DAT Breakdown 9/3/2013 BIO: 24 (99.6) GC: 29 (99.9) ORGO: 28 (99.5) PAT: 20 (81.0) RC: 21 (88.9) QR: 18 (86.6) TS: 27 (100.0) AA: 24 (99.9) If it weren't for all of the other breakdowns I read, I would have never made it this far. Thank you SDN and now its my time to give back and breakdown my DAT experience. My test was scheduled for 9 am. When I got in my car at 8, my car wouldn't start, even though it was running fine yesterday. I panicked. Fortunately, my mom hadn't left for work so I commandeered her new MDX and left my old Pathfinder at home *whew* BACKGROUND AND OVERALL EXPERIENCE Hey guys, I attend a branch campus of PSU. I'm currently a senior majoring in Biology (transferred from Chem Eng) and a non traditional student. I have a 3.2 cum, a 3.3 sgpa, and a criminal record. Given my background, it was ESSENTIAL for me to score well on the DAT. I began studying on 5/15/2013 and used the 8 week schedule as a template, but ended up unintentionally spending 16 weeks preparing. I would study for usually around 4-5, then take 2 days off whenever I was feeling bummed out or started losing focus. Prior to starting my DAT prep, I was always a crammer; making an analogy to running, I was always a sprinter and not a marathon runner. When I first began studying, I started out with 6 hour days. During the last month I was pulling 12+ hour days. I built up my endurance and my dedication to doing well on this exam became tantamount to everything else in life. In a way, I became a very efficient and studious robot. My friend passed away in an accident last week and I realized I could not let myself "feel" or lose focus. It felt wrong and inhumane, but I did what I had to do; study even harder. I wasn't able to make it his funeral... Today, I've shedding tears of joy, relief, and sadness over his death. This shout out is for you Denu! One of my only regrets regarding DAT prep was scheduling my exam way too late. Instead of scheduling and then studying, I first studied, and when I felt prepared I scheduled. The flaw in that plan was that there were no available appointments for another month. I wanted to cry when I realized I had to wait another month because I had started to feel like I was losing my sanity at that point and was truly ready. Turns out, everything worked out ok So, there's my story. It was h***. But sure as h***, it was worth it. Here is a list of the materials I used to study: Cliff AP 4th 7/10 (Doesn't cover taxonomy at all! so I switched to the 3rd) Kaplan BB 7/10 I only used the Bio section and all in all, it was too vague. If I had relied only on this book I would have been totally SOL. The pull out in the back was actually kind of helpful! Cliff AP 3rd 10/10 Amazing book. It literally condenses the major portions of Campbell into a manageable chunk. (Read each chapter at least twice, did all the quizzes and exams twice) DAT Destroyer 2013 10/10 I began Destroyer after I had completed the initial studying. The problems in the book are sometimes over the top and it was frustrating, but bear with it because it will pay off. It was worth the cost and I did the questions twice, but reviewed my mistakes many times. In regards to the subjects... The GC was good for both conceptual and calculation based problems. Destroyer's Orgo was simply amazing. I had thought I was good at orgo because I did well in Orgo I and II in college, but it turns out there was much more I had yet to learn. The Bio section was very tedious, but great. The questions sometimes are sort of easy, but what I focused on was why the others were wrong. All in all, destroyer will destroy your confidence, but boost your score. QVault GC 9/10 It was good practice and I highly recommend it. A lot of lab techniques and questions regarding concepts that you thought you knew will be tested in depth. The wording in some of the questions were also similar to that of the DAT. On the other hand, some of the questions made me go WTFBBQ, but even that was good practice in the sense that it helped me getting used to encountering unknown questions and not panicking. Two day before the exam, I went through all of my saved questions and reviewed subjects I felt weak in. QVault BIO 9/10 Great questions. The wording is similar to that of the actual DAT, there are plenty of "clown in you cereal box questions" and allows you practice eliminating answers as well as not panicking. They also have a great section on taxonomy (only area I'm not sure about is that they have arthropod's classified as pseudocoelmates, Cliff and google say otherwise). I went through my saved questions 2 days prior to my exam just like I did for the chem section DAT Bootcamp 10/10 The price for amount you get from DAT Bootcamp is amazing. I went through all of their exams at least once. I always took each exam in one sitting. All in all I thought it was hands down the best resource I had to emulate the real DAT. All of their questions are solid, they have a harder PAT section than CDP, but it's still good practice. Their RC prepared me well for the T/F "reasons/statement" questions and I'm thankful for that. Their QR was most representative of the version I saw on the DAT. Sigh, I wish I had taken those BC QR exams more seriously and learned what a p-value was... In the week leading up to the exam, I chose the sections I had previously scored lowest on and redid them. I only wished they had a function to save backed up exams or save questions, and also a statistical analysis of your performance. Lastly, they have amazing customer support. Ari was very helpful the few times I had to contact him. Thank you Ari! Crack DAT PAT (CDP) 10/10 CDP, imo, was actually the most representative of the questions I saw on the real DAT. I started out scoring 17, but after 6 exams, I managed to consistently score around 22-23. I'm a bit sad