Canadian DAT Breakdown: Bootcamp, DAT Genius, Topscore, destroyer

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Dec 9, 2015
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Hey guys! So I used this site a lot during my DAT preparation, and like a lot of others realized that there isn't very much information specific to the Canadian DAT! I just wanted to post a breakdown of my scores and what I would, and wouldn't use again as a resource!

Short version
: use barrons and cliffs to start. Cliffs is more detailed. Both are lacking in physiology, immunology and especially reproduction. I used princeton reviews cracking the dat to make up for this, old notes would work too.
Chem: use chads videos to start, then dat bootcamp to practice. Always read explanations, use them to add to your chads notes. Practice practice practice the calculation questions. Use DAT genius after if you want more. Destroyer is too hard.
RC: practice like crazy. If your writing the Canadian DAT, use screen shots or whatever you have to to get the tests on paper, then input your scores after. Your going to write it on paper during the real test, I can't even explain how useful this was for me. I liked bootcamp and genius. I could never finish topscore, achiever or ADA.
PAT: watch Ari's recommended strategy videos from bootcamp, then use a consistent software with generators. You need to be organized to tackle this section, I wouldn't recommend using too many resources because it can get confusing and frustrating when the difficulty level is constantly changing, and it makes it hard to improve. Bootcamp was pretty on point, if not a little harder. I also used genius, with similar thoughts.


DAT Bootcamp
RC 19, 18, 21, 24, 20 = 20.4
Chem 21, 18, 23, 20, 21 = 20.6
Bio 26, 26, 23, 22, 24 = 24.2
PAT 20, 18, 19, 17, 20, 19 = 18.9

DAT Genius (keep in mind I did this after bootcamp)
RC 20, 20, 22, 19, 25 = 21.2
Chem 23, 20, 21, 20, 20 = 20.8
Bio 22, 22, 24 = 22.7

Topscore - very outdated
RC 21, 21, 19 (always ran out of time, had 3 minutes to spare on the real thing)
Chem 18, 22
Bio 21, 19

Princeton Review - I had their software from their cracking the DAT book, and also a free test. I'd do these again for practice, but I remember always running out of time on them
RC 19, 18, 20, 18

Real DAT
RC 24
Chem 21
Bio 27
PAT 22
TS 23
AA 24
-definitely easier than my practice, still some detailed questions in bio.

Long Version


Biology - Cliffs AP bio, Barron AP bio, Princeton Review Cracking the DAT
I used what everyone recommended here, being Barrons AP bio and Cliffs AP bio. If I were only to use one of these I would definitely recommend cliffs over barrons, it was more detailed in most sections. Having both was definitely a benefit however, as reading the information twice really solidified it for me. The questions in these books are not similar to the DAT, but I still did them all and they helped. Where these books really fell short however was physiology and immunology. Here, I used the Princeton reviews Cracking the DAT book. This book was great for physiolgoy and anatomy, but fell very short in the section regarding classification. I used old notes here and there and had taken an entire course on animal classification, but with these resources and practice tests I don't think you can go too wrong.

Chemistry - Chads videos, DAT destroyer
Chads videos were definitely a great starting point. They were very organized, I did half to one set of videos each day with the quizzes when I was first starting to study for this section. One weakness I found to chads was a lack of calculation based questions you see on the DAT. After chads I took everyone's advice and went to do DAT destroyer but it really destroyed me. I couldn't get through it and didn't find it helpful and never saw questions at that level of difficulty on the DAT that I wrote. I started using bootcamp tests after this and they were much more helpful. Like exponentially better than destroyer. The explanations were great. I made my own notes from chemistry from chads videos (did not use his outlines) and added notes every time I got questions wrong in bootcamp. This set of notes was incredibly worthwhile. Bootcamps question distribution was really similar to the DAT for me, and the difficulty level was representative. Definitely always review the questions you get wrong, that was more worthwhile than anything else I did. After I had this complete set of notes from chads and bootcamp I condensed it, then moved on to taking DAT genius prep tests (similar format to bootcamp). They were a little harder because they focused much more on calculations based questions (so the distribution of questions was a little off) but they were also very useful. I liked that the format of the website was similar to DAT bootcamp. All in all I'd say making condensed notes for this section with all of your formulas, things you forget etc. was the best thing I could have done. I reviewed my original notes before every practice test I wrote. I wrote very small, and made a final condensed version of my notes and got it onto 3 pages (not front and back), and reviewed this before every DAT genius practice test, and even the real one.

Reading Comprehension: DAT bootcamp, DAT genius, Topscore, ADA test, Princeton Review
With this section I think it's all about practice. The Canadian DAT is on paper, so I took screen shots of every reading section and question and made my own tests to print and do on paper. I didn't do that originally and it made a huge difference! You only get 50 minutes for RC on the Canadian DAT (vs 60 on the american) and it's often justified with the thought that its easier to remember the location of things on paper and you can make notes right in the passage. If your taking the Canadian DAT you need to practice on paper, even if its time consuming to print the tests. I inputted my answers after I did the test on paper to get my scores. All that said, I again liked bootcamp and genius. I always ran out of time on topscore, and did horribly on the sample ADA test (2007). I also did a lot of random tests from other resources like the one from the book the Canadian dental association sends you, the free ones from princeton review (plus the ones I got access to because I had their cracking the dat book) and kaplan. Honestly its all helpful, time is a big factor here. As for my method, I also did not do search and destroy. I read every passage start to finish then answered questions, I wrote the main idea of each paragraph beside it quickly while reading. I know search and destroy works for some people but its just too risky in my mind; there are detailed questions and questions on topics mentioned multiple times in a passage on the DAT. I would have never been able to answer these questions using that method, but use what works best for you!

