Sep 27, 2019
42
29
Status
Pre-Dental
Hey guys! So I took the DAT recently and scored pretty well!!! I’m so relieved to have finally finished this exam, it feels like a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders, especially because this was the second time I took the DAT. The first time I took the test was in February, but I wasn’t prepared for it, yet somehow I still scored a 19AA. Sadly, I had a 15 on the RC section, so I decided to retake the exam. Here’s a comparison of my two test scores:

Biol – 21 → 26
Chem – 22 → 26
Orgo – 20 → 25
PAT – 22 → 25
RC – 15 → 24
QR – 19 → 27

The first time, I studied on and off between September to February using mainly DATBootcamp (I don't recommend studying like this). I also used DATDestroyer and PATBooster lightly during that time.

When preparing the second time around, I couldn’t afford to pay for Bootcamp again after getting laid off due to COVID and so I had to change my study strategy. I really crunched down and studied in March and April while extensively going through Feralis Biology Notes, PATBooster, and DATDestroyer. Then my test got postponed because of COVID, and needed extra practice. So I decided to buy DATBooster to get further practice before my new test date through a different resource. During this entire period, I locked myself in my room and probably studied twice as much as I did the first time. I definitely felt more confident the second time taking the exam.

My background
Majored in Psychology, Minor in Chemistry
3.76 GPA

Resources I used
DATDestroyer and MathDestroyer: 10/10

This is a must for the DAT! The first time I took the DAT, I barely used either destroyer books. This turned out to be my biggest mistake I made on my first sitting. The second time I took the DAT, I went through the book twice trying to understand missing gaps in my knowledge and understanding what questions I’m getting wrong. Dr. Romano also has some videos on YouTube that I thought were quite helpful. By the time I took my DAT, I went over every question twice. My only complaint is the questions in the destroyer book are much harder than what you need to know for the real DAT, but at the same time, that also ensures you would be prepared! Even though it was brutal going through the book, it was definitely worth going over it.

DATBooster and PATBooster: 9.5/10
I started off using PATBooster and then a month before my DAT, DATBooster came out. I was hesitant to get it at first, but I had an amazing experience with PATBooster, so I thought it would be worth trying. I’m glad I did because the practice tests were really representative to what I saw (I had extremely similar questions). Their solutions for the practice tests are really direct and easy to follow, probably better than the solutions for Bootcamp in my opinion. The reason why I didn’t give it a 10/10 is because it’s really new and they are still uploading content. The only downfall with the solutions is for general chemistry since they don’t have video explanations, and instead have Khan Academy videos associated with the question. They have a study schedule up as well, which looks like it is really attainable to do. But, considering the time I had left before my DAT, I didn’t follow the schedule.

Feralis Biology Notes: 9.0/10
These notes are really dry and tough to get through but it was honestly worth getting through. My only complaint is the organization of the notes, but I know Feralis is releasing his new notes on the DATBooster site soon so hopefully it improves.

DATBootcamp: 8.0/10
I didn’t use DATBootcamp other than some free practice tests on my 2nd attempt. However I did really like using it on my 1st attempt. Everything was very well organized and the study schedule was easy to follow. Regarding the solutions for Bootcamp practice tests, they were thorough, but definitely felt overwhelming at times, and that’s why I ended up liking DATBooster’s solutions better. I also didn’t like how the Bootcamp videos kept going on tangents and sometimes had filler content (like Joel’s PAT Academy). I felt like Shahed from PATBooster/DATBooster did a much better job explaining everything. I would have gladly used DATBootcamp again but the main deterrent of Bootcamp was the price.

Breakdown per Section:
Biol 21 → 26

I used the Bootcamp 120 page Biology notes last time and scored a 21. This time around I used Feralis notes and scored a 26. This time around, I tried spending time going through notes twice. After buying DATBooster, I realized that Booster has the more updated versions of Feralis’ notes, so I skimmed through them, but I felt pretty comfortable with my knowledge in biology and so I mostly focused on the practice tests and reviewing concepts I was getting wrong in the last three weeks. Writing stuff down helps me a lot, so anything I got wrong during the practice tests I made sure to rewrite and make flashcards to study from.

Chem 22 → 26
I started off by going over the Destroyer book once while trying to understand questions I was answering wrong. Any question I answered wrong, I would flag them and review them again thoroughly. It took a while but I managed to get through all of the questions in the Destroyer book whereas the first time around I barely got through half, which is where I went wrong! Dr. Romano also has some really good videos on youtube for some questions which were super helpful. After getting Booster, I went through their notes, which were great to review everything one more time, and then did some of their practice tests as well.

