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DAT Breakdown - 2 months, solo study

Discussion in 'DAT Discussions' started by scsc7211, Mar 25, 2012.

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  1. scsc7211

    scsc7211

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    23 PAT
    24 QR
    22 RC
    24 BIO
    20 GC
    25 OC
    23 TS
    23 AA

    First things: I posted my scores last week as I left for spring break, so that part might be redundant. Considering how much I referenced the SDN forum during the 2 months of study, I hope I can help at least somebody with a more complete break down. Thank you all again for the openness and help whenever I needed a hand.

    Study time: 2 months (first 2 weeks while taking a class and working full time, and the last 6 weeks during a full semester. Just in case anybody has doubts about whether its possible to study during the semester, I have still been able to make midterm A's. It definitely required an unusual amount of time, focus, and determination, but this is one of those things worth sacrificing for. (On a side note, I also unknowingly lost 15 pounds from a healthy 185, which my family pointed out when I finally came back home for break.) :laugh:

    Prep Materials:
    ***CHADS VIDEOS*** (10/10)
    -CHADS Quizzes (10/10)
    -2012 DAT Destroyer (10/10)
    -Alan's Bio Notes, heavily modified to 50 pages (10/10) (Can be found here: http://forums.studentdoctor.net/showthread.php?t=968243)
    -Cliff's AP Biology (9/10)
    -datQvault (9/10)
    -CrackDAT PAT, Ace Edition (9/10)
    -Topscore Practice Exams (9/10)
    -Kaplan White Review Notes Book (8/10)
    -2009 ADA Paid Exam (7/10)


    PAT (23): Studying for this section consisted almost entirely of CDPAT. I purchased the 10-test Ace edition, which I found to be more than enough practice. My scores started around 17, and by the last six, I was scoring anywhere from 20-24. I found the angles and the pattern folding in the actual DAT to be just as hard, or harder, than those in CDPAT. Everything else seemed to be on par. I substituted in a CDPAT test for the PAT section in each of the three Topscore practice exams.

    QR (24): I didn't study all that much for this section. While I was a beta tester for datQvault, I completed all of the tests, and found them to be a great representation of the material on the actual exam (Qvault may have been slightly harder). Additionally, I did about 50 problems from the 2012 DAT Destroyer and was sure to learn from all of my mistakes on that and the Topscore exams. The key here is to not waste time continuing to practice problems you already know how to solve (which seems obvious, but is an easy mistake to make). Learn from mistakes, clarify problems that are challenging, and when you come to a question that stumps you on the real thing, GUESS, MARK, and MOVE ON!!!

    RC (22): I did two full length practices for this section. The RC section from Topscore seemed pretty on in terms of difficulty, however, I did have a few tone questions on the actual exam. My strategy consisted of reading the entire passage and writing down two or three key words from each paragraph. I used the last 7 minutes of my break to set up columns labeled with numbers 1-15 corresponding to the passage paragraph numbers, which seemed to be a decent strategy.

    BIO (24): My major helped for this section, however, I still had to study balls to the wall here. I haven't taken Anatomy or Physiology, so much of my time was spent exposing myself to that new material. In the first two weeks, I did 3 datQvault exams to gauge where I needed to focus my effort. My predicted scores were all 17 or 18, and after 2 weeks of studying the Chem sections, I decided it was time to conquer the beast. I spent the next 4 weeks going section by section through Cliff's AP Bio and the 2009 Kaplan Review Notes. ***I found it vital to use both, as each was missing information the other contained. Additionally, having Wikipedia and youtube open for reference was extremely helpful for clarification. Finally, I kept a copy of Alan's Notes open on my computer, adding sections, information, and important figures as I went. This 50 page monster was the only thing I studied from in the last 2 weeks. By that time, the final 7 datQvault scores predicted anywhere from 22-24 DAT scores, although Topscore was not quite as optimistic (18-20). Topscore did not seem to be a great predictor of score, though it was effective at pointing out weaknesses. I wouldn't be too worried about the extremely specific classification questions on the Topscore exams, as the one classification question on had on the real thing was very straightforward.

    GC (20): This score is something I could see coming as my DAT approached. I spent my first two weeks of study watching and taking meticulous notes on every one of Chad's videos, following each video with the corresponding quiz. I kept all of these notes in a binder, and shoved it aside to make way for the next 4 weeks of bio study. I can't say this was a total mistake, but I definitely did not leave myself enough time to go back over the notes and quizzes in the final 2 weeks. I feel like I didn't do justice to the quality of Chad's notes, but I suppose something has to give, and for me that happened to be the amount of GC study. I also did the first 250 problems in the 2012 Destroyer, which I found to be really helpful. The main lesson I learned here is to always keep topics fresh in your mind, even if all that means is setting aside 15 or 20 minutes per night to look over notes and keep "older" ideas fresh.

    OC (25): Almost an identical story to GC, as Chad's videos, note-taking, and quizzes were all completed within the first 2 weeks of study. The final 3 weeks were spent doing the first 250 problems in Destroyer and redoing Chad's quizzes. My strategy here was basically to make a notecard for almost every important reaction from Chad's notes, the Topscore exams, and from datQvault. I did all of Chad's quizzes over again in the last week. As the exam neared, I culled my stack of notecards down to around 30 that were still not completely solid in my head. By exam day, I felt well prepared. Again, nearly all of the information you will need is concisely and clearly presented in Chad's videos for $30!!!... undoubtedly the highest return on investment, imho.

