May 25, 2016
6
5
Status
Pre-Dental
After a painful couple of months, I’m glad to say I’m finally over with the DAT which I took on 7/20/2016. After using SDN numerous times in the past few months, I wanted to do my part and give back with my breakdown by showing what I had done and suggest a few dos and don’ts based on my experience as a thank you and something of a contribution to future users. A brief background: I had a stressful semester and decided I would dedicate the subsequent 2 months to fully preparing myself to take on the DAT. However, under most kinds of stress, particularly academically induced, I have a tendency to procrastinate like no other and often found myself unsure whether or not I was sufficiently prepared. Ultimately I never finished my studying to the extent I wanted to but made sure I had seen all the material at least once prior to going in. As for materials used, a big thanks to Dr. Jim Romano for the Destroyer series. Despite my bio score, I’m glad for how much I’ve learned from this section alone. Chad is the professor I wish I had for either GC or OC. I would have been lost in space had I tried the Destroyer without refreshing my knowledge with his videos. Thanks very much to Chad for essentially having a DAT chem course available in video at a small fraction of the cost it would take to take a full course. I would also like to thank Ari for Bootcamp, a resource I wished I used sooner, most notably for the PAT practice which I would have benefitted greatly from. Feralis, I would have benefitted a lot from your notes had I used them more effectively but thanks for making it free for all of us. I’ll certainly recommend it to others down the road. Last but certainly not the least, I would like to thank 2 friends, the first who suggested most of this material for me to use in my study and to serve as the role model of success for me and the second a close friend who I’ll refer to as Lenna for the immense help and keeping my sanity in check for the past 2 months under all the stress from the DAT and everything else in life. I think part of that has made all the difference in my attitude on test day, but more on that later.

PAT 19/QR 17/RC 20/Bio 19/GC 23/OC 23/TS 21/AA 20

For reference here were my bootcamp scores, though I only managed to go through 2 full length tests. I didn’t subscribe to BC until roughly 4 days before my exam. In that time, I did 2 practice tests and read through numerous help and suggestion posts. I also played around with the generators quite a bit. In retrospect, I should have done this much, much sooner.

PAT 16/16

QR 17/18

RC 19/20

Bio 18/19

GC 18/18

OC 21/16


Materials Used

Chad’s Videos

DAT Destroyer 2016

Cliff’s AP Bio 3rd Edition

DAT Bootcamp

Feralis Notes


PAT 19

For the PAT, my first experience was with a practice test untimed in which I got about 78/90 right. Not bad at all for the PAT. The method for cube counting on BC and the tic tac toe method for hole punching which the first friend suggested to me were spot on for getting perfect or near perfect in an untimed test. On my first timed practice test, those methods suggested a different reality. Not having practiced either method under the clock, it took far more time than I anticipated. Frantic guessing with 20 questions and 2 mins on the clock was not pleasant. On the actual exam, I planned to not take more than 10 mins per section to avoid this but found myself spending more time on the hole punching due more complicated hole punching than I had seen. I had several with holes on the edge and where it was a third folded which aren’t as intuitive to figure out in the span of a few seconds. They were also mostly 4 fold figures which I wasn’t accustomed to. I highly recommend practicing this section a bit more to be able to do the method faster. The exam did have the convenience of crossing out an answer by right clicking to help with using the process of elimination. I was not aware of this in advance until I used to tutorial to set up and discovered I didn’t need to for POE. I found the angles ridiculously easy compared to BC or Chad. I found the Hill Method very effective if the angles seemed really close. Cubes were not excessive from my experience. TFE and Keyhole were a bit time consuming but not impossibly hard. Spending more time on the BC generators would have helped immensely. Pattern folding which was last unfortunately received the minimum practice and likewise time was not my friend. I did manage to get through 5 with relative ease when I noticed I was at the 45 sec mark. Educated guessing got me through a few more. Overall I was displeased with the end result as I knew I could have done better.

QR 17

My biggest regret going into this section and my sad confession is that apart from the BC tests, I had no real practice going in. I had both Destroyers 2016 edition and the most I recall was skimming a few questions and looking over the equations. Despite a friend’s persuasion, I didn’t put as much focus on it and paid the price. Do not repeat the same mistakes I have and put some effort into practicing the questions more. Particularly the lengthy word problems which seem to be a lot harder than they actually are. I’m sure if you are accustomed to seeing some questions in worded form, they will be a lot more intuitive as you get used to it. I didn’t finish this section on the DAT as I wasted a lot of time overcomplicating a problem which I then realized what I should have done when I was ready to skip several times. Naturally I wasted time to correct this and had around 10 questions left by the end. I think I got about 4 or 5 random guesses in. Ultimately my worst section and it corresponds to the work I put into it relative to the rest. Don’t make the same mistake I did and do through lengthy word problems in the Math Destroyer. Looking back on a few, I’m sure it would have a significant difference had I done so.

RC 20

Another section I did not particularly prep for but was not too concerned about. I am avid reader of the New York Times and when searching through news articles, I often read anything science or health related if it piques my interest. On the exam, the first passage bored me pretty bad and I spent over 20 mins on it. I also experimented with reading through the entire passage first then answering the questions. Not a good idea since I was spaced out the first time through. I used search and destroy for the subsequent two which I did find the passages much more intriguing and was able to more than make up for lost time to finish everything. A convenient feature on the exam I was not aware of was that you could highlight any section in the passage and it would retain the highlighting for the remainder of the questions involving that passage. Perhaps someone may have mentioned this before but I definitely missed it and was pleasantly surprised.

Bio 19

Perhaps my most disappointing score considering the effort I put into studying. I used Cliff’s first with highlighting and underlining as I went through it. I personally hate questions about plant cycles and taxonomy or anything in that region of biology for that matter. Take a wild guess what came up several times on my exam… That aside, I tackled the Destroyer next and got about half wrong on average. I did however make an effort to compare my answer choices to the descriptive solutions to understand why I got questions right or wrong. If nothing else, I’ve learned a considerable amount more from the Destroyer than a certain one of my Bio professors in undergrad. It certainly helped to fill in a lot of gaps in my knowledge. Leading up to the exam, it was a section I felt more confidently about and skimmed over here and there in feralis. I regret not reading through it in its entirety, most notably the plant section which may have been all I needed to be in the threshold for the 20s. If I had the time, I would have read feralis and gone through the Destroyer a second time. Making flash cards was something I considered too late but serves a friend well and I would recommend it over underlining or highlighting since it helps to have your own notes in some way, shape, or form.

GC 23

This was the biggest positive shocker of my scores. Gen chem was the first section I got through with Chad’s and found most of it was sufficient to refresh my memory as it has been about 2 years since I’ve seen the material. However, my scores on the practice were all over the place. Some concepts I got perfect scores with while others I barely got 20% right on a given try. I felt like I had a good grasp so I skipped the destroyer for the time being to work on orgo as I was still working on the bio section in the destroyer at the time. With Chad however, I took extensive notes as I was watching through it and I did not use his worksheets for the simple reason that if I had something he wrote out printed in front of me, I would assume I would have time to go over it again later. Better to write it out the first time so I would remember it better. Getting back to the destroyer, I waited until the last few days to get back to it. I got to around question 130 or so before I stopped. Based on my experience, Chad was very sufficient and the methods and concepts he used were pretty spot on. Especially the setting up for mathematical based questions. I don’t think anything on my test had hard calculations at all for this section and knowing the formulas and how to apply them was more than enough to get through most of those.

OC 23

With Orgo, I had a genuine fear of relearning it all. However, Chad once again was my primary source for learning it back. I’ve always felt that orgo was one of those subjects that once you get it, YOU REALLY GET IT. Due to laziness, I never finished Chad’s videos. I watched the first 4 sections but skipped the lab techniques and Bio molecule portions. Bootcamp had a useful sheet for going over the techniques which was a relief the day before the exam to see and this was one section I got through completely on the destroyer. The roadmaps were among the most helpful portions and I strongly suggest drawing them out completely yourself. In addition, it helps to label the reactions if they have particular names such as aldol or clemmensen. I had several questions that referred to them by name and not by a series of molecules so knowing these can save you a lot of trouble. The functional groups found as the result of a reaction are also essential so know it! Overall the section I was most proud of for the effort I put in. Thanks Chad and Orgoman!



Anyways, throughout this whole process, the most helpful component to get through the stress was having a study buddy. If any of you had listened to the keynote speech from back in June when the virtual fair for Dental Schools, he mentioned how crucial his buddy system was for him and his friends going to med school. I fully understand what he meant when I found myself ready to give up and lacked the motivation to study or got caught up in anything other than studying. Lenna who has her test coming soon, reminded me often at what I was working towards and confiscated my phone numerous times to keep me on track. Pokemon GO came out a bad time for me relatively speaking and having my phone taken away was the only way I could study without distractions. However, there are times when you need to step back and relax. Don’t be afraid to take a day off studying or in the case of having a friend around, rant about your problems to get it off your chest. We did this numerous times and sometimes would study in different rooms to avoid distracting each other. However the other was always nearby in case we needed help or wanted to quiz each other. Having a pep talk the day before my exam to put me at ease helped me to put my negative bootcamp scores behind me and to reassure me that I would do well considering all the work we’ve been putting in. Having that did wonders for my mental health the night before and the day of the exam. I think in the end that may have made all the difference as I that was the one night I went to bed not caring about my stress. It would all be over in just over 12 hours from that point and there was no going back. Thanks Lenna for making that whole agonizing process substantially more bearable. There’s no way I would have survived that ordeal without you. I strongly recommend having a study buddy if you’re still early in the process for studying. It’ll do wonders. Anyways hope this helps future DAT takers and good luck to all you out there!

Veni, vedi, vici.
 
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orgoman22

DAT DESTROYER... Dr. Romano and Nancy
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Mar 12, 2005
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After a painful couple of months, I’m glad to say I’m finally over with the DAT which I took on 7/20/2016. After using SDN numerous times in the past few months, I wanted to do my part and give back with my breakdown by showing what I had done and suggest a few dos and don’ts based on my experience as a thank you and something of a contribution to future users. A brief background: I had a stressful semester and decided I would dedicate the subsequent 2 months to fully preparing myself to take on the DAT. However, under most kinds of stress, particularly academically induced, I have a tendency to procrastinate like no other and often found myself unsure whether or not I was sufficiently prepared. Ultimately I never finished my studying to the extent I wanted to but made sure I had seen all the material at least once prior to going in. As for materials used, a big thanks to Dr. Jim Romano for the Destroyer series. Despite my bio score, I’m glad for how much I’ve learned from this section alone. Chad is the professor I wish I had for either GC or OC. I would have been lost in space had I tried the Destroyer without refreshing my knowledge with his videos. Thanks very much to Chad for essentially having a DAT chem course available in video at a small fraction of the cost it would take to take a full course. I would also like to thank Ari for Bootcamp, a resource I wished I used sooner, most notably for the PAT practice which I would have benefitted greatly from. Feralis, I would have benefitted a lot from your notes had I used them more effectively but thanks for making it free for all of us. I’ll certainly recommend it to others down the road. Last but certainly not the least, I would like to thank 2 friends, the first who suggested most of this material for me to use in my study and to serve as the role model of success for me and the second a close friend who I’ll refer to as Lenna for the immense help and keeping my sanity in check for the past 2 months under all the stress from the DAT and everything else in life. I think part of that has made all the difference in my attitude on test day, but more on that later.

PAT 19/QR 17/RC 20/Bio 19/GC 23/OC 23/TS 21/AA 20

For reference here were my bootcamp scores, though I only managed to go through 2 full length tests. I didn’t subscribe to BC until roughly 4 days before my exam. In that time, I did 2 practice tests and read through numerous help and suggestion posts. I also played around with the generators quite a bit. In retrospect, I should have done this much, much sooner.

