1. Dismiss Notice
  2. This forum is for support and discussion only. Please promote test prep materials/services (including AMAs) in the Special Offers subforum only. Thanks!
    Dismiss Notice
  3. Guest, be sure to check out How To Get Into Dental School, our free downloadable PDF with step-by-step details for dental school applicants!
    Dismiss Notice

DAT Breakdown 2015

Discussion in 'DAT Discussions' started by PDstudent16, Aug 6, 2015.

  1. PDstudent16

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2015
    Messages:
    16
    Likes Received:
    17
    Status:
    Pre-Dental
    Hey everyone! I took my exam a few weeks ago, and thought I would post a break down in hopes that it helps someone. A huge thank you to all the wonderful people who have posted break downs, reading them definitely helped me achieve success on this exam :)

    Now on to the good stuff....

    DAT SCORES

    TS:
    23
    AA: 22
    PAT: 18
    OChem: 23
    GChem: 23
    Bio: 22
    RC: 23
    QR: 18

    STUDY MATERIALS
    Chad's Videos

    An absolute necessity in my opinion, and well worth the investment. I was worried about general chemistry because I hadn't done very well in the class, and didn't feel like I truly learned the concepts. Chad did a FANTASTIC job of teaching the material, and highlighting the major points that one needs to know for the exam. In terms of organic and gchem, this is the most efficient way to review/relearn the material! I also found his QR videos helped me with touching up on basic concepts and picking up tricks to speed up my mental math (I've always been a bit slower with QR).

    Cliffs AP Biology 3rd Edition
    A great way to BEGIN your biology review. Going through Cliffs and doing the questions at the end of each chapter will help you develop a good base of biology knowledge. Having the fundamentals down is key, and this book will definitely help you with that.

    Feralis Notes
    Remember how I said Cliffs is a great start? Feralis is going to amp your biology review up to the next level! The material is very dense, so be warned; however, I truly believe it is 110% worth it to go through the entire set of notes. After going through cliffs first and familiarizing yourself with the basics, Feralis helps to fill in all of the gaps (and trust me they are there). His notes are from various sources, so more information is covered in these notes. Going through these notes will not only solidify the fundamentals, but you will also pick up new pieces of information along the way, that could very well show up on the exam!

    DAT DESTROYER :biglove:
    Why is it highlighted in red? To stress the IMPORTANCE of this holy grail! This book has some of the most difficult gchem, ochem, and biology problems that one could encounter. Going through these problems is a great way to learn material and gain the confidence to tackle difficult problems. The first time around can be draining and you may feel discouraged, but don't be! The actual DAT felt MUCH easier than the destroyer problem sets, and this is another reason why I am so thankful to Dr. Romano and Nancy. This is exactly how you want to feel when taking your exam, because if you've encountered much worse there's no reason why you can't destroy the problems in front of you ;)

    Math Destroyer
    Instead of going through the QR portion of the DAT Destroyer, I purchased this book as well because math has never been one of my strong suites. For those of you who are worried about QR I would definitely recommend this book! My version had 15 practice exams (the newest has 16), which I found to be A LOT more difficult than the actual QR. The exams were great for learning little tricks here and there, and building speed. In general, destroyer is overkill in a GREAT way because you want to walk into the exam and feel like the problems are significantly easier to give you confidence. If you are confident in your QR abilities, then I'm sure the QR portion of DAT Destroyer will work just fine.


    DAT BOOTCAMP :love:

    I wanted to invest in at least one online program to help myself get used to taking timed online tests. While I have not had experience with any other program out there, I truly believe that bootcamp is top of the line, and definitely worth the money! The problem wording/difficulty is very similar to the actual DAT. In my personal experience, I would say bootcamp was slightly harder than the actual DAT, but this varies from person to person. Bootcamp is not only a great indicator of where you're at/what you need to study, but also a great study tool because of the in depth explanations! I found the PAT generators to be a great way gear my mind on how to visualize for the PAT, and the exams themselves were much more difficult than the actual PAT. Ari is wonderful, and very helpful if you reach out to him!

    2007 & 2009 ADA Exams
    I took the 2007 exam before I began any of my review and scored very poorly on it (a 16 :laugh:) Looking back I think the 2007 exam is too easy compared to the difficulty of other resources and the actual DAT; however, its free and if you have the time then take the exam! The 2009 exam was a lot more useful in my opinion, and the difficulty was similar to that of the actual DAT. I highly recommend taking the 2009 towards the end of your studying because I think it is one of the best indicators in terms of what you can expect to score.

    STUDYING OVERVIEW/TIPS
    I began studying mid May, and spent about 10 weeks. In terms of how long to study, everyone is different. Some people work well by cramming, and others need lots of time. My biggest piece of advice is to write out a schedule before you begin your studying, and list everything you can realistically get done each day. Personally, I think 8-10 weeks is optimal for having enough time to learn, practice, and NOT FORGET things you learned earlier. Throughout the 10 weeks, I had plenty of days where it didn't feel like I was getting as much done as I wanted too. This is bound to happen, because while your schedule may be perfect, life is not. You're going to have days where you don't feel well, something may come up that you have to take care of, or you just can't mentally focus that day. DO NOT STRESS if you aren't sticking to your schedule 100% every single days. As long as the majority of your days are spent being productive, it's okay to have a some off days. During my schedule I didn't give myself any days off, and I feel like this was a reason why I had more "unproductive" days than I wanted too, because I would feel burnt out. If possible, try to schedule in a day each week where you don't do anything DAT related, or just light reviewing. This will definitely give you the energy to power through the next several days of intense studying!

    In terms of how I spent my 10 weeks using the materials listed above, here is an overview:
    -Took the 2007 ADA before touching any of the review materials
    -Went through Chad's GChem, OChem, and QR videos/quizzes while also reading cliffs and
    answering the
    questions
    -Tackled destroyer, making sure to take extensive notes on problems I got wrong, and completed
    all Bio,
    OChem, GChem, and QR bootcamp exams (did not review solutions to bootcamp)
    -Went through destroyer again, keeping track of any problems I got wrong, and began skimming
    ferralis
    -Went back and reviewed my chads notes, took the OChem and GChem quizzes, began taking my
    own
    notes on feralis, and reviewed the destroyer problems I had gotten wrong during the
    second round

    -Took all 5 bootcamp exams back to back the week before my exam (reviewed all solutions), as
    well as the 2009
    ADA 2 days before my exam
    -Read articles from scientific american and played the eyeballing game almost every day
    -Used bootcamp generators sporadically throughout the 10 weeks, and focused more on PAT
    during the last 2
    weeks
    -NOTE: I only got through Destroyer Bio ONCE (It's 500 problems lol)


    If any of you reading this are considering rescheduling your exam, don't be afraid too. I ended up rescheduling and giving myself an extra two weeks which definitely made the difference. Deciding on whether to reschedule or not is tough, and I based it on the fact that I wasn't scoring as high as I wanted too on practice exams. While a practice exam score isn't always indicative of exactly what you will get, I do believe it is important to be scoring in the range of what you want to get on the actual exam! I also felt extremely stressed about taking the exam to the point where I was having panic attacks (which never happens). I knew I was ready to take this exam because although I still didn't feel 100% ready (I don't think you ever will), I knew I had put in a lot of hard work, and that it was time to give it my best shot:)

    DAT OVERVIEW
    Biology (22)
    One thing to keep in mind about this section is that a part of being successful comes down to luck. There is a vast majority of material that can be tested, and you can't be an expert on everything. In terms of how to prepare for biology, I cannot stress enough how important it is to understand your fundamentals. These will help you tackle the tricker problems through critical thinking. I found myself using process of elimination quite a bit, and this is bound to happen. Do not panic if you see a problem you don't know. Try using process of elimination to narrow it down to 2, pick one, and move on. It is important to move quickly and efficiently, because time flies by on this exam. Sometimes I would catch myself spending way too much time doubling checking a super easy problem. TRUST YOURSELF and have confidence. Over all I think the biology section was a mixture of mostly critical thinking using fundamentals and straightforward questions that you either know or don't. Keep in mind that staring at a question you don't know how to answer isn't going to make the answer appear, so it's best to move on and conquer the questions you can answer to get the points!

