DAT Breakdown! 24TS/22AA - 05/10/14

Discussion in 'DAT Discussions' started by Triflate, 05.14.14.

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  1. Triflate

    Triflate

    Joined:
    11.23.13
    Messages:
    107
    Status:
    Dental Student
    My scores:

    Bio: 23
    GC: 26
    OC: 24

    PAT: 19
    RC: 18
    QR: 20

    TS: 24
    AA: 22


    The testing center was an hour away from my house and my test was scheduled to start at 12:30 PM. I left about two hours earlier but still couldn't find the place (thank you google maps). Eventually, I found it and checked in around 12:25. Of course, the center was packed (a bunch of people taking the GRE) and I didn't start until 1:00 PM. As I was driving around trying find the darn place, I started to get a headache. I thought I was going to be late and miss my start time. Unfortunately, even as I settled in, my headache would not go away and progressively got worse (a little more on this later).

    Background/Preparation:

    I graduated high school in 2005 and tried all sorts of majors. At one point, I had gone from being a music major to an accounting major to an economics major.:dead: Finally, after a couple of years of college, I quit. I decided college wasn't something I wanted to do and joined the work force. I was a sales guy during the day and drove a forklift for a warehouse at night. I did this for two years. I even flipped burgers at McDonalds for a while. Finally, long story short, I decided I had to go back to school. Not to sound too cliché (saving some of those for my personal statement), I'll just say that a lot of "life experiences" prompted me to return to school, and one experience after another eventually brought me to dentistry. I don't want to get too personal on SDN, so I'll skip the details, but here I am now. It's just so surreal for me to think back on all of that, because never in a billion years did I think I would have the privilege to be where I'm standing now.


    The Test:

    I'll try to include as much as I legally can. Before I begin, I'd like preface my comments by saying in big bold letters that THE BEST SOURCE FOR ALL YOUR INFORMATION WILL COME FROM YOUR UNDERGRADUATE COURSES! Do well in your undergrad courses, enroll with challenging professors, and it'll make studying for this beast a much more enjoyable experience.

    Bio (23) Initial time spent - 25 minutes :

    Materials used: Cliffs 3rd edition, Barron's AP Bio, Feralis' Notes, Craig Savage YouTube videos (great for plants and taxonomy), Campbell's 8th Edition, Khan Academy (for some animal physiology stuff), DAT Destroyer, Human Anatomy and Physiology 9th Ed. (this is where you can find all the answers to the physio stuff on the 2014 Destroyer), QVault, Topscore, and last but not least, DAT Bootcamp.

    To say that my bio knowledge was a bit lacking would be a bit of an understatement. When I first started studying for this, I couldn't even remember the difference between a sister chromatid and a chromosome (I took general bio in 2010). What gave me confidence was the fact that I was really knowledgable about chemistry, so I figured that if I could learn chem, then I could definitely teach myself bio. I spent two months & three weeks trying to learn all the biology found in Cliffs, Feralis, and Destroyer, day after day, 7 days a week, for about 7-10 hours on most days. I wrote and rewrote and rewrote my notes. I started with ~800 pages worth of handwritten notes, and kept condensing these until I had everything summarized/condensed in ~100 pages of handwritten notes. There's just something magical that happens when you commit yourself to paper and pen; it helps you retain things much more effectively. I blew through a pack of 15 pens, but it was all worth it.

    About the actual exam - so RANDOM. I wasn't expecting this. I had about 10 questions dealing with or relating to evolution!!! There were ZERO anatomy and physiology questions, ZERO endocrinology questions, ZERO plant questions, ZERO developmental biology quetsions, and only a few questions (two) about the immune system. There were also two really simple genetics questions, two simple ecology questions, and the rest were really basic biology questions (cell structure, etc). I didn't get any tough application questions or any graphs or anything like that. Everything was incredibly straightforward and 100% regurgitation. I felt like the prep material that actually represented this section the most was DAT Bootcamp's Question of the Day. Yes, that simple, and that straightforward, except with random questions about evolutionary biology that weren't in ANY of the materials that I just listed above. And trust me, I used all of them.

    In retrospect, if I had to do it all over again, I'd do the exact same thing (more on this at the end).

    GC (26): Initial time spent - 30 minutes:

    Coursesaver.com
    7 days before my exam, I started reviewing for general chemistry. I consider myself to be really knowledgeable when it comes to chemistry (thanks to my amazing professors), so I wasn't even worried about studying for this. Nonetheless, all I wanted was for someone to tell me what was important to know and what wasn't important to know. Enter Chad. His quizzes were exactly like the real thing. Even DAT Bootcamp's Question of the Day was exactly like the real thing. I looked at destroyer, and some of it had stuff that I had seen in some of my upper division chemistry classes, so I knew it would be overkill. I decided to just go through all of Chad's quizzes, followed by all of the DAT Bootcamp tests in one sitting.

    If you're weak in chemistry - I highly recommend you watch Chad's videos, do his quizzes, work on Destroyer, correct your mistakes, then re-watch Chad again (to fix what you still might be iffy on), then move on to Bootcamp's practice tests. Don't worry if you can't figure out all the problems on GC destroyer! Make sure you know the stuff that correlates to whatever is found on Chad's though, and you will be fine.

    If you're strong in chemistry - you don't need destroyer. All you need are Chad's quizzes and Bootcamp. You'll be set!

    KNOW GASES! It seems to be a favorite topic of the DAT test writers. I had about 5 questions that dealt with gases/gas stoichiometry/ideal gas assumptions. Also, know thermodynamics really well. On the real thing, I had almost everything found on Chad's quizzes except for electrolysis and the Nernst equation (cheers, @SmileDesignersDDS ;)).


    OC (24): Initial time spent - 15 minutes:

    6 days before my exam, I started reviewing for OC. The only thing I did for this was Chad's quizzes, followed by Bootcamp's exams. