paulchambers

2+ Year Member
Jun 3, 2016
5
7
Status
Pre-Dental
Alright. So I just finished my sophomore year, and I’m a biology major (and philosophy minor!). I’ve been studying for about 3 months. I originally set out to study at least 6 hours a day, but with one class and the release of Pokemon GO, I was reasonably distracted and ended up studying 3-4 hours most days, with a few 6-8 hour days interspersed. GPA 3.81 Science GPA 3.67 Non-Science GPA 4.00 Scores:

AA/TS/BIO/GC/OC/PAT/RC/QR
23/23/23/22/25/23/23/22

For those of you curious, here are my BC scores (average in parenthesis, actual exam in bold):
AA: 20/21/22/21/21 (21)(23)
TS:
19/20/20/20/20 (20)(23)
BIO:
23/19/21/21/24 (22)(23)
GC:
21/30/23/20/19 (23)(22)
OC:
17/17/18/22/22 (19)(25)
PAT:
19/21/20/20/20 (20)(23)
RC:
21/20/23/25/22 (22)(23)
QR:
19/19/23/18/19 (20)(22)


Materials:

  • DAT Destroyer 2016
  • DAT Bootcamp
  • Chad's Videos/Coursesaver
  • Cliff's AP Bio 4th edition (I know 3rd is better, but they didn't have it at the store)
  • Feralis' Notes
  • Kaplan Blue Book (complete waste of money)
  • Class notes

By Section:


  • Bio(23): I'm a biology major, I just finished TA'ing in the microbio lab, and I've taken a fair amount of bio classes. This was a real mix bag, and they threw everything at me.
    • I read a bit of KBB, but found that it was pretty light and not really worth the time. 1/10
    • I read through Cliff's once and thought that it was a nice review, but it was also a little light on information, and focused on larger concepts. Of course it was nice to have some focus on broader topics, but it didn't really have the nitty gritty details that I thought I'd need for the exam. 4/10
    • I read through Feralis' notes twice and found that it was basically Cliff's, just with way way more detail and information. I would say that Feralis' were the most useful. There was tons of info with a lot of detail, and even though it was hard to read at times, and its not the best at demonstrating how everything plays in together, it was the best resource outside of the actual classes I've taken, plus it's free! 8/10
    • I did all of DAT Destroyer for bio twice and the question types were spot on, they really nailed it. I made an excel spreadsheet for all the different tests where I would type in my answers (so I didn't have to write in the book for when I went through it again), and I typed in the answer keys, and I could get quick data on how I did, and compare the second run through to see how I improved. The info in the back was a great review for each section, and was a great tool to get quick summarized info and pointers for the exam day. Memorize it. 9/10
    • I took all the DATBC tests and found that they were somewhat representative of the exam. They got the style of the questions spot on, though they were a little too specific. As for all DATBC tests, they really do just throw the hardest questions that could be thrown at you on the real thing, but don't expect the real thing to look exactly like BC. 7/10
  • Gen Chem(22): I took gen chem two years ago, and I remembered some broad ideas, but couldn't do most of the calculations when I started. Even though I didn't do as well as I would have liked to on this section, I'm happy. The actual exam for me was way less calculation-heavy, and seemed to focus on broader chemistry principles.
    • I watched all of Chad's videos on 2-2.5x speed and didn't take any of the quizzes. Even though I didn't personally like his teaching style, it was a great review. He really does give good tips on how to do calculations, but that was all it was really good for. On my actual DAT, I had so few calculations to do that I was really shocked. Most of it was more conceptual, testing your knowledge on general chemistry principles rather than seeing if you can calculate a pH. 7/10
    • I read about half of KBB and found that it did some good review on chem principles, but completely missed the mark. It was too easy, didn't focus on the right material at all, and was not representative of the exam whatsoever. 2/10
    • I took all the BC tests and watched the videos of the questions I got wrong for the first few. After I realized that the full length tests were the same as the individual section tests, I stopped taking section tests. The videos do a good job at explaining the topics, but I could not stand that guy (sorry). It was a good review, but again, the calculations that you have to do on all of these tests were not representative for me at least. I wish they would have focused more on general principles and their real-life applications instead of making you calculate solubility without a calculator. 6/10
    • DAT Destroyer was also much harder than the real thing, as expected. Like BC, these problems are the hardest problems that they could throw at you on the test. However, going through the whole thing twice and reading my mistakes in the back really gave me the practice that I needed to be prepared for anything. 9/10
  • Orgo(25): I really have to thank my orgo professor for this one. He designed the class as a year-long prep course for the DAT/MCAT. He actually writes questions for the DAT. That being said, I had only a few reaction problems where I had to pick the product. Like gen chem, it was focused much more on principles instead of products/reactions.
    • First and foremost, I used my class notes. Going over each reaction and learning why you get the product that you do not only helps you get the right answer on reaction problems, but helps you understand why it all happens.
    • KBB - I didn't even bother reading. 0/10
    • DATBC was helpful, and pretty representative of the real thing. Like gen chem, it was a little too specific when it came to how many reaction problems there were, and didn't focus on the concepts. 6/10
    • DAT Destroyer was great practice. The roadmaps are really worth taking a look at, as they provide a really nice summary of all the reactions that could get thrown at you. It also does a great job at making you learn the concepts of orgo that were so stressed on the exam through doing reactions. The explanations in the back were a gift from the heavens. What else could you expect from the Orgoman himself? 10/10
    • Chad's videos were pretty good. I also watched them on 2-2.5x speed and didn't do the quizzes. They were a good quick review, and gave me an idea of what to expect. I would use this as more of a tool to orient yourself to the types of things that you want to learn from Destroyer, as well as giving you tips on how to solve problems quickly. 7/10
  • PAT(23): I’ve always been alright with thinking like this, and most of this came somewhat naturally.
    • DATBC was honestly spot on. I practiced for 15 minutes to an hour almost every day in the beginning, and once I felt comfortable, I really focused on other things. The angle ranking, cube counting, pattern folding, and hole punching were exactly like the exam, it was honestly amazing. The keyhole on the real thing was considerably harder, and I got a few of those stupid rocks that you don’t see on BC. With consistent practice, I was least worried about this section. I didn’t follow Ari’s strategies, and did whatever I found worked best for me. Everyone is different, and if you find something that works, do it! 9/10
  • Reading(23): I’ve always been a decent reader, and I read pretty often. Actually, reading a lot of philosophy for my minor really helped me get used to critically reading dense material.
    • DATBC was pretty good. The excerpts were representative of the real thing. However, the answers weren’t as ambiguous on the real exam as they were on BC. Read a few scientific articles every day and you’ll be fine. 8/10
  • QR(22): I haven’t taken a math class since freshman year when I took calc, so I needed some review. Math has always come naturally to me, so at first I thought I’d be fine, but I was mistaken.
    • DATBC was pretty representative of the real thing, but I found that it was somewhat harder. BC has a lot of tricky calculations for things like stats that I didn’t see too many of on the exam. I took 9 of the practice tests, and I freaked out a little bit the night before the exam. Oddly enough, I was most worried about this section. My timing was a little off during the exam, and I didn’t finish with as much time as I usually did. I think honestly the trick is just to stay calm and relax. They didn’t throw anything obscure or ridiculous, most of it was straightforward and was just testing to see if you knew the basics of each section. 8/10
    • DAT Destroyer was awesome. Of course, it was much harder than the real thing, but the practice was so useful. I went through it twice, and worked out every one I got wrong and learned why I got it wrong. 9/10
    • I watched all of Chad’s videos and thought they were alright. They were a little basic, and not too useful. 5/10
Overall, I thought that DAT Destroyer was worth its weight in Au, and I really really have to thank Dr. Romano @orgoman22 and Nancy for all their help. They write the book for students who want to excel, and if you want to excel, use this book. Like many before me have said, it's hard, and you will want to burn it, but if you stick to it, do it a few times, and really read the explanations, it is by far the best study tool. DATBC was great for PAT, and useful for timing, but as you can see from my BC scores compared to the real thing, it’s not always the most representative of the actual exam. I wouldn’t rely completely on BC, it’s got a few good tests, but if you’re really trying to learn the material, it’s not the best. Chad’s videos are great for a quick review, and learning what to focus your studies on in the beginning. That’s about all it’s good for, which is a lot though.

