2024 DAT Breakdown (27AA/26TS/22PAT)

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Jake Neill

New Member
May 20, 2024
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Hi there! I just took my DAT last Friday and wanted to share some of the wisdom I have gained from the process. I have read many of these posts over the last few months and I want to pay it forward so hopefully y’all don’t have to struggle as much as I did. Below you will see a breakdown of how I raised my score.

PAT - 22
Quantitative Reasoning - 30
Reading Comprehension - 22
Biology - 23
Gen Chem - 30
O Chem - 30
Total Science - 26
Academic Average - 27

Study Materials Used:
1) DAT Booster – This program is brilliantly designed. The communication team has great customer service and really makes students feel important. The tech team is quick to fix any bugs and is consistently implementing student feedback. It was crazy that some of the suggestions I made were actually implemented into the program. Lastly, the tutors were phenomenal. They responded quickly with helpful, detailed responses. I would highly recommend that you guys send them questions and use the AI bot when you do not 100% understand. Also, if you purchase the 90-day (12 week) membership, use the 10-week study plan. Doing that allowed me to take Sundays off (or use it as a catch-up day). It also front loaded the hard part earlier in the semester, so I was just doing review when my classes got more intense.

a) PAT (22) - The generators and question banks were closely representative of what I saw on the real exam. Highly recommend doing 5-10 questions from 3 sections one day (angles, pattern folding and keyhole) and then do 5-10 questions from the other 3 sections (hole punch, TFE, cube counting) the next day. You can skip days but not longer than a week. I skipped two weeks during finals and regretted that a week before to the DAT because I was struggling to finish in the allotted time. I was able to cut my time in half by going with my gut on the angles section. Usually, I would spend 40ish seconds on each angle questions, but if I stuck to my gut, I’d save 20 seconds. Doing this gave me a lot of extra time on the hard sections (keyhole and TFE were mine). Also, do the easiest sections first so that you get the points you know you can get. Then, do the harder ones. By doing this I was able to spend longer on the more difficult sections and raise my subsection score. I started at a 18 and earned a 22 on the real thing.

b) Quantitative Reasoning (30) – The questions on the practice tests were similar or higher difficulty than the real test. I would recommend looking at the solutions to EVERY question (even if you got it right). Sometimes you’ll learn a new method that’ll save you 30 seconds and ever second counts. Just a disclaimer, I was a question off of getting a perfect score on the math section of the SAT, but DAT booster was a good review. If you need “quick and dirty” tricks for answering standardized math questions fast, I’d check out “SAT Prep Black Book” by Mike and Patrick Barrett. They have great tips that greatly helped me with the DAT.

c) Reading Comprehension (22) – The first time I took a practice test I bombed it and only got half the questions right. I combined some of the strategies that Booster recommended and it brought up my score a ton. The first 60ish seconds, I would preview the first 5-8 questions. Then, I would read the first half of the passage and then highlight things I thought were important or answers one of the questions. Then, I would attempt to answer the first 5-8 questions (making sure to double check the passage for each…it is so easy to fall into answer traps). If it did not look familiar (i.e. not in the first half of the passage), I’d skip it. After answering what I knew, I would preview the rest of the questions and read/highlight the second half. If I was low on time, however, I would spend 90 seconds reviewing all of the questions and then read/highlight the entire passage. Then, I would speed run all of the questions. It is crucial to review the questions before reading the passage, because it is easy to passively read and miss the details they will ask you about. Also, if you cannot find the answer in the passage within 50 seconds, skip it and move on. More likely than not, you’ll find the answer when you are searching for a different question. The DAT similar to my prep except that the questions were not evenly distributed like DAT booster (not 16-17-17 but instead 13-20-17). I saved myself though because I previewed the questions and was able to pace myself accordingly.

d) Biology (23) – Biology was a beast. I am a biochem major, but some bio classes did not prepare me well for the DAT. About 4-5 weeks before the test I was making 16-18 on the biology section. I thought the notes on Booster were wonderful and they really encompassed what was on the test; however, the bullet point formatting was not as helpful (for me personally) on the human body systems (the rest of the notes were great). So, I borrowed some textbook from my school that nicely summarized the body systems in paragraph form. The weeks leading up to the exam, I would read the summary paragraph from the textbook and then test my knowledge using 15-20 of the bio bit questions. Once again, read the right and wrong answer descriptions regardless of if you got the question right. More often than not, I would find an area that I needed review on. That process really helped me fill in all of the gaps I had in biology. Do the same for the practice tests. If you do not like to read, what the bio review videos at two times speed. They are so helpful and, in a minute, or two taught me more about the topic and helped me find week areas.

e) Gen Chem (30) – I went through the videos and questions following DAT Boosters study schedule and then reviewed all of the question banks throughout the month leading up to the exam. Note: the second time you go through the question banks, you do not have to answer all of the questions. For example, I would click the shuffle button and do five questions. If I got an 80%, I would move on. This allowed me to target my studying to what I struggled with most. There were some sections I did all 10 sample questions. I think their resources were more than enough to ace gen chem.

f) O Chem (30) – I made a B in organic 2, so it really is possible to raise your score greatly. The amount of time spent on o chem is truly dependent on how well you remember the reactions though. I forgot many of them, but I grinded DAT Boosters practice questions and videos for the first 60 days and then reviewed all of the question banks again throughout the last 30 days. For reactions it is really helpful to look for patterned on the reaction document. For example, I went through and highlighted all of the anti-Markovnikov that we have to know. After doing this, I realized there were only 3-4 that I had to know and several of them had some type of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2 or R-OO-R). Seeing patterns like this helped me to remember the tedious reactions. Note: when you have no idea what a reaction does, think “what would make since given what I have seen before.” That saved me on the practice exams and on test day.

Ending Advice
• Overall, DAT booster was very similar to the real exam. The only thing that was really off was the score system. I was getting a 21AA or 22AA on my last 4 tests, yet I scored much higher than that. The point is that Booster holds you to a higher standard and will prepare you to ace the exam. So, don’t give up even if you are consistently bombing a section because you can recover. It is never too late to raise your score. I made a 7-point jump in biology over the last 4 weeks. So, don’t give up and keep pushing every day.

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