PAT 16/16

QR 17/18

RC 19/20

Bio 18/19

GC 18/18

OC 21/16


Materials Used

Chad’s Videos

DAT Destroyer 2016

Cliff’s AP Bio 3rd Edition

DAT Bootcamp

Feralis Notes


PAT 19

For the PAT, my first experience was with a practice test untimed in which I got about 78/90 right. Not bad at all for the PAT. The method for cube counting on BC and the tic tac toe method for hole punching which the first friend suggested to me were spot on for getting perfect or near perfect in an untimed test. On my first timed practice test, those methods suggested a different reality. Not having practiced either method under the clock, it took far more time than I anticipated. Frantic guessing with 20 questions and 2 mins on the clock was not pleasant. On the actual exam, I planned to not take more than 10 mins per section to avoid this but found myself spending more time on the hole punching due more complicated hole punching than I had seen. I had several with holes on the edge and where it was a third folded which aren’t as intuitive to figure out in the span of a few seconds. They were also mostly 4 fold figures which I wasn’t accustomed to. I highly recommend practicing this section a bit more to be able to do the method faster. The exam did have the convenience of crossing out an answer by right clicking to help with using the process of elimination. I was not aware of this in advance until I used to tutorial to set up and discovered I didn’t need to for POE. I found the angles ridiculously easy compared to BC or Chad. I found the Hill Method very effective if the angles seemed really close. Cubes were not excessive from my experience. TFE and Keyhole were a bit time consuming but not impossibly hard. Spending more time on the BC generators would have helped immensely. Pattern folding which was last unfortunately received the minimum practice and likewise time was not my friend. I did manage to get through 5 with relative ease when I noticed I was at the 45 sec mark. Educated guessing got me through a few more. Overall I was displeased with the end result as I knew I could have done better.

QR 17

My biggest regret going into this section and my sad confession is that apart from the BC tests, I had no real practice going in. I had both Destroyers 2016 edition and the most I recall was skimming a few questions and looking over the equations. Despite a friend’s persuasion, I didn’t put as much focus on it and paid the price. Do not repeat the same mistakes I have and put some effort into practicing the questions more. Particularly the lengthy word problems which seem to be a lot harder than they actually are. I’m sure if you are accustomed to seeing some questions in worded form, they will be a lot more intuitive as you get used to it. I didn’t finish this section on the DAT as I wasted a lot of time overcomplicating a problem which I then realized what I should have done when I was ready to skip several times. Naturally I wasted time to correct this and had around 10 questions left by the end. I think I got about 4 or 5 random guesses in. Ultimately my worst section and it corresponds to the work I put into it relative to the rest. Don’t make the same mistake I did and do through lengthy word problems in the Math Destroyer. Looking back on a few, I’m sure it would have a significant difference had I done so.

RC 20

Another section I did not particularly prep for but was not too concerned about. I am avid reader of the New York Times and when searching through news articles, I often read anything science or health related if it piques my interest. On the exam, the first passage bored me pretty bad and I spent over 20 mins on it. I also experimented with reading through the entire passage first then answering the questions. Not a good idea since I was spaced out the first time through. I used search and destroy for the subsequent two which I did find the passages much more intriguing and was able to more than make up for lost time to finish everything. A convenient feature on the exam I was not aware of was that you could highlight any section in the passage and it would retain the highlighting for the remainder of the questions involving that passage. Perhaps someone may have mentioned this before but I definitely missed it and was pleasantly surprised.

Bio 19

Perhaps my most disappointing score considering the effort I put into studying. I used Cliff’s first with highlighting and underlining as I went through it. I personally hate questions about plant cycles and taxonomy or anything in that region of biology for that matter. Take a wild guess what came up several times on my exam… That aside, I tackled the Destroyer next and got about half wrong on average. I did however make an effort to compare my answer choices to the descriptive solutions to understand why I got questions right or wrong. If nothing else, I’ve learned a considerable amount more from the Destroyer than a certain one of my Bio professors in undergrad. It certainly helped to fill in a lot of gaps in my knowledge. Leading up to the exam, it was a section I felt more confidently about and skimmed over here and there in feralis. I regret not reading through it in its entirety, most notably the plant section which may have been all I needed to be in the threshold for the 20s. If I had the time, I would have read feralis and gone through the Destroyer a second time. Making flash cards was something I considered too late but serves a friend well and I would recommend it over underlining or highlighting since it helps to have your own notes in some way, shape, or form.