Orgo 20 → 25
Similar to GChem, I started with the Destroyer book for OC as well. It was brutal but worth it in the end. Once I finished those questions I did free practice tests on Bootcamp, and after purchasing Booster, I watched their videos, which helped clarify certain subjects a lot for me, and did their practice tests as well! For OC I definitely recommend to practice, practice, and practice!!!

PAT 22 → 25
PATBooster is definitely a must have to make sure you ace this section of the test. Their generators, solutions, and videos were all really helpful, and their team answered any questions I had. After writing the test the first time, I realized that the difficulty level of the questions on the DAT were more similar to the questions on PATBooster than the ones on DATBootcamp, which is why when studying for it the second time, I basically only used PATBooster. I also learned from PATBooster that you don’t have to go through the questions in order. That said, the most important thing I learned about the PAT was that practicing is the best way to get better.

RC 15 → 24
The RC section was my lowest score in my first attempt, which I was not expecting. I was averaging about 19 on the Bootcamp RC practice tests, but on test day I got nervous and spent too much time reading through the passages. Obviously, I ran out of time and it didn’t go well. So, the second time around, my main focus was getting more comfortable reading the passages quickly, and developing a method. Between January and May, I made sure to do a little bit of article reading a few times per week to improve my reading speed. Another thing I did differently was read articles that were not science related; when writing the test the first time, I found that the passages on topics I was completely unfamiliar with were the most challenging. I also read all the articles given on both Bootcamp and Booster’s websites, and completed the practice tests on DATBooster. All this practice helped me solidify a really good method where I first skim the article, highlight key words, and get an idea of where the information is located in the passage. This then helped me return to the particular part of the passage I needed to read in detail to answer the questions correctly. I also didn’t get a chance to go through all of Feralis RC videos on Booster but I watched half of the series and they were helpful by providing me some insight.

QR 19 → 27
QR is definitely something I am the most proud of since it went from being one of my weakest scores the first time, to my highest in the second attempt. The first time, I went through Bootcamp’s practice tests and that’s all the practice I did, which was definitely my mistake. This time around, I went through the MathDestroyer twice to solidify my understanding. With QR as well, I would say practice is probably the most important to score well, which was why I got DATBooster at the end of my studying to reinforce my knowledge. MathDestroyer definitely challenged me the most, forcing me to really sharpen my math skills, and I felt the questions on the actual DAT were slightly easier than Booster’s questions, making these two resources a really good combination. That said the booster tests were definitely tough and they gave me a walkup call a few times but that just pushed me to work harder. Compared to the first time I took the DAT, I would say I did about 3-4x more problems on my second attempt and it helped me really improve my speed. I had about 5-7 minutes to spare this time around. Also during my practice, when you got a question right, I would read over the entire solution. And when I got a question wrong, I would not look at the answer. I would highlight it on Math Destroyer and Booster to attempt it another day. I kept doing this until all questions were answered right prior to looking at the solutions.

Conclusion:
I think overall, DATDestroyer and DATBooster are definitely resources to purchase. There were times I questioned whether going though Destroyer was worth it, I’m glad i did looking back. I also wish DATBooster had been released sooner because I would have had a chance to go through all of it and it would have made my life easier going through it before going through Destroyer since it is dense. Booster did a good job condensing the information and focusing on the main points.

Looking back at my preparation, practicing and learning the information was what I found to be the most helpful for me. Any question I was getting wrong, I found it was important to re-write and make flashcards, watch youtube videos, or anything to help to drill it in! Don’t forget to break apart your study schedule as well. Don’t try to cram in 8+ hours of studying every day without breaks. The study schedules help because it prevents you from studying one subject all day; doing that and not taking breaks WILL lead to mental exhaustion, and the information will not stick!

If you’re taking the DAT soon, be sure to READ THE WHOLE QUESTION during the test! Do not skim through it, or think you recognize a question from a practice test and answer it based off of your memory. I made this mistake a few times and caught myself. Also try to get some extra sleep the night before the test. It is a long test with a lot of questions to answer, and you are probably far more prepared than you think you are as long as you studied productively and efficiently up until that point. You need to make sure you are focused and alert!

Good luck everyone!!!
 

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CJoxi

2+ Year Member
Mar 8, 2017
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Congratulations! You killed it!

Did you have to wear masks during the exam? I'm curious because my exam is coming up soon.
 
