yumi43

10+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Jan 23, 2004
168
0
New York
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Dentist
hi everyone!

i was wondering what the best method is for the cube counting section? i've been using the kaplan method where you count the total number of cubes, then make a list of 0-5 (for # of painted sides), tally all the cubes according to painted sides, and make sure the tallies add up to the total number of cubes. i know this is a foolproof method, but it takes too long. i think in the actual DAT you may get only 2 questions per cube stack. how do you all do it? thanks!
 
Jul 29, 2009
177
0
Status
Pre-Dental
I tried the majority of the methods listed here on SDN and this is what works best for me.
- Look at the figure for a couple seconds to scope it out and make note of hard to spot cubes so i dont forget to count them
- Then I go through all of the cubes on the first level listing the number of exposed sides rather than putting a tally mark in the right box.
- I do the same for the rest of the levels but I separate them all like this:

1) 1 4 4 2 4 2 2 2 1
2) 3 4 1 5 1 2
3) 5 5

This works well for me because I don't have to look down to make sure im putting the tally mark in the right box. I find that the more you keep your eyes on the figure when counting the less prone you are to ****ing up. Every glance you take at your board to write something down is a chance at losing your count or screwing up. If you're feeling extra cautious do a quick count of the # of cubes per lvl as you count them and make sure they match up to what you've counted.
 

alanan84

D1
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Mar 17, 2008
1,387
5
Status
Dental Student
hi everyone!

i was wondering what the best method is for the cube counting section? i've been using the kaplan method where you count the total number of cubes, then make a list of 0-5 (for # of painted sides), tally all the cubes according to painted sides, and make sure the tallies add up to the total number of cubes. i know this is a foolproof method, but it takes too long. i think in the actual DAT you may get only 2 questions per cube stack. how do you all do it? thanks!
Work quickly.

I also don't count up the total # of cubes so that saves a little time. I have a method of moving front to back right to left from column to column and I don't end up missing cubes or counting extras b/c I just stick to that method everytime. You've got to find what works for you.

It still does take awhile but to me it's worth it because that's a section where I shouldn't miss one question.
 

SuperTank

5+ Year Member
Jul 7, 2009
640
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Phoenix
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Dental Student
The method that I use is fool proof. I haven't gotten one wrong since I started using it, and managed to pull a 25 on the PAT on the DAT. The piles of cubes have different levels, with various numbers of cubes. Could be two high, could be 6. I start at the bottom level, and write down the number of exposed sides for each cube, but I write it down showing the actual shape of the object from the top, so that I can know I didn't miss a cube. For example, level one will show:

4
22
3234

and level two will be

33
3

etc.

Try it a few times, and you will see that it works.

-Supertank
 

vlct0ria

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7+ Year Member
Jul 24, 2008
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Dental Student
Work quickly.

I also don't count up the total # of cubes so that saves a little time. I have a method of moving front to back right to left from column to column and I don't end up missing cubes or counting extras b/c I just stick to that method everytime. You've got to find what works for you.

It still does take awhile but to me it's worth it because that's a section where I shouldn't miss one question.
This is what I do too...I tried counting the total number of cubes then making a table and doing tally marks, but that took forever, and I usually need to make up time on cubes so that I have enough left over for pattern folding and re-checking marked problems. IMO, with that Kaplan method you end up wasting more time on each figure than necessary, since there are usually only 2-3 questions each.
 

dufran3

10+ Year Member
Jan 22, 2009
45
0
Status
Pre-Dental
Another method you can use is the one I use. It seems effective for me. I count the cubes base on levels, and write the number of sides painted. So if an object has 2 cubes on the third "floor", 3 on the second, and 4 on the third. It would look something like this.

5
4
----
3
3
2
----
2
1
2
2

again the numbers just represent the number of sides painted for that cube. It works well for me.