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5+ Year Member
May 20, 2018
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Scores: PAT 23, QR 27, RC 30, Biology 25, GC 23, OC 30, TS 26, AA 27

Feel free to message me with any questions on applying or anything! I’d love to help out.

Time Studied: 1 month
Hours per Day: 6 to 12 approximately

Materials Used
-DAT Destroyer
-Math Destroyer
-General Chemistry Destroyer
-Organic Chemistry Odyssey
-DAT Bootcamp (all practice tests, biology notes, PAT generators)
-Feralis's Notes
-Russelldw's Notes
-Mike's Videos for OC

A Chronology of my Studying for Each Section

-Failed and gave up at reading Feralis's Notes since they are way too dense to go through without previous knowledge
-Read over DAT Bootcamp's biology notes like 3 times with varying intensity and made note cards of everything I didn't remember on the 3rd passthrough
-Reviewed note cards (approximately 500 of them) and found them useful
-Read over Feralis's notes intensely and highlighted things I had never heard of
-Read through DAT Destroyer biology and looked at each answer after each question
-Began taking DAT BC's biology tests; day after I would take notes on useful concepts in a notebook while thoroughly reading every explanation to every question
-Once finished with DAT BC's biology tests, took them again to make sure there were no questions I didn't understand on a second attempt
-Review notes from DAT BC's explanations
-Read through Russelldw's notes
-Read through DAT Destroyer biology again
-Read over Feralis's notes again with less intensity day before exam along with reviewing DAT BC's taxonomy cheat sheet

General Chemistry
-Read through General Chemistry Destroyer
-Read through DAT Destroyer general chemistry section and looked at the answer after doing each question
-Began taking DAT BC's chemistry tests; day after I took notes on concepts I didn't understand enough
-Once finished with DAT BC's chemistry tests, took them again to make sure there were no questions I didn't understand on a second attempt
-Read over my notes on concepts I didn't understand
-Read through DAT Destroyer general chemistry section again
-Read over DAT Destroyer general chemistry section once again

Organic Chemistry

-Completed Organic Chemistry Odyssey and looked at the answer after each question
-Watched Mike's videos (2x speed) from DAT BC and took notes during them
-Read through DAT Destroyer organic chemistry section and looked at the answer after each question
-Read through DAT Destroyer organic chemistry section again and tried to understand problematic questions
-Reviewed DAT Destroyer road maps before bed on approximately 10 separate occasions
-Reviewed DAT Destroyer road maps just before my exam

Reading Comprehension
-Read over maybe 6 science daily articles in total
-Began taking DAT BC's reading tests with the intent to try out methods; I quickly found that the method where you map 1/3 - 1/2 of the article and then try to answer questions was by far the best for me (it raised me from 19-20 to 23-26 on DAT BC's tests)
-Read over a few of the post-test explanations for DAT BC's tests, but found them generally inapplicable to doing better on other articles
-Mental breakdown occurred 17 hours before my exam after thinking of how badly I was going to do on this section and thinking I hadn't prepared enough

Quantitative Reasoning

-Completed a few Math Destroyer exams every once in awhile and reviewed answers I didn't get correct
-Made a half-hearted formula sheet of equations and concepts found in Math Destroyer, but I thought most of them would not be very useful
-Began taking DAT BC's math tests and took note of equations I wasn't using correctly or whatever

Perceptual Ability
-Went through some generators, got extremely confused, and didn't think about it again for like a week
-Started going through the generators to see what I was naturally good at or not; I quickly found keyholes, TFE, hole punching, and pattern folding are not my strong points
-Woke up maybe like a total of 10 times and went straight to the generators for about an hour of practice before starting my day; when I was sick of science, I would head over to DAT BC to do some generators
-Found the tic-tac-toe method for hole punching; a true miracle
-Realized that pattern folding was essentially just eliminating impossible answer choices and stopped trying to actually visualize the ******* shape; a true miracle redux
-Began DAT BC's practice tests and got pretty much demolished due to bad timing
-Refined my timing a bit, but still it was down to the wire even on practice tests the day before
-Mental breakdown day before the exam ensued because somehow my ability to rank angles kinda disappeared on practice tests. I was getting like 7-8/15 correct on DAT BC practice tests; I prayed that the angles on the DAT would be easier than on DAT BC practice tests.

A Review of Materials Used

DAT Destroyer (10/10): As everyone else says, you have to get it. For general chemistry, it's all you need and has every possible concept you might see on the DAT. For organic chemistry, a large amount of the questions are unnecessary to understand for the DAT, but most of them are basic enough that they should be paid attention. For biology, the entire section is essentially a way for Dr. Romano to show off how many useless words and diseases he knows; it's pretentious and annoying. My criticism of this resource comes from knowing what the DAT is and what it tests. In that regard, the DAT destroyer is completely overkill, has a variety of useless concepts, words, and ideas, but obviously works very well nonetheless. However, I do not think a resource specifically made for the DAT should be so full of things that the DAT does not and will never test on.

Math Destroyer (7/10, unless you majored in engineering; if that's the case, 0/10): A good way to practice basic algebra and probability questions. If you aren't great at math, I think it will be very useful to get yourself accustomed to doing math at a fast pace. I found myself to be VERY bored while going over this book and got not much out of it; I do too much math on a daily basis to find it useful.

General Chemistry Destroyer (9/10): A thorough, well-organized review of general chemistry. If you are re-learning general chemistry, I think this book will do a lot of good for you. It introduces the concept, has some practice problems on that concept, and moves along to the next idea. It should not be your only resource for general chemistry practice though; it definitely needs to be supplemented with DAT Destroyer. This resource performs its job very well I think. However, I have no idea if this book becomes unnecessary if you use Chad's videos since I didn't use any videos for GC. That could be the case for sure.

Organic Chemistry Odyssey (7/10): It is essentially hundreds of organic chemistry problems, divided into sections based on functional groups. I'm pretty sure this book is for people who are really not getting OC and need lots of extra problems or something. If DAT Destroyer organic chemistry isn't enough, I guess this is your answer. I personally didn't gain a lot from this resource, but it does its job.

DAT Bootcamp (11/10; all practice tests, biology notes, PAT generators): By far the best resource you can possibly buy. For biology, OC, and GC, the practice tests are really amazing practice. The explanations included for each question after you do the test are equally great. I would say going through each test thoroughly and reviewing each question, regardless if you got it right, is time well spent. The biology notes have 95-100% of what you need to know for the DAT depending on your test. I would recommend using their notes since they worked quite well for me. The PAT generators are legendary as well. The DAT BC's reading practice tests will frighten you, but have no fear.

Feralis's Notes (10/10): A dense review of general biology. I liked them a lot and they had essentially everything that popped up on the DAT. That said, Feralis's notes are overly detailed and distracted me with a lot of words that have a 0% chance of being tested on. Definitely worth a solid read though.

Russelldw's Notes (8/10): An easy to read review of general biology. It helped explain a few concepts in a better way than I had previously seen. Worth the read, but certainly not a primary resource.

Mike's Videos for OC (8/10): Good overview of organic chemistry. Not unnecessarily detailed or anything. Not sure how they compared to Chad's videos, but I'm sure they are quite similar. Overall, good for a review of OC, but it's purely foundational.

Basically, all of the resources I used have a time and a place, but I don't think I needed all of them to do what I did on the DAT.

A Review of the DAT Sections

Biology: Superficial questions, obvious answers. There were a few questions that required some actual thought, but it was mostly just word association and a lot more basic than I imagined it would be. Out of 40 questions, I was 100% sure on like 36 of them. The rest I relied on educated guessing since I wasn't completely sure about a word in an answer choice or something. Out of all the questions, there was only 2 questions that had words or concepts I hadn't previously encountered in some fashion.

General Chemistry: Very basic chemistry. Little to no math in your head is required. I was shocked at the simplicity of the questions. That said, I have no idea what I missed to cause me to get a 23. I was pretty sure I got a 30 on this section, but guess not.

Organic Chemistry: Even more basic than general chemistry was. A total of 0 tricky questions. It was essentially all extremely basic organic 1 with a little bit of organic 2 maybe. There was 1 question that had a reagent that I wasn't entirely sure how it acted, but there were enough clues in the question to figure it out.

[At the end of the sciences, I had like 45 minutes left. I was able to check over everything once and then ponder over some of the more problematic questions. I was feeling great and felt I had nearly score a 30TS.]

