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7/12/17 DAT Breakdown (24AA/21TS/21 PAT)


Full Member
2+ Year Member
May 25, 2017
  1. Pre-Dental
    I finally got all my dental school stuff in, and have some down time before I begin my last semester of undergrad, so I thought I'd write some of my thoughts down about the big ol' scary DAT. I was shocked when I got my score report back and want to offer some advice to those who are taking it soon.

    First my score breakdown of the official DAT, however if you want to see my practice test scored, I have attached an image of my excel file that has the breakdown of those:

    Official DAT Scores (attached)

    24 AA
    23 Bio
    19 Gen Chem
    22 Org. Chem
    21 PAT
    30 QR
    25 Reading Comprehension

    And secondly the tools/guides I used to get my scores (I also kept track of how many hours I studied for and the total came to 197.5 Hours)
    Most helpful to me (in no specific order):
    1. DAT Bootcamp
    2. Cliffs AP Bio 3rd Edition
    3. DAT Destroyer
    4. Chad and Mike's Videos
    And these (in no specific order):
    5. Math Destroyer (barely used)
    6. 2007 and 2009 Practice DATs
    7. Feralis notes (barely used)

    Bio Section (23)
    This score was a surprise to see. I saw many questions in my studies that confused me or were new information, but was able to make a well educated guess based off what I had learned earlier. I recommend Cliffs AP Bio and DAT Bootcamp the most to study for this. I initially was only getting 50% of questions correct but the more information I took in, the more comfortable I became. However, as others have said, I never felt ready to take the bio section. I recommend just taking in as much info as you can at first and then, after a broad overview, really focus on the sections you are weak in (for me this was physiology, cellular respiration, and plant biology). I glanced at Feralis notes a few times but never really used them much. I personally liked using DAT Bootcamp and Cliffs better, however Feralis could work for you. I also went through DAT Destroyer 2 times for this section, and even though I remembered a lot of answers during my second run through, I still felt like it was valuable to go through it twice.

    General Chemistry (19)
    This score also surprised me as my lowest because it was the section I was doing best on during practice. However, I am still happy with my score and what I mainly used was Chad's Videos. They seriously covered the materialso well and if I could have, I would've watched them a second time. I took notes on my own while watching to hammer the ideas into my memory and then went through the quiz after each video. After that, I went through DAT Destroyer once. I felt like DAT destroyer had much harder questions than the DAT. DAT Bootcamp was much more representative of the DAT. However, Destroyer was definitely still valuable, I just wouldn't recommend spending as much time on it as Chad's videos and DAT Bootcamp.

    Organic Chemistry (22)
    For this I took a chance going against the common advice of using Chad's videos and used Mike's videos on DAT Bootcamp. I think Mike's videos were great and I loved his personality as well. I watched each one and took my own notes instead of using the outlines and made flashcards for the hard to remember reactions. I was worried for organic chemistry as I hadn't been scoring too well on practice tests, however Mike's videos and DAT Bootcamp's tests evidently prepared me well. I also used DAT Destroyer in a similar vein to general chemistry - I went through it once, but did not spend as much time on it as Mike's videos and DAT Bootcamp. I would still recommend it, just make sure to not get bogged down by the overly complex questions.

    PAT (21)
    This section was easier than DAT Bootcamp but harder than the 2009 Practice test. I would recommend using DAT Bootcamp to practice, knowing that it might be harder than the actual DAT, as this section is really more about practice than "knowledge."
    For the hole punching I used this method from a video I found on SDN which I highly recommend: For the cube painting section, I first counted the total number of cubes and then I just tallied up how many of each cube there was at before answering questions making sure my tallies sum matched the total number of cubes.
    TFE for me was fairly easy to visualize in my head.
    Angle Ranking was practice alone, I found no "method" worked best for me.
    For folding, I imagined wrapping the unfolded version onto the shape and seeing if the sides matched up.
    Lastly, for keyhole I found practice worked best. The hardest part of this for me was realizing that it had to be an exact fit, ie an actual view of the object, not just a hole that it could fit through.

    Reading Comprehension (25)
    Wow, this surprised me. I had tons of extra time when I finished this section to go back and review. For this section I really did nothing to prepare other than practice tests on DAT Bootcamp, so I cannot offer too much advice. I used a mixture of search and destroy and skimming the article at the beginning.

    Quantitative Reasoning (30)
    While taking this section, I thought the questions were ridiculously easy compared to any practice test I did. I honestly will believe what helped me most with this section is the fact that I am a business major and my accounting, statistics, and finance classes prepared me very well for this section. If you are struggling in this section I would once again recommend to practice, practice, practice using DAT Bootcamp and Math Destroyer (I did like 2 of the sections from Math Destroyer). Also the 2009 test is so much harder than any math section I've seen so I recommend to ignore that when taking the practice test, as it'll just worry you.

    Like I said, I studied 197.5 hours leading up to the DAT for about two months total. I studied about 6 days a week varying from 4-8 hours a day. I took time to hang out with my girlfriend, family, and friends, and even had time for a vacation (which I continued to study during). So what I am trying to get at is - leave time for you and people around you or else you might go crazy, but absolutely realize that you cannot slack off and wait until the final week before this thing to start studying for real. Make sure you have a game plan and execute it. I recommend Ari's Study Schedule as a starting point, and edit it as you need.

    Finally I'd like to thank the DAT Destroyer crew, everyone at DAT Bootcamp (especially @Ari Rezaei), and Chad for all the amazing resources, as I couldn't have done it without you all. I came in feeling overwhelmed, and while I can't saw that feeling ever went away completely before the test, all the resources available made it more bearable.


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    Full Member
    5+ Year Member
    May 18, 2016
      Congrats on your amazing scores. Can you please post your BC practice exams scores.

      And for the QR sections, were the topics grouped together? Because in BC, you get all the algebra questions first, and then like probability, etc. Were the algebra questions scattered throughout the exam, or in order?


      Full Member
      2+ Year Member
      May 25, 2017
      1. Pre-Dental
        Congrats on your amazing scores. Can you please post your BC practice exams scores.

        And for the QR sections, were the topics grouped together? Because in BC, you get all the algebra questions first, and then like probability, etc. Were the algebra questions scattered throughout the exam, or in order?

        I attached an image to the original post with my scores from practice tests I took. Hopefully you can see them.
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