6/30 finished!

Discussion in 'DAT Discussions' started by Strag, Jun 30, 2011.

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  1. Strag

    Strag 7+ Year Member

    Mar 17, 2009
    PAT: 21 (89.2%)
    QR: 19 (92.9%)
    RC: 19 (67.6%)
    BIO: 24 (99.6%)
    GC: 29 (99.9%)
    OC 23 (97.1%)
    TS: 25 (99.9%)
    AA: 23 (99.7%)

    Chad's Videos :thumbup::thumbup::thumbup:
    DAT Destroyer :thumbup::thumbup::thumbup:
    Math Destroyer
    Cliffs AP Biology
    Barron's AP Biology
    Crack DAT PAT 10 Test
    Sama/DMD Thread
    Ross (condog) Youtube Videos
    Crack DAT Reading 10 Test
    DAT Q Vault
    Alan's Biology Notes
    PreDDSdotnet Biology Notes
    Top Score
    ADA 2007
    ADA 2009

    PAT (CDP 2x, Top Score, ADA 2009, Ross, Sama/DMD thread):
    I thought every section, minus Hole Punching and Cube Counting was difficult. I was never good at TFE so don't take my word if I said it was hard, it might have been easy for some. I had one 1/3 fold for Hole Punching, but it it's not as bad as people are making it seem.

    What I would have done differently:
    Invest your time in Ross' (condog Youtube) videos and Sama's thread to understand the sections first. Develop your strategies for first few CDP tests and then start timing yourself on the rest. Don't be discouraged. I remember doing CDP #1 without learning how to figure out the sections and I got owned on TFE and Hole Punches (made 17s on first two CDP tests). Hole Punches ended up being one of my best sections so definitely take the time to learn the sections. For practice, I heard Achiever is on par with the actual PAT so it might be of use to invest your time in that resource if you have time.

    QR (MD 2x, Top Score, DD 1-153, ADA Tests):
    There were a number of trig problems, most of which I did not know how to figure out. I think it would benefit to know the unit circle. I didn't take the time to memorize or learn this. Some word problems also tripped me up. MD is similar like most other breakdowns have listed. If you know MD you should score at least an 18.

    What I would have done differently:
    Been more exposed to math problems. I didn't spend as much time studying as I would have liked for this section. The section is all about timing. I took people's advice. If you don't know how to solve the problem in less than 3 seconds, mark it and move on. There are easy problems towards the middle-end. Don't be that person who gets caught up on a problem. A seemingly difficult problem counts as much as an easy one. Also, practice with the calculator. A lot of people say if you haven't used a calculator you won't use it on the real test. Well I did not practice with the calculator and ended up using it for 5-8 problems on the actual test. Just practice with it! Very helpful, but it can be spazzy sometimes.

    RC (CDR, Top Score, ADA Tests):
    My passages were fairly easy-medium, nothing too dense or long. My game plan was a mix of S&D and what AlbinoBear and others said about the Barron's method (where you make a quick outline of the page. It makes S&D easier). I switched off on methods toward the end of my study plan which was pretty risky. I am a firm believer of not using textbooks during college and it showed a little in my score. If you read like you're supposed to in college and not be like me and get lucky with passages, you should do fairly well.

    What I would have done differently:
    Established a SET method going into RC. I think I changed my gameplan as least 3 times over the course of my study from just reading the passage to S&D to outlining. Find out what works for you early on. Just make sure to read fast, don't get caught up on a question, make an educated guess and move on! CDR, 2007 and 2009 are great for tone-questions. Top Score is great for S&D.

    BIO (Cliffs 2x, Barron's, DAT Destroyer 1.5x, DatQVault, Top Score, ADA Tests):
    There were a fair number of application problems. Some of the problems I figured out from my Cell Biology class! In all, it was pretty varied. Had simple taxonomy and developmental questions, nothing too obscure except for maybe 1-2 questions. I reviewed Bio and changed two answers because I overlooked what they were asking. People say not to look over your answers for Bio but if you have the time I would recommend going over them again and only changing answers for those questions where you overlooked the question. I had 40 minutes left after OC (I sped through the sciences section, another good tip). It gave me enough time to look over GC one more time, OC 2.5 times and BIO one time. Also, if you get tired of reading dense chapters, I would suggest researching and finding Alan's and PreDDS notes. For the most part, they are accurate and I read these a few times a week or two before the test.