    GChem (23)
    I was extremely happy with this score because I had been worried about GChem since the beginning. Success on this section comes down to reviewing properly/understanding the CONCEPTS, and then PRACTICE PRACTICE PRACTICE. I had five or less calculations on my exam which I was happy about, and the rest were conceptual problems. Make sure you really understand what's going on, not just how to answer a problem. Definitely know you major equations as well, because many of the calculations were very simple plug and chugs! It also helps that many of the answer choices will be in equation format, which means less calculations! (haha I really don't like math if you can't tell :p). Chad is great for explaining everything you need to know, and then destroyer and bootcamp will help you learn how to apply your knowledge!

    OChem (23)
    OChem was one of my favorite science courses, and something that I have been fortunate enough to have a knack for. I wasn't too worried about this section, and am pleased with my score. I thought most of the questions were very straightforward, and didn't get any crazy reactions. There were a few questions that really had me thinking, but over all if you use chads, destroyer, and bootcamp, you should do well! Know your basic reactions, NMR, resonance, and lab techniques for sure.

    Reading Comprehension (23)
    I have always been a fast reader, and making sure to read scientific american articles daily definitely helped to speed up/sharpen my reading skills. I started off by trying to use S&D but failed miserably, and then switched over to mapping. I found this technique to be very effective, and made sure to practice it a few times before going into the actual exam. In terms of finding a technique that works for you, it's all about trial and error. There are many different techniques out there, so do your research, test a few out until you find one you like, and then make sure to practice that technique! Bootcamp reading was great prep because the passages were longer than the ones on the actual DAT, and I also didn't get any tone/statement comparison questions. If you're scoring well on bootcamp, you're ready for DAT RC!

    QR (18)
    I was upset with my score in this section because I felt that the DAT QR was much easier compared to practice questions. My biggest issue with QR was timing, and I ended up having to guess on the last few. If I had timed myself better, and spent less time on difficult problems, I definitely would've been able to score the easy points, and this probably would've made the difference in my score. Make sure you have your timing down for this section, and don't let yourself spend too much time on the more challenging problems because it may cost you in the end. I think Math Destroyer was great prep and will make the DAT QR look like a cake walk.

    PAT (18)
    I was not surprised by this score one bit. Unfortunately, I didn't practice PAT as much as I wanted too, and was consistently getting 17s and 18s on bootcamp exams. The actual PAT was much easier, and if I had practiced with bootcamp more, I know I could've done better. My biggest piece of advice is to just continuously AND consistently practice PAT throughout your study schedule, instead of sporadically and towards the end like I did.

    There you have it, my DAT Breakdown! You don't have to be a genius to be successful on this exam (I definitely am not :laugh:) but what you do need is a strong work ethic and discipline. These two factors coupled with test taking skills will bring you success :soexcited:

    If anyone has any questions or just needs some advice feel free to message me! Good luck and go ace the DAT!

     
  2. ThunderSplash

    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2014
    Messages:
    164
    Likes Received:
    155
    Status:
    Pre-Dental
    Great scores! Congratulations! :highfive: I really like what you said about the biology section.
    "Keep in mind that staring at a question you don't know how to answer isn't going to make the answer appear, so it's best to move on and conquer the questions you can answer to get the points!"
    This can't be stressed enough.
     
    PDstudent16 likes this.
  3. PDstudent16

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2015
    Messages:
    16
    Likes Received:
    17
    Status:
    Pre-Dental
    Thank you ThunderSplash! I see you were also very successful on the exam so congratulations! It's so difficult to keep that mentality when you're taking the actual exam, because you want to answer every single question, but I kept telling myself that for every question I didn't know how to answer, there were plenty waiting for me that I did! Test taking skills are just as important as knowing the material.
     
    ThunderSplash likes this.
  4. ThunderSplash

    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2014
    Messages:
    164
    Likes Received:
    155
    Status:
    Pre-Dental
    Thank you! That's the best attitude to have for sure. Knowing that you can't answer everything is a hard pill to swallow but everything becomes easier once you do.
     
    PDstudent16 likes this.
  5. orgoman22

    orgoman22 DAT DESTROYER
    Lifetime Donor Vendor Sponsor Classifieds Approved 10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2005
    Messages:
    3,981
    Likes Received:
    2,927
    Status:
    Non-Student
    PDstudent16 Congratulations!!:clap:

    :claps: You slayed the DAT Beast! You are correct when you stated you don't have to be a genius to conquer the DAT but it does take hard work and determination. You put in the hard work and it paid off HUGE! We are thrilled that you truly understood the power of the Destroyer!! It is VERY challenging but you buckled down and mastered the Destroyer. If you are able to conquer the Destroyer you will be prepared to face the tough problems that come your way. Dental schools will be sending interview invitations your direction.

    Thank you for the very detailed breakdown and giving back to the SDN community.

    Wishing you the best and you should celebrate, you deserve it.:banana:

    Dr. Romano and Nancy
     
    PDstudent16 likes this.
  6. byahnoob

    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2014
    Messages:
    230
    Likes Received:
    118
    @PDstudent16
    So for the conceptual questions for GC... were they like the ones on Destroyer?
     
  7. jbrose

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2015
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    1
    Status:
    Pre-Dental
    thanks for the tip!
     
    #7 jbrose, Aug 6, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2015
  8. 510586

    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2014
    Messages:
    1,069
    Likes Received:
    277
    Status:
    Dental Student
    You should post this on the predent board instead of on someone else's breakdown.
     
  9. PDstudent16

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2015
    Messages:
    16
    Likes Received:
    17
    Status:
    Pre-Dental
    From what I can remember they were A LOT more straightforward, but if you go through the destroyer conceptual questions and really understand them you will be fine! If you've used Chad's definitely make sure to have a firm grasp on the conceptual stuff and key vocab words (i.e. isoelectric series, etc...)
     
  10. byahnoob

    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2014
    Messages:
    230
    Likes Received:
    118
    Coolio. thanks so much.
    I'm feeling a lot better now
     
    PDstudent16 likes this.
  11. htorres89

    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2014
    Messages:
    235
    Likes Received:
    135
    Amazing breakdown! So detailed and specific! Thank you for sharing this with us. Congratulations on your DAT scores! They're great!

    Quick question about the QR section. Did you happen to do the questions in the back of the DAT destroyer ? Or did you just solely do the Math Destroyer? Wasn't really sure which would be more worth you're time lol
     
    PDstudent16 likes this.
  12. PDstudent16

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2015
    Messages:
    16
    Likes Received:
    17
    Status:
    Pre-Dental
    Thank you so much!! :) personally I only did math destroyer, and if you only have time to do one then definitely go with math destroyer. I believe the math destroyer problems are more challenging than the ones in the back of DAT Destroyer, so you'll feel well prepared for the QR section!
     
    htorres89 likes this.
  13. WTN13

    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2012
    Messages:
    54
    Likes Received:
    32
    How did you do on the 2009 ADA and BC?
     
  14. PDstudent16

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2015
    Messages:
    16
    Likes Received:
    17
    Status:
    Pre-Dental
    Bootcamp Scores (Exams 1,2,3, and 5)
    AA: 21/19/20/20
    TS: 21/20/21/20
    PAT: 17/16/17/18
    Bio: 23/23/19/21
    GChem: 18/18/24/20
    OChem: 22/20/21/20
    Reading: 19/17/19/20
    QR: 22/20/20/18

    I couldn't find my scores for BC exam 4 or for the 2009 ADA; however, I do remember that all my scores for 2009 ADA were 20+ besides QR and PAT.
     
    #14 PDstudent16, Aug 9, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2015
    WTN13 likes this.
  15. Science Fanatic

    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2015
    Messages:
    19
    Likes Received:
    2
    Status:
    Pre-Dental
    thank you so much for that wonderful advice i literally pinned this post to my desktop so i wont lose it. Thank you for all the help and hope youve given me
     

Share This Page