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DAT 8/15/2011 Done! 30yr old breaking down 2nd time around.

Discussion in 'DAT Discussions' started by PWNISHER, Aug 15, 2011.

  1. PWNISHER

    PWNISHER Roseman c/o 2017
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    Okay so I am an older student/applicant. I turn 30 in a few months and I'm on my 4th cycle. So this was my 2nd go around since I had to take it over from my first scores since it has been 3 years and yes I am still not in dental school but I am still trying. I'll throw a quick summary of what I did the first time and what I did the 2nd time.

    1st time (9/23/2008)
    PAT: 20
    QR: 17
    RC: 21
    BIO: 18
    GC: 21
    OC: 19
    TS: 20
    AA: 19

    2nd time (8/15/2011)
    PAT: 22 (+2)
    QR: 21( +4)
    RC: 23 (+2)
    BIO: 21(+3)
    GC: 18 (-3)
    OC: 18 (-1)
    TS: 19 (-1)
    AA: 20(+2)





    Here is the breakdown
    Since I've had to balance life with working multiple jobs, 2 kids (only 1 the first time) and a wife who doesn't understand how much time and isolation you need for studying for this thing; I am pleased that I was able to walk away again with "good enough" scores to be competitive. I studied about 4 hourss a day for 4 weeks with Kaplan course 1st time, then life got hectic with a nasty divorce that summer with my parents and I got caught in the middle since I live near them both so I didn't go to the 2nd half of the kaplan classes but used the materials for about 4 more weeks after a month hiatus of 6 hour days with some interruptions (wife and daughter) so not the most focused of study times. 2nd time, I had 6 weeks with the birth of my 2nd daughter in the middle of it. I was able to put at least 4-6 hours a day with a week hiatus in the middle. I wish I could of just gone to a library for the whole of summer from Mid-June til early August and just crank out problems and textbooks but some of us do not get that luxury. Still, People always throw out numbers like what are my chances, etc... I had a friend in my CDT (dental tech) classes who had 28 and 29s and a perfect 4.0 through his undergrad, but a 17 on PAT and he didn't get in first year, he got in everywhere after a couple of semesters in the CDT program showing improved Perception and Dexterity skills from the labs there. I also had a friend that got into 9/10 schools with a 17 avg and 14/15s in half of his scores with a 3.0 gpa. So it is really on more than just the numbers. With that being said I'll go into my study habits since I didn't get to lock myself in a cave for 8 weeks/8 hours like the normal student aims for.





    PAT: 1st time, Kaplan, 2nd time CDT program really helped me. I had CDP tests but I didn't use the extras or anything since I was a consistent 20+ on every practice from the start

    QR: 1st time, I skipped Kaplan, I took pride in my never getting lower than 98% percentile on any standardized test. I finished the College 2nd yr calculs series when I was 17 and in high school Sadly I didn't manage my time on day of the test so I only got to question 24 the first test, I know I got them all right but I got hung up on a couple complex-step word problems and took time to double check answers and by the time I had the 15min warning I was 12 problems into the test yikes! So again buy practice tests. 2nd time I got through about 5 practice tests fully from start to finish on CDP tests and I feel that it is just basic algebra, conversions, geometry and trig problems. I feel I didn't get higher on QR because I struggled with Trig since it has been 17 years since I last had to really deal with it so I was so blind starting and I feel those were prolly my only mistakes on the actual test.

    RC: 1st time: Kaplan, I didn't use their tricks. I've been a novel reader since young so I just sped read 2x over the test then answered the questsons. I finished with 10min left 1st time. 2nd Time: Was shocked that now you have the aritcle scrollable in the same window as the questions. New format makes QR a lot easier no wonder a 23 was a lower percentile than my other 21+ scores in other sections. I did the CPM tests 5 of them and I didn't really do anything to plan since I felt comfortable the first time and I was happy I got 2 articles in my ballpark of previous knowledge and the 3rd was my toughy so I had like 30min for that one alone.

    BIO: 1st time: Kaplan & Destroyer, my school degree did not give me any true bio exposure beyond genetics so i was really really weak with cellular, anatomy and any ecology type questions. Kaplan saved my arse on this go-around. I had G bio with Campbell as a text book but they pull most of the questions straight from it but then all of the anatomy of muscles, heart, organs, anything with the systems of the body isn't in there so you need something beyond Campbell. Kaplan was a really good resource for BIO. 2nd Time Followed the Online outline and used Kaplan, Campbell, Destroyer to make sure I covered every topic. I struggle with memorization so Bio was my weakest the first time was my strength by this time since I had my degree plus another couple of years of post-bacc sciences which really made most of the studying a review instead of first time exposure. Also CDP tests really are helpful for Bio since its just testing you on what you read I think the best way for QR, PAT and BIO are practice tests.

    GC: 1st Time: Kaplan & Destroyer, I was just finishing my 3rd year as a chem tutor so I didn't really study this at all. I just did what was on the kaplan tests and this ended up being my highest science score as I had expected. 2nd time: Destroyer, Textbook, CPM tests. Now that I had been a couple years removed from studying I still knew the material but my number crunching skills for the equation portions were not nearly as sharp. I wish I had taken more time to just do end of chapter problems. I feel like I got the conceptual problems but I maybe flipped an equation or units to a problem here or there ont he actual test. I was sad that my score had dropped so much the 2nd time, but it has been 5 years since I had taken chemistry.

    OC: 1st Time: Kaplan & Destroyer, Omgosh! I hate Ochem. Our school the years had a notorious couple of professors who were terrible and they really were. I mean how hard is it not to follow the powerpoints and use the test bank that comes with the textbook? I had to basically teach myself Ochem for this test. It was a nightmare all of my efforts were into Ochem and learning it on your own to do Destroyer problems is the pits. Kaplan covers the first quarter of Ochem material well but does no justice to the 2nd 2/3rds of the course which Destoyer helps you with. Destroyer was overkill but if you can get those problems then you know your material for test day inside an out. 4step synthesis I remember a couple 2 steps and maybe one 3 step but Destroyer is a 4step fiend for reactions. 2nd time: Destoyer, Textbook, Free-lance teaching youtube videos. Again this time I felt like I had to learn it all over again. I couldn't tell carbonyl groups apart when I started. I spent so much of my time on this subject I was dissapointed I got an 18 I actually felt like I had a better score than an 18 from my understanding this time a well and it was my strongest of the 3 sciences on my last few practice tests. Oh well, you can't win them all.


    First time I went through the Kaplan course and did all the online materials. I felt like for the money I paid, it did not raise my scores for how much I invested. But I had no clue where to start so it was a great direction for someone who wants someone to guide them through the first 6 weeks of their studying before going on their own, but Kaplan course alone is not enough if you want 20+ scores.

    Second time I just bough the big package from CrakDat.com so I could get my hands on as many practice tests as I could for conditioning to the test parameters and timing since that is half the battle is being able to manage your time and not be left with blank questions or the last few questions all be "C".

    If I had to do it again. I would just get at least 5-10 practice tests, make sure to condition my self the 1-2 weeks before the test with waking up and taking a practice test same time as my acutal test time. The outline from ADEA site is enough of a guideline that I would not need to invest in destroyer or other materials beyond practice tests and just find online resources like free-lance teacher videos to go through those outlines. because realisxtically that is what is on the test.

    Any questions or comments I'll try to respond best I can. My gpa is low from a really bad senior year in high school, (I was taking courses at the university already) was 4 sport athlete so I didn't really care then and my 1st year of school I had a sub-2.0 gpa. When I left school from 2001-2005 When I went back since that point I have a 3.5+gpa I don't know the real numbers since I have over 200+ units in 8 years of college courses to gunk it up. I am hoping that this is my year. I am proof that if you know what you want to do just do it. No matter what stands in your way. I got into my first post-bacc this year after 2 years of rejections and I got rejected again this year from all the local ones. I have to move out of state for it but again, do what you have to do to acthieve your goals.

    Good Luck
     
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  3. SLYgUy2098

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    After reading your post, I am truly inspired to try my hardest on my DATs on the 22nd. And truth be told, I really admire your determination to get into dental school amidst the various obstacles you overcame, and if I can see it, I'm sure dental schools will see that too. Now I haven't taken my exam yet, but I think those scores are very well competitive.