    What I would have done differently:
    Most of my problems came from my background in biology in classes. I lucked out since most of them were in the range of the classes I took. I liked reading Cliffs and Barrons because it keeps your mind fresh on the topics and it's always good to have different viewpoints. Destroyer and Q Vault gets the outlier questions, so it's good to look over all the questions at least once. My advice is not to spend too much on this section and invest more time in the other science sections. This score is probably the one where I didn't expect to score as high. I only averaged an 18-19 on DQV tests and 18s on Top Score. I probably would have went through Cliffs and BAB once and add onto Alan's notes and Pre-DDS notes and just study from those continually. I did a few of the Cliffs Tests provided in the CD, but I think it was my overall exposure in class and wide range of questions that helped me out. Breadth before depth people! I can't stress how many others before me have said this and I testify to this as well.

    GC (Chad's 5x, Destroyer 5x, Top Score, ADA Tests):
    Yes, you see it right. I went over my notes for Chad's Videos and Destroyer 5x and it definitely paid off. Probably 70-80% of my studying time was invested in GC and OC. Nothing was out of the ordinary. Simple conversions and concepts that Chad beautifully covers. I felt like I missed at most 3.

    What I would have done differently:
    Nothing. Invest your time and effort in Chad and Destroyer and you will net at least a 20+ in GC.

    OC (Chad's 5x, Destroyer 5, Top Score, ADA Tests):
    OC was a little harder, but not as much. A number was on stability, simple rxns, EAS, very key concepts in Ochem. Nothing was too obscure that Chad or Destroyer did not cover.

    What I would have done differently:
    Nothing. Invest your time and effort in Chad and Destroyer and you will net at least a 20+ in OC.

    Day before Test:
    I didn't do much. I finished half of Chad's notes and contemplated doing more QR/PAT practice, but decided not to. I instead read the Bible (first time in many years) and read the Philippians chapter. Very encouraging and the last week went to church, did a lot of praying and it worked! So do whatever makes you feel relaxed. Don't overstudy night before. And I would recommend taking something (not illegal) to get you to sleep. I couldn't sleep because I was too anxious and had so much adrenaline.

    Day of Test:
    Seriously was freaking out. I never felt so nervous for a test and it was after PAT and QR where I felt my scores plummet. Don't discourage yourself and continue to keep the fight.

    I had a funny experience with Prometric. I somehow made the toilet leak from the top, missed the pump for the hand sanitizer and it ended up on half of my shirt (smelled like hand sanitizer which threw me off for RC and QR…probably why I did bad =P). Also, the computer rebooted when I was taking my fingerprint. I was like…omg, this is going super bad for me lol.

    Some other helpful tips:
    Practice with a marker and whiteboard. You will get something similar at prometric, but the rumors are true. Those boards do not erase and they literally give you pens that look like "ball point pens" which marks like a permanent ink pen. I had to lift up my board to have it replaced. Did this like 4-5 times throughout the test.

    Focus on your sciences, especially GC and OC. I definitely felt that this was what would get me in the 21-23 region, and I wouldn't have changed what I've done. Be mindful of the other sections though.

    I read from several breakdowns, including one where a guy simulated tests. I did this using a mixture of my resources (Made up 10 test, did 2007 untimed, 2009 time and Top Score timed…ended up taking 15 practice tests). I think it is helpful once you have a solid background, but I felt that it would have benefited more to be exposed to more problems. Do a couple to just get timing down but for the rest learn from your mistakes and don't time yourself. Adrenaline kicks in day of. You won't be pressed for time on sections unless you knew going into the test that you were ok at some sections (for me, I knew I would be slow at reading and math).

    I wouldn't recommend studying more than a month. I attempted studying for this section at least 3 times and failed each time. Just set aside at most a month (which is what I did) and commit to your schedule. My schedule was somewhat loose. I had scheduled practice tests and in between would just study whatever I felt I was weak on. Had I done it again, I would've studied probably 4.5-5 weeks. I felt ready midway by week 4.

    Look over breakdowns in the 21+ AA thread. I heavily researched on the habits and resources that people used and tried incorporating those that would fit me.

    Also, I would not recommend eating anything spicy or heavy. I made a stupid decision to eat a plate of migas at my favorite restaurant and I felt queasy throughout the entire test. I felt that I would've scored a point higher on RC and QR but around that time I felt very sick. Pulled it through though!

    Practice Scores:
    Topscore 1, 2, 3, ADA 2007, and 2009 in that order.

