Bingwen

2+ Year Member
Mar 15, 2016
607
324
Status
Pre-Dental
I hadn’t really planned on doing a breakdown because my scores are not very impressive when compared to a lot of peoples’ scores. I thought, however, that perhaps people could use some motivation and I feel like my DAT provides that. I am going to give a little background about me so feel free to scroll past to the breakdown if you like.

I am a non-traditional student in that it took me about 10 years to get my bachelor’s degree. I struggled with finding out what I wanted to do and really struggled academically the first 2 years of my college career (take your worst semester and subtract 2 grade points and you might be close). I am a biotechnology major and all of the prereqs and DAT classes were taken at least 6 years ago. I finally found out I wanted to do dental about 2 years ago and have been working toward attaining a goal I thought impossible since. Because of my low GPA I am taking a roundabout way to get to dental school in that I am going to obtain my masters first and then ideally I will attend after that. In the last year I have taken nearly 120 credits and this summer I took 39 in an accelerated 5 week semester. My classes actually ended about a week and half ago. This summer I got a 4.0. I knew that this would leave me with limited DAT study time though and so despite what many people do on this site I took a different approach.

I started studying for the DAT in January. I selected one topic and decided to focus on that first. I started by reading though Feralis notes first. I then read cliffs 10 pages each day taking detailed notes. I took 36 credits this last spring and so my time was limited, but I took diligent notes and reviewed my notes at the end of every week. After I finished I had a 2014 destroyer and started going through the questions. Again I took diligent notes on every question even the ones that I got right to ensure that I had a list of topics that I didn’t know. I did no more than 20 questions a day and at the end I compiled all of my notes. I then went through destroyer 50 to 75 questions at a time. Through this I was able to narrow down the broad topics that I was still getting wrong.

This took me up until May as I attended a research conference and had other family thing pop up. At this point I watched all of Chad’s GenChem videos and then watched Mike’s videos through Bootcamp. I took notes and did the quizzes that each one had. I just finished when my summer semester started and studying for the DAT took a backseat. I finished my last final on the 5th of this month and then took my first practice test on the 6th. I raced through Ochem and did practice tests from Kaplan, DAT Bootcamp and the 2009 and 2007 exams. I doubled up on practice tests some days which made to be long days. I did my best to look over each exam and again take notes on where I was deficient on both right and wrong answers.

I finally got to take my DAT today and start my Master’s degree on Monday. It has been a whirlwind of a few months. I want to thank all of SDN as reading your posts and getting to see questions answered and breakdowns given I was able to push through and get acceptable scores on the DAT.

Now without further ado I give the actual breakdown:

Biology (22): I am actually a little disappointed with this score as I thought I answered all but one confidently and am really curious where I got questions wrong here. I had a number of animal behavior and genetics questions. Those stood out to me as the heavy hitters at least on my exam. I used Bootcamp, Destroyer, Kahn Academy and Cliffs/Feralis. Feralis was great for me to get an idea of how I wanted to do my notes. I ended with over 100 pages of notes from Cliffs and the other pieces. I tend to remember a lot better if I physically write the notes though and thus did not really study from Feralis so much as use his notes as a guide to create my own. Cliffs was huge. I kept track of how I did on every question in destroyer and I average about 6 out 10 correct my first time through and I attribute much of that to cliffs. They second time that I went through Destroyer I only missed about 3/50 or so. I feel like, for me at least, all of these pieces were extremely important. I used destroyer and cliffs to build up a large base knowledge and then Bootcamp to test my speed and finalize a few thing that I was getting wrong.

General Chemistry (20): This was probably one of the tougher sections for me because I had very little practice when compared to the other parts of the DAT. I had a large amount of solubility, acid/base and electro chemistry. These are parts that I did not focus enough on as I got close to the DAT and my Bootcamp scores showed that as well. I used both Chads and Mikes videos to go over genchem and given that I have not taken this class in close to 8 years I will take what I got on the DAT. Both video sets were great. One issue that I had with both Mike’s Ochem and GenChem videos were that there are still some things that are wrong in the videos. I know that they are working hard to fix these issues and it sounds like they are planning to reshoot them, but that did make some of the information a little harder to learn with them. Chad’s videos were as great as most people say and there some things that I doubt I will ever forget thanks to both Chad and Mike.

