9/7 DAT DONE!! I can finally relax, sort of!!

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Sep 2, 2005
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So here are my scores and (percentile):

PA - 20 (96.7)
QR - 20 (90.2)
RC - 23 (92.8)
BIO - 22 (97.2)
GC - 21 (91.4)
OC - 20 (86.2)
TS - 21 (94.9)
AA - 21 (94.4)

(these are GPAs with +/-, I dont know which ones they actually look at)
Overall GPA - 3.50
Science GPA - 3.35

I'm applying to UPenn, Pitt, UMD, Nova, Pacific, Loma Linda, and USC

Now for the good stuff...

I started studying mid-June and probably did about 2 hours/day of actual studying. I went to the beach mid-July and when I got back, I took a Topscore exam and my scores (13's, 14's, you get the picture) indicated that 2hrs/day wasn't going to cut it for me. So, mid-July I started putting in 6-8 hours everyday, about 6 days/wk. 2 weeks before the real thing, I was putting in closer to 9 or 10 hours a day. Here is a quick breakdown of what I thought about each section and what I think was most effective to study with:

oh, before anyone asks, i dont really have topscore scores to give you, because i took it all in individual sections, and some sections i didnt do, some i didnt use the timer, etc, i used it more as a source to find topics i didnt understand. generally though the trend i saw was similar to what everyone has said, expect to go up a few points in GC and OC, etc.

PA - like most people have said, the angle ranking is definitely tougher than topscore and kaplan. also, the hole punch/fold section seemed to have more questions with 2 punches than i had seen in my practice tests, so definitely get comfortable doing those with more than 1 punch.

my computer (during the real DAT) was a little screwy with the PAT graphics, a couple of the angles didn't have a vertex (the 5 or so pixels right where the two lines meet were just missing) which made that a little tricky. also, some of the hole punches were tough to tell what area of the square it corresponded to, so i had to refer to the answer choices to figure that out.

as for studying, honestly i didn't really practice much for this section, I'm just naturally good at it. i took one topscore practice and got a 23 or 24. the one piece of advise i have though (this worked well for me) is for cube counting. i count all of the cubes first, then tally up how many of each (3 sides showing, etc) there are, then make sure those numbers add up to the total. its an initial time investment, but i think it pays off.

QR - I studied with kaplan and referred to the internet for some types of problems (nCr, nPr, etc). basically, if you can do all of the problems that topscore gives you, you'll do fine. QR is the only section i have trouble finishing in time, and i definitely ran out of time during the DAT and had to guess for 5 or 6 problems, but i think most people end up doing that. with about 10min left on the clock, i just start clicking through the problems to the end of the test, doing all of the easy ones on the way, then i use my remaining 5 min or so to try to solve some of the harder ones and fill in "guesses" for all the problems i know i wont have time to solve.

RC - i only did one topscore practice test for this, got a 29. the real thing was definitely less straight forward and there were some questions that you actually had to have an understanding of the passage to answer, nonetheless, there were still many straightforward questions like you see in topscore. my passages were on magnesium in diets, herbal vs traditional medicine, and something else, i forget. overall though, pretty straightforward, alot of scanning for keywords.

BIO - I studied for bio with kaplan's blue book, barron's (not much help), a little from kaplan's MCAT bio, and Examkracker's MCAT audio osmosis, as well as anything i got wrong in topscore. if you want to score in the 20's, kaplan's blue book is just not enough, in my opinion. i think a good supplement to that is the audio osmosis. i just put the whole thing on my ipod and listened to it about 3 times and made notecards. they go into a little more detail than you'll need on some stuff, but it really seems like almost anything is fair game in the bio section. so if you can afford the audio osmosis (coughbittorrentcough), i highly recommend it. oh, and i didnt get the sea urchin or any of those.

GC and OC - kaplan's blue book, definitely sufficient. there were some mechanisms that i ended up looking for online, but aside from that, the content that kaplan presents is right on. The real DAT was definitely easier for GC (just had to set up many problems). For OC, definitely know your E1, E2, markovnikov vs anti-markovnikov, etc. there were some tricky questions that i had to guess on because i wasnt sure where a double bond would end up, so practice that stuff.

This post is becoming excessively long, so I'll shut up. If you have any questions about my studying or the test, please ask, I'll be happy to share anything I can think of. If you're looking for study materials, just let me know, I'll give you a fair price on anything I'm getting rid of.

Everyone who is still studying, KEEP AT IT, the hard work will pay off!! And thank you to everyone on SDN who has posted throughout the past months, its been an unbelievable resource.

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Wow, great scores! Thank you for your feedback. My DAT is tomorrow, so I'm just going to go over a few of my bio outlines and take the rest of the off. I'll report back when I'm done tomorrow - can't wait till it's over! :scared: