DAT Breakdown (22/22)

Discussion in 'DAT Discussions' started by bonbonbon, Jan 21, 2014.

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  1. bonbonbon

    bonbonbon

    5
    0
    Jan 8, 2014
    Hey guys, I took my test few weeks ago, and I feel like this forum helped me a lot preparing for the test.
    So here I am, writing my breakdown hoping it is helpful!

    I had registered for the test sometime in summer (I don't know why I did it lol) but was totally unaware of it until 3 weeks before the expiration. So I was given exactly 3 weeks to study for the test, but due to the finals and papers, I actually had ~2.5 weeks to really concentrate on the DAT. During the first two weeks, I spent about 5 hours on the DAT. After I was done with finals, I studied 5~8 hours everyday except the day before the test, which I spent the whole day hanging out with my friends.

    My scores:
    PAT 21
    QR 21
    RC 21
    Bio 25
    GC 22
    OC 22
    TS 22
    AA 22

    PAT:
    Materials used: CDP
    I found the actual test harder than CDP, especially the AR and HP. I took 2 practice tests (got 23 and 22), but that was during the first week of my study. I guess I forgot how to approach the problems and failed to manage time.

    QR:
    Materials used: Qvault
    I could not spend much time on this since I only had 3 weeks to study. All I did was the first free test on Qvault. Other than that, I could not study for this section...
    The actual test was okay. Simple pre-calculus questions with some geometry and statistics. As long as you remember your math from high school, you should be fine. For me, after taking all other sections, I was so tired and could not concentrate lol
    Also, the calculator worked just fine.

    RC:
    Materials used: CDR
    I did the first test on CDR and did okay (22), so did not study for this section.
    What I did on the actual test was to go through all the questions for the passage and write down the keywords, and went back to the questions as skimming.

    Bio:
    Materials used: Barron's AP, Ferralis' notes, Topscore, Qvault
    I spent the first 2 weeks of my study schedule for this section. I first tried reading Cliff's, but it was really boring so I switched to Barron's. I highlighted important stuff as reading, and when I finished the book, I solved Qvault problems. I did Topscore 3 days before the test and got scores like 17, 19, 19 (none higher than 19). Then I looked at Ferralis' notes to strengthen my weak areas.
    The actual exam was so much easier/better than the practice tests. Make sure you solve many problems to find what your weaknesses are!

    GC & OC:
    Materials used: Chad, Topscore
    1 week was given for these sections. Luckily, my friend let me borrow his notes he had written for Chad's GC and OC. I just tried to memorize everything by going over the notes like 4 times each. I made flashcards for the mechanisms and NMR stuff and memorized them. I wish I had more time to study for these sections or at least some Destroyer problems. On Topscore, I got around 21 on both sections.



    The 3 week schedule was really tough. I'm the person who gets easily distracted, so after the finals, I woke up late in the afternoon and studied till like 5:00AM at a nearby cafe that opens 24/7 so I can study in a quiet atmosphere. Although I still hung out with friends, I made sure I studied at least 5 hours everyday. Don't push yourself too hard, and don't be too frustrated. At first I felt really unprepared, after studying for only 3 weeks. But I told myself the day before the test, "Hey, there's always a retake. Just give a shot!" So I hung out with friends the day before the test, and I think that helped me a lot by removing all the stress I got from studying. I walked into the testing center relaxed, and took the test like I was taking a practice test.

    Hope you find this helpful!
     
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  3. sjv

    sjv SDN Moderator 2+ Year Member

    2,672
    843
    Jun 18, 2013
    CA
    Solid scores especially with limited study time.
     
  4. ASOT

    ASOT 2+ Year Member

    71
    27
    Jun 10, 2013
    Well done, your scores are great esp with that time constraint. Good job!
     

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