In the end, staying calm was the most useful thing I did. Before I started, I sat there for a few minutes just breathing with my eyes closed. I did this before the break ended too. This was really helpful. The last thing you need is to be focused on how much you’re freaking out instead of focusing on the test!

They did change a few administrative things. There is a 30 minute break instead of 15 minutes. You can strike out answers by right-clicking which was super helpful! You can also highlight which is awesome during RC. The highlighted portions also appear during the mini window for each question which is great for locating things quickly. Also during the review at the end, you can choose to review marked and review unfinished questions, and by clicking next it takes you to the next marked/unfinished question instead of having to go the review screen each time which was an awesome surprise! Also, YOU CAN USE THE KEYPAD FOR THE CALCULATOR! This was so helpful! It made QR go so much faster, but as always, it's much faster if you can do mental math, so don't let the easier calculator usage get you dependent on it!

Good luck everyone!

Lucas

Edit: For some reason I put 7/31/16 as the test date, I wasn't thinking. I actually took it on 7/29
 

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Last edited:

orgoman22

DAT DESTROYER... Dr. Romano and Nancy
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10+ Year Member
Mar 12, 2005
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Alright. So I just finished my sophomore year, and I’m a biology major (and philosophy minor!). I’ve been studying for about 3 months. I originally set out to study at least 6 hours a day, but with one class and the release of Pokemon GO, I was reasonably distracted and ended up studying 3-4 hours most days, with a few 6-8 hour days interspersed. Scores:

AA/TS/BIO/GC/OC/PAT/RC/QR
23/23/23/22/25/23/23/22

For those of you curious, here are my BC scores (average in parenthesis, actual exam in bold):
AA: 20/21/22/21/21 (21)(23)
TS:
19/20/20/20/20 (20)(23)
BIO:
23/19/21/21/24 (22)(23)
GC:
21/30/23/20/19 (23)(22)
OC:
17/17/18/22/22 (19)(25)
PAT:
19/21/20/20/20 (20)(23)
RC:
21/20/23/25/22 (22)(23)
QR:
19/19/23/18/19 (20)(22)


Materials:

  • DAT Destroyer 2016
  • DAT Bootcamp
  • Chad's Videos/Coursesaver
  • Cliff's AP Bio 4th edition (I know 3rd is better, but they didn't have it at the store)
  • Feralis' Notes
  • Kaplan Blue Book (complete waste of money)
  • Class notes

By Section:


  • Bio(23): I'm a biology major, I just finished TA'ing in the microbio lab, and I've taken a fair amount of bio classes. This was a real mix bag, and they threw everything at me.
    • I read a bit of KBB, but found that it was pretty light and not really worth the time. 1/10
    • I read through Cliff's once and thought that it was a nice review, but it was also a little light on information, and focused on larger concepts. Of course it was nice to have some focus on broader topics, but it didn't really have the nitty gritty details that I thought I'd need for the exam. 4/10
    • I read through Feralis' notes twice and found that it was basically Cliff's, just with way way more detail and information. I would say that Feralis' were the most useful. There was tons of info with a lot of detail, and even though it was hard to read at times, and its not the best at demonstrating how everything plays in together, it was the best resource outside of the actual classes I've taken, plus it's free! 8/10
    • I did all of DAT Destroyer for bio twice and the question types were spot on, they really nailed it. I made an excel spreadsheet for all the different tests where I would type in my answers (so I didn't have to write in the book for when I went through it again), and I typed in the answer keys, and I could get quick data on how I did, and compare the second run through to see how I improved. The info in the back was a great review for each section, and was a great tool to get quick summarized info and pointers for the exam day. Memorize it. 9/10
    • I took all the DATBC tests and found that they were somewhat representative of the exam. They got the style of the questions spot on, though they were a little too specific. As for all DATBC tests, they really do just throw the hardest questions that could be thrown at you on the real thing, but don't expect the real thing to look exactly like BC. 7/10
  • Gen Chem(22): I took gen chem two years ago, and I remembered some broad ideas, but couldn't do most of the calculations when I started. Even though I didn't do as well as I would have liked to on this section, I'm happy. The actual exam for me was way less calculation-heavy, and seemed to focus on broader chemistry principles.
    • I watched all of Chad's videos on 2-2.5x speed and didn't take any of the quizzes. Even though I didn't personally like his teaching style, it was a great review. He really does give good tips on how to do calculations, but that was all it was really good for. On my actual DAT, I had so few calculations to do that I was really shocked. Most of it was more conceptual, testing your knowledge on general chemistry principles rather than seeing if you can calculate a pH. 7/10
    • I read about half of KBB and found that it did some good review on chem principles, but completely missed the mark. It was too easy, didn't focus on the right material at all, and was not representative of the exam whatsoever. 2/10
    • I took all the BC tests and watched the videos of the questions I got wrong for the first few. After I realized that the full length tests were the same as the individual section tests, I stopped taking section tests. The videos do a good job at explaining the topics, but I could not stand that guy (sorry). It was a good review, but again, the calculations that you have to do on all of these tests were not representative for me at least. I wish they would have focused more on general principles and their real-life applications instead of making you calculate solubility without a calculator. 6/10
    • DAT Destroyer was also much harder than the real thing, as expected. Like BC, these problems are the hardest problems that they could throw at you on the test. However, going through the whole thing twice and reading my mistakes in the back really gave me the practice that I needed to be prepared for anything. 9/10
  • Orgo(25): I really have to thank my orgo professor for this one. He designed the class as a year-long prep course for the DAT/MCAT. He actually writes questions for the DAT. That being said, I had only a few reaction problems where I had to pick the product. Like gen chem, it was focused much more on principles instead of products/reactions.
    • First and foremost, I used my class notes. Going over each reaction and learning why you get the product that you do not only helps you get the right answer on reaction problems, but helps you understand why it all happens.
    • KBB - I didn't even bother reading. 0/10
    • DATBC was helpful, and pretty representative of the real thing. Like gen chem, it was a little too specific when it came to how many reaction problems there were, and didn't focus on the concepts. 6/10
    • DAT Destroyer was great practice. The roadmaps are really worth taking a look at, as they provide a really nice summary of all the reactions that could get thrown at you. It also does a great job at making you learn the concepts of orgo that were so stressed on the exam through doing reactions. The explanations in the back were a gift from the heavens. What else could you expect from the Orgoman himself? 10/10
    • Chad's videos were pretty good. I also watched them on 2-2.5x speed and didn't do the quizzes. They were a good quick review, and gave me an idea of what to expect. I would use this as more of a tool to orient yourself to the types of things that you want to learn from Destroyer, as well as giving you tips on how to solve problems quickly. 7/10
  • PAT(23): I’ve always been alright with thinking like this, and most of this came somewhat naturally.
    • DATBC was honestly spot on. I practiced for 15 minutes to an hour almost every day in the beginning, and once I felt comfortable, I really focused on other things. The angle ranking, cube counting, pattern folding, and hole punching were exactly like the exam, it was honestly amazing. The keyhole on the real thing was considerably harder, and I got a few of those stupid rocks that you don’t see on BC. With consistent practice, I was least worried about this section. I didn’t follow Ari’s strategies, and did whatever I found worked best for me. Everyone is different, and if you find something that works, do it! 9/10
  • Reading(23): I’ve always been a decent reader, and I read pretty often. Actually, reading a lot of philosophy for my minor really helped me get used to critically reading dense material.
    • DATBC was pretty good. The excerpts were representative of the real thing. However, the answers weren’t as ambiguous on the real exam as they were on BC. Read a few scientific articles every day and you’ll be fine. 8/10
  • QR(22): I haven’t taken a math class since freshman year when I took calc, so I needed some review. Math has always come naturally to me, so at first I thought I’d be fine, but I was mistaken.
    • DATBC was pretty representative of the real thing, but I found that it was somewhat harder. BC has a lot of tricky calculations for things like stats that I didn’t see too many of on the exam. I took 9 of the practice tests, and I freaked out a little bit the night before the exam. Oddly enough, I was most worried about this section. My timing was a little off during the exam, and I didn’t finish with as much time as I usually did. I think honestly the trick is just to stay calm and relax. They didn’t throw anything obscure or ridiculous, most of it was straightforward and was just testing to see if you knew the basics of each section. 8/10
    • DAT Destroyer was awesome. Of course, it was much harder than the real thing, but the practice was so useful. I went through it twice, and worked out every one I got wrong and learned why I got it wrong. 9/10
    • I watched all of Chad’s videos and thought they were alright. They were a little basic, and not too useful. 5/10
Overall, I thought that DAT Destroyer was worth its weight in Au, and I really really have to thank Dr. Romano @orgoman22 and Nancy for all their help. They write the book for students who want to excel, and if you want to excel, use this book. Like many before me have said, it's hard, and you will want to burn it, but if you stick to it, do it a few times, and really read the explanations, it is by far the best study tool. DATBC was great for PAT, and useful for timing, but as you can see from my BC scores compared to the real thing, it’s not always the most representative of the actual exam. I wouldn’t rely completely on BC, it’s got a few good tests, but if you’re really trying to learn the material, it’s not the best. Chad’s videos are great for a quick review, and learning what to focus your studies on in the beginning. That’s about all it’s good for, which is a lot though.

