6/26 Premac Breakdown !!!

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premac

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10+ Year Member
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PAT 23 (96.2)
QR 22 (98.7)
RC 21 (88.9)
BIO 19 (83.5)
GC 22 (95.2)
OC 21 (89.7)
TS 20 (91.3)
AA 21 (97.2)

I'm happy that I'm done, but disappointing scores…
Being on the SDN for too long has led me to think that anything under 22 is bad... T_T
Was thinking of retake the whole 30 min ride home, but realized that it would be impossible to study for DAT while I'm in school in September.
Overall, it was an experience that got me "ready" for my future academic career.
I tried to keep my breakdown short, so I hope it's informative enough for you SDNers!

I started studying in December for about 2 weeks. My original date was March, because I was planning to study while I was in school. I DON'T RECOMMEND THIS! … Simply because I couldn't do it lol.
Was not able to study for DAT due to an overwhelming material to study at school. Also, because this was my last semester that would count into my GPA before applying to dental schools, it was pretty important to study for school. However, thanks to this mindset of having to finish my schoolwork early so that I could study for DAT, I was able to pull off 2 A+ that semester. It's just that I could not get any DAT studying done.
So… while in school, I decided to push it to mid-May, a week after my final. I was thinking that I'll study really hard for a week after the final. WRONG.
My final date was set to June 26th, and here I am!

Before I start, few major tips I'd like to share.
Learning reinforcement! Just chugging the information into your brain may not cut it. Do problems, especially GC and OC, to reinforce your learning. They help. Trust me. I think it helps to do Qvault for learning reinforcement, because it has sections in parts.

Oh and let me share my usual days and how it was like on my test day.

My usual days:
Wake up, chill in my bed for about an hour reading manga/webtoon on my iPad, and checking out SDN forum.
Get up, shower, eat lunch, and start studying. I check SDN time to time, as well as my email, mangareader.net, naver.com, and SDN again…
Study until dinner, and while eating dinner, watch an episode of Korean drama. Let me tell you that I was watching 4 different Korean dramas until the day of the exam. There are 2 new episodes every week per drama, so that's 8 hours per week spent on watching dramas. This is to tell you that you don't need to give up everything. You get to watch what you want, whether it's South Park, American Dad, HIMYM, or whatever.
Also, I always fell asleep watching South Park. Just gotta love Butters.

My Test Day:
Test was scheduled at 1:30 pm.
The night before, I was chilling in the SDN chatroom and went to sleep around 11:30 PM. I didn't even drink coffee that day because I wanted to fall asleep easily at night. Anxiety has overpowered me… There were voices in my brain, constantly talking and thinking about random stuff. Looked at my phone and it was already 2 AM. OMG. Somehow fell asleep some time after that, and woke up at 10 AM. Was not feeling refreshed at all, and my eyes were tired.
Got up, showered, and ate breakfast.
Breakfast: Iced coffee, Pancake with lots of syrup (glucose to power my brain), boiled egg.
I know that coffee makes you pee, but I figured it should be okay since I'm eating 3 hours before the exam. WRONG. I peed before leaving the house, right before starting my test, and DURING my natural sciences section… [SIGH]
Tip: Try not to drink coffee if you can. Please get a good night of sleep. People emphasize this, but I want to emphasize it even more. It's hard to fix your sleeping schedule 1~2 days before the test, because ANXIETY is a factor that will screw up your sleeping schedule.
Plan a week ahead!!

Now here's my breakdown:
**Warning: I like the color Turquoise.

Bio (19)
Sigh… I thought I knew everything. While I was taking the test, what screwed me over was the wording of the questions. Some were kind of hard to understand. It had maybe 2 WTF questions, and one of them was about the age of the Earth. My primary instinct said 4 billion. However, I ended up picking 40 billion. NOOOOOO.
Anki is probably the best thing ever created. Without Anki, I might have gotten 16 or something. Anki = smart and efficient studying. USE IT!
Too bad they cost $25 on an iPad… Had to settle for a macbook version… : (

Materials used:

Cliff's AP Bio 3rd edition:
Great book. Pretty boring to read, but it has the materials you need. I read this 2 times and used Anki to make flashcards. Without Anki, it would have taken 4x the amount of time to memorize this thing. Anki is really a great tool to utilize.

Kaplan Blue Book 7th edition:
People say this book doesn't contain enough details, and I agree. HOWEVER, this book was essential for me. It gives you the basic knowledge you need in order to fully understand and dive into more serious "details" that you can find in Cliff's. I would suggest doing KBB first, then diving into Cliff's.

