DAT Breakdown- 24AA/25TS/23PAT

murra651

Full Member
2+ Year Member
Jan 29, 2017
47
71
  1. Pre-Dental
    Hey Guys, I wanted to post this to try and spread some info about what helped me in studying for my DAT to hopefully help others better their scores. I'm nowhere close to an expert on the DAT nor the material, but these are some of the things that helped me out and I hope they can help you too! I want to focus more on general test strategies that helped me rather than the exact materials I used.

    Materials:
    Bootcamp with Destroyer. They are 100% worth it. I want to thank the great people that put them together, they've helped so many people and deserve immense gratitude.

    Sciences:
    The sciences tended to seem like a massive data dump at first, and it is impossible to straight up memorize everything. So what helped me the most was using mnemonics to internalize the broad concepts, and then use those concepts to connect the dots at the end. This strategy helped to wade through the sea of information that you need to manage.

    The mnemonics should not take a lot of thought to develop and should be simple enough to recollect at anytime. Not only that, but try and make them fun! You will be surprised at how much information you will internalize if you have a simple, stupid mnemonic. The classic example from chemistry is; LEO the lion says GER (Loss of electrons= Oxidation, Gain of electrons= Reduction). This trick works very well for biology where there is a ton of information. Unfortunately you won't be able to come up with a mnemonic for everything so that's where I recommend the next strategy.

    I recommend truly understanding the big picture concepts before even attempting to learn the little stuff. For example, it is far more important to understand what a deuterosome is, rather than knowing that a starfish is a deuterosome, because understanding the topic will help you know the detail better. Although this seems like common sense, I know that in my studying I would start memorizing the details without truly understanding what they meant. At one point I could tell someone every part of the innate immune system but could not explain how it was different than the adaptive immune system. So instead of memorizing every single SN2 reaction, make sure you take a step back and really understand how the SN2 reaction works and when it occurs in place of the E2 and connect it all to the big picture. This way if you are presented with a reaction you don't know, you will make a much better educated guess. So if there was a question that says "Molecule X is a weak base in solution with a tertiary halide, what happens?" it ends up being a lot easier and manageable instead of thinking "Oh shoot, this doesn't match the list of reactions I went over"

    Also as a side note, make sure you are very honest with yourself in what you know and don't know. Going over the stuff you already know is very reaffirming of your progress in studying and can make you feel accomplished and good, but it won't help you. Understand why you're wrong and improve, don't tell yourself, "that's too hard, there's no way they would expect me to know that"

    PAT
    Develop a strategy and practice. I'll give my strategies here and I hope they will help you, but if they don't, make sure to find something that suits you best (Most of these come from Bootcamp and others recommended from the folks here on SDN, Thanks Guys!)!

    Keyhole:
    This was one of my biggest problem sections simply because of the level of discretion that they expect you to have in the subtle differences that separate some of the choices. What I would do is look at the picture and scan over the options to see if there were any major differences in structure to eliminate them. After this, you will probably be faced with two options that couldn't be eliminated at first glance (make sure you keep close eye on your time, you don't want to spend more than 15 minutes on this section!). At this point you need to ask yourself 2 things. 1) Is there any defining characteristic that differentiates these two (helps if the options come from the same viewpoint, ie look the same but are a little different) or 2) What must be true for this option to work. 1 and 2 are essentially just redoing the initial steps after the primary screening if you cannot decide between two options. If you can't figure it out after 1 minute, choose an answer, mark it and move on.

    TFE:
    When doing this section, I always asked myself "Can I see this from this angle?" and "What would I expect to be here?". They are required to be completely honest in everything they do so if something doesn't add up, its wrong. This section became a lot easier as soon as I fully understood this and started asking these questions. That coupled with constructing a 3D mental image of the structure really helped out.

    Angle Ranking:
    Hill and Laptop techniques really helped me out. You can find them here on SDN or on Google explained much better than I can.

