DAT ADVICE (USED BOOTCAMP)

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Darin Michaels

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Hey everyone. Still very surprised and shocked I pulled this off - 26 AA, 26 TS, 25 PAT. I thought it would be good to share a few things about my process so feel free to read below.

Study Schedule:
  • 6 days a week, about 5-6 hours a day (less in beginning, more in the end)
  • Mainly followed Ari’s 2.5 month guide but changed towards end to allow myself more time to study/review content before taking practice exams
  • You can get through studying long days during week if you make sure to hang with friends, go to gym, etc. in between everything

Bio:
Studying

  • Watched videos and took notes. The next day I would do the bio bites and Q bank from the previous chapter. If I still needed work, I would use anki for that section (keep in mind anki is a huge time suck so only use for chapters you are weak with)
  • After all content was covered, I went into practice exams which were honestly the most helpful. Also I redid almost every single Bio section exam in the last few days to make sure I fully understood high-yield material.
Exam
  • Similar in difficulty to BC. Slightly more generic and definitely a handful of questions were repeated (at least 5 or 6)
  • Topics I saw high yield and remembered are photosynthesis, heredity, endocrine, evolution/ecology. You won’t see every single unit on the exam but you will see most. Focus on big, high-yield concepts.

Gen Chem:
Studying

  • Watch Dr. Mike’s videos and took notes. Completed Q bank right after. I felt strong here already so it was mainly just learning how the DAT asks GC questions.
  • Did every single section exam and reviewed them to learn mistakes.
Exam
  • Similar in difficulty to BC. Things I saw on the exam were liquids/solids, thermochemistry, electrochemistry, neutralization reactions/dilutions, periodic trends

Organic Chem:
Studying

  • Same as GC. Watched videos, took notes, did Q banks.
  • I used the rxn bites, rxn anki and made my own rxn sheet to re-learn these because I forgot them all
Exam
  • Similar in difficulty to BC. I had some reactions, ranking acids/bases, diff lab techniques/tests, aromatic rings

Perceptual Ability:
Studying

  • I stuck to a 2 day split schedule. Day 1: 15 TFE, 15 pattern fold, 15 angle. Day 2: 15 keyhole, 15 hole punch, 5 cube
  • I pretty much did this every single day and I would time myself and review wrong answers afterwards. This prepped me most for the speed of this section on the real exam.
Exam
  • Easy compared to BC. Keyhole, TFE and Pattern fold were similar. Hole punch was a joke compared to BC (2-3 folds max and there was usually only one hole punch on the paper). Cube was slightly easier. Angle was slightly harder but I tried to just go with my gut and not waste time.
  • I suggest knocking out all the sections you are best with before doing the harder sections (hardest for me was Keyhole, so I always started with TFE)

Reading Comprehension:
Studying

  • I was very scared for this section. Not great at reading but you gotta trust search and destroy it really does work.
My 3 reading tips:
  1. Don’t read. As stupid as it sounds, you will not finish if you actually read.
  2. Use search and destroy by looking for 2-3 key words from the question and then skimming passage. If you don’t find the answer in a minute, then next question but keep it in the back of your mind in case it comes up while looking for something else.
  3. Skip all inference, purpose, opinion, etc. After answering 15 fact questions you will be able to answer the purpose types of questions without ever having to read the passage straight through
Exam
  • Easier than BC tbh. My exam passages had a simple layout and I was able to find all the questions using search and destroy.

Quantitative Reasoning
Studying

  • I watched the videos, took notes, and did Q banks. I hit this section a lot harder on the practice tests to solidify material.
Exam
  • For me, the QR section was a joke compared to BC. It felt like I didn’t need to study a day for it. BUT it seems everyone has diff QR and some people find it harder. I would just make sure u know everything to the best of your ability because you will see at least one of every topic. My word problems, probability, and data sufficiency were way easier than BC. Had multiple “calculate the mean of this dataset” types of problems.

Extra Notes (IMPORTANT, READ THIS)
  • Self studying helped me the most. I made my own anki for Gen Chem, Organic Chem, and QR based off all my notes. This helped solidify information and concepts to then be applied when I actually did full length exams.
  • I redid section exams the last week or two because they are THE MOST helpful. Bio bites and section Q banks are only helpful to learn concepts, but in my opinion they aren’t very indicative of the exam at all. You need to do practice tests and full lengths to know where you stand.

Feel free to reach out with any more questions.

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