Ochem (23): This was a bit of a shocker for me honestly. I thought I would do very poorly as I did not have time to really relearn ochem and it made me seriously consider pushing out my DAT because of my lack of confidence in this area. I mainly focused on Mikes videos only because they were broken up and labeled a little easier for me when compared to Chad’s but they were both good. Destroyer was hard and I struggled a lot going through it. I was able to learn a lot and of course taking detailed notes on everything that I learned was important. One thing in regards to destroyer on both Ochem and GenChem is that it is very calculation heavy. This was great because a lot of the calculations I was able to do quickly and without much problem because of the large number of questions that used them. That being said I had very few equation or mechanism questions in either one.

PAT (21): I am willing to go out on a limb here and say that all of the questions that I got wrong were angle ranking. I never really got the hang of it. Keyholes were really easy in my opinion with each answer relatively obvious. TFE was a little challenging at times but I felt comfortable with all of my answers. I used the grid method, not sure if it has a name, for hole punch and that never let me down on practice tests. The angle ranking was a crap shoot and I guessed on a fair amount of them. Cube counting I used the tally method and the only major downfall that I wasn’t expecting was that I ended up going through 7 different images which I was not expecting. I had one that only had one question for it. This rattled me a little as I was worried that time might start to play a factor given that it increased that amount of counting that I did by a decent amount. Pattern folding has always been the easiest for me. I don’t fold until I narrow down obvious wrong answers (incorrect shading, etc) then I fold if I have to and on Bootcamp I consistently got 14 or 15/15. I finished this section with 10 minutes remaining which made me glad that Bootcamp was harder on every section.

Reading Comprehension (24): was much easier than Bootcamp and many of the questions were straight picks from the articles and despite having 2 really odd articles it went rather smoothly. I am a researcher by trade/hobby and thus read a lot of scientific articles which I think helped me a lot in prepping for and doing this part of the test.

QR (19): Honestly, I am so thankful I got a 19 on this section. This was always going to be my worst section as I did very little studying for it and I hate math. As many people have said there was a large amount of quantitative comparison questions on the exam and I thought that both Bootcamp and the ones that Orgoman put out are great examples of what to expect. I had literally no trig on mine and very little geometry. I did have a lot of probability though, the one thing I know how to do well, and I think this is what saved me on the real DAT.

…….This is my breakdown. I want all of you still studying to know that if I can do this then so can you. I have an excel sheet with my study schedule as well as all my practice scores if anyone is randomly interested in how I did my study schedule. Feel free to ask any questions and I will do my best to answer them. I want to thank you all again for everything that you post. It was extremely helpful and without SDN I am certain that I would have failed for sure. I am off to get some sleep before my daughter decides that she needs to sleep in our bed and I end up getting heel kicked to the face 2 or 3 times. J Good luck everyone!!
 

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I hadn’t really planned on doing a breakdown because my scores are not very impressive when compared to a lot of peoples’ scores. I thought, however, that perhaps people could use some motivation and I feel like my DAT provides that. I am going to give a little background about me so feel free to scroll past to the breakdown if you like.

I am a non-traditional student in that it took me about 10 years to get my bachelor’s degree. I struggled with finding out what I wanted to do and really struggled academically the first 2 years of my college career (take your worst semester and subtract 2 grade points and you might be close). I am a biotechnology major and all of the prereqs and DAT classes were taken at least 6 years ago. I finally found out I wanted to do dental about 2 years ago and have been working toward attaining a goal I thought impossible since. Because of my low GPA I am taking a roundabout way to get to dental school in that I am going to obtain my masters first and then ideally I will attend after that. In the last year I have taken nearly 120 credits and this summer I took 39 in an accelerated 5 week semester. My classes actually ended about a week and half ago. This summer I got a 4.0. I knew that this would leave me with limited DAT study time though and so despite what many people do on this site I took a different approach.