    CDR Avg: ~20
    PAT Avg:~20, 23 (second run through)
    DQV Avg~18

    This is all thanks to God. I couldn't have done it without Him. I prayed so much during the last week and He answered my prayers. Prayer is a very powerful thing, whether you are a believer or non-believer. I prayed that no matter what happens after my test, I trusted God's plan and that I would glorify and praise him no matter what my scores came out to be. I did this with God by my side and I wouldn't be where I am today if it wasn't for Him. Thank you Lord :D!!!

    (Philippians 4:13)
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2011
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    FROGGBUSTER 2+ Year Member

    Jul 22, 2010
    Great job Strag. :thumbup: Looking forward to your breakdown.
  4. Dusk

    Dusk Member 5+ Year Member

    Jun 23, 2010
    Great scores! work as if it all depends on you, pray as if it all depends on Him. Good to see you did both :thumbup:
  5. dantemac

    dantemac 5+ Year Member

    Jan 16, 2011
    Philadelphia, PA
    Good job! The power of prayer!
  6. AlbinoPolarBear

    AlbinoPolarBear 5+ Year Member

    Jun 18, 2011
    Congrats on your score!
  7. lyjw88

    lyjw88 5+ Year Member

    Jun 10, 2010
    Wow TS-25!
  8. pk62281

    pk62281 2+ Year Member

    Mar 20, 2010

    If you were to have to choose between only praying or only studying for the DAT which one would you rather pick? If you only studied, and not prayed, would you have done just as well? Or if you only prayed and not studied, how well would you have done in that case?
  9. Strag

    Strag 7+ Year Member

    Mar 17, 2009
    Hey pk,

    For me, I wouldn't have been able to go through the studying that I put myself if I didn't pray and ask God for strength and wisdom. I feel that everyone at some point has a mental breakdown/block during their studies and I had one at point and that's when I started praying. I can't predict what could've happened had I not done this or that, but I felt that my prayers were just as important (if not more) as how I studied. I am very thankful for my scores and I know for sure I wouldn't have gotten them it is wasn't for God. I accredit all my success to Him.
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2011
  10. SmileToday


    Feb 15, 2011
    hey strag!

    I think your scores are awesome! but whats more awesome is your faith and dependence on God. I seriously admire that about you! :)
  11. rp37


    May 18, 2011
    Wow, awesome scores!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :thumbup:
    :thumbup::thumbup::thumbup::thumbup::thumbup::thumbup: :thumbup: :thumbup:

    Huge congrats!!!!
  12. LetsGo2DSchool

    LetsGo2DSchool Banned 2+ Year Member

    Jul 11, 2009
    New York
    Great breakdown. I like how you added the paragraphs about what you would have done differently.

    How were the topics on the RC? Any crazy ones or the dreaded one about piano?

    I may have to start praying, but.... if people never pray and then all of a sudden start praying heavily to God because they need his help, then do you really believe God will be excited to help someone out? I would think God would do the opposite to teach the non-worshippers a lesson.
  13. pk62281

    pk62281 2+ Year Member

    Mar 20, 2010
    So prayer is like meditation or merely therapeutic?
  14. Troyvdg

    Troyvdg Dentistry not Debtistry 7+ Year Member

    Jul 13, 2009
    Bay Area
    waka would be proud. you went hard in the paint

    very impressive and congrats on your victory!...and yes, i said victory, studying for this test is definitely a battle
  15. Strag

    Strag 7+ Year Member

    Mar 17, 2009
    Topics weren't as bad as some people make it out to be, but I might have been lucky. None of them were these ridiculous 22 paragraphs I've been hearing about, but they were still fairly condensed in information. I don't want to divulge topics but it definitely wasn't piano.

    I don't have specific answers to your question, I can only speak on my behalf. I do believe that God listens to every prayer, but He might not always answer it in a way that you predicted. I said in my breakdown that no matter what happens, I would ride with either decision.

    I never think of prayer as meditation or merely therapeutic. It's my open connection with God. He speaks in ways I can't imagine or fathom. It's hard to describe, but I do feel secure and at peace when I pray.

    *Please note that I am not trying to impose or force my religion on any of you. I am only answering questions that you all have asked and share my DAT experience and what I found to be personally helpful for me.

    Best of luck to everyone still in the fight!
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2011
  16. WKhan


    Jul 2, 2011
    Great scores!

    I definitely believe in the power of prayer.

    One question though, would you mind telling us where you went for undergrad? Or are currently going? It often helps to get an idea of how people who go to different schools might do because obviously some schools are tougher than others.
  17. peanutmonster

    peanutmonster Class of 2018! :) 5+ Year Member

    Jan 8, 2012
    inspirational!! i didn't do too well on the 2009 ADA test...so discouraging :( i take my test next week ahhhh

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