    Upshot: I am convinced that anybody who is willing to throw down and study like a madman/woman is capable of scoring well on this exam. Utilize your friends and family to maintain your composure, surround yourself with the materials recommended on SDN, and the results will follow. If I missed anything, or if anybody has specific questions, just let me know. Best of luck to those still studying!!
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2012
  2. SexyMariGal

    SexyMariGal

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  3. sagarkanodiya

    sagarkanodiya

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    Congratulations, your hard work reflects your score. I know you mentioned that you studied while taking classes, can tell me how many hours did you put on weekends? If possible can you please send me your bio notes that you modified from Alan's notes.
  4. invictusx

    invictusx

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    Fine scores!
  5. hamptongirl

    hamptongirl

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    Awesome scores! Congratulations :)
  6. scsc7211

    scsc7211

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    Thanks to everybody for the positive feedback!

    SexyMariGal: The notes in the link you posted are exactly what I started with. The most useful part was actually the 4-week long process of making them into my own.

    sagarkanodiya: As soon as classes were done on Friday, I would typically study a focused 6 or 7 hours. If I didn't have an exam coming up in one of my classes, which was the case two of the weeks, I would study anywhere from 15 to 20 hours between Saturday and Sunday.
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2012
  7. Surive123

    Surive123

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    Great score man! Do you think DatQVault is worth it for the GC and OC?
  8. beansandberries

    beansandberries

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  9. ToBeDDSS

    ToBeDDSS

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    I want those scores When I take mine :D:D
  10. Dotoday

    Dotoday

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    Congratulations. These are nice scores, and a very good breakdown. What do the numbers, like 10/10, 9/10 after each prep material mean? Is that how you rated them? Again, thank you for the awesome breakdown. With these awesome scores I believe you should hear from some schools soon.

    Sent from my MB855 using Tapatalk
  11. DAT12

    DAT12

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    Congrats man some amazing scores there!!!!
    Hope everything works out for you. You are a very determined person and that can help you later on
  12. scsc7211

    scsc7211

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    Thanks again for all the congrats!

    Dotoday: Those were my rankings out of 10 in regard to how helpful I found them.

    I hate to say no to giving people my bio notes, but I don't think I could sleep at night if I didn't get in and I had given them out. If I do get accepted, I'll be much less apprehensive about giving them away. Again, I don't mean to be selfish or anything, I just don't want to hurt my chances in any way while I'm applying at the same time as you guys. :D On the other hand, I'll never turn down any question!
  13. r4nb

    r4nb

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    Lol :D

    Congrats on the terrific scores!!
  14. biomolecmed

    biomolecmed

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    Wow, Congrats. Nicely done. Awesome scores.
  15. scsc7211

    scsc7211

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    Thanks a lot guys. I'm looking forward to moving on to the next phase of the process with you all.
  16. biomolecmed

    biomolecmed

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    Wow, you pulled off a miracle. Honestly, did you sleep at all. What is your secret? What did you eat that did not make you sleepy and what did you drink to keep yourself awake?
  17. scsc7211

    scsc7211

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    Hah, thanks biomolec! I would like to think that it wasn't a miracle, but rather the result of two months of hard work :). I slept fairly well (6-7 hours a night), and chose to sacrifice other parts of life for a while. I went out on the weekends one time during those two months, and would spend most of my free time outside of class/lab/work in the library studying. I was definitely eating less since I didn't have time to cook for myself, but I tried to keep what I did eat healthy. When I needed a kick to stay awake (which was often), I alternated between Caribou Mahogany blend coffee and Monster energy drinks. Good luck studying!
  18. biomolecmed

    biomolecmed

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    I hears of Monster. Never heard of that coffee blend. Thank you for the tip. What school are you looking to get into?
  19. scsc7211

    scsc7211

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    It must be regional, and I would love to be accepted to any of the schools I applied to.
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2012
  20. carlfusco

    carlfusco

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    I had my doubts about studying for the DAT midsemester, but your success during fulltime work and school has inspired me to start up. I think I'll begin on Monday!
  21. scsc7211

    scsc7211

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    I'm glad to hear it. It's tough when all of your friends are hanging out or you just want to veg out all day during the weekend, but the reward at the end of the process is well worth it. Best of luck to you, and feel free to send me a PM at any point.

    Sent from my SPH-D700 using SDN Mobile
  22. carlfusco

    carlfusco

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    Thanks man, much appreciated. One question - how did you schedule out the study materials? I'm in the process of accumulating all of the books/subscriptions, but actually creating a study schedule seems a little daunting. Did you start with any particular material and save any others for the end??
  23. EpicDentist

    EpicDentist

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    If you could post a schedule that would be awesome. Nice scores btw.
  24. DrivingCruising

    DrivingCruising

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    I agree. Very well done.
  25. scsc7211

    scsc7211

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    Thanks guys/gals. I can see how the schedule isn't exactly clear in my breakdown, so I'll try to lay it out...

    My approximate 8 week study schedule with full course load:
    Weeks 1-2:
    -Chad's OC and GC videos (extensive notes and all quizzes)
    -3 datQvault Biology exams (to identify points of concern)
    -2009 ADA paid exam (to get a feel for DAT)
    -CrackDAT PAT (1-2 tests per week)

    Weeks 3-6:
    -Cliffs and Kaplan Biology studying (as outlined above)
    -Put together my own beefy Modified Alan's Notes (will share with anybody who might want them upon acceptance :))
    -CrackDAT PAT (1-2 tests per week)
    -Various datQvault QR, GC, OC and Bio exams (had access as a beta tester)
    -Topscore exam during week 6

    Weeks 7-8:
    -Begin retaking Chad's OC and GC quizzes (should have done this a little earlier)
    -DAT Destroyer (worked ~250 problems each of GC, OC and Bio)
    -datQvault (remaining 7 Bio exams)
    -2 Topscore exams
    -CrackDAT PAT (1-2 tests per week)
    -Modified Alan's notes (flipped through to keep concepts fresh once a day)

    Let me know if you have any other questions!

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