Schaum's Outlines 3rd edition:
Awesome book with lots of great diagrams. I just used it to look up sections that were unclear to me. If you have the time and energy, I would suggest using this book instead of Cliff's. If you're like me and kind of suck at memorizing, just use this book as a reference.

DAT Qvault:
Another awesome resource. It really helps you "see" your weak section. They give you percentiles on the ones you got right/wrong, so you can see if you got 10/10 genetics-related questions, while getting 1/6 taxonomy-related questions. Also, it has those "random facts" that you should know. Make sure you read the explanation and review the ones that you've gotten wrong!

DAT Destroyer:
Everyone knows how great this book is. I went over this 2 times, and made Anki cards out of them. It can be hard at first, so don't be discouraged. Near the end, I got used to the material that they were asking, and started getting more correct.

General Chemistry (22):
I definitely expected a better score… Not sure what I did wrong. I thought I was being pretty careful, but I guess I was jabbed by their "Trick Punch".

Materials used:

Chad's Videos:
You already know this guy is the KING. He will tell you everything that you need to know for GC section. Watch his videos, take notes on his outlines, study them, and master them.

DAT Destroyer:
Better than bio. Destroyer gets you prepared for every kind of questions that you may be asked about. Know them! I went over this 3 times.

DAT Qvault:
Did 4 tests. Questions are really basic, and not enough to fully prepare you for the exam. They have those random questions that you will never see on the exam (Which element will produce color blah blah). But just in case, I would stick those information into your head.

Organic Chemistry (21):
Claisen condensation! I was so focused on memorizing the mechanisms that I did not fully memorize the actual names of the reactions. One question showed a reaction and asked what the name of this reaction was. I knew how to do the reaction, but was stuck between Aldol and Claisen… I could not remember what Claisen condensation was just by reading "Claisen", and I wasn't sure if this intracompound reaction (forming of the ring) applied to Aldol as well…

Materials used:

Chad's Videos:
As awesome as his gen chem videos. He knows how to make your life easy. Please watch him and master the material!
However, he seems to be missing some information that you MAY need to know for the DAT. Just get yourself exposed to multiple materials and you will be set!

DAT Qvault:
Did 8 tests, but I did not really like them. I just kept on doing one after another because I was getting frustrated that I was making stupid mistakes. It's a good resource to reinforce your learning, but not something that can provide you more "knowledge".
Also, there seems to be quite a few number of mistakes in Qvault. One that I could recall at a top of my head is tert-butyl E2 reaction. Qvault refuses to believe that it will be anti-Markovnikov.

DAT Destroyer:
Great, great book for Ochem. If you know destroyer inside and out, you will be set for OC. They have random reactions in there, but once you know them, they are pretty simple. I did this 3 times.

Organic Chemistry Second Language (1st sem and 2nd sem):
Awesome book! If Chad forgot to mention some organic chemistry reactions, they are all in here!
Really easy to read, a LOT of practice problems to reinforce your learning. I definitely recommend this book if you have the time to read it. If you are a fast reader and have the basic knowledge after watching Chad's videos, it won't take you more than a couple days to finish reading these books.

Reading Comprehension (21):
I'm Korean, and English is my second language. You can do it too!
The passages were really dense and had a lot of paragraphs. However, I knew that RC was one of the most important sections in the DAT and put my head in the game. Had quite a few tone/inference questions. This surprised me. Probably had at least 2 or 3 per passage.
I didn't practice that much, but it's important to find out which method works for you, AND practice that method enough to make it "work" every time.
To tell you, I have probably tried every RC method out there. Here are the methods I've tried:

S&D: Method that a lot of people use, but it can be very inefficient. Although you may get lucky by finding the answer early into the "searching", you may look past that one word you're looking for, and you may go through the whole passage without being able to "destroy" the question. Also, since you're not really "reading", you won't be able to absorb the information. Thus, you may be "searching" over the same paragraph over and over and over and over and over again and being inefficient. AND it's a weak method for answering tone/inference questions.

Read first: This method involves reading the whole passage, and answering the question. Not a good method for people like me. I forget what I'm reading half-way through, and even if I remember, it's not enough to answer those detailed questions.