In the end, staying calm was the most useful thing I did. Before I started, I sat there for a few minutes just breathing with my eyes closed. I did this before the break ended too. This was really helpful. The last thing you need is to be focused on how much you’re freaking out instead of focusing on the test!

They did change a few administrative things. There is a 30 minute break instead of 15 minutes. You can strike out answers by right-clicking which was super helpful! You can also highlight which is awesome during RC. The highlighted portions also appear during the mini window for each question which is great for locating things quickly. Also during the review at the end, you can choose to review marked and review unfinished questions, and by clicking next it takes you to the next marked/unfinished question instead of having to go the review screen each time which was an awesome surprise! Also, YOU CAN USE THE KEYPAD FOR THE CALCULATOR! This was so helpful! It made QR go so much faster, but as always, it's much faster if you can do mental math, so don't let the easier calculator usage get you dependent on it!

Good luck everyone!

Lucas
Congratulations Lucus! You Destroyed it!!!!! Thanks you for the shout out and recognizing the Destroyer will Destroy you at first but with persistence it will build you back up and get you the finish line!

You will receive interviews and acceptances with these scores. Thanks for taking the time to write such a detailed breakdown, it will help students.

Wishing you the best!!!

Nancy
 
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Jul 31, 2016
27
13
Status
Pre-Dental
What did you do the day before your test? My test is tomorrow and I've just been reviewing my notes and mistakes on everything because I've never been one to "relax" before a test
 
OP
paulchambers

paulchambers

2+ Year Member
Jun 3, 2016
5
7
Status
Pre-Dental
What did you do the day before your test? My test is tomorrow and I've just been reviewing my notes and mistakes on everything because I've never been one to "relax" before a test
I had a mini panic attack the night before the test after I took a few QR tests that didn't go so well. I tried to get to bed early but couldn't fall asleep. What I did was close my eyes and take deep breaths. My old band teacher taught me to take a deep breath, hold it for a few seconds, and then slowly release, and that helps to kinda calm you down. During the break I didn't think about anything, I just sat in the lobby, had a snack, and actually read a Time magazine that was sitting there. I think it helps to just not think about the test when you're taking a break, because then you'll just work yourself up and get anxious. I was nervous before I started the test and was shaking a little bit when I scanned my fingerprint in, but after I just closed my eyes and took some deep breaths for about 2-3 minutes before I pressed start, I calmed down. I did the same after the break before RC too. Just don't think about it, try to clear your mind and just focus on relaxing and breathing

So yeah, just try not to think about it at all. I'm sure you've been studying for a while and you're prepared. At this point, taking tests will just freak you out and you won't remember anything for tomorrow. I just had dinner, watched the Democratic National Convention, and tried not to think about the test at all and I think that helped a lot
 
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LuckBloodandSweat

2+ Year Member
May 26, 2015
1,368
835
Status
Dental Student
DAMN nice scores! Really consistent across the board :D! Welcome to the 23 club :)
 
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