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Angle ranking/TFE strategies


Full Member
2+ Year Member
Nov 19, 2018
    Hello all, Just curious as to which strategies have helped with these two sections on the 2019-2020 Dat. I've been doing well with keyholes, pattern folding and the rest of the sections but angle ranking and TFE have proven to be my worst sections by far. like 50% or less right. I've seen that line counting for TFE doesn't work anymore and for angle ranking are you really able to spot more "black" where the two lines intersect? I'm using PAT Booster and neither of those strategies work. Apparently I don't have the eyes for those two sections lol Anyway if theirs anyone who has taken it recently that have found a way to do well, please let me know! I've tried the general strategies that you'll find online but just isn't clicking. Thanks in advance

    Also I know each test is different but do they tend to be all acute angle, or all obtuse in the questions or do they range from acute to obtuse in the same question. Also how common is it that they show up facing all different directions? Does it help to hold up the pencil up against the computer?
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    2+ Year Member
    Gold Member
    Apr 25, 2019
    Laniakea Supercluster
    1. Dental Student
      For angle ranking, I imagined an equilateral triangle for each angle. The same lengthen sides are same for all angles. So I then compare the imaginary third line. A longer one indicates a larger angle than a smaller line. The technique I used was suitable for anything less than 90 degrees regardless of orientation. For obtuse angles, I extended one line to form an acute angle that I can compare using the aforementioned technique. Also, I am pretty sure its random in arrangement. Don't bet on them being in the same orientation. To be safe, I would work on orientation-independent techniques.

      For TFE, I think of features in one view as "projecting" onto other views. A hole seen in one view would project as a rectangle onto another view for example. In this way, I was mentally relating all the features and coming up with a mental 3D image. I didn't need to try this but one thing that MAY be helpful is taking a 3D image from keyhole questions and just drawing out the top-front-end views without looking at the answer. Point is, get used to seeing how different features look from different angles. Also, to help myself mentally keep track of features, I used names to precisely refer to various features such as bevels, slots, through holes, blind holes, extrusion, fillet, etc.

      Don't be afraid to experiment and create your own techniques. I experimented with a variety of techniques and came up with the above for angle ranking. Even for different types of angles, I have variations of different techniques. Importantly, don't linger too much on one question. If you can get fast with practice, then it will be very helpful to switch between techniques on the fly like I did to verify my answer choices. Otherwise, after answering everything and you have a bit of time left, go review the questions you marked earlier and try different techniques to validate your answers.
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      New Member
      Oct 13, 2020
      1. Pre-Dental
        I took the DAT at the end of November and scored PAT 18, QR 19, RC 23, BIO 22, GC 19, OC 20, TS 20, AA 21. I scored an 18 in the PAT section because I know I struggled with keyholes, TFE and pattern folding throughout my studying but I do believe I found an effective strategy for angle ranking and consistently scored between 10-14 / 15 on the Bootcamp angle ranking tests. I thought to myself, man, how helpful it would be if you could just move the angles and directly compare them and I figured out a way to do it (sort of).

        If you've ever done a magic eye puzzle you know how you can cross your eyes and maintain focus while they are crossed, and so I think of this as sort of a "magic eye strategy". What I did was basically this, crossing your eyes to directly shift one angle next to the one I wanted to compare it to while maintaining focus and clarity of each angle. It works very very well for angles in which both angles have one parallel line and the difference you are looking for is in the other 'arm'. It also works really well in conjunction with the nesting strategy. The angles on the real exam were much easier than the Bootcamp ones as well, at least in my case.

        Best of luck!

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