Breakdown 9/17

Discussion in 'DAT Discussions' started by predent31414, 09.21.14.

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  1. predent31414

    predent31414

    Joined:
    05.28.14
    Messages:
    71
    I figured I'd post a breakdown since I've read so many on here and they helped me through my studying. A little about me:
    Background: Had a rough few semesters (calc, cell bio, and organic) midway through my undergrad, but graduated with a 3.4 science GPA (strong upward trend as they say) and 3.8 non-science. Decided to do a master's after getting a research assistantship, and have a 4.0 graduate GPA after two years of grad biology classes. I kept putting off my DAT until the LAST possible minute (literally), which is something i suggest everyone else avoid. I'm happy with a 22 and cross my fingers daily that these scores are good enough to get me in somewhere this round :)
    My scores:
    BIO: 28
    OC: 21
    GC: 20
    RC: 22
    QR: 21
    PAT: 20
    TS: 22
    AA: 22

    I attempted to study for this exam for over two years, and failed miserably. I would always get caught up in the craziness of the semester every time I would try. After I finished my second year of grad school I started to get my applications together and spent the whole summer working full time and studying DAT every chance I had. I probably studied around 4-8 hours a day, anywhere from 4-7 days a week. Once mid-august hit, my job was over and I spent almost every day in the library studying (with a few days off here and there for my own sanity) until my test (sept 17). I had already sent out my applications mid august so the pressure was on to not bomb this DAT and not have to re-take, crushing any chance I had of getting in this round.

    Materials/test day:
    BIO: I used just about everything. Destroyer was good, make sure you have a general knowledge of just about everything you learned in your intro bio classes since this is so random (cell, genetics, evolution, phylogeny, techniques, physiology, etc). I watched youtube videos on things I knew I needed to brush up on (Khan, etc), skimmed Ferrali's notes, Read through the AP bio books and used my Campbell's bio textbook as a reference when I needed help. Overall I felt pretty comfortable with Bio since I've been working in a micro lab and teaching cell bio/genetics at my school for 2 years. My bio section was just random, so I just suggest skimming as many resources as possible and reviewing terms you don't know whenever you see them. Qvault is a great resource for this!

    GC: Qvault (9/10) Chad's for review (10/10) Bootcamp (10/10) and destroyer (10/10) are all you need to do well in this section. Make sure you are comfortable estimating math for GC questions, as I had a ton of math calculations and no calculator, which took me a lot of time and I got flustered mid-way through this section. I was pretty disappointed with my score here.

    OC: Again, Chad is the man, and I used Qvault, destroyer, and Bootcamp. I found myself rushing here because i spent a lot of extra time on the GC section, time management is key.

    PAT: for this section i mostly used bootcamp. Their random angle generators and pattern folding/hole punching generators are AMAZING. I really sucked at this section and I was extremely frustrated after my practice tests. Honestly, I should of spent a lot more time practicing for this section, but I waited till the last minute (1.5 weeks before my exam) to really start getting serious about this section. I even bought crack DAT but never really used it, as I am lazy and always thought my time would be better spend reviewing sciences (I was wrong). My best advice would be to use bootcamp's resources and get a head start on this section, and really look at the wrong answer explanations on the bootcamp tests because they are SO helpful, especially keyholes, which are the worst..

    RC: I have read probably over 300 scientific articles in the past two years in my graduate classes so the only practice I had in this section was bootcamp and it was pretty similar to my actual exam. Luckily I had a passage on fungal infections and one on mesenchymal stem cells and tooth formation (which i did a meta-analysis paper on in one of my classes) so i was happy. My second passage though, was the absolute WORST.

    QR: I used Math destroyer, some Q vault tests, and bootcamp. I was getting really frustrated with my scores on practice exams because I would run out of time with 10-15 questions left sometimes. Overall my QR section was MUCH easier than any I had done on practice tests, and I didn't run out of time. I was certain I was getting a 17 on this section based on my practice scores so when i saw a 21 i was THRILLED to be honest.


    In summary:
    The thing I felt was most helpful was sitting down and taking a full length almost every day the week before my exam (Bootcamp). It was tiring but Bootcamp's resources are absolutely amazing and i highly suggest you use them to your advantage. After I took the exams, section by section, I would take a few hours and review anything I had missed. This is a great way to get you used to time management for your real exam. Supplementing this with Destroyer and Qvault and Chad's along the way and starting early will guarantee you killer scores on your DAT. After going through the destroyer once, I broke it down into question sets (40 for Bio, 30 for GC and OC) and did these daily, which was helpful.

