Dat breakdown 23aa 23ts

This forum made possible through the generous support of SDN members, donors, and sponsors. Thank you.


New Member
2+ Year Member
Jul 24, 2019
Reaction score
2022 DAT Breakdown (23AA/23TS/22PAT)
Hi, I just took my DAT last week and thought it would be nice to share my experience here since this forum helped me a lot. My score might seem not as high as other breakdowns who got above 25 AA, but! As a non-trad who hasn't taken many upper-level sciences courses, I am very happy about my score.

Bio: 26
GC: 22
OC: 22
PAT: 22
RC: 22
QR: 23

Background: Non-trad

Materials used:
1. DAT Booster+bio crash course
2. DAT Bootcamp

Study timeline: I took a gap semester, and I was planning to finish my DAT study in three months, but it didn't work out for me, so I ended up studying for six months while doing ECs and research. Many people do very well after studying for 2-3 months, but I have a weak bio background. I didn't feel ready after getting 14 and 13 on my first and second bio practice tests two weeks before the scheduled day. So, I rescheduled it, and I am glad that I did! I was able to spend more time on study and felt confident on the DAT day!

Day of Exam:

Bio (26): DAT booster practice questions were very representative, and most of the questions were straightforward except 4-5 confusing questions. And these 4-5 questions determine whether you will get above 21 or below (if you get five questions wrong, you get 22 on bio (quoted from DAT booster: How is the DAT Scored?). I firmly believe I could get those confusing questions right because I used DAT booster practice questions (7-8 similar questions) and took the DAT booster biology crash course from Dr. Sohraby. I am surprised that there were 2-3 questions that Dr. Sohraby mentioned during the bio crash course that showed up in my DAT. To briefly talk about content review, if you have good bio background, start from the Feralis notes, but if you don't (it was me), use Bootcamp's extended version notes. It was easy to read and easy to understand. I personally didn't like Ankibecause reading over 4000 cards just for bio was so time-consuming, and the mechanism is to help you memorize rather than help you understand the topic. For DAT, understanding the content is very important.

GC (22): I have taken general chem courses twice, so I was very confident about this subject. I memorized all the equations and repeatedly took practice questions until I fully understood them. However, there were a lot of conceptual questions, and some of the conceptual questions were so broad that it wasn't covered in any of the resources that I used. These kinds of questions made me get lower than the expected score. But I can't complain since 22 on gchem is still getting 26/30 questions right. I studied general chem notes from Booster and Bootcamp and practiced questions from Booster. I still think these resources are sufficient to help you make well above 21.

OC (22): I coupled reaction bites and the ochem reaction notes from Bootcamp. In this way, I was able to memorize all the reactions. All the reaction questions I encountered were covered by Bootcamp notes, except that there was one reaction question that I had never seen before. Other than that, most of the reaction questions were easy. SN2, acid and base, nomenclature, C 13 NMR, and priority questions, just like DAT Booster practice questions. I heard that the nomenclature question is generally straightforward from other people, but it was a bit complicated for my case.

PAT (22): Booster prepared me more than enough for this section. The actual PAT was a whole lot easier than the booster practice questions. The difficulty level of questions was closer to Bootcamp, but everybody gets different questions, so I think it was good to use Booster for PAT. I recommend starting doing this as early as possible and learning some strategies from SDN. When you take PAT practice questions, keep in mind for each section, you should spend no more than 12 minutes (keyhole), 5.5 minutes (angle ranking), 10 minutes (cube counting), 12 minutes (TFE), 15 minutes (pattern folding), and 5.5 minutes (hole punching). Try to save your time in hole punching and cube counting sections; these are the easiest.

RC (22): I ran out of time. The passages were easy to read, and questions were primarily search and destroy types of questions. However, there was some tricky search and destroy questions. For example, if you use the search and destroy technique, you can easily find the answer, but if you don't read the entire paragraph, it tricks you, so what it seems to be the answer is not the correct answer. Also, I had an MCAT type of question that they showed me a graph for several questions, and I had to understand the graph based on the what I read in the passages (this is why I ran out of time! I didn't expect to see this type of question).

QR (23): I got two questions wrong in this section. DAT booster was good enough for me to be well prepared for DAT QR. I watched all the booster QR videos and took practice tests. One of the questions I got wrong was missing the correct answer choice. It was a statement sufficiency question, but it didn't have an answer choice for both of the statements are correct (if I got this question right, I would have gotten 27 on QR).

Test day Tip:
1. During 30 minutes break after PAT, ask the staff to change your sheet and ask for an eraser or tissue for the QR section. I only had two laminated sheets and two markers, so I had to use my sleeve to erase the sheet after each QR question.
2. The time it takes to move from question to question was long, especially for RC and QR. It was about 2-3 seconds for the science and PAT section, but for QR and RC, it took forever to move (I know it was longer because I was still waiting for the next QR question even after erasing everything on my sheet).
3. Skip the sample question on PAT ASAP! Annoyingly, there were sample questions before each type of PAT question. It took me 5 seconds to realize it was a sample question, not the actual one.
4. Set 20 minutes timer right after you get out of the test room for a break. It is 30 minutes break, but I said 20 minutes because they have to rescreen your body before entering the test room, which takes about 2-3 minutes.

Members don't see this ad.
Once you enter the 21+ range, DAT scores kinda become a wash. Big score differences end up being made by just a couple questions at that point. Therefore, 25 should not be considered the benchmark for a good score imo. This is a fantastic score and great breakdown, you crushed it!! I wish you the best of luck in your application cycle.
  • Like
Reactions: 1 users