Jul 29, 2009
87
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  1. Pre-Dental
Long time lurker, first time poster… Oh man, being DONE with this thing feels friggin' GREAT. Thanks, everyone on SDN who has been posting study tips, questions, etc. This has been a great resource. It was nice whenever a question came up on the exam about a topic someone on SDN had asked or talked about.

PAT 21 (93.0)
QR 16 (50.9) W....TF. :eek:
RC 18 (38.1) =/
BIO 20 (85.5)
GC 21 (86.2)
OC 24 (94.4) :rolleyes:

TS 22 (95.3) :)
AA 20 (84.0)

Okay, nothing groundbreaking that hasn't already been said a million times, but here we go anyway with a breakdown....


I studied for about 2 months. 4 hours a day, then more like 6-7 hrs. in the final 2 weeks or so.

BIO: Cliff's AP, Destroyer, and the Campbell textbook here and there for specific questions I bumped into while studying. I don't know why, I was worried I'd get tricky questions about exact numbers of NAD+ or GDP used in the TCA per glucose or something, but the couple respiration and photosynthesis questions I got were more general / conceptual. My genetics and Hardy-Weinberg-type problems were all nice and basic (simple crosses and p^2 + 2pq + q^2 = 1, etc). What else. Embryology. Functions of cellular organelles, and what they look like. Action potentials and how they work. I tried to make educated guesses on the more "random" questions, and usually was able to eliminate two or three of the choices. If I'd studied a few more weeks for this I feel my score probably would have actually been about the same. Was getting 19 – 21 on Topscore.

Gen Chem: Started by reviewing Kaplan BB, went through Destroyer once, made flashcards of the basic formulas I'd forgotten as I worked through the problems (osmolarity, vapor pressure, pH = pKa + log [A-]/[HA], etc.), waited a week, then went through Destroyer a second time to see what had stuck and what didn't. I felt this section turned out to be pretty straightforward. I usually get the "delta G and delta S for this reaction would be what?" type questions right by making a little chart, but this one was presented a bit differently and so threw me for a loop, somehow. Lots of simple stoichiometry, % composition type stuff. No complicated calculations, compared to Destroyer. Topscore scores were around 19.

O-Chem: Just finished this class in the Spring, so it was fresh. I guess I had a fairly tough / good professor, because a lot of these questions didn't seem too bad to me. If you took the standardized ACS exam, the DAT is waaaaay easier. Topscore was pretty representative, except I'd add CNMR, HNMR and IR. Unless I was zoning out, I don't think my class ever covered the questions like the ones in Destroyer and Topscore about whether molecules could mutarotate, reducing vs. non-reducing sugar, D-sugar, +/-Benedicts test, so I tried to learn that stuff, but it didn't end up showing up on my test. But don't not study that stuff cuz o'me. I thought Destroyer was a great review for this. Topscore: 19/20/24.

PAT: Compared with CDP, keyholes were about the same, although I almost guessed wrong on a couple of them near the very beginning, but thankfully lingered just a few extra seconds to see it was the less-obvious choice instead. TFE: easier than CDP for me, except for one, which drove me nuts. I probably spent two solid minutes on that one, finally guessed and marked it, and came back to it at the end. Still don't know whether I got that one right. Angles: easier than CDP. Sometimes I could pick out the smallest and largest angle quickly, and then there was only one answer choice that matched that, whereas that strategy rarely worked for me with CDP. Cubes: easier than CDP (fewer cubes to count). Hole punch: easier than CDP. Simple folds. Pattern Folding: about the same as one of the more challenging sets on CDP. About a third of these were the easy kind where you just had to pick the choice that shared the same shape on one or two sides. A few of the others seemed like toughies to me, so if I had to guess, this is where I bet I lost most of my points. My overall CDP scores averaged around 22-23, except for my first one or two tries, which were much lower.

15 MIN. BREAK: I think I did pretty good on this section. Peed and ate a Cliff bar, even though I didn't have much of an appetite at all.