    Cubes:
    Counting method works great. Also as a quick check to make sure everything is in line, you can tally up the total number of cubes in the end to make sure it matches your tally count.

    Pattern Folding:
    Credit to Bootcamp here for their method of picking a shape in the unfolded version and seeing if it shows up in the answer. Essentially you try and pick out the most unique shape in the image provided and see if it shows up in the answer. If it does not, then that answer is wrong. (This strategy works really well on the actual DAT and practice tests, not the generators) You will also see questions like the generators where you will need to see where the shaded sides would appear in the actual image. I recommend finding a reference edge and putting the pieces together from that one point, but this will take practice.

    Hole Punch:
    Line of symmetry method with a 4x4 grid for marking punches works great.

    Overall, practicing will help more than anything else. Look at the solutions to make sure you understand why you got something wrong and why the other option is right, it will typically give you better insight and other things to look for in the future.

    Reading Comprehension:
    Here is the strategy that I used, but make sure you develop your own strategy and practice it a bunch to build speed and proficiency. I was having some trouble until I started using the highlight feature. This is essentially a facilitated search and destroy method. The goal is to get through the entire passage with the biggest, most notable points in each paragraph, highlighted in ten minutes or less. This will not only help you search and destroy later by having the big topics popping out at you, but also, highlighting repeated phrases or ideas helps to ingrain them into your head. (A word of caution here though, DO NOT HIGHLIGHT EVERYTHING. If you do, the important things lose their value. Also MAKE SURE YOU READ WHAT YOU HIGHLIGHT. This may seem intuitive, but I can't count how many times at first I just thought 'Oh this all looks important, I'll just highlight it quick')
    After this you will have 10 minutes to answer approximately 17 questions so budget your time wisely. This might not seem like a long time, but I was surprised at how much information I retained when I kept seeing the same concepts over and over again.

    Quantitative:
    Time is your enemy here. Practice problem solving a ton of different problems will help get you into the mindset of how to work through them and how you might be able to work around a problem you might not be able to solve right away (and quickly). One thing I noticed is that on the problems you are expected to solve, you are given EXACTLY how much information you are required to solve the problem. So quickly sketch out the problem and ask yourself "What am I missing here and how can I get it?" This helped to direct my thought process when I was going through the problems. For the quantitative comparison and reasoning questions, make sure you SOLVE the problems. This works very well for the reasoning questions, because you should be able to see if you can solve the problem with the information very quickly. For the comparison questions I made sure to solve the equation if a variable was compared to a number and plugged in real values for variable vs. variable comparisons. Plug in any real value within the constraints given besides 0 (1 and -1 may not make sense in certain circumstances so make sure you watch for these.) The answer should be true under all cases (Make sure you watch for square roots and x^2 as they can affect negative values)

    If you do not have a solid direction on how to solve the problem after 20 sec, then put your logical guess, mark it and move on. At the end, come back to it with a fresh mindset, you'd be surprised how well this ends up helping. If you do not immediately have a good idea, move on to the next marked question. Go through the marked questions trying to solve them with fresh eyes, try not to get caught on a wheel with a single problem.

    Make sure you find the best strategy for you and Practice, Practice, Practice.

    HOPEFULLY THIS ALL HELPS!!!
     
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    murra651

    Full Member
    2+ Year Member
    Jan 29, 2017
    47
    71
    1. Pre-Dental
      Wow those are some amazing scores, congratulations!
      How long did you study for and did you only use Destroyer and BC?

      I spent a month going through Chad's Videos taking rigorous notes, then I went through Destroyer. My study schedule was a modified version of the Bootcamp study schedule. I went through a lot more Ochem problems than either bio or gen chem because thats what I was struggling with. In the week before my DAT, I would do 100 Ochem problems a day out of Destroyer to try and up my score
       

      murra651

      Full Member
      2+ Year Member
      Jan 29, 2017
      47
      71
      1. Pre-Dental
        Amazing score!!! What prepared you the most for gen chem and qr?


        Sent from my iPhone using SDN mobile

        For Gen Chem, Chad's videos were really helpful in refreshing the info. Otherwise try to identify the big picture stuff that they want you to know, such as mol conversions, redox, gas laws, etc. and make sure you know them really well.
        QR just takes a lot of practice in identifying how to solve particular problems when given a scenario. There are certain scenarios that pop up consistently in any practice test that you should absolutely know how to solve, such as; age problems, rate problems, comparisons, basic trig, etc. I went through the math destroyer book a couple times and always made sure that any problem I got wrong I knew how to solve so I could get it next time.
         

        murra651

        Full Member
        2+ Year Member
        Jan 29, 2017
        47
        71
        1. Pre-Dental
          Awesome!! Good job. Did u have any trig or geometry questions on your quantitative reasoning?


          Sent from my iPhone using SDN mobile

          Yes, there were a few of each, make sure you know how to do them. I would say that if you are able to consistently do "Find the area of the shaded region" or finding area in general questions, you are doing okay on geometry. For trig I would suggest making sure you know how to set up right triangles as is and from other triangles (isosceles in particular) to find areas and other angles. SohCahToa is your friend.
           

          orgoman22

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          1. Non-Student
            Hey Guys, I wanted to post this to try and spread some info about what helped me in studying for my DAT to hopefully help others better their scores. I'm nowhere close to an expert on the DAT nor the material, but these are some of the things that helped me out and I hope they can help you too! I want to focus more on general test strategies that helped me rather than the exact materials I used.

            Materials:
            Bootcamp with Destroyer. They are 100% worth it. I want to thank the great people that put them together, they've helped so many people and deserve immense gratitude.

            Sciences:
            The sciences tended to seem like a massive data dump at first, and it is impossible to straight up memorize everything. So what helped me the most was using mnemonics to internalize the broad concepts, and then use those concepts to connect the dots at the end. This strategy helped to wade through the sea of information that you need to manage.

            The mnemonics should not take a lot of thought to develop and should be simple enough to recollect at anytime. Not only that, but try and make them fun! You will be surprised at how much information you will internalize if you have a simple, stupid mnemonic. The classic example from chemistry is; LEO the lion says GER (Loss of electrons= Oxidation, Gain of electrons= Reduction). This trick works very well for biology where there is a ton of information. Unfortunately you won't be able to come up with a mnemonic for everything so that's where I recommend the next strategy.

            I recommend truly understanding the big picture concepts before even attempting to learn the little stuff. For example, it is far more important to understand what a deuterosome is, rather than knowing that a starfish is a deuterosome, because understanding the topic will help you know the detail better. Although this seems like common sense, I know that in my studying I would start memorizing the details without truly understanding what they meant. At one point I could tell someone every part of the innate immune system but could not explain how it was different than the adaptive immune system. So instead of memorizing every single SN2 reaction, make sure you take a step back and really understand how the SN2 reaction works and when it occurs in place of the E2 and connect it all to the big picture. This way if you are presented with a reaction you don't know, you will make a much better educated guess. So if there was a question that says "Molecule X is a weak base in solution with a tertiary halide, what happens?" it ends up being a lot easier and manageable instead of thinking "Oh shoot, this doesn't match the list of reactions I went over"

            Also as a side note, make sure you are very honest with yourself in what you know and don't know. Going over the stuff you already know is very reaffirming of your progress in studying and can make you feel accomplished and good, but it won't help you. Understand why you're wrong and improve, don't tell yourself, "that's too hard, there's no way they would expect me to know that"

            PAT
            Develop a strategy and practice. I'll give my strategies here and I hope they will help you, but if they don't, make sure to find something that suits you best (Most of these come from Bootcamp and others recommended from the folks here on SDN, Thanks Guys!)!

