DAT Breakdown 2/27 !!!!! (Retake to remedy sciences)

Discussion in 'DAT Discussions' started by spandent14, Feb 27, 2014.

  1. spandent14

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    Hello SDNers! I just finished taking the DAT for the 2nd time and I thought I'd post on here, since I know I was looking for some insight in the time leading up to now -- maybe someone retaking (or just struggling w/ certain sections) can benefit from this.

    First time around in June 2013 I got:
    PAT 17
    QR 20
    RC 25
    Bio 18
    GC 17
    OC 18
    TS 17
    AA 20

    I thought I was okay b/c of my academic average, but I really wanted to improve my sciences, especially since my TS was a 17 (even with two 18s!). So, after not looking at the material for 6+ months, I got to work. And it paid off! Here's how I did:

    PAT 20 :nod:
    QR 18
    RC 25
    Bio 24 :soexcited:
    GC 22 :claps:
    OC 18
    TS 21
    AA 21

    I know it's not perfect and there are lots of people out there with AMAZING scores, but my purposes the second time around were not to improve dramatically in all categories -- really I just wanted to make sure my TS went up. There isn't really anything special to address as far as my experience during the exam. It went as expected since I had taken it before -- however, I did feel much more confident this time during the science section. So here's an overview of how I prepared in 6 weeks for the retake of my life:

    Chad's videos for GC and OC. I went through all of them including the quizzes, and I did all of the GC quizzes a second time around. As I took notes I made flashcards, which proved to be most helpful for OC since I could just learn/practice reaction mechanisms in my spare time, before bed, while working out, etc. If there were any topics that were giving me trouble the 2nd time through the quizzes, I watched the video again in fastplay.

    Destroyer. I bought the 2014 but if you can get your hands on a 2012-2013 I'm sure it would be fine. Honestly, though, I didn't get through all of it. I probably got 2/3 of the way through the GC, OC, and Bio sections, but sometimes it got frustrating and felt way too in depth. If you have more than 6 weeks to dedicate to studying, I recommend it. However, for my timeline and purposes, it helped in terms of practice and exposure to different problem types, but I ended up shifting my focus from this to Bootcamp.

    With Bootcamp, I did problems on specific topics first, integrating that with my other studies. Then I took the full subject tests for Bio, OC, and GC, but only 1-4. I just didn't have enough time to do the 5th ones (unless I wanted to do it on the day before my exam, but I didn't think that was a good use of my time). But taking and going over tests 1-4 were extremely helpful and I highly recommend Bootcamp for anyone needing to refresh sciences (and probably QR and RC although I didn't touch those). It was less frustrating than Destroyer but also challenging enough to give you a realistic idea of how you'd do.

    I also did one of the PAT tests in Bootcamp, as well as used the random angle generator and focusing on specific problem types here and there. I had CDP from my first time taking the test, and did 2 full-length PAT's with it. But that's really all I did for PAT.

    QR and RC received no attention from me whatsoever in my 6 weeks of preparation.

    Considering I only had 6 weeks, I work 30 hours a week, & I am very active and make lots of time for health and fitness, I am very pleased with my results and ability to improve my scores. Just know that no matter what you have going on in your life -- you can and will make it happen if you put in enough work and stick with it. And be fair in deciding what's enough -- I saw so many people saying things like they were spending 8+ hours a day on this and went through Destroyer multiple times. Sometimes I spent as long as 8 hours in a whole day, but sometimes 2 hours with an important subject is all you really need. Give yourself breaks, have things to look forward to. I even made myself a "good job" CD to play in the car when I finished (including tracks such as "Girl on Fire," "Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You)," "Best Day of my Life," "Party in the USA," "Roar," etc.)

    NOW GO KICK SOME DAT BUTT! :highfive:
     
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  3. FeralisExtremum

    FeralisExtremum SDN Gold Donor
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    Huge bio improvement! Congratulations.
     
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  4. Futuredentguy2015

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    Wow, those are amazing scores, congrats!! in your opinion do you think chad's videos and going through his quizzes and bootcamp is enough to do well?
     
  5. customx

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    I would recommend doing Destroyer as well. It's difficult, but doing Chads, Destroyer and Bootcamp should ensure a score of 20+ for both GC and OC
     
  6. Ari Rezaei

    Ari Rezaei Senior Member
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    Awesome job and congrats on that huge improvement in the sciences!
     
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  7. spandent14

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    Like customx said, Destroyer is good too. You will definitely be prepared with all 3 of those materials, especially if you have ample studying time (I just couldn't work all of Destroyer into my plan for it to be beneficial). I also had the Kaplan blue book from the first time around and just used that pretty much for bio refreshers and practice questions.
     
  8. Dotoday

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    Solid scores. Good job.
     
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  9. biomolecmed

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    Awesome job. You did well. Congratulations. Now you can relax until you start DAT school.
     
  10. Futuredentguy2015

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    DAT school :shrug:
     
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  11. guozhiqianlo

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    yes,You did well. Congratulations. Now you can relax until you start DAT school.[​IMG]
     
  12. Dotoday

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    Were there lots of tough calculation problems on the Gen chem section?
     
  13. spandent14

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    I'd say it focused more on conceptual than on straight calculations. Practice calculation-based problems but also be sure to cover conceptual material -- in the end the concepts are going to help you be able to choose the correct answer, even if you run into a situation such as not remembering an equation or something.
     
  14. youngy

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    this is pretty significant improvement considering the fact that your other scores weren't ill-affected, except for QR, even then it's not by much.

    Great job, looks like a solid set of scores. love that RC score!
     
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  15. biomolecmed

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    Do they give you any constant values or any Equations in Gen chem section?
     
  16. spandent14

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    No constants or equations, except for I think heat capacity of water or if there are multiple unknowns in an equation and you need at least one to solve for the other (like in Gibbs free energy, etc).
     
  17. Dotoday

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    Thank you for the repky. So, there are lots of conceptual equilibrium and Acid base questions, but not necessarily using quadratic formula to answer them?
     
  18. spandent14

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    I wouldn't necessarily say "lots of equilibrium & acid-base questions," but they're fair game. I never used the quadratic formula in the GC section. That being said, I would still know how to use it just in case, plus you may need it on QR.
     
  19. Sharon914

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    That's awesome scores!
     
  20. ToBeDDSS

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    Great improvement and a nice breakdown. Congrats. You did well on RC without studying, what was your strategy?
     
  21. spandent14

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    I really didn't do anything for RC -- both the 1st and 2nd time around. I think I've benefited from taking classes that focus on scientific research articles in undergrad, but honestly the nature of the passages on the DAT aren't quite the same as research articles (i.e., they're not as specific/technical as research articles). Although I never used any of the Bootcamp RC practice tests, since it was so helpful in other areas I would suggest maybe practicing a few of those if you have time. The "search and destroy" method doesn't really work for me, so I just read the passage & then answer the questions.
     

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