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DAT Breakdown 21AA - 8/18/15 BOOTCAMP & DESTROYER all the way.

Discussion in 'DAT Discussions' started by dentprincess, Aug 18, 2015.

  1. dentprincess

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    HI sdn,

    So after being an avid visitor to this website for the past 2 months, I'm so happy to be finally done with DAT and show my own breakdown.

    Before I begin though, I think it's imperative especially for people just beginning their journey to killing the DAT to take every piece of advice with a pinch of salt. I'm going to outline what I did and what worked for me. Doesn't mean the same will happen to you. You're going be pulled in a lot of directions, just stay focused and pave your own way and get some tips from the sdn community.

    Score breakdown:
    21 BIO
    20 Genchem :( ----> kinda bummed about this
    21 ORGO
    21 PAT
    20 RC
    21 QR <--- shock of the century
    21 AA
    20 TS

    Okay now let's get cracking.

    Background: I'm a rising junior at a 4 year public university. I'm taking the DAT a year early just because I want to make sure I apply early in the next cycle (my gpa...ain't that hot tbh). I'm majoring in biology and fun fact I got a C+ in organic chemistry. I started studying around mid June, and averaged between 4-9 hours a day. I know that's a big range, I will say that around mid July, I averaged 8.

    I slacked off in the beginning a LOT. To do well on this exam, you need to stay FOCUSED. And you might have to make some sacrifices (I know I did). I will promise you that if you put in the work, you will see results. The DAT can be destroyed with the right materials and mindset.

    Also, personally when deciding on how much time you need, evaluate yourself and your knowledge. Too long, and you start forgetting stuff you learned in the beginning. Too short, and you don't have enough time to learn everything you need to.

    On my first diagnostic test with Kaplan, my AA was 16 with a 14 in biology (the subject i'm majoring in lol rekt). So I knew I needed some time.
    Okay, now introductions are over on to the juicy stuff:

    Materials: Kaplan Blue Book (8.5/10), DAT Destroyer (10/10), DAT Bootcamp (12/10) Feralis notes (9/10)

    BIOLOGY -21
    BC avg: 18

    I probably spent most of my time studying biology. There's SOO much information to learn, it can be very overwhelming. I used kaplan's blue book (or basically the one that comes up with the EXTREMELY expensive and unnecessary course) to get a basic grip of the material. Although I would not recommend the Kaplan course (waste of money peeps), I would argue that the KBB is a pretty good resource. I did supplement with Feralis notes which are MUCH more in depth (and maybe a little overwhelmingly in depth).

    However, I think as Ari of Bootcamp purposes you should focus on "breadth rather than depth." There's a lot of info, and ideally yes you should know every single thing in Feralis notes. Is that possible? Yes. However, I think getting a good grip of the material and then supplementing it with Destroyer and Bootcamp is the most efficient way to go.

    BIOLOGY BC EVAL: Great resource! And there were at least 2 questions on my actual DAT which were pretty much straight from bootcamp. I never got above a 20 on any of the tests, but the real deal didn't turn out too bad.

    DESTROYER BIO EVAL: Loved it! I didn't use the destroyer like a practice test instead I saw it as a way to enhance my knowledge. Do not let it's difficulty intimidate you. It actually presents a lot of material pertinent to the exam in a fresh way. (vs head deep in feralis notes ugh). I only went through it once. Would I have done better if I'd gone through it twice? Tbh, I do not think so.

    ORGANIC CHEM 21
    BC AVG 18

    A lot of people use CHADS videos for orgo. I never did, I wish I had but after wasting so much money on kaplan, I was kinda broke. But considering how many people recommend it, I'd say look into it especially if you're weak in orgo.

    As for me, I did go through KBB's orgo section and it was...aight.
    I think Bootcamp and Destroyer are kings here. In particular Destroyer's road maps. Fantastic way to learn all the reactions that could possibly come up. I went through Destroyer's orgo section twice, it was worth it! I think it's underestimated how orgo can be improved through practice and repetition.

    However, the most helpful resource of all...was the (I don't know his name forgive me) dude who appears in ORGO bootcamp's videos. When I got orgo questions wrong on bootcamp (which happened a lot),I'd watch the video explanation and it helped tremendously! Like I need to write a letter to this man and thank him.

    I went orgo bootcamp questions twice and stand by that decision.

    GENERAL CHEMISTRY 20
    BC AVG 19

    Okay, I was quite bummed about this considering genchem was the section I thought I could potentially get a 22 in. Unfortuntely, I made the mistake of spending too much time on one problem..

    Anyway, for this section I went through the KBB. Did it help? A little...but the real learning came from practice in the form of DESTROYER AND BOOTCAMP, match made in heaven tbh.

    Similarly, I went through Destroyer's genchem section twice and bootcamps question twice. I found bootcamp to be extremely similar to the genchem portion of the real DAT

    The only other tip I'd give is practicing is the thing that's gonna really prep you for orgo and genchem.

    PAT 21
    BC AVG 19


    Okay so flashback time to when I got a 12 on the PAT kaplan diagnostic...bad memories. Also my first bootcamp test, I only finished 50 of the 90 questions...yikes. Just goes to show that you should NOT be discouraged by bad scores but instead practice, practice, practice.

    If you decide not to get bootcamp's entire package, fine but I'd strongly recommend getting their PAT tests. Seriously great stuff. It will help get your timing down and has AMAZING explanations. Also the generators are pretty cool to practice with at the end of the long day or when you dont feel like taking an entire test.

    In addition to bootcamp, I did some practice with random youtube PAT tutorials which gave some extra tips. Just search "PAT tutorials" on youtube, it'll give you some insight into techniques you can use.