            Keyhole:
            This was one of my biggest problem sections simply because of the level of discretion that they expect you to have in the subtle differences that separate some of the choices. What I would do is look at the picture and scan over the options to see if there were any major differences in structure to eliminate them. After this, you will probably be faced with two options that couldn't be eliminated at first glance (make sure you keep close eye on your time, you don't want to spend more than 15 minutes on this section!). At this point you need to ask yourself 2 things. 1) Is there any defining characteristic that differentiates these two (helps if the options come from the same viewpoint, ie look the same but are a little different) or 2) What must be true for this option to work. 1 and 2 are essentially just redoing the initial steps after the primary screening if you cannot decide between two options. If you can't figure it out after 1 minute, choose an answer, mark it and move on.

            TFE:
            When doing this section, I always asked myself "Can I see this from this angle?" and "What would I expect to be here?". They are required to be completely honest in everything they do so if something doesn't add up, its wrong. This section became a lot easier as soon as I fully understood this and started asking these questions. That coupled with constructing a 3D mental image of the structure really helped out.

            Angle Ranking:
            Hill and Laptop techniques really helped me out. You can find them here on SDN or on Google explained much better than I can.

            Cubes:
            Counting method works great. Also as a quick check to make sure everything is in line, you can tally up the total number of cubes in the end to make sure it matches your tally count.

            Pattern Folding:
            Credit to Bootcamp here for their method of picking a shape in the unfolded version and seeing if it shows up in the answer. Essentially you try and pick out the most unique shape in the image provided and see if it shows up in the answer. If it does not, then that answer is wrong. (This strategy works really well on the actual DAT and practice tests, not the generators) You will also see questions like the generators where you will need to see where the shaded sides would appear in the actual image. I recommend finding a reference edge and putting the pieces together from that one point, but this will take practice.

            Hole Punch:
            Line of symmetry method with a 4x4 grid for marking punches works great.

            Overall, practicing will help more than anything else. Look at the solutions to make sure you understand why you got something wrong and why the other option is right, it will typically give you better insight and other things to look for in the future.

            Reading Comprehension:
            Here is the strategy that I used, but make sure you develop your own strategy and practice it a bunch to build speed and proficiency. I was having some trouble until I started using the highlight feature. This is essentially a facilitated search and destroy method. The goal is to get through the entire passage with the biggest, most notable points in each paragraph, highlighted in ten minutes or less. This will not only help you search and destroy later by having the big topics popping out at you, but also, highlighting repeated phrases or ideas helps to ingrain them into your head. (A word of caution here though, DO NOT HIGHLIGHT EVERYTHING. If you do, the important things lose their value. Also MAKE SURE YOU READ WHAT YOU HIGHLIGHT. This may seem intuitive, but I can't count how many times at first I just thought 'Oh this all looks important, I'll just highlight it quick')
            After this you will have 10 minutes to answer approximately 17 questions so budget your time wisely. This might not seem like a long time, but I was surprised at how much information I retained when I kept seeing the same concepts over and over again.

            Quantitative:
            Time is your enemy here. Practice problem solving a ton of different problems will help get you into the mindset of how to work through them and how you might be able to work around a problem you might not be able to solve right away (and quickly). One thing I noticed is that on the problems you are expected to solve, you are given EXACTLY how much information you are required to solve the problem. So quickly sketch out the problem and ask yourself "What am I missing here and how can I get it?" This helped to direct my thought process when I was going through the problems. For the quantitative comparison and reasoning questions, make sure you SOLVE the problems. This works very well for the reasoning questions, because you should be able to see if you can solve the problem with the information very quickly. For the comparison questions I made sure to solve the equation if a variable was compared to a number and plugged in real values for variable vs. variable comparisons. Plug in any real value within the constraints given besides 0 (1 and -1 may not make sense in certain circumstances so make sure you watch for these.) The answer should be true under all cases (Make sure you watch for square roots and x^2 as they can affect negative values)

            If you do not have a solid direction on how to solve the problem after 20 sec, then put your logical guess, mark it and move on. At the end, come back to it with a fresh mindset, you'd be surprised how well this ends up helping. If you do not immediately have a good idea, move on to the next marked question. Go through the marked questions trying to solve them with fresh eyes, try not to get caught on a wheel with a single problem.