my actual PAT turned out so low, but I'll go into the reasons later on. Crack DAT RC (CDR) 9/10 Exact same layout as the DAT and it is great practice and spent allowed me to test out different strategies. One main difference between the RC in Bootcamp and CDR is that CDR seemed to ask many more tone type questions and would give you a full statistical report of your exam at the end.. Math Destroyer 2013 8.5/10 Killed me confidence. WHY GOD WHY IS CALC EASIER THAN WORD PROBLEMS FOR ME. I hated this section, but really tried to work on it. In the end I still ended up doing terrible. The reason why I'm Organic Chemistry as a Second Language I & II by Klein 10/10 I love orgo to begin with and these two books saved me during college. They were also were very helpful in clarifying exact mechanisms and providing me with tons of practice questions (I know they are tested on indirectly, but for me it was always easier to memorize a reaction if I knew the mechanism). Primarily, I used these books to brush up on my stereochem, E2, alpha additions, diels alder, michael, etc. All in all I think I went a little overboard in studying orgo. Chad's videos (1e10)/10 Paraphrasing someone else's breakdown, "he will be your best friend" for GC and ORGO. I bought a 3 month subscription and then I renewed it. That's how amazing this guy is. Great videos, great quizzes, and great support. I had taken GC back in 2008, so I was beyond rusty, but Chad managed to teach me pretty much all of it in 15 hours of videos. He is great for ORGO as well, the questions on my exam literally did not stray past the materials he goes over, but keep in mind there are many variants of the exam so learn as much as you can! I went over his exams twice during the studying and once during the last week. I kinda wish I had taken more of his math quizzes. Ferrelli's Notes 1e5/10 This guy is a saint for posting up these amazing notes which are a combination of Cliff, Baron, and KBB (only mistake I found was that karyotyping is done during metaphase and not metaphase I). Ferreli, you have my utmost gratitude. After completing Cliff, these notes were pretty much all I used up until exam day. I Read it. Memorized it. Did questions, got owned. Went back and reread it. 90% of the time, the question I missed would be part of a sentence that I missed. Topscore 9/10 Didn't buy it because already had too many problems to do, but my friend let me take exam one on his laptop. The interface is crap, but the questions are solid and in my opinion, it takes second place to Bootcamp 2009 ADA 10/10 I literally scored the same on the real DAT. Very representative and I took it a week before the exam. 2007 ADA 10/10 I took this before I started studying to set a benchmark. I retook3 days before my exam. Did terrible, but I did not let that discourage me. *ALL MY SCORES AND DATA ARE AVAILABLE ON THE LINK TO THE EXCEL SHEET* My excel sheet https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0ArYifNucbigSdGljQ3RyTEEycmJMYXlzRHgzSlp0bmc&usp=sharing ------- Actual DAT Testing center: The place was actually kind of nice. The faculty was very friendly and the temperature was just right. If you are from the Philly area, I highly recommend the Thompson Prometric testing center in Conshohocken. My PC worked flawlessly: the calculator had little to no lag and the scroll wheel worked for the RC section! Also know that the sharpies can be erased by water, aka HAND SWEAT WILL DESTROY YOUR EQUATIONS/PAT SET UP!!! PLACE THE SECOND SHEET UNDER YOUR WRITING HAND TO AVOID THIS!!! *Everything from this point on is subjective. What I may consider easy, may be harder for you, and vice versa* BIO: Pretty straight forward, but it did have a few questions that were sneakily worded. There was no particular question that made me go WTFBBQ, but there was 1 question that made me go, damn, I wish I had reviewed that section once more. GC Once again, pretty straightforward. There was one question that had me stuck and now in hindsight and I'm pretty sure I got that one wrong. ORGO It was really easy in comparison to destroyer and was very straightforward. Mix of conceptual and rxns, nothing too far out there. PAT I finished the sciences with 3 minutes to spare after going through my marked questions, but I had to pee soooooooooo bad (I did practice doing PAT under "pressure" during my prep, but this was seriously something else). I thought I'd to score higher, but I definitely was distracted by my physical needs. -The break- Hope you got a mental clock. You get 15 min from the moment you finish the PAT. Expect to lose a 2-3 minutes "signing in and signing out." I ran to the bathroom, lost 3-4 minutes there. Smoked half of a cig while munching down a snack bar and some gummies. By the time I got back to the PC I had 45 seconds to spare. Whew. RC I really liked the 3 articles I had, which were all science! I knew I wasn't great at RC going in so I'm really happy with the 21. I spent 3 minutes skimming each article and then spend the rest of the time doing S&D. QR I should have drank that redbull during the break. Was really tired at the end and lost track of time management. There were some pretty heavy statistics questions that I had no idea how to solve. I can do multivariable calc and diff. eq. but I can't solve word problems. FML. I was pretty disappointed by the score and also confused. 18=86 percentile?? What's going on?! When my scores popped up, I literally started quietly laughing and crying out of relief and happiness. The DAT is the first step in becoming a dentist. Study hard, do well, and start off on the right foot Best of luck to anyone who's soon taking it and feel free to ask questions. Might be delayed in answering them because I have a orgo lab report I need to write for tmrw as well as a short summary of Manifest Destiny lol!