I started studying for the DAT in January. I selected one topic and decided to focus on that first. I started by reading though Feralis notes first. I then read cliffs 10 pages each day taking detailed notes. I took 36 credits this last spring and so my time was limited, but I took diligent notes and reviewed my notes at the end of every week. After I finished I had a 2014 destroyer and started going through the questions. Again I took diligent notes on every question even the ones that I got right to ensure that I had a list of topics that I didn’t know. I did no more than 20 questions a day and at the end I compiled all of my notes. I then went through destroyer 50 to 75 questions at a time. Through this I was able to narrow down the broad topics that I was still getting wrong.

This took me up until May as I attended a research conference and had other family thing pop up. At this point I watched all of Chad’s GenChem videos and then watched Mike’s videos through Bootcamp. I took notes and did the quizzes that each one had. I just finished when my summer semester started and studying for the DAT took a backseat. I finished my last final on the 5th of this month and then took my first practice test on the 6th. I raced through Ochem and did practice tests from Kaplan, DAT Bootcamp and the 2009 and 2007 exams. I doubled up on practice tests some days which made to be long days. I did my best to look over each exam and again take notes on where I was deficient on both right and wrong answers.

I finally got to take my DAT today and start my Master’s degree on Monday. It has been a whirlwind of a few months. I want to thank all of SDN as reading your posts and getting to see questions answered and breakdowns given I was able to push through and get acceptable scores on the DAT.

Now without further ado I give the actual breakdown:

Biology (22): I am actually a little disappointed with this score as I thought I answered all but one confidently and am really curious where I got questions wrong here. I had a number of animal behavior and genetics questions. Those stood out to me as the heavy hitters at least on my exam. I used Bootcamp, Destroyer, Kahn Academy and Cliffs/Feralis. Feralis was great for me to get an idea of how I wanted to do my notes. I ended with over 100 pages of notes from Cliffs and the other pieces. I tend to remember a lot better if I physically write the notes though and thus did not really study from Feralis so much as use his notes as a guide to create my own. Cliffs was huge. I kept track of how I did on every question in destroyer and I average about 6 out 10 correct my first time through and I attribute much of that to cliffs. They second time that I went through Destroyer I only missed about 3/50 or so. I feel like, for me at least, all of these pieces were extremely important. I used destroyer and cliffs to build up a large base knowledge and then Bootcamp to test my speed and finalize a few thing that I was getting wrong.

General Chemistry (20): This was probably one of the tougher sections for me because I had very little practice when compared to the other parts of the DAT. I had a large amount of solubility, acid/base and electro chemistry. These are parts that I did not focus enough on as I got close to the DAT and my Bootcamp scores showed that as well. I used both Chads and Mikes videos to go over genchem and given that I have not taken this class in close to 8 years I will take what I got on the DAT. Both video sets were great. One issue that I had with both Mike’s Ochem and GenChem videos were that there are still some things that are wrong in the videos. I know that they are working hard to fix these issues and it sounds like they are planning to reshoot them, but that did make some of the information a little harder to learn with them. Chad’s videos were as great as most people say and there some things that I doubt I will ever forget thanks to both Chad and Mike.

Ochem (23): This was a bit of a shocker for me honestly. I thought I would do very poorly as I did not have time to really relearn ochem and it made me seriously consider pushing out my DAT because of my lack of confidence in this area. I mainly focused on Mikes videos only because they were broken up and labeled a little easier for me when compared to Chad’s but they were both good. Destroyer was hard and I struggled a lot going through it. I was able to learn a lot and of course taking detailed notes on everything that I learned was important. One thing in regards to destroyer on both Ochem and GenChem is that it is very calculation heavy. This was great because a lot of the calculations I was able to do quickly and without much problem because of the large number of questions that used them. That being said I had very few equation or mechanism questions in either one.

