How to Tackle Physics on the OAT

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Reviewed by
Dr. Ari Rezaei
Key Takeaway
Table of Contents


    Congratulations on your decision to begin studying for the OAT! One of the most infamous subjects on the OAT is Physics. Having trouble determining how to best approach studying for this portion of the OAT? Well, you’re in luck–here’s the guide for you! While you can adapt this guide to your own needs, this guide serves as a how-to to ensure that you are maximizing the most of the resources available here at Bootcamp. 

    Directly on OAT Bootcamp Physics, we provide ten practice tests and our comprehensive OAT Physics equation sheet found under our ‘Worksheets’ tab. 

    First off, I recommend you download and take a look at our OAT Bootcamp Study Schedule. This schedule serves as a checklist for you. Feel free to adapt the timeline to how you see it best fits your study plan. There are three major steps to tackling physics on the OAT:

    1. Content Review
    2. Equations Cheat Sheet
    3. Practice! Practice! Practice!

    Content Review

    For content review, start off by reviewing Chad’s Physics Videos. For a small additional charge, you can get access to quiz questions and supplemental outlines, but Chad’s physics videos are all free of charge to watch and that is all you really need to review the concepts. 

    If there’s a topic you don’t understand, utilize the web to learn more about the topic. I highly recommend this free college physics online textbook found on OpenStax. Be sure to take good notes and try to match the topics learned back to our OAT Physics Equation Sheet so that you can recognize topics and when to use what equations. 

    Equations Cheat Sheet

    Memorize the equations! And when I say “memorize,” I don’t just mean the formula. Our equation sheet is organized the way it is for a purpose. To the left, understand what each formula is used for. Additionally, within each topic, see how similar formulas can be manipulated to solve for other variables. To the right, pay attention to what each variable means. Don’t make the mistake of simply memorizing the fancy greek letters used in the formula. Understand what each variable means and also pay attention to the UNITS! Sometimes, if you’re ever stuck on a math-based physics question, units can help give you hints on where to start or what you are solving for!

    Practice! Practice! Practice! 

    Now that you’ve reviewed all of the content and have gotten all of the equations down pact ;), make sure to dedicate lots of time towards putting all of your knowledge to work. If you’re tight on time and don’t know what is best to prioritize, PRIORITIZE PRACTICING! By practicing, you are forced to think on your feet and when you answer a question incorrectly and review it, you are more likely to remember the content, the equation used, and how it all fits together, tackling the previous two steps all in one in this last step. 

    With that said, come back to the practice tests we provide and take a test or two untimed. Really go through the questions slowly and understand how to do them. If you’re ever stuck, your OAT Bootcamp Physics tutors are here to help you! Send them a message through the chat box icon that’s always there ready for you if you ever run into any questions. A physics tutor will get back to you as soon as possible with a thorough explanation, usually within 24 hours! 

    After you start feeling comfortable with the types of questions asked, use the remaining of the first five practice tests to time yourself and work on pacing. Once you’ve understood how the equations work, this is where memorizing is most important because you should now be able to start recognizing when to use what equation based on the identified key words in the question stems.

    Remember to save the last five physics tests for when you practice taking the full-length OAT Practice Tests. This isn’t a hard rule, but just a recommendation for you to keep in mind. 

    Final Words

    And that’s it! I hope this gives you a better idea of where to start on your physics studying journey and answers any lingering questions about how to utilize our resources. From here, you can adapt the guide based on your own needs. Just remember to take a deep breath and relax–you’ve got this!

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    Hannah Brein, DAT Bootcamp Student