    It is your year.
     
  4. LetsGo2DSchool

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    Very fine job! Kudos on your determination to reach your goal. Now give your wife some good loving tonight!
     
  5. Cleanurteeth

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    Great job! Truly inspirational. It's not the scores that make you who are, it is where you came from and how you did it. Keep up the good work!
     
  6. AlbinoPolarBear

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    Congrats on the score man. Hard work always pays off at the end.

    Don't want to be the bearer of bad news, but your AA only went up 1 point instead of 2 :)
     
  7. PWNISHER

    PWNISHER Roseman c/o 2017
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    Yah I didn't preview the post and it was so long I just posted it I see a bunch of spelling errors but I'm glad you saw myself selling myself short. 19 AA 1st time not 18.
     
  8. Hope30

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    No matter what your score is. I think you deserve to be in dental school. ;) you will definitely get in this time. No doubt.
     
  9. crew09

    crew09 Member
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    Amazing.

    Indeed, it is your year.

    And I complain because the air conditioning is too damn cold.... #firstworldproblems

    Best wishes for acceptances.
     
  10. loganheinrich

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    I love your story, comparison, synopsis and overcoming obstacles.

    You and I have extremely parallel stories (I'm 29) (my academic hiatus had to do with running a struggling business for 5 years, that also decimated the first couple of years of my GPA, but I returned and cranked out a 3.75 for my last 60 credits to get that thing back up). I also really empathize with the significant other who doesn't understand how much time I need to study for this thing...

    Anyway, great to hear that you're pushing forward toward the dream. Inspiring story, mr. pwnisher.
     
  11. nondescriptive

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    LOL, I'm on the same boat (29 as well) with a 3.7 in sGPA, and this is my frist cycle. I wish both of yall good luck. We might end up at the same school and in the 30+ club.
     
  12. PWNISHER

    PWNISHER Roseman c/o 2017
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    Yah, just a brief summary of lots of obstacles, last quarter before i dropped in 2001, had a final grades came out online (they just started using online registering) didn't have any of my classes but a list of humanities, all straight F's that was tough to bite, still haunting me. petitioned, fought, never got anything from the school. dropped out worked 2 years in a coroporation, got a lot of crap from rising really fast, after a year saved money served a Mormon mission for 2 years, came back married my wife who waited for me. Went back to school, they didn't let me back in initially had to get classes from the outside and eventually got back in after a year. During my schooling I've had 2 different tumors in my spine, lost our first daughter to turner syndrome (stillborn), my mom ran off with my father's best friend who happens to be the father of my brother's wife. Yah sounds like Jerry Springer, but its a real mess. Our current oldest daughter was born with major complications, Have dealt with multiple miscarriages.

    Yah I mention this stuff as it comes up in my apps and interviews, I've had a couple 2hour+ interviews but for whatever reason they just look at my gpa and get stumped or forget that they ever talked to me. Its ridiculous but I know its really a lottery if you are amongst the average numbers, if you aren't the 4.0, 24 DAT canidate there is no sure thing.
     
  13. Dyslexic

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    very inspiring, congrats on your score/improvement!
     
  14. PWNISHER

    PWNISHER Roseman c/o 2017
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    I wish that was the case. I thought they looked at everything but in the end we r still a bunch of numbers.
     
  15. umair239

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    I just took my DAT for the first time, and scored
    PAT = 19
    TS = 19
    AA = 19
    GC = 18
    OG = 22
    RC = 19

    My GPA is 3.72 and science GPA is 3.5, I am very depressed with my scores since everyone here is scoring 24 or 25, I think I don't even stand a chance :(
     
  16. flyingforever

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    You are fine sir.
     
  17. PWNISHER

    PWNISHER Roseman c/o 2017
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    Just remember that each individual school is different. The averages for all of the tools that I am applying to are 19 TS, 19/20PAT, 19AA. My Post-Bacc at MWU there acceptance avgs are 19TS, 20AA, 20PAT. So your scores are still competitive.
     

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