Perceptual Ability
-Keyholes: I was laughing at how easy the first few were, then it quickly spiraled out of control. I saw shapes I didn't know were physically possible and realized within seconds that they would take too much time to figure out; I guessed and marked like 5 of them.
-TFE: Same situation. Hilariously easy for the first 5 or 6, then they threw some things that literally made no sense to me. Guessed and marked after giving up on like 4 of them.

By this point, I'm seriously freaking out. I had never done that poorly on BC keyholes or TFE on the practice tests, so I already was thinking my PAT score was pretty much screwed. I felt that TFE and Keyholes on DAT BC are all relatively similarly in difficulty: let's say they have an average difficulty of 5 with 4 and 6 being the easy and hard ones. The DAT had a much larger spread in difficulty, more like 2 to 9; 2 being obvious and 9 being impossible for both Keyholes and TFE.

-Angles: I had read many times on SDN that DAT angles are easier than BC's practice test angles, but I did not find that the case at all. Maybe it was because I was already freaking out, but the angles I saw on the DAT were harder than BC in most cases I'm pretty sure. A few were easy though. I was furious because I was really hoping angles would give me an easier time on the actual DAT; they had gone poorly on every BC practice PAT.

I'm seriously losing hope at this point.

-Hole Punching: I felt the holes were kinda hard to see exactly where they were placed on the paper in some cases, but overall they were as expected. Used tic-tac-toe.

-Cube Counting: Easy and straightforward.

-Pattern Folding: Much harder than I expected and much harder than DAT BC. On many of them, I found it hard to narrow down the answer choices even a little bit.

I finished with seconds to spare and felt pretty stunned. I honestly thought I would get like a 17-18 on PAT.

Reading: I started off using the mapping method I described earlier. I quickly began to panic, however, since the questions were not what I was expecting at all. I was expecting some thought to be required for each question to some extent or something a little challenging. It turned out that every question on the RC, except for 1, was a question about something found in the passage using the EXACT same wording as in the passage. For example, let's say we are talking about giraffes and the first paragraph is about their fur. The first question I encountered would be: "In what pattern is the fur of the giraffe?" and in that first paragraph would be the words: "The fur of the African giraffe is in a spotted pattern". The answer choice would literally be "Spotted". Each question came right after the next and it just went right down the article pretty much. There was a single, obvious tone question. The last article had some questions out of order a bit, but it was no issue. I had time to answer each question for each article, read over each question again, and find the answer again to check my work. Overall, hilariously easy.

Very simple and straightforward for the most part. Much easier than DAT BC's practice tests and the answers were a lot more obvious in the comparison questions. I got finished with 15 minutes left and was able to check over everything. That said, 1 question got me and I couldn't figure it out; it involved factoring some complex stuff and I had no idea how to do that since I haven't done that in like 5 years. As a warning, I'm extremely good at mental math and that helped me tremendously here. If I wasn't, it would have been much more down to the wire probably.

And then for the survey I chose the top answer choice for everything and quickly clicked to my scores. I was disappointed that my GC score was so low when I thought it would be my highest considering my background. I was hugely relieved at my PAT score though; no idea how I got a 23 considering how utterly lost I was, but I guess my instincts paid off in my guessing.

Well, that's about it I think. Hope this is useful to someone out there in some fashion. This thread is mostly just stream of consciousness and for cathartic purposes. Ask me any questions if you want to!

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DAT Destroyer

Dr. Romano and Nancy
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15+ Year Member
Mar 12, 2005
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Congratulations! Your scores are amazing, especially from a nontraditional student, your hard work paid off.

Wishing you the best and I many interviews will coming your way.

I would like the reply to the comment below and this is based solely on my opinion after many years of working in this field.

" However, I do not think a resource specifically made for the DAT should be so full of things that the DAT does not and will never test on."

My response:

There are many many versions of the DAT you only took 1 version. Your statement is based on your experience, some GC tests are filled with calculations and others are more theory, Orgo 2 is plentiful on some versions. There are also versions where the reading section has plenty of tone type questions asked. Same with Math, Bio, and PAT.

I assure you the DAT Destroyer does not contain any information that cannot be asked and has not been asked on the DAT. All our work follows the guidelines set by the ADA in areas that can be tested.

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Full Member
5+ Year Member
May 20, 2018
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bootcamp scores?

Hope this picture is self-explanatory enough. I used the practice tests to learn the information in large part, so the scores aren't representative of my fully-prepared state.


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