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Breakdown -- Only math got under a 20

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FancyFloss

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DAT BREAKDOWN

My sGPA is well below average so reading everyones breakdown with a 3.7 GPA gave me a false impression of what someone in my situation would feel on test day. So here is something I'm sure most people can relate to with a below average GPA. I had an unrealistic view of college exams and courses so I suffered in my first few years and then I buckled down and managed to get my **** on track. I applied for dental school in 2014, had an interview, and was waitlisted. Clearly, I didn't get in so I tried again. I went back to retake classes I underperformed in, and retook the DAT. My GPA upon graduation was an even 3.0 and my science less than that. The new science classes I took I did much better in and definitely speaks towards my upward trend in grades. My extracurriculars are what I believe got me that interview with my ok DAT scores so hopefully now I'm a competitive candidate. If you want to ready my breakdown from the 2014 cycle its in my signature at the end of this post.

2016 DAT SCORES :

PAT 20
QR 18
RC 23
Bio 22
GC 23
OC 21
TS 22
AA 21

STUDY MATERIALS
I studied 6-8 hours a day since the end of May. I used Kaplan's Blue Book, Chad's videos/quizzes, Feralis Bootcamp, and Destroyer. For the Kaplan course material: in my 1st breakdown. Quick overall breakdown with what materials I used:
  • Kaplan Blue Book (KBB): This gets a lot of hate but the book actually comes in handy for biology ONLY. So Beware of that. Use it for chem and orgo and you won't learn much. Don't rely on it on its own. It's a great study material for starting but nothing to get you past an 18.
    • Score: 6/10
  • Chad's Videos: Praise unto the patron saint of the sciences and the 99th percentile, Amen. I used my notes from the first time I had his videos but you can't get better than him to teach you Gen Chem and Orgo.
    • Score: Any number over 10/10
  • Cliffs: Very detailed and I only read 25% but everything that I read was covered sufficiently to answer any questions that came up.
    • Score: 8/10
  • Feralis Notes: The super condensed version of Cliffs but it works for me so I read about 50% of it. This is great for filling in the gaps in your bio notes.
    • Score: 10/10
  • Bootcamp: Excellent for taking practice tests and getting used to the timing of the sections. Questions are much harder than the DAT so you will feel that the real thing is actually too easy. Their explanations to EVERY SINGLE QUESTION is precise and helps me find my weaknesses. Great investment. WORD OF WARNING: For their full length tests they take the questions directly from the unit tests so be careful cuz otherwise if you already reviewed that section it won't do much for you. It'd be nice if Bootcamp had separate questions fro the Full Lengths exams.
    • Score: 9/10
  • I found this pretty nifty app that has 1000+ questions and its $10 to unlock every subject. They have every DAT section, mnemonics, images, tricks, etc. Few of the questions are a bit quirky but overall pretty good. Their explanations are pretty detailed also with visuals if needed.
  • DAT Destroyer: AMAZING. Make sure you do as many of the problems you can. The explanations are also great. I wish I spent more time with it. Make sure you skip all the questions that have "all/none of the above" as an answer choice, you won't see that on the DAT. Instead when reviewing your answers read the description for the right answer. Almost 90% of those Qs in Destroyer are all/none.
    • Score: 10/10

BIOLOGY: 22
BOOTCAMP FULL LENGTH (FL) SCORES: 25/25/26/23/24

So this was incredibly straight forward. Questions were worded incredibly clear and nothing was tricky (review terrestrial biomes). The only thing that got me was 2 or 3 questions asking for things I have never seen or heard about in my life. Otherwise everything was on point. Definitely learn to speed through this section so you have 10 extra minutes to work out the gen chem section. I took all 5 Bio tests before I realized they were part of the FLs. But I took the first three a month before taking the FL so I didn't remember any of the questions; so I actually learned I guess.

GENERAL CHEMISTRY: 23
BOOTCAMP FL: 23/21/22/23/20

Very simple section, most of the problems that required a lot of math already had the equation set up in the answer so you wouldn't actually have to spend time calculating everything out. There isn't any questions about finding coulombs or using Faraday;s constant; aka electroplating. Lots of gas related problems so be sure to know the equations, gas laws, and difference between STP and Standard Conditions.

ORGANIC CHEMISTRY: 21

BOOTCAMP FL: 21/22/24/29/21

I hate orgo and I whooped its butt. I don't know how I scored a 29 on exam 4 but I was hoping I'd get that today! Know substitution and elimination, EAS, and nomenclature. I didn't have much else other than those types of questions. There was an aldol too but thats it.

PAT: 20

BOOTCAMP FL: 20/20/18/18/19/19

SO this score didn't change from my first time taking the exam. Everything is simple except angles. In bootcamp I'd get half the angles wrong and 1 wrong at most in other PAT sections. If you can differentiate between angles, God bless you. Hole punching has a bunch of folds into the paper and sometimes a fourth fold. The most amount of holes you'll see is two hole punches, not 3 like bootcamp.