VicViper: You read the questions first, put the keywords into the corner of your brain, and read the passage. As you go through the passage, you go back to the question if you find any of those keyword. This method is for people who are really good at reading AND absorbing the material at the same time. In short, it's good for people with GREAT mid?-term memory (what's between short and long term memory?)
You need to stick the questions inside your head while reading the passage. I could not do this, as I was forgetting them too easily.

Kaplan: This method is the one that worked for me. I made a "passage map" and jot down keywords from each paragraph. For example, you write #1~20 on your paper and write down keywords next to each number that corresponds to your paragraph. This is a great method. Also, this method takes PRACTICE to be efficient at it.
TIP** THINK LIKE THE QUESTIONMASTER.
What would he/she ask from these paragraphs? If I'm skimming and find a pretty complicated word, I make sure to jot that down. Names? Jot down. List? Definitely jot down. There are lots of questions that require you to pick the one that wasn't "listed". Numbers? Oh yes, DEFINITELY jot down. A lot of the questions may ask about percents, year, and etc.
People say this takes a long time, but if you're efficient and get good with practice, it shouldn't take you long at all.
I'm a slow reader, but I had 10 minutes left after I was done with everything. This method isn't that great for tone/inference questions though. This is pretty much a more "efficient" version of S&D.

Materials used:

Crack DAT Reading 5 test version:
Great for practicing tone/inference questions. However, it barely has any science passages. Most DAT passages will be science passages, so keep that in mind. I found that science passages are definitely less "enjoyable" to read than those history/philosophical passages.

Topscore:
Did one RC section from Topscore and found it to be pretty good. Topscore is the one with science passages, but it seems to be pretty short. Just use it to test out your methods.

Quantitative Reasoning (22):
I thought I got a 30! Double-checked all the questions, but I guess I didn't double-check enough… Finished the whole thing and still had about 20 minutes left.
Tip: Skip the ones that seem like they involve tedious calculation. You can come back to them later after finishing the simpler ones.

Materials used:

MATH Destroyer:
The only thing you need for QR. If you know how to do these questions, you're completely set. It may be hard at first, but get used to those questions by reading the solution carefully. Don't time yourself for the first 5 tests or so. Get used to the materials, and THEN time yourself. I did 10 tests out of them all.

PAT (23):
I was expecting a higher score because I was pretty good at PAT from the start. Only thing I was bad at was TFE section, but I got pretty good at it after my hell-training in Achiever.
My method was to do keyhole, skip TFE, finish the rest, and come back to TFE.
Usually, when I have 15 TFE questions left, I usually have about 30 minutes to do it. I take my slow ass time to do it.
Tips for TFE: Don't do line counting. I read many posts saying line counting does not work, so I tried to get myself used to visualizing 3D. After many Achiever PAT, I finally got used to visualizing 3D, and it's definitely more reliable than any other "methods".
The real PAT, at least for me, had a lot of 1/3 folds in hole punching section, so make sure you get a lot of practice on that. Once you know how to do it, it gets real easy. There are lots in Achiever.

Crack DAT Pat:
ESSENTIAL for those who are starting out. GREAT explanations. Don't time yourself if you're not confident how to actually DO these questions.

Achiever:
BEST. BETTER than CDP for getting you prepared. If you can get 20+ on Achiever PAT, you're definitely ready to tackle the real PAT.
Tackle Achiever after doing tests in CDP, or you'll be depressed. I would suggest doing 9 CDP tests before tackling Achiever, and try the 10th CDP after finishing Achiever to see how much you've improved. You'll be pretty surprised.
I only did 5 tests in CDP, and that was because TFE was the only section that I was doing terribly on. I pushed that aside and learned how to do TFE while doing Achiever. I can't emphasize how GREAT Achiever is.

Practice Tests:
I can't emphasize how important it is to get used to answering DAT questions.
***Having the knowledge is one thing. Being able to apply it is another! ***

Qvault: Bio is great. Other sections are so-so. Bio has a lot of information that you might have missed from Cliff's, so make sure you know them! More information you have in your brain, the better your score may be.

Topscore: Pretty good. Questions are so-so. I think it represents the real DAT pretty well. Software is old school, but hey, it works. People say don't do the PAT after your first one, because the 2nd and the 3rd one are basically the same as the first. I followed their advice and only did the first one. Besides, you got CDP and Achiever to feed your appetite.

Achiever: Got the 7-test version. I don't regret it, since more practice the better. I did all 7 natural science section, but not all of the other section. I just did whatever I felt like doing. LEARN FROM YOUR MISTAKES! It will have some questions that will be WTF, but if you can understand them and process them in your brain, they just might show up on your DAT and help you succeed.

