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DAT Breakdown 23AA/23TS/26PAT

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Cello

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Hey all,

I haven't been around as much with school, work, a new girlfriend, and DAT study, but I want to try and give back to the community which has helped me so much over the years.

PAT: 26
QR: 17
RC: 25
BIO: 28
GC: 23
OC: 21
TS: 23
AA: 23


Preparation:
I didn't study a whole lot to be honest, perhaps 200 hours scattered over 6 months. Although I started studying in January, the truth is I didn't really start to study hard until spring break and then had a month-long hiatus until the end of April due to my classes. During the semester I did manage to complete Crack DAT PAT, and do a couple of front-to-back readings of Cliff's AP Bio and Barron's, but I had little time / energy during the semester to sit and study for hours on end.

So, my point is, if you are better at math than I am, you payed attention in your science classes, and if you plan your strategy right, it shouldn't take you a lot of time to prepare. Also, I have to give a shout-out to Glimmer who gave me some excellent advice!

PAT
Materials: Crack DAT PAT (7/10), DATBootcamp (10/10)

Practice Scores: ~26 for CDP and ~22 for Bootcamp (some of the Bootcamp keyholes are ridiculously hard!)
Strategy: I started by watching videos on Youtube from mmglasco which were helpful to get started with. I know there are lots of other vids now, including some from Ari over at Bootcamp, but those weren't around when I started studying for the PAT.

If you have the money, I recommend getting both CDP and Bootcamp. CDP is easier, and a great way to get started with the PAT. Bootcamp is much harder, and will leave you scratching your head often. CDP allows you to get your timing down under normal test-like conditions, while Bootcamp stresses you and forces you to use the mark button strategically for problems you can't solve quickly enough.

Critique: Bootcamp is a much better value, hands down (which is why I rate CDP as a 7/10). Also, the explanations which come with Bootcamp are absolutely amazing. More than once I asked myself who had the time and patience to put all of that together for us! What can I say? Bootcamp simply raised the bar and CDP lacks a lot of what Bootcamp offers for less.

Speaking generally, CDP was more similar to my DAT on the keyholes and pattern folding sections. Bootcamp was better representative of everything else. On the actual DAT I saw a couple of keyholes I had no idea how to answer... This was despite doing 10 CDP PAT exams and 9 Bootcamp practice exams and doing extremely well on keyholes for all of them. I really don't know how I could have been better prepared for those strange shapes, and I don't know if I guessed right in the end, but I did guess on them.

One note, I will say that Bootcamp kind of had me spoiled. The images are so crisp and well represented that I had become accustomed to exceptional precision with all of the figures. The actual DAT leaves a lot to be desired.... There were a couple of figures which had blurred lines, and a few which looked like they had hand-drawn portions because the lines were rather sloppy. I don't know who does the DAT's figures, but they should consider hiring Ari's crew.

QR
Materials: Math Destroyer (10/10), Khan Academy (6/10) & Chad's (5/10), Bootcamp (8/10)

Practice Scores:
Bootcamp - 24, 19, 20, 18

Critique:
I don't know what happened here... I'll refrain from giving too much advice as I clearly don't have much to give. I was doing exceptionally well on the Math Destroyer by the end, and I was averaging a 20-21 on Bootcamp (24, 19, 20, 18) which is supposed to be harder than the actual DAT. During the actual QR I was blown away by how easy it seemed. The problems were all familiar, and they seemed unambiguous. I felt like I was going to ace it! I got to the end and had about 8 minutes to check the 6 that I had marked. I really don't know where I went wrong, but clearly math isn't my strong suit...

My reasoning for the scores is as follows: Math Destroyer really nailed the types of problems which show up on the actual exam. Khan Academy is amazing, but isn't focused on the DAT, so it can be hard to find what you're looking for. Chad's vids are great for chem / ochem, but the math stuff was pretty basic and generic; I don't think I really learned much from those vids. Bootcamp is good because it offers a calculator (one note is that the actual DAT's calculator will accept decimals without inputting a 0 first, unlike Bootcamp's), and the test is timed. I felt that the kinds of problems found on Bootcamp were very different from those encountered in either the Math Destroyer or the actual DAT.

