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Cracked the DAT! TS24/AA23/PAT22

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ilovefruits

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Hi all!

First of all I want to thank a lot of people who posted their DAT breakdown on here. I wasn't a member when I was prepping but I read a lot about study materials and stuff on here which was super helpful. So now I want to share my own thoughts on my experience.

PAT 22:confused:
QR 22:confused:
RC 19:scared::scared:
BIO 24
GCHEM 24
OCHEM 24
TS 24:love:
AA 23

I started prepping in late May and took the test early August. It wasn't intense studying until July though. I wish I had started working on PAT earlier (I started that in July as well). I had a plan of how to study, but that didn't go through. So mine is just kind of spontaneous.


BIO 24 Cliffs/Destroyer/QVault/Kaplan BB for ref
This was honestly a surprise. I was so scared for this section, because I haven't really memorized all the stuff that I wanted to memorize, and people kept telling me how random the questions might be on the test. I think I lucked out.
What I did was, I read&highlighted Cliffs AP Bio in May, which was pretty much a breeze if you're a bio major.
Then I started doing Destoyer, and I had like a 50% accuracy the first time around. As I was going through Destroyer, I do like 20 at a time, and then check my answers and read through the key. I type up all the things I didn't know and had that printed out when I was done with Destroyer. Meanwhile, I also made a couple of notecards (I'm not a big fan of that) for things that I absolutely have to memorize, things like hormones. I found destroyer really difficult the first time, because I haven't taken any physiology/histology/other upper level bio major classes except plants. And I struggled with body systems a lot. I took AP Biology in high school. So a lot of stuff seemed ancient. So I taught myself through Googling.
Near the end of July, even though I had gone through my Destroyer outline, I felt I wasn't completely prepared for this. So I bought QVault Bio and gone through that in 3 days. With this, I also did similar things like an outline. For ref, my scores on there are: 22/20/20/22/22/25/21/22/21/18. I also used their taxonomy chart which was awesome.


GCHEM 24 Destroyer/Chad's
I took gen chem in freshmen year. I watched Chad and took notes in June, finished that up when my subscription ran out in a month. Then I started doing Destroyer and took notes on those that I missed. First time around my accuracy was like 65%. And I went through it another time mid-July. I was going through it for a third time, but I thought I needed more time on other sections so I stopped. Both Chad's and Destroyer were awesome.


OCHEM 24 Destroyer
I watched Chad's too on this, but it wasn't much help, since I knew most of what he was talking about. I just finished ochem II at school. So this is fresh. But first time doing Destroyer was pretty bad as well, as I felt like I hadn't learned a lot of what was on there from school. I am good with reagents/reactions, but bad with stereochem and random lab stuffs. So I watched Chad's videos on lab techniques, IR/NMR, and those that are on ochem 1 materials. I went through Destroyer a second time. And took notes on the type of qs that I always miss.


SCIENCE TEST DAY: Honestly I thought a lot of questions are badly worded for bio. For genchem, there weren't many calculations so that saved a lot of time. For ochem, I suggest everyone KNOW YOUR IR/NMR. I finished 20 min early, so I went through my marked qs first. And then started going through from the beginning just in case if I clicked on the wrong answer (I tend to do that a lot...). I thought I might've gotten a 22 or something so obv I was overjoyed when I saw my TS score.




PAT 22 CDP
I practiced solely CDP. I began with doing some angle ranking and hole punching on my free time when I was getting started with science. Hole punching practice was the most helpful thing ever, because I was slow before I got started, but it soon became my favorite part. In July, I started doing CDP practice tests. For ref, my scores are: 22/22/22/23/22/25/24/23/24/23. I thought I had gotten better near the end (bc the scores, and I started to only miss angles), but I guess not!

TEST DAY:
Aperture/Keyholes: they're slightly trickier than CDP. There really isn't any strategies, just do some elimination when you're confused.
TFE: I thought it was slightly harder than CDP as well. Maybe it's because I got used to CDP...I didn't use line-counting the second half of CDP because I heard you can't use it a lot of times on the real thing. And I think that was true. It's harder to eliminate wrong ones. So I relied on me "seeing" the 3D structure, especially for the really close answers where only a dash/solid line is different between two choices.
Hole punching: I liked the grid paper! So I just drew out all of them and I was pretty quick with that thanks to CDP. Often times when I'm confused with a fold (bc I've sitting there stressed out for too long!), I draw a dash line on my grid noting where the fold is, and try to just go with symmetry. Oh! And on my test, some hole punching qs had weird formats? Like the answer choices had really small holes and stuff...
Angles: This is on par with CDP (so I guess they made it harder than a couple of years ago!). I felt like I sucked at it as usual and there really isn't many strategies you can use when two angles are super close...sorry for not being helpful!
Cubes: OK I had 6 instead of 5 "groups" of cubes! And most of the time, they were placed sideways (comparing to CDP).
Pattern Folding: Like others have said, there were more complex shapes than patterns! So it was harder than CDP I thought.