    Sorry for writing a novel but I hope this breakdown will help some others in the way that all the breakdowns on SDN helped me. Any questions feel free to ask and good luck with your studying!

    Here are my bootcamp scores in case anyone is curious.
    BIO/GC/OC/PAT/RC/QR
    26/17/20/18/21/17
    25/20/20/18/20/17
    27/19/19/17/20/20
    21/19/24/18/22/20
    22/19/20/18/20/18
     
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  3. Syntav

    Syntav 2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    09.10.14
    Messages:
    135
    awesome scores, especially the 28 in Bio. Good luck this cycle!
     
  4. jaf004

    jaf004 2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    04.30.14
    Messages:
    132
    Status:
    Pre-Dental
    Amazing scores! Thanks for sharing! As college graduate myself, I bombed my first dat and I am planning to retake on October 22nd. I hope by then I'll be ready. By the that is a lot of material to cover! Did you time yourself using destroyer?
     
  5. predent31414

    predent31414

    Joined:
    05.28.14
    Messages:
    71
    Thank you! :) You have so much time to prepare and since you took it already you already have a good idea of how it goes I'm sure! I did time myself on destroyer towards the end, it wasn't as helpful as I thought since those questions are kind of different from the general format of the DAT (i think). Honestly, I would just focus on reviewing your answers as much as possible, and more importantly going over the things you missed. Chad's outlines are good, especially for organic, he has the reactions list which is a good thing to review whenever you get a free moment. All of the reactions on my test were covered on those review sheets!
     
    jaf004 likes this.
  6. predent31414

    predent31414

    Joined:
    05.28.14
    Messages:
    71
    Thanks so much!!
     
  7. mkhan27

    mkhan27 2+ Year Member

    Joined:
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    Messages:
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    Status:
    Pre-Dental
    Great scores and congrats. That bio score is stellar man! You are definitely set to get in.

    One question: I am doing Math Destroyer a second time with time now. I seem to be getting with the timing issue but never finish all the problems on time. Hopefully with more practice it'll get better. You mentioned that the real DAT QR section is easier. Do you think that Math Destroyer is a useful resource still or would you say something else that you used would be better? I am kind of worried now that Math Destroyer might unprepare me for the actual QR section.
     
    Last edited: 09.21.14
  8. predent31414

    predent31414

    Joined:
    05.28.14
    Messages:
    71
    thank you!
     
  9. mkhan27

    mkhan27 2+ Year Member

    Joined:
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    Messages:
    331
    Status:
    Pre-Dental
    Sorry I had edited my post, but I'll repost it here:

    One question: I am doing Math Destroyer a second time with time now. I seem to be getting better with the timing issue but never finish all the problems on time. Hopefully with more practice it'll get better. You mentioned that the real DAT QR section is easier. Do you think that Math Destroyer is a useful resource still or would you say something else that you used would be better? I am kind of worried now that Math Destroyer might unprepare me for the actual QR section.
     
  10. predent31414

    predent31414

    Joined:
    05.28.14
    Messages:
    71
    I was actually freaking out a few days before my exam because of this. I really think bootcamp and destroyer are all you need. I didn't even finish all the destroyer exams, but I also don't think I ever finished a practice exam without running out of time. The most important thing is just to review all the questions and answer explanations. There were really no surprises on my exam, nothing I hadn't seen in destroyer or bootcamp. I had about 3 simple inequalities, a few in depth word problems... but my best advice is to get as much practice in as possible before the real thing and don't get too stressed about timing (plus, the calculator worked with the keyboard which helped me out a bit too!) And the destroyer DEFINITELY has everything you need to be successful in this section. I wish i didn't get frustrated with timing so much in practice and did all the exams. But hindsight is 20/20, right. If you have bootcamp, I think that is particularly helpful too. But destroyer is sufficient practice for getting a great QR score.
     
    mkhan27 likes this.
  11. mkhan27

    mkhan27 2+ Year Member

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    Status:
    Pre-Dental
    Thanks really appreciate it!
     
    predent31414 likes this.
  12. Dotoday

    Dotoday 7+ Year Member

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    Messages:
    1,561
    Great scores. Well done.
     
  13. Sharon914

    Sharon914 2+ Year Member

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    Congratulations!!
     
  14. healthcarejobs

    healthcarejobs

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    Well done!!!!!!!!!!
     
  15. biomolecmed

    biomolecmed 2+ Year Member

    Joined:
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    Very good scores. Congratulations.
     

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