RC
Materials: Bootcamp (10/10), the internet

Strategy: I just use the basic vanilla method when I do these kinds of tests. I read the whole thing, retain as much as I can, create a mental map of how the content is organized, and then do S&D to find specific information. I think I got a difficult RC test, because all three articles were fairly dense and difficult to sift through with one being exceptionally long (17 paragraphs if I recall correctly). Perhaps this is how everyone's is, but each paragraph was very long and this made it very difficult to use S&D. So, if you rely exclusively upon S&D, be aware that there are RC passages out there which make it difficult to do. If I hadn't read the article, I don't think I could have found the answers in the time limit...

Critique: Bootcamp is a great place to get your timing down and familiarize yourself with the kinds of questions they'll ask. I didn't have any tone questions, but I had several questions which asked for my opinion, and those are the hardest in my opinion (har har). I read a lot, especially the news; I think that probably helps some.

Bio
Materials: Cliff's AP Bio (9/10), Barron's (7/10), Destroyer (9/10), Campell's (10/10), Bootcamp (8/10)

Practice Scores: Bootcamp: ~20

Strategy: Wow, what to say about this portion of the DAT. During my break I was sure that bio had been my worst section... I had all kinds of questions I didn't see coming! There were two math problems which were better suited for the QR section and very few basic questions. I don't really know what to say about this section except to be prepared to think conceptually and draw on a large knowledge-base of biology. I did 2.5 passes of the DAT Destroyer and 4 readings of Cliff's in addition to 1.5 readings of Barron's and a small portion of Campbell's.

Because so much of Biology is easily learned and easily forgotten, I saved most of the trivial memorization for the day before and the day of the exam. Last in, first out. That's how a lot of biology plays out. Get the bigger concepts down in the months and weeks leading up to the exam, but save the memorization for the end.

Critique: I did not read all of Campbell's. I used it when I needed clarification on digestion, fertility, the nervous system, immunology, plants, and photosynthesis. So, I read maybe 10% of the entire book, and that's really all I needed... Cliff's and Destroyer have everything you need to know. Campbell's may help some people (as it did me) to understand some things more fully than they will with just Cliff's.

I did sort of use Feralis' notes, but only a bit. I don't learn well from other people's notes. Also, at 70 pages, I felt that I had might as well just read Cliff's over again since it is only marginally longer in its entirety. What I did find helpful with Feralis' notes was that he had the same concerns I did about contradictions / discrepancies between varying sources and he did the footwork to find the answers. So, for those things I copied them into my own note file which was a couple of pages long.

A lot of people recommend Barron's, and I'll say that I can see why for the first half of the book. If you struggle to understand some of the basic concepts covered at the beginning of Cliff's then you should definitely give Barron's a try. The photosynthesis chapter for instance was more concise and presented even more information I thought than did Cliff's. The second half seems to be more sparse and poorly conceived. Parts of the immunology and physiology sections left me confused, and I felt like the author had less working knowledge of biology for material covered in the last half of the book than did the author of Cliff's.

GC
Materials: DAT Destroyer (10/10), Chad's Videos (10/10), Bootcamp (9/10)

Practice Scores: Bootcamp: ~24

Strategy: I had hoped to do better on GC as it's a strong subject for me, but apparently I missed more questions than I thought. My advice here would be to take things slowly, make sure that you understand what the question is asking, and make good use of your scratch paper. I also recommend going over the DAT Destroyer multiple times. I think that if I missed anything it was from being pressured to finish faster than I actually needed to. I was left with 15 minutes at the end of the o-chem section, so take your time!

Critique: My first pass through Destroyer I got maybe 60% right. Each subsequent pass I got significantly better. On Bootcamp I was averaging a 24, so I had hoped to do a bit better on the actual, but c'est la vie! Chad's videos are great, and he really teaches you the basic concept behind everything you need to know. His quizzes are good too, but I wish I had gone back and done them WITHOUT watching the videos a few times.