Overall: I'm not too happy with my score, since I had 10 min or so left at the end and went back to check my unsure ones, but it's not bad either! (OK I should suck it up...)





RC 19 CDP
This was WAYYYY harder than CDP. First of all, I am a slow reader because 1. I don't read for fun 2. I'm not acquainted with English until high school (so...excuse all the typos that I've made!!!). I had 3 really hardcore science research-oriented articles. AND THE ARTICLE KEPT SCROLLING BACK TO THE TOP EACH TIME I CLICK TO THE NEXT Q. That was annoying. Plus at this point, I couldn't focus at all, so I had to do search and destroy which I wasn't used to.





QR 22 Math Destroyer
I'm good at math so I don't know what happened. I don't want to sound arrogant or anything, but usually I get above a 25 for this. That's why I am somewhat disappointed. Destroyer was good for reviewing all the formulas that I've forgotten aka trig/geometry. The trig questions were especially similar! I had 10 min at the end to check my answers...I thought they were all correct so...whatever haha!




That's it! I am SO glad I don't deal with it any more. While I wasn't studying hardcore everyday until like the last two weeks, I went shopping, I shadowed my dentist, and I am an Internet addict so that's that. For all who're prepping, make sure you take breaks while studying because I was about to go crazy in that last two cram weeks! Good luck to all of you and I hope to see some of you at dental school! ;)



I want to add that, I tried Barron's, but there were WAY TOO MANY MISTAKES. It was kind of unbearable. Math Destroyer had some mistakes in its answer keys too. And for bio, Cliffs or Kaplan alone wouldn't work if you're shooting for an above average score.
 
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aznriptide859

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Congrats on an awesome score!

I'll also second your observation for hole punching; it seemed pretty obvious to me that either the source or format were different for all the questions. Some had larger holes/different fonts, while others had smaller holes.
 

hypemachine

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Thanks for all the feedback on the different threads, aznriptide. If it's not too much, could you possiblyyyy just explain how the graph paper was useful? Everyone says the grids were perfect for hole-punching but honestly I don't know what that means haha
 

aznriptide859

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Thanks for all the feedback on the different threads, aznriptide. If it's not too much, could you possiblyyyy just explain how the graph paper was useful? Everyone says the grids were perfect for hole-punching but honestly I don't know what that means haha

Also curious about this lol. The paper really is too laminated to be foldable. Maybe OP meant for marking down holes in a 4x4 grid?
 

ilovefruits

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Thanks for all the feedback on the different threads, aznriptide. If it's not too much, could you possiblyyyy just explain how the graph paper was useful? Everyone says the grids were perfect for hole-punching but honestly I don't know what that means haha
When I practice, I like to draw 15 grids while I'm taking it. On the real thing, I didn't have to, since the grids are provided on the laminated paper, and are obviously better than mine since they're actual squares! (Uh I suck at drawing them hahaha) So, when you're practicing, don't rely too much on folding an actual piece of paper. If you have trouble getting started, do that, and then get used to folding and unfolding mentally, and of course mark down the holes on paper while you're doing that! Using this method, I never had to do elimination for hole punching. I draw my own and see which answer is correct! :) Hope that helps.
 

Jake36

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How big was geometry on the QR portion? Or was it heavily combination/permutation based? Thanks for the breakdown! Congrats on your amazing scores
 

ilovefruits

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How big was geometry on the QR portion? Or was it heavily combination/permutation based? Thanks for the breakdown! Congrats on your amazing scores
Thank you! I felt there were a lot more word/algebra than geometry. But I think the geometry ones I got were basic ones nothing as hard as math destroyer. There were some combination/permutations. But again, nothing tricky like some on math destroyer that takes forever to figure out. Then again, I didn't do as well as I thought I would, so maybe I'm wrong!
 

Psa

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Congrats, those are great scores!

On PAT hole punching, were any of those "smaller" holepunches that you were talking about, the correct answer? Or was it just some answer that you can eliminate right away?
 

ilovefruits

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Sorry I don't think I explained very well, but I meant, some questions are formatted differently from the others. Like I would see one question that looks like how you would see it on CDP, and then the next question would randomly be formatted differently. Like, ALL the answer choices have smaller holes. It's not really a big deal. I just felt weird when I was doing it haha.
 

Glimmer1991

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Congrats on the solid scores, and thank you for the great breakdown! I've added you to the collection. :)
 
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