PAT (21): I am willing to go out on a limb here and say that all of the questions that I got wrong were angle ranking. I never really got the hang of it. Keyholes were really easy in my opinion with each answer relatively obvious. TFE was a little challenging at times but I felt comfortable with all of my answers. I used the grid method, not sure if it has a name, for hole punch and that never let me down on practice tests. The angle ranking was a crap shoot and I guessed on a fair amount of them. Cube counting I used the tally method and the only major downfall that I wasn’t expecting was that I ended up going through 7 different images which I was not expecting. I had one that only had one question for it. This rattled me a little as I was worried that time might start to play a factor given that it increased that amount of counting that I did by a decent amount. Pattern folding has always been the easiest for me. I don’t fold until I narrow down obvious wrong answers (incorrect shading, etc) then I fold if I have to and on Bootcamp I consistently got 14 or 15/15. I finished this section with 10 minutes remaining which made me glad that Bootcamp was harder on every section.

Reading Comprehension (24): was much easier than Bootcamp and many of the questions were straight picks from the articles and despite having 2 really odd articles it went rather smoothly. I am a researcher by trade/hobby and thus read a lot of scientific articles which I think helped me a lot in prepping for and doing this part of the test.

QR (19): Honestly, I am so thankful I got a 19 on this section. This was always going to be my worst section as I did very little studying for it and I hate math. As many people have said there was a large amount of quantitative comparison questions on the exam and I thought that both Bootcamp and the ones that Orgoman put out are great examples of what to expect. I had literally no trig on mine and very little geometry. I did have a lot of probability though, the one thing I know how to do well, and I think this is what saved me on the real DAT.

…….This is my breakdown. I want all of you still studying to know that if I can do this then so can you. I have an excel sheet with my study schedule as well as all my practice scores if anyone is randomly interested in how I did my study schedule. Feel free to ask any questions and I will do my best to answer them. I want to thank you all again for everything that you post. It was extremely helpful and without SDN I am certain that I would have failed for sure. I am off to get some sleep before my daughter decides that she needs to sleep in our bed and I end up getting heel kicked to the face 2 or 3 times. J Good luck everyone!!
Congratulations!

DAT Beast Destroyed! Your scores are above average ! Thank you for posting your detailed breakdown and proofing a non traditional student can obtain high scores with hard work and perseverance.

Dr. Jim Romano and Nancy
 
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Faefly

2+ Year Member
Jun 21, 2016
1,990
1,163
Status
Dental Student
You know your scores are awesome and above the average!
Best of luck on your Master Degree you are very hardworking student and it paid off!
I know you said you are a researcher, so RC was not that hard for you, but what was your method?
and I am also curious, do they bring 2 science one non science or are all of them scientific articles?
Also, can you share how much did you score on your practice tests?
 
OP
Bingwen

Bingwen

2+ Year Member
Mar 15, 2016
607
324
Status
Pre-Dental
You know your scores are awesome and above the average!
Best of luck on your Master Degree you are very hardworking student and it paid off!
I know you said you are a researcher, so RC was not that hard for you, but what was your method?
and I am also curious, do they bring 2 science one non science or are all of them scientific articles?
Also, can you share how much did you score on your practice tests?
So for me RC came easy. All three of my articles were science based. I had a Chemistry type article, a physiology one and a more general biology one. I am a fairly fast reader, which definitely helped on this part of the test. I read the first question and then read until I could answer it. For my DAT, the questions were all over the place position wise. The biggest thing that helped me was reading the passage "out loud" in my head. This kept me interested in the topic and also helped me pick up on extra words. I personally had very few tone or correct/wrong questions. Many of mine were straight forward.

So my first ever practice test was a free one that Kaplan offered on the 6th of this month. I got:

19 Bio/ 16 GenChem/ 16 Ochem/ 20 RC/ 16RC and 22 PAT
I then freaked out and spent the next week or so going over material. Then I started my Bootcamp tests.

20 Bio/ 19 GenChem/ 20 Ochem/ 22 RC/ 17 QR and 19 PAT (8/11)
22 Bio/ 22 GenChem/ 19 Ochem/ 20 RC/ 19 QR and 19 PAT (8/14)
22 Bio/ 19 GenChem/ 18 Ochem/ 20 RC/ 17 QR and 21 PAT (8/15)
20 Bio/ 22 GenChem/ 19 Ochem/ 24 RC/ 17 QR and 19 PAT (8/15)
21 Bio/ 19 GenChem/ 20 Ochem/ 20 RC/ 16 QR and 20 PAT (8/16)

Then 8/17 was the real DAT.
 
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