    RC 20
    BC AVG 22

    I don't have much to say about this section. My primary practice was with bootcamp. I'd say it's one of bootcamp's weak areas. But I think that's because of the nature of the test itself rather than bootcamp. Ironically I thought the real RC was a piece of cake, much easier than bootcamps's RC tests. Questions were so blaringly obvious but when I saw my score, I realized I must have misunderstood some passages. What strategy did I use? I unlike most people, never found 1 strategy that worked.

    I think the best thing to do is to adjust your strategy to the passage. For example, for simpler passages use search and destroy. For complex ones, map it out. I think the best thing to do is do a hybrid of strategies. Every strategy has a pro and a con, so doing a hybrid can sometimes get all the pros and avoid the cons.

    In the beginning stages, just familiarize yourself with strategies. Test things out, see how it works for you.


    QR 21
    BC AVG 18

    Ok lemme just say DAT BC QR rekt me (in the best way possible) and not once did i ever get a 20 or higher. Math has always been my weakest subject, and I was scared to death a low QR score would drag my AA down...but I was pleasantly surprised.

    The QR on bootcamp is significantly harder (in my experience) than the real DAT. ANd that's a good thing. Bootcamp is wordy, I never finished a test on time. But on the real DAT, I had 4-5 mins to spare.

    I'd recommend BC for QR just try not to get discouraged. It's hard, but QR is about practice.
    I didn't purchase Math Destroyer because....the thought of 14 very hard math tests was a little too much for me. But I did use Destroyer's QR section, and found it gave me a lot of useful tips. It was only about 150 questions but I'd give it a 10/10 since it prepped me well.

    General advice
    I know my scores aren't the typical 24AA's you see on here but I'm very pleased. I just wanted to say that this test can be conquered and that I had so many moments where I truly believed I'd fail. DO NOT LET PRACTICE SCORES RUIN YOUR REAL SCORE. It's practice, learn from your mistakes. Every mistake now, is a point later.
    My scores ended up being quite homogenous. I equate that to studying a little bit of everything everyday, or tackling sciences one day and then PAT and QR the next. That being said, I didn't shine in one area with a 23 or 24. Oh well.

    Last of all, shout out to Ari and Dr. Romano.
     
  2. byahnoob

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    CONGRATZ!! I've seen all your posts leading up to your exam and turns out you did great
    Thanks for the awesome break down as well
     
    DragoBlue and dentprincess like this.
  3. htorres89

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    Awesome scores!!
    Congratulations! You're road is over. I'm still taking mine September 14th. I was happy to ready your breakdown tho. Very helpful and informative. Thanks!!!
     
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  4. dentprincess

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    Haha thank you so much :D
     
  5. dentprincess

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    Thank you!! Best of luck, you'll kill it :cool: Feel free to ask any questions if you want to
     
  6. nornton

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    Great job! Congrats on being done! Did you take the 2009 DAT?
     
  7. lazyindy

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    wow we have almost the EXACT same breakdowns!

    21 Bio
    20 Gchem (bummed about this too)
    21 Orgo
    21 PAT
    22 RC
    20 QR

    edit: Oh and congratulations!!!
     
  8. SenoritaKorea

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    Awesome job! I really like what you said about a mistake now is a point later. Really terrific perspective! Now you can go enjoy your junior year without worrying about DAT!
     
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  9. htorres89

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    Lol well since you mentioned it, Orgo and QR seem to be the sections I'm most worried about. I feel the most clueless on them. If we can figure out every problem in the Destroyer we are good to go, right? I know you mentioned it earlier but I just wanted to clarify and make sure lol
     
  10. dentprincess

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    HAHA whoahh freaky. When did you take yours? (and congatulations to you too!).
     
  11. dentprincess

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    I think if you UNDERSTAND the concepts behind every question in the orgo portion of the destroyer (H acidity, boiling points, rxns etc) + study the chemical tests and road maps, you should be in a good place. Now obviously can't guarantee anything.
    QR as I said before was my weakest subject. But DAT Destroyer's QR portion did really help to be honest. Now whether it would work for every possible DAT test, I can't say. But understanding the shortcuts in Destroyer's QR problems will definitely help!
     
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  12. dentprincess

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    Thank you very much! I actually did not take any sections of the 2009 DAT. I only took the math portion on 2007 DAT and scored a 20.
     
  13. pursuingadream

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    Dentprincess! I'm so happy for you! I know you were worried as I had seen your posts asking questions about certain sections and what not. YOU KILLED IT. I really hope I have a similar experience as you and get my anxieties eased by great scores! Congrats!
     
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  14. dentprincess

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    Thank you so much! And yeah, these past few weeks was just a lot of worrying but a lot of studying too. YOU WILL have a similar experience! Trust yourself, believe me I know how hard it is but you can do it! Best of luck :D
     
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  15. lazyindy

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    thanks! and I took mine last friday (8/14)
     
  16. Alice Tang

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    Nice scores.
     
  17. orgoman22

    orgoman22 DAT DESTROYER
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    :):highfive::roflcopter:Congratulations! dentprincess

    Very nice scores indeed! Dental schools will love the consistency and all scores 20+ Love your advice ,
    "DO NOT LET PRACTICE SCORES RUIN YOUR REAL SCORE, It's practice, learn from your mistakes."~

    We are happy you found our materials helpful and you will receive multiple interviews with your scores..

    Wishing you the best along the way to becoming a dentist!

    Dr. Romano and Nancy
     
  18. phillyeagles1

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    Nice job, all 20s and lucky 21s :) congrats!
     
  19. sexysummer

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    Dentprincess,
    I sent you a message in regard Bootcamp. Could you reply and just let me know.
    Thanks
     

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