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Advice on preparations- 1 week left to DAT

Discussion in 'Pre-Dental' started by marchr, Aug 22, 2015.

  1. marchr

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    Hi Everyone,

    I have about 8 days left before I take my DATs. I've taken the five exams as part of the Kaplan Course and done the BootCamp exams (twice) now. I've spent about 3 months so far, and during the first half of my review, I worked on Destroyer (twice).

    These are my current scores: Bio/G Chem/O Chem/RC/QR/PAT
    Kaplan Exam 1 20/18/19/19/16/16
    Kaplan Exam 2: 19/21/20/23/15/21
    Kaplan Exam 3: 17/18/22/20/17/19
    Kaplan Exam 4: 20/23/23/18/16/18
    Kaplan Exam 5: 18/21/22/18/16/22

    Anyone take these exams and felt Kaplan was an accurate gauge of their performance? How do you think I stand based on these scores?

    I finished everything on bootcamp's PAT, but I'm having a lot of difficulty with angle ranking and keyholes. I spend the last ~18 mins on keyholes and I'm still pulling 8-9/15. What suggestions do you guys have for improvement in this area? Are Kaplan's keyholes more similar to actual, than Bootcamp?

    I've never been able to finish the math section on any practice exam. I'm scoring about a 25/40 on most Bootcamp and Kpalan exams. Is this not finishing indicative of the actual exam? Any suggestions for increasing speed?

    Lastly, I'm just wondering if I should focus on taking as many practice exams as I can, or if I should just focus on math and PAT these last few days? Should I also be reviewing my content notes (which take me about 4 hours a day to review). I'm also wondering if I should revisit Destroyer, since it's been about 2 months since I've last worked on it. I would appreciate any help and pointers. Sorry, I made this so long-winded.
     
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  3. PLAQUE-MAN

    2+ Year Member

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    Personally, I felt that the Kaplan online practice tests undershoot your performance. On those practice tests I kept getting 17-18 on every section, with a 14-15 on bio. I just took my DAT two days ago and my scores were much higher (AA 23 | TS 22 | PAT 23). Additionally, I believe that Kaplan gives lower scores to students so they don't have to do that "higher score or money back guarantee" thing.

    Keep doing practice problems as you've been doing, yet put more of an emphasis on the math and PAT. You want your scores to be consistent. But seriously, your scores were way higher than mine on the Kaplan tests, so I have a strong feeling you will do very well on this exam.

    Good luck to you! You can do it! :)
     
    pulltheleverkronk likes this.
  4. marchr

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    Wow, congratulations on the amazing score!! Thanks for the background, I'm just so used to Kaplan's exams that I'm afraid I'll trip up if the question style is completely different on the actual. If you don't mind me asking, how does the Kaplan PAT section/math section compare to the actual. It's the math I'm really worried about!
     
    XG2 Heatfist likes this.
  5. studentdental8

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    Try to work more on math problems and above all, memorize all the formulas/tricks/calculation shortcuts. I have a strong background of math and stats through engineering undergrad but still felt time pressured for QR on the DAT. But gl to you!
     
    marchr likes this.
  6. PLAQUE-MAN

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    I felt that the math section was very similar to the Kaplan tests. The thing with mathematics is, there aren't too many different ways they can ask each type of question. I would suggest studying up on statistics though, although it's easy, it almost tripped me up!

    I would say that the PAT was a little harder, specifically the keyholes and angles. Definitely keep on practicing those!

    Really though, I felt the actual DAT was easier overall in comparison to the Kaplan tests, so with the scores you've been getting, you will do great! :D
     
    marchr likes this.
  7. ajmcq

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    This final week is critical, but it's important not to burn out. You want to be fresh and rested for test day. Smooth out any material you are not sure about with practice questions and understand any mistakes you make. Definitely not a bad idea to go back over some Destroyer questions. For the math section, timing is everything. There are three types of questions in Quant (easy, medium and hard), and they all count the same. When you initially read the question, if you don't know exactly how to find the answer, mark and skip. No sense in spending extra time on hard questions when you can be answering all the easy and medium questions to maximize your score. Don't be afraid to mark a question and come back to it at the end.

    My Kaplan scores were a lot lower than my real DAT score. Bootcamp and Destroyer were my favorite resources for sure. Bootcamp PAT is most comparable to the real PAT. Do plenty of those questions.

    Good luck come test day.
     
    marchr likes this.
  8. marchr

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    What type of stat problems would you recommend. I know they've apparently added more, but with the math destroyer, I've only run into the normal distribution type curve for stat problems. I don't know if permutations, and probability fall under that category...
     
  9. PLAQUE-MAN

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    There is usually at least one normal distribution problem, as well as probably one permutation and two probablity questions. At least that's what I frequently had on practice tests and the real DAT too!
     
    marchr likes this.
  10. Hammer Time

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    I posted this on another thread not too long ago. Here it is:

    Here's what I would do:
    1. Lots of practice tests. They let you know where you stand and where you need improvement. (DAT bootcamp is pretty good, except don't worry about the DAT bootcamp math, it's way too hard)
    2. Read over your notes a lot. If you did chad's videos, the notes that come along with the gen chem, and o chem are pretty comprehensive.
    3. Don't read over kaplan orgo or chem (I got a 24 science score, and I haven't read those sections till this day).
    4. Take the 2007 free sample DAT. (It will boost your ego, but remember, the real test is going to be a little bit harder)
    5. Make sure you get decent sleep the night before the DAT (I was having nightmares that night, and I had a really hard time getting to sleep, haha)
    6. Don't worry if you miss a lot of the DAT destroyer questions (I got a little more than half right on some sections, but ended up getting 23,25, and 26 on the science sections of the actual DAT).
    7. Don't stress if you don't know every little detail. Just try to learn the basics and master them. That's mostly what the DAT tests on
    8. Two or one day before the test: Read over all your biology notes (that's what I did, and scored a 25 on the Biology part) - just because the biology is so easy to forget.

    And during test day: Don't get flustered. If you get a hard reading passage on the reading section, skip all the questions and go to the next reading section. It may be easier. If you are having a hard time figuring out a gen chem question, skip it and move on. If you are on quantitative reasoning: skip the hard questions and come back to them when you have time at the end. Just fill in an answer, mark it, and go back to it if you have time. You can really make up a lot of points on the DAT by just managing your time well.

    Good luck :)

    Oh and also, if you aren't doing as great on the practice tests as you would like, don't worry. I wasn't. Then I took the real thing and ended up getting a 23 AA. You may surprise yourself (for better or worse, so make sure you study hard).
     
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  11. marchr

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    Thanks, I"ll definitely be taking this into consideration! The 2007 was definitely a boost, since I got almost a perfect in every section. I just took the 2009 one, and it didn't go quite as well. I should probably stop taking anymore practice tests before I'm completely out of confidence lol.
     
  12. Hammer Time

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    If you were doing almost perfect on the 2007 version, you will be fine :)
     

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