GC 23

This was the biggest positive shocker of my scores. Gen chem was the first section I got through with Chad’s and found most of it was sufficient to refresh my memory as it has been about 2 years since I’ve seen the material. However, my scores on the practice were all over the place. Some concepts I got perfect scores with while others I barely got 20% right on a given try. I felt like I had a good grasp so I skipped the destroyer for the time being to work on orgo as I was still working on the bio section in the destroyer at the time. With Chad however, I took extensive notes as I was watching through it and I did not use his worksheets for the simple reason that if I had something he wrote out printed in front of me, I would assume I would have time to go over it again later. Better to write it out the first time so I would remember it better. Getting back to the destroyer, I waited until the last few days to get back to it. I got to around question 130 or so before I stopped. Based on my experience, Chad was very sufficient and the methods and concepts he used were pretty spot on. Especially the setting up for mathematical based questions. I don’t think anything on my test had hard calculations at all for this section and knowing the formulas and how to apply them was more than enough to get through most of those.

OC 23

With Orgo, I had a genuine fear of relearning it all. However, Chad once again was my primary source for learning it back. I’ve always felt that orgo was one of those subjects that once you get it, YOU REALLY GET IT. Due to laziness, I never finished Chad’s videos. I watched the first 4 sections but skipped the lab techniques and Bio molecule portions. Bootcamp had a useful sheet for going over the techniques which was a relief the day before the exam to see and this was one section I got through completely on the destroyer. The roadmaps were among the most helpful portions and I strongly suggest drawing them out completely yourself. In addition, it helps to label the reactions if they have particular names such as aldol or clemmensen. I had several questions that referred to them by name and not by a series of molecules so knowing these can save you a lot of trouble. The functional groups found as the result of a reaction are also essential so know it! Overall the section I was most proud of for the effort I put in. Thanks Chad and Orgoman!



Anyways, throughout this whole process, the most helpful component to get through the stress was having a study buddy. If any of you had listened to the keynote speech from back in June when the virtual fair for Dental Schools, he mentioned how crucial his buddy system was for him and his friends going to med school. I fully understand what he meant when I found myself ready to give up and lacked the motivation to study or got caught up in anything other than studying. Lenna who has her test coming soon, reminded me often at what I was working towards and confiscated my phone numerous times to keep me on track. Pokemon GO came out a bad time for me relatively speaking and having my phone taken away was the only way I could study without distractions. However, there are times when you need to step back and relax. Don’t be afraid to take a day off studying or in the case of having a friend around, rant about your problems to get it off your chest. We did this numerous times and sometimes would study in different rooms to avoid distracting each other. However the other was always nearby in case we needed help or wanted to quiz each other. Having a pep talk the day before my exam to put me at ease helped me to put my negative bootcamp scores behind me and to reassure me that I would do well considering all the work we’ve been putting in. Having that did wonders for my mental health the night before and the day of the exam. I think in the end that may have made all the difference as I that was the one night I went to bed not caring about my stress. It would all be over in just over 12 hours from that point and there was no going back. Thanks Lenna for making that whole agonizing process substantially more bearable. There’s no way I would have survived that ordeal without you. I strongly recommend having a study buddy if you’re still early in the process for studying. It’ll do wonders. Anyways hope this helps future DAT takers and good luck to all you out there!

Veni, vedi, vici.
Congratulations! I sincerely thank you for the honest breakdown and expressing some things you would have done differently. Your scores are great and those double 23's in Gchem and Orgo is impressive. Don't worry about the QR score, it's above the cutoff for the vast majority of schools. Thanks for mentioning the highlight feature on the reading, it is relatively new ,and quite a few students don't know about it until test day. A 20 is a great score so no worries on that.

Wishing you the best!

Dr. Jim Romano and Nancy
 

LuckBloodandSweat

2+ Year Member
May 26, 2015
1,368
835
Status
Dental Student
Grats on being done : )). Sadly QR is the least important section from what I hear ;)
 
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