PAT: DAT bootcamp and DAT genius
Kaplan, princeton review, even the CDA practice book and other practice materials varied way too much from each other for this section to be useful. They were mostly too easy. I used all of these initially since I had Kaplans blue book, the princeton review book and CDA book. Because of the huge variance I never knew what to expect from test to test, the tests weren't always full tests and it was a much too disorganized way to study so I don't recommend just using free resources or a lot of different resources for this section. I recommend just buying a software for this section that scores for you to keep yourself organized and see your progress. I liked bootcamp because there are generators, as well as lots of practice tests that are consistent in their difficulty. I found them a little harder than the real DAT. I know the Canadian DAT is one paper but for this section I just used the computer based software, it's harder on the computer anyways, and this may have been why I found the actual DAT easier. Also, definitely look at the strategy videos Ari recommends, they saved me! I thought there was no hope (I only started studying for this section (aside from just reading instructions and doing a bit here and there) a week before the DAT) but after watching these videos then doing a bit of practice with his generators my scores improved exponentially. I did DAT genius after, the full tests here are great too. I never used their generators so I can't speak to their quality. I never used crack that PAT, but everyone on here seems to swear by it. All I can say here is watch Ari's recommended videos, then use a consistent software that gives you scores and has generators so you can practice the sections your not good at.


DAT Bootcamp, DAT destroyer, Topscore, Achiever, ADA, DAT destroyer
: way too hard. I stopped using this after a few tries, I never even recorded my scores
Topscore: very outdated software, crashed multiple times mid test whenever I tried to use it, and the science sections were not representative of the test. Biology was way to detailed, and although I could do well (I am I biology major) it was not representative of the test and not a useful exercise.
ADA: again I found this test too difficult. I know it should be representative but for me it was not.
CDA book: I did this test but unfortunately there is no way to score it on the standard scale. I'd say it was easier than the real thing, but definitely a good exercise since it looks like the real thing and gives you the same instructions etc.
Bootcamp: amazing resource. The distribution of the questions for chemistry (calculation vs theory) was on point, and the questions I saw were very similar. I make a lot of little mistakes in chem and don't always know the path to take, but after making notes every time I got something wrong (or even if I got it right and it was just a more difficult question) I felt much more confident. The biology questions were pretty on par for difficulty, I got some harder questions on the DAT but I feel like there's just such a huge range here. Using destroyer, princeton reviews crack that dat and reading the explanations in genius helped with the detail. The PAT section of bootcamp saved me, I'd 100% use it again. The PAT here was harder than the real thing, that could have something to do with the real thing being on paper but I cannot stress enough how helpful the PAT was on here.
Genius: I used DAT genius after using bootcamp because I liked that the website was similar to bootcamp and it was a pretty good value. I found it a little harder than bootcamp, but definitely worth doing after you've done bootcamp for more practice. Their biology was very detailed, maybe a bit too much so but their explanations for questions were amazing. If there was a question on a topic they would explain that entire topic, not just why it was correct without enough background information to really understand it.
DAT destroyer: I again, did not use this for chemistry, but for biology it was great! I have extensive background in biology and enjoy it, so this may not be for you if biology is not your strong suit (chemistry is not my strong suit, which is likely why I did not like the chemistry section of destroyer). If biology is your strong suit though and you want it to be a high score, just work through a set amount of these questions each day and review the solutions. For chemistry, you need to be confident before the DAT, don't destroy yourself with extra hard questions that you won't see if your like me!

If anyone has any questions feel free to ask me!

Sorry if this was too longwinded, good luck!!

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Question for you - if I already have dat genius, bootcamp and destroyer - do you think topscore added anything? I know you says its outdated, but if I have the time - did you still find it useful? I haven't seen many people use TS, but I'm looking for more practice. Nice scores btw, 27 bio is on point
Not op but I really do think chad's vids/quizzes + bootcamp tests covered just about everything you need to know for chemistry (maybe study lab stuff on your own). As for biology I only used feralis notes (studied this til exhaustion basically) and did a few bootcamp tests. Destroyer is good but it's quite low yield -- I finished destroyer once and never touched it again because I thought I could use my time better. Got a 25 in chem and bio!
To kobbix, with regards to topscore I didn't find it added much; if you wanted more reading comprehension it might be useful because it's really just practice with that but not for Bio and Chem.

Thehonya - definitely agree with your comments on destroyer, Bio is my strong suit so if I was having to go through every question it would probably be too time consuming, I found it like you did for chem. Chads and bootcamp are definitely enough for chem minus the lab knowledge your right. I hadn't done gen chem in 3 years and other than having genius on top of those 2 resources I used nothing else!
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