2009 ADA: It was okay. Not great. A lot of mistakes, but if you search SDN hard enough, you can find all the mistakes. TERRIBLE if you do it online. I got the online version because I was too lazy to ship it to my house. First of all, RC sucks because you can't view the passage and the questions at the same time. They're just all on one page, and there's no mini scrollbar for the passages. The worst thing is that you can't really check what you got wrong in the online version. They tell you which ones you got wrong, but don't tell you the answers. Also, even if you are trying to find out the answers by yourself, you can't… because the answer choices are probably "cracked" (as in… you can't see them).
Thus, I was not able to find out what I got wrong, and could not "learn" from it.

Here are my scores! : )

Qvault Bio
1: 33/40 = 20
2. 28/40 = 18
3. 28/40 = 18
4. 27/40 = 18
5. 27/40 = 18
6. 29/40 = 18 (omg really? I got sick of 18's)
7. 33/40 = 20
8. 36/40 = 22
9. 28/40 = 18
10. 28/40 = 18

Qvault Gen Chem
1: 24/30 = 20
--- After DAT Destroyer
2. 27/30 = 24
3. 26/30 = 22
4. 28/30 = 26

Qvault Organic Chem
1: 23/30 = 20
2. 22/30 = 19
3. 23/30 = 20
4. 21/30 = 19
5. 23/30 = 20
6. 19/30 = 18
7. 22/30 = 19
8. 24/30 = 20

Qvault Math
1: 34/40 = 23

CDP
1: 20
2: 22
3: 22
4: 22
5: 24

CDR
1: 20
2: 22
3: 20
4: 19
5: 20

2009 ADA
Bio 24 (38/40)
GC 20 (26/30)
OC 25 (28/30)
RC 19 (35/50)
QR 21 (32/40)
PAT 24 (84/90)
TS 23
AA 22

Topscore 1
Bio 19
GC 23
OC 20
PAT 22
TS 21

Topscore 2
Bio 19
GC 19
OC 21
RC 21
TS 20

Topscore 3
Bio 19
GC 25
OC 19
TS 20

Achiever 1
Bio 19
GC 19
OC 20
QR 23
PAT 21
TS 20

Achiever 2
Bio 17
GC 19
OC 18
QR 21
PAT 21

Achiever 3
Bio 19
GC 17
OC 18
PAT 21

Achiever 4
Bio 14
GC 16
OC 15

Achiever 5
Bio 16
GC 16
PAT 18

Achiever 6
Bio 17
GC 19
OC 18
PAT 19

Achiever 7
Bio 17
GC 19
OC 21

I hope this breakdown helped you!
I'll add more things if I feel like I missed something.

Good luck on your path to dental schools!

Check out my Predents profile for my stats!

Here's an inspirational video!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qX9FSZJu448&feature=player_embedded#!

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great scores !
really.... 21 is a high score no need to retake.

and very helpful post thx alot
 
omg!! awesome video!! and great scores too! :D good job! and thank you for the super short break down. :p
 
Congrats bro. I think you just got messed up with a hard test man. 97% should be up there. I hate when stuff like that happens.

But I'm hearing a lot of mixed reviews about Achiever. Initially, I was going to buy the 3 test and all of qvault. Would you recommend a 7pack Achiever and just the bio section of qvault? When people say Achiever is hard, do they mean they ask questions that you don't have to know?
 
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Congrats bro. I think you just got messed up with a hard test man. 97% should be up there. I hate when stuff like that happens.

But I'm hearing a lot of mixed reviews about Achiever. Initially, I was going to buy the 3 test and all of qvault. Would you recommend a 7pack Achiever and just the bio section of qvault? When people say Achiever is hard, do they mean they ask questions that you don't have to know?

Achiever asks some questions you don't need to know, but it was a great study resource. I felt many of my actual DAT questions were taken directly from achiever, and/or simplified versions of achiever questions. I'd highly recommend it. But I never took qvault.

Premac, I think we took the same exact test...haha good job!!
 
21 is a great score. You shouldn't complain after being in the 97th percentile.
SDN represents only a small fraction of those who wrote the test, and only those who scored high would waste their time writing a breakdown.
Also, would anyone read a breakdown from someone who got a 16 AA? haha.

Good luck with apps.
 