MATH: 18

BOOTCAMP FL: 20/19/18/17/18

I hate math too. Unfortunately I didn't do better than before, dragging my AA down. So words of advice, learn your trigonometric functions by heart (
CLICK ME), if a question requires a lot of set up you should randomly pick, mark, and move on ASAP. The more time you waste on a lengthy question the less time you spend answering easy questions. Be sure to know the interest equation for money questions. Calculator is bigger and more responsive than Bootcamp's, contrary to what everyone says. It has a square root function and I abused it.

READING COMPREHENSION: 23

You CAN highlight and it is incredibly helpful. I had no "this statement is T/F and that statement is T/F" which was a relief. Way easier than Bootcamp so sit tight and practice to get better. My questions were all in chronological order which was fantastic. I used a combo of roadmapping and search and destroy. I'd note what the first three Qs were asking for and then Id start reading and roadmapping. I was cutting it close on the last passage so I just read the first and last sentences, made notes and went back after the last paragraph to answer questions.

OVERALL

I wish I did better in math. Persistence is key to this, handwork is only part of the formula. Spend the money on material because it's an investment. If you have a sub-par GPA, this is me telling you to flip off the world and go ace this test.
 
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okiedokeartichoke

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Congrats on your score! I thought your username sounded extremely familiar, especially paired with that .gif avatar. Before I made my account last summer, I lurked the 2014 cycle as well, so I was confused to see your name pop up posting a breakdown for today haha. I have a GPA on the low side as well, so I believe that's why your username was mentally ingrained in my mind as it gives me hope, too. I wish you better luck this cycle!
 
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tccheng91

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Since when can the test takers highlight the passages in RC section? I took my DAT in April, 2016 and did not know at the time whether or not I could highlight the passages.....
 

Charles_Darwin

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Congrats!!
Two questions

1.) I've read that you can also now cross out answer choices for the entire exam. Was this the case for you?

2.) I wanted to buy dat mastery but the reviews aren't that good for it... Are you sure it was that useful to you? Was it harder/easier than your other materials?
 

DMikes

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Solid scores and great improvement! Schools will love your RC score as well!
 
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Incis0r

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Great scores and thank you for sharing. BTW, this has to be the most neat, well-organized and colorful DAT breakdown I've ever seen.
 
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FancyFloss

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Since when can the test takers highlight the passages in RC section? I took my DAT in April, 2016 and did not know at the time whether or not I could highlight the passages.....
Congrats!!
Two questions

1.) I've read that you can also now cross out answer choices for the entire exam. Was this the case for you?

2.) I wanted to buy dat mastery but the reviews aren't that good for it... Are you sure it was that useful to you? Was it harder/easier than your other materials?
1.Yea they have a 15 minute tutorial at the beginning of the DAT. You highlight what you want and a button pops up at the end which you click to highlight. To remove the highlight you just left click the line. Very useful!

I forgot to mention you can now also right click to "X" out answers so when you go back to it you can see which ones you eliminated. The highlights and the x-ed out answers are there for the remainder of the test.

2. Dat Mastery was on sale for only $10 so it was a "might as well" buy. Anything helps. I spent a lot of time at work and patients would cancel so I'd have free time to just be on my phone and practice orgo and bio. The only thing is I wouldn't use it for math or chem only because you need pen and paper and this is a more of an on the go kind of thing. If you have that rare moment where you are actually out of your house with friends during study periods just use this app and it looks like you're texting. The DAT questions are nothing like what you'll on the app but it's good to keep your mind fresh and ready. A few questions are wonky and worded weirdly but their answer explanations more than make up for it. I even screenshotted (screenshoted?) some of their explanations cuz it was so good!

You killed it! Congrats man happy to hear! What did you use to prepare for QR, and were there alot of easier questions as opposed to hard?
For QR I had notes from the Kaplan BB, which is honestly a joke. It's an ok place to start, but I had to look into other stuff. Kaplan completely skipped over probability and a few trigonometry materials. I used Bootcamp and Destroyer. I generally suck at math so I'm not surprised that I got this. I would say Destroyer math was very on point with their questions to understand the math and Bootcamp had very similar wording to the DAT. So combine them and I guess you'll be ok. Difficulty was on par with Bootcamp. The word problems are worded easier on the DAT but the problems themselves were almost identical.

Congrats on your score! I thought your username sounded extremely familiar, especially paired with that .gif avatar. Before I made my account last summer, I lurked the 2014 cycle as well, so I was confused to see your name pop up posting a breakdown for today haha. I have a GPA on the low side as well, so I believe that's why your username was mentally ingrained in my mind as it gives me hope, too. I wish you better luck this cycle!
I am the bringer of good news! You can totally get in! I had an interview with worse scores and grades, and as long as your EC is looking good then you'll be a well rounded person to be chosen for an interview.
 

