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DAT 5/29 Breakdown and PCAT Comparison

Discussion in 'DAT Discussions' started by Jophiel, Jun 1, 2014.

  1. Jophiel


    Jun 1, 2014
    Hello SDN users! I'm a longtime lurker, first time poster but wanted to share my experience studying for the DAT so maybe I can help out the community as it has helped me out!
    PA: 20
    RC: 25
    BIO: 24
    GC: 22
    OC: 29 (still can't believe it)
    TS: 24
    AA: 24
    To start off I have to admit I took a huge risk and started *actually* studying 10 days (7 hours/day) before the exam-the Monday after finals were over.
    I don't recommend this to anybody but if for whatever reason you find yourself with limited studying time it may be useful. I have a pretty solid science background that I think helped my scores out a lot. Before I started studying I took the 2009 DAT and did average (I compared it with the score conversions for 2007 and got an AA 17 including a QR of 14). It was a great place to start though as it showed what I was awful at and prepared me for the setup of the DAT. From here I started studying on subject matter as follows- (this was tailored to my own weaknesses).

    PA: Crack the PAT- one test per night. It was really cool because over the 10 days I saw my scores gradually improve on each test. I also think the questions are either on par with the real DAT or even a little harder. Sometimes when you bomb a section (or sections) you just want to shut the program off, but don't! Make sure you look up the solution and sit down until you figure out every single reason why your answer was wrong and why the correct answer is correct. This will work your brain and get it used to that type of thinking.

    QR: I used Destroyer and reviewed math concepts in the Kaplan DAT book. I did the free practice test you can get from datQvault. Destroyer was definitely the most similar to my test- some of the questions were very closely written and it included trig identities of similar difficulty (yuck). This didn't take a lot of time to study for, I was just rusty and needed some practice to remember how to precisely execute each problem. Unfortunately I overestimated the calculator on the DAT and it caused me to run short on time- do your best to not rely on a calculator while studying.

    RC: I have a terrible time studying for RC. I did the free test on datQvault and then used some of the practice tests from my previous PCAT materials (Dr. Collin's was the most useful). The key for me is to just read the passage quickly and tie a phrase to each paragraph so that for each question you can quickly scope out the answer you need. My DAT only asked 1-2 inference questions- the rest consisted of looking up answers.

    BIO: I just studied from the Kaplan Book and used my textbook from my Bio class to cover anything it did a bad job at covering. I'm a Bio major so I was feeling pretty cocky about this section. I also used some of my DAT Destroyer to study for this- which I had quite a bit of success with but the questions were much more difficult than the actual DAT. I felt the DAT covered most of its bases equally. It felt like there was about 1-2 questions from each topic it lists in the ADA guide.

    GC: I didn't put a lot of effort into this, I read over the section in the Kaplan book and watched Chad's videos for the topics I thought were sort of difficult. I found this section to be almost identical to the ones on the practice 2009 and 2007 tests.

    OC: Chad all the way. I watched through his videos once annotating the printable outlines with patterns of reagents-mechanisms. From here I just copied the notes into a notebook 3-4 times over the next several days to cement them into my head. Must have worked I guess, I can't stand orgo. The DAT does seem to love their questions on electrophilic aromatic substitution and activating/deactivating groups.

    When I was down to 4 days I took the two Kaplan practice tests that came with my book and then took the 2007 DAT (one per day, with a rest on the last day) which I scored much better on (AA of 19), but still below my actual scores. I think the biggest part of prep is just making sure you're prepared mentally and have the confidence to rock it. Each day I got up and studied during the time I would be taking my test so that my brain would be over the morning fogginess and ready to go during that time.

    Also I want to compare the DAT to the PCAT I took last year when I was having an internal crisis on how I could ever afford Dental School (Pschool is considerably cheaper in my state). I scored in the 98th percentile on the PCAT overall and I studied much more responsibly. I think it's typically thought that the PCAT is easier than the DAT but having taken both I think for the most part they even out. The PCAT's verbal section is much easier than the DAT's PA in my opinion, but the PCAT's QR (which includes a lot of calc) makes up for the verbal section in difficulty. So they are about equivalent depending on your skill with verbal section or perceptual ability- I struggled a lot more with PA so in the end the DAT was harder for me. Also I think the PCAT has better study materials for it (Dr. Collin's being almost exact representations) while the DAT study materials seemed to have a little more guesswork to them.

    Sorry this was so long, just wanted to share everything I could think of that may be useful to people. Good luck everybody still prepping! It feels good to get it done!
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2014
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  3. ASOT

    ASOT 2+ Year Member

    Jun 10, 2013
    Damn, those are some amazing scores! Especially since you only studied for 10 days. Congratulations!
  4. PotentialDentist16


    Mar 18, 2014
    New York
    what were your scores in CDP
  5. Jophiel


    Jun 1, 2014
    Thanks! I was pretty surprised myself.
  6. Jophiel


    Jun 1, 2014
    In CDP I started out at 16 and then ended up hanging out in the 19-20 range at the end. There was a random 23 towards the end too but other than that the scores were pretty consistent.
  7. matty675

    matty675 2+ Year Member

    Apr 30, 2013
    Excellent scores. I wish I could study for 10 days and do that well :bow:
  8. Daneosaurus

    Daneosaurus D3 5+ Year Member

    Mar 13, 2012
    Aaaaamazing! 10 days???? Holy $&@!
  9. Dotoday

    Dotoday 7+ Year Member

    May 27, 2007
    A job well done. Congratulations.
  10. Glimmer1991

    Glimmer1991 5+ Year Member

    May 5, 2012
    Awesome! Welcome to the breakdown collection!
  11. biomolecmed

    biomolecmed 2+ Year Member

    Apr 7, 2012
    Nicely done. Great scores.
  12. Jophiel


    Jun 1, 2014
    Thanks everybody!
  13. JHekmati


    Jun 24, 2014
    good stuff!!! congrats!

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