            Make sure you find the best strategy for you and Practice, Practice, Practice.

            HOPEFULLY THIS ALL HELPS!!!
            Congratulations on these amazing scores. No mystery here, you put in the hard work and it paid off in high DAT scores. DAT Beast Destroyed, waiting for the next opponent.

            Enjoy your summer and thanks for the shout out.

            Nancy and Dr. Jim Romano
            owners, DAT Destroyer
             

            tyjacobs

            Full Member
            5+ Year Member
            May 10, 2015
            709
            614
              Hey Guys, I wanted to post this to try and spread some info about what helped me in studying for my DAT to hopefully help others better their scores. I'm nowhere close to an expert on the DAT nor the material, but these are some of the things that helped me out and I hope they can help you too! I want to focus more on general test strategies that helped me rather than the exact materials I used.

              Materials:
              Bootcamp with Destroyer. They are 100% worth it. I want to thank the great people that put them together, they've helped so many people and deserve immense gratitude.

              Sciences:
              The sciences tended to seem like a massive data dump at first, and it is impossible to straight up memorize everything. So what helped me the most was using mnemonics to internalize the broad concepts, and then use those concepts to connect the dots at the end. This strategy helped to wade through the sea of information that you need to manage.

              The mnemonics should not take a lot of thought to develop and should be simple enough to recollect at anytime. Not only that, but try and make them fun! You will be surprised at how much information you will internalize if you have a simple, stupid mnemonic. The classic example from chemistry is; LEO the lion says GER (Loss of electrons= Oxidation, Gain of electrons= Reduction). This trick works very well for biology where there is a ton of information. Unfortunately you won't be able to come up with a mnemonic for everything so that's where I recommend the next strategy.

              I recommend truly understanding the big picture concepts before even attempting to learn the little stuff. For example, it is far more important to understand what a deuterosome is, rather than knowing that a starfish is a deuterosome, because understanding the topic will help you know the detail better. Although this seems like common sense, I know that in my studying I would start memorizing the details without truly understanding what they meant. At one point I could tell someone every part of the innate immune system but could not explain how it was different than the adaptive immune system. So instead of memorizing every single SN2 reaction, make sure you take a step back and really understand how the SN2 reaction works and when it occurs in place of the E2 and connect it all to the big picture. This way if you are presented with a reaction you don't know, you will make a much better educated guess. So if there was a question that says "Molecule X is a weak base in solution with a tertiary halide, what happens?" it ends up being a lot easier and manageable instead of thinking "Oh shoot, this doesn't match the list of reactions I went over"

              Also as a side note, make sure you are very honest with yourself in what you know and don't know. Going over the stuff you already know is very reaffirming of your progress in studying and can make you feel accomplished and good, but it won't help you. Understand why you're wrong and improve, don't tell yourself, "that's too hard, there's no way they would expect me to know that"

              PAT
              Develop a strategy and practice. I'll give my strategies here and I hope they will help you, but if they don't, make sure to find something that suits you best (Most of these come from Bootcamp and others recommended from the folks here on SDN, Thanks Guys!)!

              Keyhole:
              This was one of my biggest problem sections simply because of the level of discretion that they expect you to have in the subtle differences that separate some of the choices. What I would do is look at the picture and scan over the options to see if there were any major differences in structure to eliminate them. After this, you will probably be faced with two options that couldn't be eliminated at first glance (make sure you keep close eye on your time, you don't want to spend more than 15 minutes on this section!). At this point you need to ask yourself 2 things. 1) Is there any defining characteristic that differentiates these two (helps if the options come from the same viewpoint, ie look the same but are a little different) or 2) What must be true for this option to work. 1 and 2 are essentially just redoing the initial steps after the primary screening if you cannot decide between two options. If you can't figure it out after 1 minute, choose an answer, mark it and move on.

