stickybunny

2+ Year Member
Feb 22, 2016
25
29
Status
Pre-Dental
Hi everyone! This is my first post (though I've been lurking for quite a while now). I've read dozens of breakdowns and thought that my experience was something that could (hopefully) help others.

I studied right after my spring quarter ended so a total of 6 weeks for roughly 10-12 hours everyday. Some days I would think I would be going slightly insane..considered postponing several times, but just kept pushing through and I don't regret it one bit.

PAT: 24
QR: 19
RC: 22
BIO: 21
GC: 21
OC: 22
TS: 21
AA: 21


Like a lot of other people, I followed Ari's 10-week study schedule but modified it significantly so that it would fit within 6 weeks (I mostly just cut the reviewing into 3 weeks instead of 5, and did practice tests/destroyer for the last 3 weeks). I DON'T recommend doing this -- I felt that it was extremely overwhelming and the only reason why I (kinda) pulled it off was because I had just finished the ochem series and physiology last quarter, so these areas were still fresh.

I highly recommend that you choose 3-4 study materials and stick to those. If you have too many books, you're not going to have time to get through it all and actually understand what you did wrong, and if you have too few, you may feel under prepared for the few crazy questions that pop up.

Materials I used:
Bootcamp
Destroyer (2016 edition)
Math Destroyer (2016 edition)
Chad's Videos & Quizzes for Ochem, Gchem, and QR
Feralis Biology notes

Bio: Feralis notes. I read this 3x in total and read through Cliff's 1x just for extra clarity. I felt Feralis was (sometimes) too condensed to understand complex processes or topics, so I would then use Cliff's to fully understand the idea. However, Feralis was perfect for looking up material quickly (search function) and locating things that you need a quick refresher for. I went through Destroyer bio 2x. Destroyer really showed you how random bio can be which helped me realize not to be too focused on one small concept and rather focus on the overall picture. I would hear people getting asked plant questions and another not having any...so I was pretty nervous for this. During the exam, I had probably marked at least 10 questions during the bio section alone which freaked me out even more lol. My exam seemed very general, not very tricky, and extremely straightforward. Ended up having 20 minutes to check all my answers in SNS but only changed 2 in bio because after Bootcamp, I had realized every time I second guessed myself I was right before...so I decided to always stick to first instict when it came to questions I was partly unsure about. I read through all the explanations in Bootcamp (really helpful!!), understood why all the other answers were wrong, and did the same for destroyer questions. Always understand how to get to the right answer!

Gchem: I watched Chad's video at 2x speed 1x and printed out all the outlines, reviewed them over and over with my added notes. I did all his quizzes 3x and also went through destroyer about 3x. A few days before the exam, I went back to all the questions I had circled and redid those for the 4th time. I made sure I knew how to get to every answer rather and avoided memorizing. I had a few conceptual questions, but majority focused on calculations (which I wasn't expecting). I would say a combination of Chad's, destroyer, and bootcamp really sufficiently prepared me for this section.

Ochem: I watched Chad's for this too, printed out the outlines, and took notes too. I redrew all of the destroyer road maps and redid those 6x at least so that I would know all of the common reactions. I studied a few mechanisms (claisen, aldol, diels alder, heck, etc) mostly just the big ones. My ochem at my university is very challenging which I thought sufficiently helped me with timing in this section. I didn't have to study for this section as much like I said before because I had just finished the series 2 months ago, but I still did destroyer 3x for this. Bootcamp is very helpful for timing, and destroyer was very helpful to test how well you apply all of the reactions you had memorized prior.

PAT: I was a bit caught off guard how big the computer screen was and that really helped me haha. My laptop is tiny and I was very used to looking closely to see small details..especially during keyhole and angles. I really wasn't expecting this score--I never scored higher than a 20 on bootcamp and almost always was rushing at the end. For keyhole, TFE, and pattern folding, I thought bootcamp was equal in difficulty or slightly harder. Cube counting was easier on the real DAT, there were less cubes to count. Angles were somewhat easier on the real exam, there weren't that many that were extremely tricky. I thought hole punching was the same as bootcamp, maybe even easier...there weren't any "fold under" ones that always screwed me up. During the real exam, I found out that I had 25 minutes by the end and could double check things I had marked (though I still didn't really change anything). I would say the best thing to do would be to practice EVERYDAY. Bootcamp shows how you did in each section and I would focus strongly on my weak areas rather than repeating things I had mastered.

Btw, the break is 30min but I ended up using only 15min because I was so eager to just push through and finish! :D

RC: As you can see from my bootcamp scores below, this and QR were my worst sections. I always got 18's on bootcamp. I tried SO MANY methods. Search and destroy, Ari's Vanilla method, Kaplan's method, balanced method, and various other random ones I found on youtube but I still never could score well. I realized that I'm not one of those people who can answer questions correctly without reading the passage. So in the end, I just stuck with reading the passage completely and answering the questions. Luckily, 2 of the 3 passages were interesting and I had covered somewhat in previous classes. I'm not sure if this is new, but my test had a "highlighting feature" where I could highlight the text by dragging the mouse over the passages and clicking on a highlight button. This feature helped IMMENSELY because I generally annotate while I read, so I found that by the time I was answering questions, I had already marked majority of the ideas being asked. There was also a strike out feature, which I completely forgot to use during the test lol.

QR: THAT 15 IN QR on the 2009 ADA test freaked me out SO MUCH. I even considered postponing my DAT because of it. After a bit of research though, I found that most people said that the 2009 QR section wasn't really representative of the real exam and harder/trickier. So I just reviewed Chad's notes, bootcamp's cheat sheet, and went through 5/10 bootcamp exams for the third time the day before my exam. Math has always been my worst subject even in school, so I wasn't expecting anything higher than what I got. Math destroyer was much harder than the real exam and I couldn't even finish all 17 practice tests (only got through 8... :() but I thought after going through those 3x, I wouldn't have time to thoroughly finish the rest so I moved to bootcamp. Bootcamp prepared me very well for this section, especially with timing. The best advice I would give for those who are not math geniuses would be to mark and move on quickly if you don't know how to do something. I did this for about 3 problems during the middle of QR that I read and had no idea how to set up...I just clicked C, marked and went on. There isn't any time to waste! I'm glad I could still finish the last question with my last 30 seconds having skipped tough questions I didn't know how to answer.

Final thoughts! Don't freak out. I constantly found myself panicking at night (especially the one week before the exam) and would have to tell myself that it would all work out for the best. If I didn't do well, I would be better prepared next time, learn from my mistakes, etc. Everything happens for a reason and if the first time isn't it, it doesn't mean your life is over. I had to constantly reassure myself that scores weren't everything and eventually I would get there if I was persistent and set my mind to it. I think believing in yourself is the first step in success...only you know how you study and what you're capable of. During the test, keep calm. Don't panic, learn to pace yourself wisely, and never spend too much time on one question. Take my advice with a grain of salt I suppose since everyone studies different, behaves differently, but I thought that maybe this could help some people!

FYI: My bootcamp scores are attached below, along with the ADA 2007 and 2009 exam which I took a few days before my DAT.

Good luck everyone!! Thanks for reading and hoped this helped :)
 

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orgoman22

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Hi everyone! This is my first post (though I've been lurking for quite a while now). I've read dozens of breakdowns and thought that my experience was something that could (hopefully) help others.

I studied right after my spring quarter ended so a total of 6 weeks for roughly 10-12 hours everyday. Some days I would think I would be going slightly insane..considered postponing several times, but just kept pushing through and I don't regret it one bit.

PAT: 24
QR: 19
RC: 22
BIO: 21
GC: 21
OC: 22
TS: 21
AA: 21


Like a lot of other people, I followed Ari's 10-week study schedule but modified it significantly so that it would fit within 6 weeks (I mostly just cut the reviewing into 3 weeks instead of 5, and did practice tests/destroyer for the last 3 weeks). I DON'T recommend doing this -- I felt that it was extremely overwhelming and the only reason why I (kinda) pulled it off was because I had just finished the ochem series and physiology last quarter, so these areas were still fresh.

I highly recommend that you choose 3-4 study materials and stick to those. If you have too many books, you're not going to have time to get through it all and actually understand what you did wrong, and if you have too few, you may feel under prepared for the few crazy questions that pop up.

Materials I used:
Bootcamp
Destroyer (2016 edition)
Math Destroyer (2016 edition)
Chad's Videos & Quizzes for Ochem, Gchem, and QR
Feralis Biology notes

Bio: Feralis notes. I read this 3x in total and read through Cliff's 1x just for extra clarity. I felt Feralis was (sometimes) too condensed to understand complex processes or topics, so I would then use Cliff's to fully understand the idea. However, Feralis was perfect for looking up material quickly (search function) and locating things that you need a quick refresher for. I went through Destroyer bio 2x. Destroyer really showed you how random bio can be which helped me realize not to be too focused on one small concept and rather focus on the overall picture. I would hear people getting asked plant questions and another not having any...so I was pretty nervous for this. During the exam, I had probably marked at least 10 questions during the bio section alone which freaked me out even more lol. My exam seemed very general, not very tricky, and extremely straightforward. Ended up having 20 minutes to check all my answers in SNS but only changed 2 in bio because after Bootcamp, I had realized every time I second guessed myself I was right before...so I decided to always stick to first instict when it came to questions I was partly unsure about. I read through all the explanations in Bootcamp (really helpful!!), understood why all the other answers were wrong, and did the same for destroyer questions. Always understand how to get to the right answer!

Gchem: I watched Chad's video at 2x speed 1x and printed out all the outlines, reviewed them over and over with my added notes. I did all his quizzes 3x and also went through destroyer about 3x. A few days before the exam, I went back to all the questions I had circled and redid those for the 4th time. I made sure I knew how to get to every answer rather and avoided memorizing. I had a few conceptual questions, but majority focused on calculations (which I wasn't expecting). I would say a combination of Chad's, destroyer, and bootcamp really sufficiently prepared me for this section.

Ochem: I watched Chad's for this too, printed out the outlines, and took notes too. I redrew all of the destroyer road maps and redid those 6x at least so that I would know all of the common reactions. I studied a few mechanisms (claisen, aldol, diels alder, heck, etc) mostly just the big ones. My ochem at my university is very challenging which I thought sufficiently helped me with timing in this section. I didn't have to study for this section as much like I said before because I had just finished the series 2 months ago, but I still did destroyer 3x for this. Bootcamp is very helpful for timing, and destroyer was very helpful to test how well you apply all of the reactions you had memorized prior.

PAT: I was a bit caught off guard how big the computer screen was and that really helped me haha. My laptop is tiny and I was very used to looking closely to see small details..especially during keyhole and angles. I really wasn't expecting this score--I never scored higher than a 20 on bootcamp and almost always was rushing at the end. For keyhole, TFE, and pattern folding, I thought bootcamp was equal in difficulty or slightly harder. Cube counting was easier on the real DAT, there were less cubes to count. Angles were somewhat easier on the real exam, there weren't that many that were extremely tricky. I thought hole punching was the same as bootcamp, maybe even easier...there weren't any "fold under" ones that always screwed me up. During the real exam, I found out that I had 25 minutes by the end and could double check things I had marked (though I still didn't really change anything). I would say the best thing to do would be to practice EVERYDAY. Bootcamp shows how you did in each section and I would focus strongly on my weak areas rather than repeating things I had mastered.

Btw, the break is 30min but I ended up using only 15min because I was so eager to just push through and finish! :D

RC: As you can see from my bootcamp scores below, this and QR were my worst sections. I always got 18's on bootcamp. I tried SO MANY methods. Search and destroy, Ari's Vanilla method, Kaplan's method, balanced method, and various other random ones I found on youtube but I still never could score well. I realized that I'm not one of those people who can answer questions correctly without reading the passage. So in the end, I just stuck with reading the passage completely and answering the questions. Luckily, 2 of the 3 passages were interesting and I had covered somewhat in previous classes. I'm not sure if this is new, but my test had a "highlighting feature" where I could highlight the text by dragging the mouse over the passages and clicking on a highlight button. This feature helped IMMENSELY because I generally annotate while I read, so I found that by the time I was answering questions, I had already marked majority of the ideas being asked. There was also a strike out feature, which I completely forgot to use during the test lol.

QR: THAT 15 IN QR on the 2009 ADA test freaked me out SO MUCH. I even considered postponing my DAT because of it. After a bit of research though, I found that most people said that the 2009 QR section wasn't really representative of the real exam and harder/trickier. So I just reviewed Chad's notes, bootcamp's cheat sheet, and went through 5/10 bootcamp exams for the third time the day before my exam. Math has always been my worst subject even in school, so I wasn't expecting anything higher than what I got. Math destroyer was much harder than the real exam and I couldn't even finish all 17 practice tests (only got through 8... :() but I thought after going through those 3x, I wouldn't have time to thoroughly finish the rest so I moved to bootcamp. Bootcamp prepared me very well for this section, especially with timing. The best advice I would give for those who are not math geniuses would be to mark and move on quickly if you don't know how to do something. I did this for about 3 problems during the middle of QR that I read and had no idea how to set up...I just clicked C, marked and went on. There isn't any time to waste! I'm glad I could still finish the last question with my last 30 seconds having skipped tough questions I didn't know how to answer.

Final thoughts! Don't freak out. I constantly found myself panicking at night (especially the one week before the exam) and would have to tell myself that it would all work out for the best. If I didn't do well, I would be better prepared next time, learn from my mistakes, etc. Everything happens for a reason and if the first time isn't it, it doesn't mean your life is over. I had to constantly reassure myself that scores weren't everything and eventually I would get there if I was persistent and set my mind to it. I think believing in yourself is the first step in success...only you know how you study and what you're capable of. During the test, keep calm. Don't panic, learn to pace yourself wisely, and never spend too much time on one question. Take my advice with a grain of salt I suppose since everyone studies different, behaves differently, but I thought that maybe this could help some people!

FYI: My bootcamp scores are attached below, along with the ADA 2007 and 2009 exam which I took a few days before my DAT.

Good luck everyone!! Thanks for reading and hoped this helped :)
Congratulations!

:):claps:Excellent performance on the DAT, love the consistent scores in the sciences and your reading score! Don't worry so much about the QR it is a very challenging section for most students and in general the least focused on by dental schools.

You should be very proud of these scores, you worked hard for them.

Wishing you the best..Nancy
 

LuckBloodandSweat

2+ Year Member
May 26, 2015
1,368
835
Status
Dental Student
Awesome job :D! It seems like July is an awesome month to take the DAT from what I'm seeing on here :)