FancyFloss

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Great scores and thank you for sharing. BTW, this has to be the most neat, well-organized and colorful DAT breakdown I've ever seen.
Thank you, but I must give credit where it is due. I actually took this layout from another user in 2014 haha I just copied the coding over from my 2014 breakdown and took most of the color away in the description along with extra study material rankings by subject.

Speaking of which, more detailed info for study material BY SECTION is in my 1st breakdown, also in my signature.
 

Alpha Centauri

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1.Yea they have a 15 minute tutorial at the beginning of the DAT. You highlight what you want and a button pops up at the end which you click to highlight. To remove the highlight you just left click the line. Very useful!

I forgot to mention you can now also right click to "X" out answers so when you go back to it you can see which ones you eliminated. The highlights and the x-ed out answers are there for the remainder of the test.

2. Dat Mastery was on sale for only $10 so it was a "might as well" buy. Anything helps. I spent a lot of time at work and patients would cancel so I'd have free time to just be on my phone and practice orgo and bio. The only thing is I wouldn't use it for math or chem only because you need pen and paper and this is a more of an on the go kind of thing. If you have that rare moment where you are actually out of your house with friends during study periods just use this app and it looks like you're texting. The DAT questions are nothing like what you'll on the app but it's good to keep your mind fresh and ready. A few questions are wonky and worded weirdly but their answer explanations more than make up for it. I even screenshotted (screenshoted?) some of their explanations cuz it was so good!


For QR I had notes from the Kaplan BB, which is honestly a joke. It's an ok place to start, but I had to look into other stuff. Kaplan completely skipped over probability and a few trigonometry materials. I used Bootcamp and Destroyer. I generally suck at math so I'm not surprised that I got this. I would say Destroyer math was very on point with their questions to understand the math and Bootcamp had very similar wording to the DAT. So combine them and I guess you'll be ok. Difficulty was on par with Bootcamp. The word problems are worded easier on the DAT but the problems themselves were almost identical.


I am the bringer of good news! You can totally get in! I had an interview with worse scores and grades, and as long as your EC is looking good then you'll be a well rounded person to be chosen for an interview.
excellent, thanks! So I should be ok (as in not get below a 17) if I study the QR from bootcamp very thoroughly?
 

FancyFloss

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excellent, thanks! So I should be ok (as in not get below a 17) if I study the QR from bootcamp very thoroughly?
Bootcamp has 10 math tests you can take. Take your time with each and study the problems. Print out their math cheat sheet because it has all the equations you'll ever need on the exam in it. If you can score over a 17 on BC you'll score over 17 on the DAT
 

amaghsou

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Congrats man. You worked hard and you definitely deserved. I hope you get it to your school of choice!! I was waiting all day to see this post honestly. It was great to hear!
 
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FancyFloss

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Congrats man. You worked hard and you definitely deserved. I hope you get it to your school of choice!! I was waiting all day to see this post honestly. It was great to hear!
I hope I delivered

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amaghsou

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I hope I delivered

http://<blockquote class="imgur-embed-pub" lang="en" data-id="ObPtMa9"><a href="//imgur.com/ObPtMa9">View post on imgur.com</a>•<script async src="//s.imgur.com/min/embed.js" charset="utf-8"></script>
You got it man! How many school did you apply to last year and who gave you the interview? And who did you apply to this year. Im in this cycle as well!
 

FancyFloss

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You got it man! How many school did you apply to last year and who gave you the interview? And who did you apply to this year. Im in this cycle as well!
13 schools the first time, interview with Columbia. This time I applied to 21 in NY and along the east coast + Ohio + Arizona (I love the Grand Canyon).
What do you suggest for full length exams if Bootcamp is the same as their section exams?
I took all Bio sections, and intermittently took the Full lengths. My numbers came out ok but Im not sure what the best is. I just wish they had a separate list of questions for the FL. Probably just do them all if you're not pressed for time. If you are maybe focus on the first 2 subject sections then take the other FLs
 

amaghsou

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13 schools the first time, interview with Columbia. This time I applied to 21 in NY and along the east coast + Ohio + Arizona (I love the Grand Canyon).

I took all Bio sections, and intermittently took the Full lengths. My numbers came out ok but Im not sure what the best is. I just wish they had a separate list of questions for the FL. Probably just do them all if you're not pressed for time. If you are maybe focus on the first 2 subject sections then take the other FLs
Thats awesome! I find it interesting that Columbia gave you the interview. Same here, Up and down the east coast and like 2 in AZ and 1 in CA.
 

FancyFloss

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Did you have any questions about plants on the bio section?
I dont want to post exact question just in case they find me but it did ask about identifying/comparing certain plants.
Thats awesome! I find it interesting that Columbia gave you the interview. Same here, Up and down the east coast and like 2 in AZ and 1 in CA.
California would be amazing if the dental school was near the water!
 
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