DAT Breakdown 24AA 23PAT Using DAT Bootcamp

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New Member
Jul 9, 2023
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Hello Everyone! I just finished taking the DAT about a week ago and would love to share how I studied. I exclusively used DAT Bootcamp and thought it was the perfect study tool for the DAT! I got a 24 AA and 23 PAT on the DAT.

Here are my scores of Bootcamp Vs the actual DAT

Bootcamp Average:


Actual DAT:


General info:

I am a biology major, and I took the DAT on July 3rd, 2023, two months after the end of my Junior Year. I had a weird study route. Originally I planned to start studying near the middle of March and take my exam on June 12th, giving me three months to study. I started studying by using Dr. Ari’s 2.5-month study guide and followed it religiously. Since I was studying for school and the DAT simultaneously, I began to fall behind on my DAT studying. Once early May rolled around, I realized I was about three and a half weeks behind the study schedule. The biggest thing I always heard was to take the DAT when you are ready, it is not worth taking it just to take it, so I decided to push it back to July 3rd. This gave me a few weeks back on the study schedule, allowing me to put my best effort into studying. However, even with moving the test date back, I still ended up being about ten days behind on the study schedule. From once school got out until my test date, I followed Dr. Ari’s study guide every day.

Dr. Ari’s study guide was a beneficial tool overall. If you are starting your study journey and don’t know where to start, the study guide is definitely the best place. Each day, I would do what the study guide had already planned for me. A day using the study guide would have me studying anywhere from 6 to 8 hours, including periodic breaks. Since I had to make up ten days worth of information on the study guide, I would look ahead in the study guide and see if I could couple two of the shorter days into one day. I did not want to study through the break days to make back time. I was very happy I didn’t do this because the break days allowed me to recover and feel rejuvenated going back to studying the next day. Also, to make back a little time, I sped through more of the content review than the practice tests. It is definitely best to take your time and go through the content slowly if you have time, but if you are running out of time, taking the practice tests is the best way to get an understanding of most of the information, and in my opinion, is the best way to get the easy points on the DAT. On the DAT, I saw very similar questions throughout every section.


Biology was the section where I focused most of my studying. For Bio, I recommend watching all the videos. Personally, I printed out the entire High Yield Bio Notes and would have them opened as I watched the videos. I would write information from the videos onto the high-yield notes to ensure I understood the topic. If I didn’t understand, I would reread the notes and watch the videos until I did. I continued along with the videos until I watched all of them for the topic and answered all the quiz questions they had with them. The next day I would go through all the Bio flashcards for that topic, quizzing myself and writing down anything I did not know. I would take my time and make sure I understood everything from the flashcards. I think physically writing down information allowed me to retain it a lot better. Then I would go through the Bio bites fairly quickly and do the question bank. Another tip I have is when going through bio bites and the question bank, use the tagging feature to know what you need to come back and look at later. On the actual DAT, Bio felt a little easier, and the questions were more surface-level than Bootcamp. I recommend taking the practice tests because I felt much more comfortable and even saw a few repeat questions.

General Chemistry:

I studied general chemistry, similar to how I studied biology. I followed the study schedule and watched all the videos. Watching the videos and doing the practice problems together is a great way to see if you understand the concepts. Even if I had no idea how to attack an example problem, I tried it anyway. If I got them wrong, watching the explanations really helped. I would usually split up each chemistry section into two days. On the second day, I would watch the videos earlier and then do the question bank later in the day to let the information sit and see how much I retained. This worked to my advantage so I would see the chemistry over a more extended period. Again, tagging questions was beneficial, and if I got practice questions wrong, I would mark them red and then redo them about an hour after going through them the first time to ensure I remembered how to do them. On the actual DAT, many question types were very similar to the bootcamp practice tests. The difficulty of general chemistry on the actual DAT was very similar to Bootcamp, so I highly recommend taking the practice tests.