RC: Ouch. Must have relaxed too much on my break. And not even a FRAP or piano to point the finger at. I am not an awful reader, but I am a slow reader, and I guess that came through a bit. I know many schools place a lot of stock in RC, so I would have liked to do a little better here, but that's okay. An 18 is 38th percentile? Damn. I actually felt decent after the first two passages, which were about floating bridges, and then cholera / epidemiology. Third passage was the more dense / scientific of the three, about the nervous system, gray matter, white matter, etc., and I blindly guessed on the last 7 questions or so, with no time left. What can I say, I am a slowpoke. For all I know, this was an easy passage, but my brain just did not want to absorb a scientific article by this point in the exam. Topscore: 18 – 19.

QR: Uh, was this a joke? I was waiting for Ashton Kucher to jump out or something. Like many have said, the time limit on this section was just totally ridiculous. 2 minutes left, and 14 questions remaining. Blechh. I never took trig, but always got A's in math/algebra, and brushed up for a couple weeks using Topscore and Destroyer. I felt today like I had a quick, correct approach with most of the algebra and word problems and was moving along at a reasonable clip while doing them… WRONG. You must have had to be friggin' Flash Gordon to survive this section or something, it felt like. After filling in "C" for the last FOURTEEN problems, I was freaked my score would come up an 11 or something. I have to admit, I'd be curious to administer the QR section, with this time limit, to 10 college math professors and see how they do. Not to be disrespectful to the test writers, but I sometimes question the relevance of being able to do math at BREAKNECK speed with regard to one's capacity to be a good dental student or dentist. Ah well, hopefully one or two adcoms out there will share my rebel philosophy on this and not care too much about this score. [BTW, I had to laugh when I first tried out the thing they were trying to pass off as an "eraser," which a kind SDNer thankfully had warned about in some post. The thing was this little computer mouse shaped deal with a piece of felt on the bottom. I don't know how many Pascals or pounds per square inch of pressure were required in order to actually get the thing to erase (fat, smelly marker), but it was way more than it should have been. Whatever. #2 pencils and a ream of paper would not have helped me much here, anyway. A device that pauses time would have been helpful.]

That's it. I was pretty nervous this morning, because I knew the RC and QR sections especially were weak spots for me. Ug. Ah well, it's great to be done, and I didn't get any 11's or anything. My GPA and sGPA are around 3.7.


Thanks again to all the SDNers who posted breakdowns, which I followed pretty consistently over the last couple months. Ya'll rock. If anyone has any insights regarding particular schools' cutoffs for RC and QR, I'd love to get your input. You can be honest... Thanks dudes!!!! :D
 
Last edited:

ResidentPersian

10+ Year Member
Jul 25, 2007
58
0
Status
  1. Pre-Dental
Great Scores!

How represenative do you think Orgo and Gen chem were to Destroyer? I'm in panic mode right now...I already have a solid grasp of Kaplan for both chem/ochem, so should i just concentrate on Destroyer for the both of them?

If I were to understand every problem in destroyer would I be alright? Or is destroyer missing anything in any of those two sections?



Also, I think you're fine...Most schools do not take QR into consideratino, or weight it less than the the other sections. If you did well in math in Undergrad, but screwed up on DAT math, they won't care as much..they'll know it was a fluke. Trust me, I had a personal, face to face conversation w/ the head of admissions at a prominant Dental school and that's what he told me.

Again, great scores!
 
Jul 29, 2009
87
0
Status
  1. Pre-Dental
Great Scores!

How represenative do you think Orgo and Gen chem were to Destroyer? I'm in panic mode right now...I already have a solid grasp of Kaplan for both chem/ochem, so should i just concentrate on Destroyer for the both of them?

If I were to understand every problem in destroyer would I be alright? Or is destroyer missing anything in any of those two sections?

I can't think of anything that Destroyer really missed, to be honest, except it may have been a little light on NMR / IR practice. If you've got your textbook handy, I'd consider brushing up those using that, because it seems like everyone's getting at least one or two of those. Other than that, yeah, I thought Destroyer was more than sufficient for these sections. Topscore was probably a little more representative in terms of the type of question -- but if you can do Destroyer, you can do Topscore, IMO. Good luck. (I understand panic mode.)
 