OC
Materials: DAT Destroyer (10/10), Chad's Videos (10/10), Bootcamp (8/10)

Practice Scores: Bootcamp ~27

Strategy: First, memorize all of Dr. Romano's roadmaps starting on page 123 of the Destroyer! I spent 1 night memorizing all of these and then would occasionally come back to them to be sure I still had them. What I did to memorize them was write out the road map but then put a blank square where the product should go. As I got better with the roadmaps, I could recall which product went into which box from each reactant, and within one night I had all of the roadmaps memorized. If I could do it all over again I would memorize the roadmaps before attempting the OC section.

Bootcamp is a great way to get your timing down and calibrate how well you are doing.

Critique: I was pretty surprised that I only got a 21 here. I TAed o-chem for crying out loud! Furthermore, I was averaging a 26-27 on Bootcamp!! I have no idea what happened here as I was confident with every single answer I gave. I thought for sure that I would get a 30 at the break.

The Destroyer was a fantastic resource for learning and practice. You should really go along looking at the answers as you answer with each question for one pass at least and be sure to look at the explanation to see why the wrong answers are wrong!
 
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orgoman22

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    Hey all,

    I haven't been around as much with school, work, a new girlfriend, and DAT study, but I want to try and give back to the community which has helped me so much over the years.

    PAT: 26
    QR: 17
    RC: 25
    BIO: 28
    GC: 23
    OC: 21
    TS: 23
    AA: 23


    Preparation:
    I didn't study a whole lot to be honest, perhaps 200 hours scattered over 6 months. Although I started studying in January, the truth is I didn't really start to study hard until spring break and then had a month-long hiatus until the end of April due to my classes. During the semester I did manage to complete Crack DAT PAT, and do a couple of front-to-back readings of Cliff's AP Bio and Barron's, but I had little time / energy during the semester to sit and study for hours on end.

    So, my point is, if you are better at math than I am, you payed attention in your science classes, and if you plan your strategy right, it shouldn't take you a lot of time to prepare. Also, I have to give a shout-out to Glimmer who gave me some excellent advice!

    PAT
    Materials: Crack DAT PAT (7/10), DATBootcamp (10/10)

    Practice Scores: ~26 for CDP and ~22 for Bootcamp (some of the Bootcamp keyholes are ridiculously hard!)
    Strategy: I started by watching videos on Youtube from mmglasco which were helpful to get started with. I know there are lots of other vids now, including some from Ari over at Bootcamp, but those weren't around when I started studying for the PAT.

    If you have the money, I recommend getting both CDP and Bootcamp. CDP is easier, and a great way to get started with the PAT. Bootcamp is much harder, and will leave you scratching your head often. CDP allows you to get your timing down under normal test-like conditions, while Bootcamp stresses you and forces you to use the mark button strategically for problems you can't solve quickly enough.

    Critique: Bootcamp is a much better value, hands down (which is why I rate CDP as a 7/10). Also, the explanations which come with Bootcamp are absolutely amazing. More than once I asked myself who had the time and patience to put all of that together for us! What can I say? Bootcamp simply raised the bar and CDP lacks a lot of what Bootcamp offers for less.

    Speaking generally, CDP was more similar to my DAT on the keyholes and pattern folding sections. Bootcamp was better representative of everything else. On the actual DAT I saw a couple of keyholes I had no idea how to answer... This was despite doing 10 CDP PAT exams and 9 Bootcamp practice exams and doing extremely well on keyholes for all of them. I really don't know how I could have been better prepared for those strange shapes, and I don't know if I guessed right in the end, but I did guess on them.

    One note, I will say that Bootcamp kind of had me spoiled. The images are so crisp and well represented that I had become accustomed to exceptional precision with all of the figures. The actual DAT leaves a lot to be desired.... There were a couple of figures which had blurred lines, and a few which looked like they had hand-drawn portions because the lines were rather sloppy. I don't know who does the DAT's figures, but they should consider hiring Ari's crew.