A 21? Get that weak-sauce outta my face and you better get a 25 the next time you take this test.

Stupidity -> Reality translator: Congrats; you're set; apply quick; celebrate (And do it in this order apply before celebrations!)
 
Awesome scores! You killed it! Great breakdown! Achiever vs Topscore do you feel achiever is a must?
 
So maybe I can get some clarification. I too got a 21 AA, yet my percentile is 93.4% Does the percentile only reflect on people you took it with that day/week? Answers would be appreciated. I just want clarification on why premac has a 21 that is 97%. Thanks
 
So maybe I can get some clarification. I too got a 21 AA, yet my percentile is 93.4% Does the percentile only reflect on people you took it with that day/week? Answers would be appreciated. I just want clarification on why premac has a 21 that is 97%. Thanks

Your 21 = premac's 21... Different versions of the exams account for the varying percentiles from your score to premac's. But admissions do NOT see the percentile, only you. So you're 21 is worth the same weight at premac's although his version was harder. And it doesnt reflect on the people who took it w/ you the day/week you took it, rather it's pre-set from past exam takers on YOUR VERSION OF THE EXAM.

BTW, OP I cant believe you seriously thought retake on a 21, lol. lol. lol.

lol.
 
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ummm I'm retaking the exam with a 21 because my gpa is low low low
it's just not comparable with people who have 3.7 and 24 (which there are many in this forum)

glad to hear the admission office only cares about the score and not the percentile
because my 21 = 91.3
 
Thanks everyone! It's just really great to be finally done.

Congrats bro. I think you just got messed up with a hard test man. 97% should be up there. I hate when stuff like that happens.

But I'm hearing a lot of mixed reviews about Achiever. Initially, I was going to buy the 3 test and all of qvault. Would you recommend a 7pack Achiever and just the bio section of qvault? When people say Achiever is hard, do they mean they ask questions that you don't have to know?

If you are not on a financial constraint, I would definitely recommend getting the 7 pack.
I personally think Achiever 4 and 5 are too hard and depressing. 1,2,3 and 7,8 are the ones that are pretty good for science, but there's no option for just getting those 5. Haha.
However, for PAT, all 7 should be AWESOME.

Awesome scores! You killed it! Great breakdown! Achiever vs Topscore do you feel achiever is a must?

I would say both. You need Achiever anyway if you want to ace that PAT section. If you HAVE to choose one out of the two, I would say Achiever. Topscore is VERY good for getting you used to the standard DAT-type of questions. I. In short: get both!
 
ummm I'm retaking the exam with a 21 because my gpa is low low low
it's just not comparable with people who have 3.7 and 24 (which there are many in this forum)

glad to hear the admission office only cares about the score and not the percentile
because my 21 = 91.3

Good luck showing improvement 22+!:luck: it can definitely be done but think of the chances percent wise that your gambling on. I scored 99.9 percentile on the exam and can tell you straight up, breaking into 22/23 territory is a factor of luck. You score a 21 again or worse yet, a 20, you're donezo for a lot of addmissions... donezo! Well not exactly done lol but enjoy thinking during your interviews about how you couldn't improve your DAT when you retook it (when it was already a HIGH SCORE lol). And enjoy fending off that question during interviews and spinning it off positive!! lol.

This is all my opinion of course, But at the same time improving a DAT could take MUCH LESS TIME than improving your GPA so i get your standpoint. Im a gambler myself, but wouldn't take on this risk (unless your GPA is mid 2's, in which case, why do you think you can do well in dental school? lol). Good luck.

Btw OP, good scores, very balanced. Enjoy your summer!
 
Wow. You have set to outdone yourself and you did. Congratulations.

Sent from my MB855 using Tapatalk
 
I just want to ask you, how did you do so well on the RC section?!
Could you explain more in detail how you solved them?
Did you not skim the passages but actually peruse them plus taking notes, and then go to questions?
 
I just want to ask you, how did you do so well on the RC section?!
Could you explain more in detail how you solved them?
Did you not skim the passages but actually peruse them plus taking notes, and then go to questions?

Hello,
I thought my RC section breakdown was pretty detailed.
I used the Kaplan method. While I was "skimming" the passages, I looked for keywords and jot those down. I didn't try to read the passage at all. With practice, you should be able to pick out which ones are "keywords".
After making the "map", I would begin answering the questions.
 
I don't know what is better your scores or your breakdown. Either way, congratulations. You deserved it.
 
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