matardug

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Alright so here is my comeback story!


My background:


I went to a large private university and majored in biology. I took the DAT last year and scored a 17 AA (awful I know) with not one score above 20. I thought I worked hard, but the materials I had were not good in my opinion. I used Kaplan, Bootcamp, and Crack DAT PAT, bad decisions.


This time around I did my research on the materials that I should use thanks to people on SDN that posted their scores. I used Destroyer, Kaplan, Cliffs, Crack DAT PAT, and Math Destroyer


Here are my scores

PAT-21

QR-21

RC-20

BIO-28

GC-23

OC-23

TS-25

AA-23


Materials used rankings


Destroyer (10/10)


haha no but seriously, this book lives up to its hype and its not overkill (as some people say on SDN) by any means. I don’t understand why some people on here bash this book. It is an amazing resource when used correctly.


KBB (6/10)


I didn’t really find this book helpful other than gaining basic concepts on the DAT, its nice to go over one time in my opinion. I did however find it helpful (and accurate) in the PAT section so for the PAT section it gets a (8/10).


Cliffs (7/10)


This book is very dense and very detailed. I found it pretty hard to understand but I went through it once and found it helpful. Plus its not expensive, I would say its worth it.


Crack DAT PAT (5/10)


Personally I think you should save your money and not buy this product because I don’t believe that it accurately portrays the test. It’s a little pricey and they don’t give very good explanations to the answers. Kaplan was definitely a better representation of the test.


Math Destroyer (10/10)


Know the formulas and the types of questions used in this book and you’re golden.



Section Breakdown


PAT-21


I mostly used Kaplan because I didn’t like Crack DAT PAT, I did fine. Angles were a little tough (I always struggled with those) but the strategy I used was to skip to the angles, (Q30) and then do the test from there. Believe me you wont feel as time constrained doing it this way.


QR-21


Was a little nervous about this section. I wrote down like a million formulas from the Math Destroyer and finished with 2 mins. remaining. Math Destroyer is key in this section as I saw a ton of the same type questions.


RC-20


So it’s my lowest score, I’m not too upset as I didn’t even study this section. I used the search and destroy method and was happy with my score.


BIO-28


This is the section that I studied most. Destroyer is absolutely KEY in this section. When I said use correctly above ^^^ I mean a lot of the answers are all of the above, but you need to understand every single one of the statements. Every single one of my questions on the exam was covered in the book in one way or another. I went through the bio section of the destroyer 7-8 times thoroughly. Do this and it will pay off.


GC-23


Once again, just use the destroyer; it has examples of everything covered on the exam in one way, or another. Know the formulas used and when to use them. Know every concept in this book and you will be golden.


OC-23


Did I say it enough times? Get. The. Destroyer. (if you want to do well) The roadmaps in this book are AMAZING. I’m pretty sure there is “Orgoman” on the front of the book for a reason. If only I had this book when I was taking undergrad orgo. Know the roadmaps, know the concepts, and know this book and you will beat the science section of the DAT.


Summary:


So I went from a 17AA to a 23AA by using better materials and working my butt off for about 2.5 months. There is no substitution for hard work. I loved having SDN to give me encouragement about other comeback stories. I hope that I inspire others who have done poorly, to ace the DAT the next time.
 

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BobbyBeavis

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Sep 29, 2013
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Why did you not find boot camp useful?
 

dawg289

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That's unfortunate that you didn't find DAT Bootcamp useful. Bootcamp is not meant to be used as a resource immediately when you start studying for the DAT, but it's incredibly useful once you think you've mastered all the concepts and want to see how ready you are for the DAT. What is really ironic to me though is that you listed "Kaplan" and "Crack DAT PAT" as bad decisions for your first take, but you used those both again on your retake?
 
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matardug

matardug

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I took it in the morning! Why is it unfortunate that I didn't find it useful? I did fine without finding it useful! I didn't use it as a resource immediately either. I just didn't think it was an accurate representation of the DAT, which is what its supposed to be, so hence it was a waste of my money. I did think Kaplan was bad, but it definitely gives you some sort of a base to start on. You couldnt do well solely on kaplan in my opinion. Crack DAT PAT is expensive, but I already bought it last time I took the exam....so why wouldnt I use something I already paid for? It was okay for things like angles (any program could do angles) but not the really hard ones like TFE and keyhole.
 