    QR
    Materials: Math Destroyer (10/10), Khan Academy (6/10) & Chad's (5/10), Bootcamp (8/10)

    Practice Scores:
    Bootcamp - 24, 19, 20, 18

    Critique:
    I don't know what happened here... I'll refrain from giving too much advice as I clearly don't have much to give. I was doing exceptionally well on the Math Destroyer by the end, and I was averaging a 20-21 on Bootcamp (24, 19, 20, 18) which is supposed to be harder than the actual DAT. During the actual QR I was blown away by how easy it seemed. The problems were all familiar, and they seemed unambiguous. I felt like I was going to ace it! I got to the end and had about 8 minutes to check the 6 that I had marked. I really don't know where I went wrong, but clearly math isn't my strong suit...

    My reasoning for the scores is as follows: Math Destroyer really nailed the types of problems which show up on the actual exam. Khan Academy is amazing, but isn't focused on the DAT, so it can be hard to find what you're looking for. Chad's vids are great for chem / ochem, but the math stuff was pretty basic and generic; I don't think I really learned much from those vids. Bootcamp is good because it offers a calculator (one note is that the actual DAT's calculator will accept decimals without inputting a 0 first, unlike Bootcamp's), and the test is timed. I felt that the kinds of problems found on Bootcamp were very different from those encountered in either the Math Destroyer or the actual DAT.

    RC
    Materials: Bootcamp (10/10), the internet

    Strategy: I just use the basic vanilla method when I do these kinds of tests. I read the whole thing, retain as much as I can, create a mental map of how the content is organized, and then do S&D to find specific information. I think I got a difficult RC test, because all three articles were fairly dense and difficult to sift through with one being exceptionally long (17 paragraphs if I recall correctly). Perhaps this is how everyone's is, but each paragraph was very long and this made it very difficult to use S&D. So, if you rely exclusively upon S&D, be aware that there are RC passages out there which make it difficult to do. If I hadn't read the article, I don't think I could have found the answers in the time limit...

    Critique: Bootcamp is a great place to get your timing down and familiarize yourself with the kinds of questions they'll ask. I didn't have any tone questions, but I had several questions which asked for my opinion, and those are the hardest in my opinion (har har). I read a lot, especially the news; I think that probably helps some.

    Bio
    Materials: Cliff's AP Bio (9/10), Barron's (7/10), Destroyer (9/10), Campell's (10/10), Bootcamp (8/10)

    Practice Scores: Bootcamp: ~20

    Strategy: Wow, what to say about this portion of the DAT. During my break I was sure that bio had been my worst section... I had all kinds of questions I didn't see coming! There were two math problems which were better suited for the QR section and very few basic questions. I don't really know what to say about this section except to be prepared to think conceptually and draw on a large knowledge-base of biology. I did 2.5 passes of the DAT Destroyer and 4 readings of Cliff's in addition to 1.5 readings of Barron's and a small portion of Campbell's.

    Because so much of Biology is easily learned and easily forgotten, I saved most of the trivial memorization for the day before and the day of the exam. Last in, first out. That's how a lot of biology plays out. Get the bigger concepts down in the months and weeks leading up to the exam, but save the memorization for the end.

    Critique: I did not read all of Campbell's. I used it when I needed clarification on digestion, fertility, the nervous system, immunology, plants, and photosynthesis. So, I read maybe 10% of the entire book, and that's really all I needed... Cliff's and Destroyer have everything you need to know. Campbell's may help some people (as it did me) to understand some things more fully than they will with just Cliff's.

    I did sort of use Feralis' notes, but only a bit. I don't learn well from other people's notes. Also, at 70 pages, I felt that I had might as well just read Cliff's over again since it is only marginally longer in its entirety. What I did find helpful with Feralis' notes was that he had the same concerns I did about contradictions / discrepancies between varying sources and he did the footwork to find the answers. So, for those things I copied them into my own note file which was a couple of pages long.

