisting Experience – Talk up your observation hours in a optometry’s office setting and how these times increased your knowledge and understanding of the field. These experiences show you really know what’s like in the real world application of the optometry school.

o   Volunteerism – show your interest in working with/for the community and commitment to helping other. It’s important to include both volunteer activities that are relevant to the field and even some that isn’t. For example, working at an animal shelters shows your well rounded not just in a pre-opt mode all the time. Also include the volunteer work related to the optometry profession that you may have done with a Pre-Opt society (that’s how you work that you were active in the club in the essay too)!

The ole phrase “writing is rewriting” rings true here this case. Have a trusty professor or an optometry professional read it and give you feedback. They know what admissions committees are looking for and have insight on how to relate your experiences to the field. Final piece of advice: you can still upgrade your OAT Cracker account and unlock the all the practice tests for $49 instead of the regular $99 sooooo go do that and you’ll have gleaming OAT scores to match this beautiful essay!

Applying for Optometry School: OptomCAS Opens July 1st!

Question: Why did the phone wear glasses? …Because it lost all of its contacts!
**Pause for laughter and/or crickets**…so with that out of the way, we can get down to business.
Better Question: Did you know the OptomCAS officially opens July 1st? The Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry (ASCO) uses the OptomCAS aka the Optometry Centralized Application Service as a general application when applying to Optometry schools and it allows you to use one application to apply to multiple of any of the 21 programs in the U.S. Basically unavoidable, so get to know it in and out because it’s time to apply!


First thing’s first, you’ll need to create an OptomCAS Portal account here starting July 1st! OptomCAS allows optometry applicants to use a single web-based application and one set of materials to apply to multiple optometry schools and colleges. There are sections for your personal and contact information, academic history, a personal essay, and even your DAT scores but remember OptomCAS will not determine whether an applicant has met the optometry school or college requirements or is eligible for admission. That decision will be made by each respective school or college you send the application to. In addition to your OptomCAS application, some schools may require you to submit a supplemental application and an additional fee so read application instructions for each school carefully. Also be sure to check out the OptomCAS FAQ page, here.

When completely the OptomCAS there is a $155 application fee to apply to one school and then an additional $55 for each school after that. Here’s a handy chart in figuring out cost of applying to several school, here. If you wanted to apply to all 21 programs in the country it was cost a whopping $1255, whoa. In fact, the whole application process can quickly become pretty expensive with taking the OAT, completely the OptomCAS, then individual schools secondary application fees, traveling to interviews, etc. so you want to do your research and narrow down the programs you really want to apply to.

With all this expense, here’s a little secret to ease the load: Want to get 30 FREE days added onto your OAT Cracker account? Mention “OATCracker” on any forum, mention it in a blog, refer a friend, Facebook post to your pre-dental society, etc. and we will add 30 extra days to your account! Email us through our website ( so we can help you out for your upcoming Optometry Admission Test. PLUS right now you can gain an edge on your OAT for only $49 instead of the regular $99. With all the stress of applying to optometry school don’t let the OAT be one of them. Ace it with OAT Cracker! You see? These are the benefits of reading the blog and putting up the cheesy eye jokes, like so:

03-12-12 One-Eye

In review, applying to optometry school with the OptomCAS officially commences on July 1st and get 30 FREE days added to your OAT Cracker account to ace the admissions test!

Prepping for the OAT!

Summer time is here and it is a great time to start preparing for the Optometry Admission Test aka the OAT! Yes, you need to start prepping now! No really, you do and your summer can still be awesome! We suggest at least three months of preparation before tackling the OAT in all its glory and summer is really a perfect time to start! With the right kind of preparation you can spend more time poolside and still be ready for the test! The OAT is really like four tests on Natural Sciences, Physics, Reading Comprehension, and Quantitative Reasoning and takes nearly five hours to complete. Whew, at least they won’t be testing you on the impossible mystery that has stumped optometry for years: Arthur and his magic glasses. See below.

First thing’s first, you should read the Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry aka ASCO’s Guide to the OAT here. If after reading that over this seems like a daunting task, that’s because it is. So what do you do? Do you need to buy a really big book or fancy software? The better way to prep for the big test is with OAT Cracker aka the smart and affordable way! The practice tests on OAT Cracker are designed to look and feel like the real OAT and are made to match the difficulty level. So you are really practicing for test day both in content and in design! OAT Cracker has got you covered, offering practice tests by each subject and even splitting the Natural Science section into Biology, Organic Chemistry, and Inorganic Chemistry. There are full score reports so you can pin point your weaknesses and there are clear explanations to each question. Plus there’s support 24/7/365 to help you all along the way. Log on now to take a practice freebie test and see for yourself! P.S. you can unlock all the practice exams right now for $49 instead the regular $99. P.S.S. once you log in, scroll to the bottom of the Take OAT Tests page and find ways to knock off even more off that price!

No bummer summer here, you can still have a relaxing break and get the edge over the OAT with lots of practice! So take advantage of OAT Cracker and the limited time price to unlock all the tests to get started practicing! Also might as well admit it now, this blog is bound to have lots of bad eye jokes. Sorry not sorry.