Aug 21, 2019
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  1. Pre-Dental
Hello all, I recently took my DAT in January on the 25th. It was a long and time consuming road, but I believe the results speak for themselves. I'd like to share my timeline and method of preparing, and what I would do differently for preparing for the DAT.


Initially I gave myself 7 weeks to study for the DAT, but halfway through I decided I needed more time and rescheduled for a week later. This extra week was crucial, so I would plan on using 8 weeks at minimum unless you are very recently finished with the topics covered on the DAT. I had last taken the relevant courses 2 years prior to the exam, so they weren't clear and I had a lot to relearn.

My background: I completed a biology and german dual major, with a 3.62 GPA, nearly one year before the exam. Due to my major, most of the material was taught to me well, so this allowed me to take less time studying for the DAT.
Timeline: I took 8 weeks of studying. Every day was no days off, except for 2 at Christmas. I made sure to study or practice at least 7 hours each day, but many were in excess of this. I gave myself breaks every two hours for 15 minutes before resuming.
Chad's Prep: Chad has for free right now on his site DAT exams, these are great extra practice, and every question has a quick answer video that can help explain. I used Chad's free videos to relearn general chemistry before practicing. I also in the last two weeks bought his refresher course. I would also recommend these since they come with rapid refresher videos intended to refresh students who have already learned the material for their final exams, very similar to the DAT in this manner. It also comes with practice tests.
DAT Booster: I used DAT Booster with the included PAT generators to prepare. They have a study guide that I followed every day. I would basically be able yo complete tI underutilized the PAT resources, and I paid for it by "only" getting a 21. I know I could have made a better score, but I only completed three of the (I believe) 10 practice exams and got complacent with my skills in this section. That is a major pitfall.
AVOID COMPLACENCY, always practice everything: some things you can practice less than others. For example, I was good with periodic trends and acid base equilibrium calculations after a while, so I would then refocus on things, such as electron configurations, that were still vexing me while performing daily maintenance type practice at the end of my days. Now back to Booster.
I would fully recommend this to any future test taker. The practice exams, especially the newer ones they added in December were very representative of the actual DAT.
As for material being retaught, the general and organic chemistry sections have very high quality videos from Professor Dave on youtube to help you refresh, as well as there being PDFs to read of the topics with some practice questions.
The PAT section was high quality, but I also didn't use it to its full capacity, definitely don't neglect this section when preparing.
Booster also has additional practice question banks that are different from their practice test questions, which can give you even more exposure to the material.
They have videos for every section explaining strategies for them. For example the math section will tell you if a question is particularly hard, and if so that you might skip one if you anticipate it taking more than a minute.
DAT and Math Destroyer: these are both very good due to the sheer quantity of questions you get. They are more difficult than the real exam (same for Booster), and you get hundreds for each exam section. It's not good at reteaching you anything, but it is irreplaceable due to how much practice you gain from it. After a while of using these books, you get fast, and speed kills the DAT. I found myself finishing every section with 10-15 minutes to spare for review if I needed, or to answer questions that stumped me, which there was only one of.
Summary: treat it like a job, it's over as soon as it begins. I got my highest score in biology at 27, which actually surprised me. Of the science sections I thought it would be lower than ochem. So high scores are definitely possible, I never once got an A+ in a BCP course, which is what I would think a 27 is on this exam. So, don't slack off, but also don't wig yourself out if something seems poorly understood, just keep going and try your best for a 30.
I'm serious there, I was aiming for a 21 before taking. I was thinking to myself and telling everyone how that was my goal.
Use Booster, Destroyer, and Chad's Videos and free DAT exams. Consider subscribing to Chad's videos for like 5 dollars a month. Anything else isn't really even needed if you apply yourself fully.
My printed out scores got dirty so I don't want to share that sheet, but attached is my audited report from ADEA.
What would I change?
Not much, I would give myself 9 weeks rather than the 8, one more week would have been good.
I would have joined the DAT Destroyer FB group earlier for the extra daily questions from Romano.
I would spend more time on the PAT practice exams. The generators are good, but the keyholes were too simplistic compared to the more complex shapes on the DAT. The practice exams had more convoluted shapes.
I would buy a more recent Destroyer set, mine was from 2015 and outdated.
 

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