              TFE:
              When doing this section, I always asked myself "Can I see this from this angle?" and "What would I expect to be here?". They are required to be completely honest in everything they do so if something doesn't add up, its wrong. This section became a lot easier as soon as I fully understood this and started asking these questions. That coupled with constructing a 3D mental image of the structure really helped out.

              Angle Ranking:
              Hill and Laptop techniques really helped me out. You can find them here on SDN or on Google explained much better than I can.

              Cubes:
              Counting method works great. Also as a quick check to make sure everything is in line, you can tally up the total number of cubes in the end to make sure it matches your tally count.

              Pattern Folding:
              Credit to Bootcamp here for their method of picking a shape in the unfolded version and seeing if it shows up in the answer. Essentially you try and pick out the most unique shape in the image provided and see if it shows up in the answer. If it does not, then that answer is wrong. (This strategy works really well on the actual DAT and practice tests, not the generators) You will also see questions like the generators where you will need to see where the shaded sides would appear in the actual image. I recommend finding a reference edge and putting the pieces together from that one point, but this will take practice.

              Hole Punch:
              Line of symmetry method with a 4x4 grid for marking punches works great.

              Overall, practicing will help more than anything else. Look at the solutions to make sure you understand why you got something wrong and why the other option is right, it will typically give you better insight and other things to look for in the future.

              Reading Comprehension:
              Here is the strategy that I used, but make sure you develop your own strategy and practice it a bunch to build speed and proficiency. I was having some trouble until I started using the highlight feature. This is essentially a facilitated search and destroy method. The goal is to get through the entire passage with the biggest, most notable points in each paragraph, highlighted in ten minutes or less. This will not only help you search and destroy later by having the big topics popping out at you, but also, highlighting repeated phrases or ideas helps to ingrain them into your head. (A word of caution here though, DO NOT HIGHLIGHT EVERYTHING. If you do, the important things lose their value. Also MAKE SURE YOU READ WHAT YOU HIGHLIGHT. This may seem intuitive, but I can't count how many times at first I just thought 'Oh this all looks important, I'll just highlight it quick')
              After this you will have 10 minutes to answer approximately 17 questions so budget your time wisely. This might not seem like a long time, but I was surprised at how much information I retained when I kept seeing the same concepts over and over again.

              Quantitative:
              Time is your enemy here. Practice problem solving a ton of different problems will help get you into the mindset of how to work through them and how you might be able to work around a problem you might not be able to solve right away (and quickly). One thing I noticed is that on the problems you are expected to solve, you are given EXACTLY how much information you are required to solve the problem. So quickly sketch out the problem and ask yourself "What am I missing here and how can I get it?" This helped to direct my thought process when I was going through the problems. For the quantitative comparison and reasoning questions, make sure you SOLVE the problems. This works very well for the reasoning questions, because you should be able to see if you can solve the problem with the information very quickly. For the comparison questions I made sure to solve the equation if a variable was compared to a number and plugged in real values for variable vs. variable comparisons. Plug in any real value within the constraints given besides 0 (1 and -1 may not make sense in certain circumstances so make sure you watch for these.) The answer should be true under all cases (Make sure you watch for square roots and x^2 as they can affect negative values)

              If you do not have a solid direction on how to solve the problem after 20 sec, then put your logical guess, mark it and move on. At the end, come back to it with a fresh mindset, you'd be surprised how well this ends up helping. If you do not immediately have a good idea, move on to the next marked question. Go through the marked questions trying to solve them with fresh eyes, try not to get caught on a wheel with a single problem.

              Make sure you find the best strategy for you and Practice, Practice, Practice.

              HOPEFULLY THIS ALL HELPS!!!

              Great breakdown! Congrats on the great scores!
               
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