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ResidentPersian

10+ Year Member
Jul 25, 2007
58
0
Status
  1. Pre-Dental
I can't think of anything that Destroyer really missed, to be honest, except it may have been a little light on NMR / IR practice. If you've got your textbook handy, I'd consider brushing up those using that, because it seems like everyone's getting at least one or two of those. Other than that, yeah, I thought Destroyer was more than sufficient for these sections. Topscore was probably a little more representative in terms of the type of question -- but if you can do Destroyer, you can do Topscore, IMO. Good luck. (I understand panic mode.)


Thanks! Also, how representatie do you think Cliffs is for Bio? I pretty much know everything in the book, but, again, I'm in panic mode. I'vebeen reading campbell's for Genetics, Embryology, endo and kidney sections. Do you recommend reading campbell's for any other section, or does cliff's suffice?

Also, as I mentioned above in my edited post: congrats on ur scores and you can definatley get into a top flight school with yours scores!
 
Jul 29, 2009
87
0
Status
  1. Pre-Dental
Thanks! Also, how representatie do you think Cliffs is for Bio? I pretty much know everything in the book, but, again, I'm in panic mode. I'vebeen reading campbell's for Genetics, Embryology, endo and kidney sections. Do you recommend reading campbell's for any other section, or does cliff's suffice?

Yeah, Cliff's sums up the major Bio concepts pretty well -- maybe a little heavy on plants for the DAT? My test version, anyway, only had one photosynthesis question and nothing else on plants. But who knows, other folks get more plant questions. Bio is tricky to study for, because it's so broad -- whereas I feel like the GC and OC call upon a finite set of rules which, if you understand, will allow you to answer most (not all) questions the DAT will throw at you. My advice would be to get comfy with Cliff's, then, with the random questions, try to eliminate obviously wrong answers if possible. When you're taking the exam, recognize when you just don't know something, guess and mark it, then let it go. And remember, it's okay to miss stuff -- you can still get a good score.

Also, as I mentioned above in my edited post: congrats on ur scores and you can definatley get into a top flight school with yours scores!
Thanks, ResidentPersian. I hope yer right. :xf:
 

HossIX949

10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Mar 23, 2009
49
0
Irvine, CA
Status
  1. Pre-Dental
Congrats on your success.

In your bio break down you mentioned that if you had a few more weeks to study you wouldve nailed this section. What material would you have studied for the random questions? Are they pertaining more towards cell bio or are they the type of questions where you must apply your knowledge to a real scenario?

I know a lot of DAT takers label the bio section random but by that do you mean you have never come across the info asked or is it something you remember going over but thought that it wouldnt be tested on?
 
Jul 29, 2009
87
0
Status
  1. Pre-Dental
Congrats on your success.

In your bio break down you mentioned that if you had a few more weeks to study you wouldve nailed this section. What material would you have studied for the random questions? Are they pertaining more towards cell bio or are they the type of questions where you must apply your knowledge to a real scenario?

Thanks, HossIX949.

Regarding the Bio -- actually, what I said was that if I'd studied a few more weeks (and that's what I really wanted to do, BTW), I felt my score would have been about the SAME, hehe.

Both types of questions you describe were on the exam, i.e., stuff like "what cellular function does this [pictured] organelle carry out?", to broader application questions like "what would this animal have to do in order to survive such and such situation in nature?" If you have a solid foundation in Bio, you can reason most of them out, or whittle down to a couple possibilities. I was thrown by a question about male reproductive anatomy, which was not a difficult question at all -- I just probably wouldn't have looked at that bit of info. (...okay, I just checked Cliff's to see if they covered it, and they did -- so maybe 2 or 3 more weeks would have bumped my score up a little after all, who knows.)

If you have limited time and are trying to maximize your TS score, I guess I'd make sure you know Cliff's well, use your reasoning/logic on test day, when possible, and shoot for a relative percentile on this section that you will be happy with, rather than a raw score of 29, or something, which might never happen. Then focus more on any concepts in OC and GC you're rusty on, since each chem concept can be applied to a VARIETY of possible questions on the DAT, rather than try to read Campbell's cover to cover in hopes of acing the Bio. Just my 2 cents.

. . . do you mean you have never come across the info asked or is it something you remember going over but thought that it wouldnt be tested on?
Both kinds. ;)
 
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