    A lot of people recommend Barron's, and I'll say that I can see why for the first half of the book. If you struggle to understand some of the basic concepts covered at the beginning of Cliff's then you should definitely give Barron's a try. The photosynthesis chapter for instance was more concise and presented even more information I thought than did Cliff's. The second half seems to be more sparse and poorly conceived. Parts of the immunology and physiology sections left me confused, and I felt like the author had less working knowledge of biology for material covered in the last half of the book than did the author of Cliff's.

    GC
    Materials: DAT Destroyer (10/10), Chad's Videos (10/10), Bootcamp (9/10)

    Practice Scores: Bootcamp: ~24

    Strategy: I had hoped to do better on GC as it's a strong subject for me, but apparently I missed more questions than I thought. My advice here would be to take things slowly, make sure that you understand what the question is asking, and make good use of your scratch paper. I also recommend going over the DAT Destroyer multiple times. I think that if I missed anything it was from being pressured to finish faster than I actually needed to. I was left with 15 minutes at the end of the o-chem section, so take your time!

    Critique: My first pass through Destroyer I got maybe 60% right. Each subsequent pass I got significantly better. On Bootcamp I was averaging a 24, so I had hoped to do a bit better on the actual, but c'est la vie! Chad's videos are great, and he really teaches you the basic concept behind everything you need to know. His quizzes are good too, but I wish I had gone back and done them WITHOUT watching the videos a few times.

    OC
    Materials: DAT Destroyer (10/10), Chad's Videos (10/10), Bootcamp (8/10)

    Practice Scores: Bootcamp ~27

    Strategy: First, memorize all of Dr. Romano's roadmaps starting on page 123 of the Destroyer! I spent 1 night memorizing all of these and then would occasionally come back to them to be sure I still had them. What I did to memorize them was write out the road map but then put a blank square where the product should go. As I got better with the roadmaps, I could recall which product went into which box from each reactant, and within one night I had all of the roadmaps memorized. If I could do it all over again I would memorize the roadmaps before attempting the OC section.

    Bootcamp is a great way to get your timing down and calibrate how well you are doing.

    Critique: I was pretty surprised that I only got a 21 here. I TAed o-chem for crying out loud! Furthermore, I was averaging a 26-27 on Bootcamp!! I have no idea what happened here as I was confident with every single answer I gave. I thought for sure that I would get a 30 at the break.

    The Destroyer was a fantastic resource. This is true of the entire Destroyer, but you should really go along looking at the answers as you answer with each question for one pass at least and be sure to look at the explanation to see why the wrong answers are wrong!

    Congratulations! Very nice scores! In recent weeks several of my students thought they aced the Orgo with a 30, yet their result was different. My conclusion and what I am telling students it to be VERY careful in the Orgo section, there must be some problems that are very tricky and students aren't catching it.

    Needless to say you will walk into many dental schools with your scores, excellent Bio score BTW. I am glad the Destroyer was part of your tool box of materials and helped you achieve your goal.

    Wishing you the best!

    Dr. Jim Romano and Nancy
     
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    Enter The Dojo

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    I agree with Nancy, when I finished my orgo section I was convinced I had scored a 30 but ended up with a 23 ( still very content). Take your time, focus, don't be nervous, and believe in yourself!
     
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    orgoman22

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    I agree with Nancy, when I finished my orgo section I was convinced I had scored a 30 but ended up with a 23 ( still very content). Take your time, focus, don't be nervous, and believe in yourself!

    Thanks for your comment Dojo, it reinforces what I have been hearing from other students! Be careful on the Orgo, the DAT can be tricky indeed!.;)
     
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    Ari Rezaei

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    Congratulations on your success! Glad we could help you out on your journey to become a dentist. I've also heard from a couple people that the images on the DAT were sometimes blurry, they really should fix that, let them know on your post-DAT survey. Or they can always just hire us :D
    Good luck in the application cycle! You'll do great with those scores.

    Best,
    Ari
     
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    orgoman22

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    I agree with Nancy, when I finished my orgo section I was convinced I had scored a 30 but ended up with a 23 ( still very content). Take your time, focus, don't be nervous, and believe in yourself!
    You both ruled the DAT! Cello and Dojo future dentists in the making!
     
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