Jun 10, 2014
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Great job!! I hope to do as well as you! My exam is coming up in less than two weeks! I've been focusing on the destroyer as well! I'll do as you did, hopefully, and come two weeks time. I'll be in your shoes!!
 
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matardug

matardug

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Thanks! I went through GC and OC like 5-6 times each, and I went through every single problem like any problem. The key for using the destroyer is after you check the answer (whether or not you got it right) treat every answer choice like its own problem, so 300+ questions are turned into many more. You need to explain to yourself why the other choices are wrong (such as why its anti-markov vs markov). There were a couple times on the test itself that I didn't know the exact answer, but I could eliminate all the WRONG choices because I knew why they were wrong.

Just work extremely hard at studying this next time, go through the destroyer a bunch of times thoroughly like I said and you'll do great. I've been in your shoes and it can be done. Good luck to you!
 

tooth knockn

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Did you study every day?
How many hours a week approx?
 
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matardug

matardug

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I studied a little bit every day.....there was no set schedule, when I had time I studied. I mean there were those days I would study 12 hours, but there were days with almost none. I brought my destroyer book EVERYWHERE (family parties, the bar, anywhere I could read a few questions here and there haha). Anything I didnt know for sure in the destroyer I would google or maybe watch a video.

If I were to estimate how many hours a week I would say close to 40 (like a full time job) I was lucky to have the luxury of not working while studying for this test.
 
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SyracuseOrange92

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I'm in a fairly similar situation that you were in. So I hope I can perform that well the next time. Was destroyer really the big difference maker in material that helped you do so well? I guess what I'm trying to ask is destroyer worth it (I didn't have it the first time)
 
Dec 11, 2013
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The DAT destroyer really make a HUGEEEEE difference in studying the second time I took the dat! I felt like I knew the material way better after going through it. I wish I bought it the first time!!
Congrats on the score! You are an inspiration to me since I am retaking it in January.
Quick Question. I have the 2012 Destroyer. Do you think I should buy a newer edition?
Thank you!
 

[DDS] Samer

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Feb 23, 2014
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Excellent scores. Any tips for RC?
 
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matardug

matardug

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Thank you both!
Longhorn-I actually have an older edition (2011 I think) along with my 2014 edition. I would highly reccommend getting the newest version of the destroyer as there were hundreds of added questions, some of which showed up on my test in one form or another.

Samer-I don't have any real tips for RC, I think the Search and Destroy method is best. I think I went over one or two articles in Kaplan.
 
Dec 11, 2013
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I see!
Now when you say added, do you mean they just added more? Or were all of the questions different between each versions?
Thank you both!
Longhorn-I actually have an older edition (2011 I think) along with my 2014 edition. I would highly reccommend getting the newest version of the destroyer as there were hundreds of added questions, some of which showed up on my test in one form or another.

Samer-I don't have any real tips for RC, I think the Search and Destroy method is best. I think I went over one or two articles in Kaplan.
 
Dec 11, 2013
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I mean they added more. There are hundreds of new ones so the book is a lot thicker.
I see. Thank you! Once again, congrats!!
 
Jan 16, 2013
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Congratulations! No job is very easy as many people think. You deserve the best scores!!
 
Sep 25, 2014
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Great comeback!
I took the DAT last year and also had a AA 17 :/
I am using the same materials as you did and I feel that this time around I will do a lot better. :)
Do you mind sharing what topics you had on the RC section?
Thanks and congrats again
:)
 

syeh3

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I'm also retaking mainly bc I screwed up the PAT first time
And can use 1 point higher on sciences
 

syeh3

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I got 19 TS/ 19 AA 20 Reading 19 OC 18 GC 20 BIO 15 PAT :( and 16 QR
 

syeh3

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I have the 2013 version however when I took my
First exam in July the questions weren't similar ... It was hard bc I felt not enough time
 
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matardug

matardug

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You see I thought I was one of those, but someone told me before this exam to make my weaknesses my strong points and you'll do better. So I did and look what happened. This exam is beatable, we have amazing resources to use. I have been in both of your shoes, work harder than you have ever worked before and kick this exams ass.
 
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syeh3

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Soy weakness is prob pat and maybe I can boost some chemistries too