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Sep 27, 2019
42
29
Status
Pre-Dental
Congratulations! You killed it!

Did you have to wear masks during the exam? I'm curious because my exam is coming up soon.
Thank you. It was mandatory to have a mask at my location. Someone got turned away but luckily another person had an extra mask to offer.
 

Progeny

Davinci
Dec 31, 2018
35
15
Status
Pre-Dental
Congratulations! I'm retaking my DAT soon and I used similar resources (DATDestroyer and DATBooster) so I'm glad to see someone did well using only those two. How much of the content on DATBooster did you get through if you don't mind me asking?
 
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Sep 27, 2019
42
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Congratulations! I'm retaking my DAT soon and I used similar resources (DATDestroyer and DATBooster) so I'm glad to see someone did well using only those two. How much of the content on DATBooster did you get through if you don't mind me asking?
Hmm probably more than half due to the lack of time. If I had finished Booster, I would have definitely scored higher.
 

Orka

Have any questions? Ask me.
7+ Year Member
May 3, 2011
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Congratulations! I'm glad your hard work paid off.
 
Jun 17, 2020
6
3
Hi thank you for posting this. It's very helpful! Do you know where I can get Feralis notes from?
 
Jan 17, 2020
10
2
I'm glad someone has put up their experience with DATBooster, I appreciate someone being able to speak to its accuracy/usefulness after having taken the real thing! I also have Destroyer/Bootcamp/Booster and am trying to do as much practice before my exam in 5 weeks.

Did you feel that Booster was a little hard for QR or was otherwise overall projecting lower DAT results? The problems themselves are easy enough but so many of them require 1-2 minutes of working them out by hand that I'm consistently scoring 16/17's because I couldn't get to the last 5 or so problems. I didn't have this problem on Bootcamp for example where I averaged a 20 for QR. Similarly had a situation with the Chem section - after consistently scoring an average of a 21, I can't break an 18. I'm just wondering if this is a flaw in grading that you also experienced, or is just something I alone am experiencing and should be nervous about?
 
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Sep 27, 2019
42
29
Status
Pre-Dental
Congrats!! How close were you scores to the DATBooster practice tests?
Besides QR, I think I scored 1-2 points higher on every section on the real DAT compared to DATBooster. On QR, I scored about 5 points higher than the DATBooster tests.
 
Jun 9, 2020
8
2
Status
Pre-Dental
Wow! Those are great scores, congrats! I'm planning on starting to study soon for the DAT, so I'll definitely be looking into the same resources you used the second time around. I'm taking summer school right now and am planning to take the test in 3 months. Do you think I would have enough time to study for the test? Or should I not take any course in the second semester of summer school to focus only on DAT prep?
 
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Sep 27, 2019
42
29
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Pre-Dental
Wow! Those are great scores, congrats! I'm planning on starting to study soon for the DAT, so I'll definitely be looking into the same resources you used the second time around. I'm taking summer school right now and am planning to take the test in 3 months. Do you think I would have enough time to study for the test? Or should I not take any course in the second semester of summer school to focus only on DAT prep?
It depends on how your summer schedule is. If it's light, it's doable. Ideally I would recommend putting all of your time into preparing for the DAT with no other priority so you can give it your 100%
 
Jun 9, 2020
8
2
Status
Pre-Dental
It depends on how your summer schedule is. If it's light, it's doable. Ideally I would recommend putting all of your time into preparing for the DAT with no other priority so you can give it your 100%
Thanks! I was thinking of taking only one course, so I don't think it would be too bad. What was your school load and extra-curricular or work load like while you were studying?
 
Sep 27, 2019
42
29
Status
Pre-Dental
Thanks! I was thinking of taking only one course, so I don't think it would be too bad. What was your school load and extra-curricular or work load like while you were studying?
I didn't have much going on so it was manageable. Personally, I would recommend devoting 100% of your attention to the DAT. If you absolutely need to take the class, then make sure it's a light one if you want a high DAT score.
 
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Jun 9, 2020
8
2
Status
Pre-Dental
I didn't have much going on so it was manageable. Personally, I would recommend devoting 100% of your attention to the DAT. If you absolutely need to take the class, then make sure it's a light one if you want a high DAT score.
Awesome, thanks for the tip!
 
Aug 12, 2020
1
0
Status
Pre-Dental
That is so amazing! Congrats!1 I am starting the process of studying for the DAT which I plan to take next summer. How many hours a day would you say you studied for? Thank!
 
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