Organic Chemistry:

What I did for organic chemistry is the same as what I did for general chemistry. A lot of the organic chemistry sections were shorter, so some of the sections I would watch all the videos in one day and then take the question bank later in the day. With organic chemistry, my practice test scores were very inconsistent. The reason was that I knew many of the organic videos’ concepts but not the reactions. To vastly improve my organic chemistry score, I studied the reactions using the reaction bites. I heavily focused on these about two weeks before my exam and would practice 60 at a time, making sure I knew those 60 before moving on. The real DAT organic chemistry felt very similar to the Bootcamp practice tests. I don’t feel as if the questions were any easier or harder.

Perceptual Ability:

I definitely didn’t do as much PAT as I would have liked to. I followed the study guide and learned the new PAT when it told me to, and for the first month, I would do around 15 - 30 minutes of PAT a day. Since I was so academically behind, I focused on getting my academic studying up, and by the end of the day, I was so exhausted I didn’t do PAT. However, I did do the PAT practice tests whenever they showed up in the study schedule, which helped me a lot. Additionally, when I ramped my PAT studying up closer to the tests, the video explanations of the answers really helped me better understand how to think through them. I was also a little weaker on pattern folding than the other sections, and the pattern folding generators helped me understand how the object would fold because it has a setting to show you exactly how it folds. My biggest recommendation is to do at least 15 minutes a day of PAT and watch the explanations of what you got wrong. You will start thinking like they do in the videos and vastly improve. On the actual DAT keyhole, top front end, cube counting, angle ranking, and hole punch were similar in difficulty to Bootcamp. Pattern folding felt a bit easier, and my shapes were much more basic.

Reading Comprehension:

This is a section where you must try a few different strategies to determine what works. I initially tried search and destroy, and it was very effective, but it ended up taking too much time. I switched to a method of reading two questions at a time and actively read and highlighted until I found one of the answers and then read a new question. If I recognized a question from something I read earlier, I could quickly go back and find it. Admittedly, I didn’t do all the individual practice reading passages, but I did do all the full-length reading practice tests. I had to cut out the individual ones to make time for other sections. If you take practice tests and feel really good about reading, it might not be a bad idea to spend more time studying another section where you are weaker, but if you are struggling, keep trying different things until you find what is best for you. Every Bootcamp reading test I took, I was never able to finish the last passage and felt like I needed an extra 10 minutes. When I got on the actual DAT, reading felt much easier, and the passages were not as complex. A lot of times, the questions were in direct order, and I didn’t have to look everywhere for questions. This allowed me to save a lot of time, and I was able to finish all three passages on time.

Quantitative Reasoning:

I spent less time studying this section than the science sections. I followed the study guide and would do the question banks when it wanted me to. The best way for me to learn the information was by trying the questions and watching the explanations for each individual question. If I really struggled with a topic, I would go watch the informational videos. I felt like my QR score improved a lot just by doing the practice tests. By the time I finished the 3rd practice test, I felt pretty confident with most of the question types. The practice tests made me consistently do the same types of questions with some variations. On the real DAT, QR felt very similar to Bootcamp. I had many of the same question types as on the practice tests. I will say, though I had a little more algebra than the Bootcamp practice tests, but overall they were very similar.

General Tips:

My biggest tip is to take all the practice tests and thoroughly understand what you got wrong and why you got it wrong. If you felt you guessed to get an answer right on the practice tests, look back at that one too. When they say the practice tests are high-yield questions for the actual DAT, they are telling the truth. I had a lot of similar questions and even some repeats in the Bio section. Also, after taking the practice tests, you can see where you are weak and focus on those areas. For me, it was my organic reactions, and I hit those hard before the DAT, and it helped a ton. The last thing about the practice tests I will mention is when you take the full-length practice tests, use the Prometric delay setting. This sets a 2-second delay between questions, taking that time away from your overall time. While this is annoying, it will happen on the actual DAT, and getting used to that time loss is very important. I believe it is essential to utilize your rest days. Make sure to take some time to do something you like. It really helps retain information in the long run, especially close to the test. Finally, if you utilize Dr. Ari’s study guide, ensure you are going through the information thoroughly and not just checking off boxes. I feel like it’s a lot better to do fewer things that you will remember well than doing more just to check off the boxes. Bootcamp has set up an excellent program; if you follow it, you will be fine. Once you’re getting ready to go into the tests, know you worked hard and are prepared. You got this!

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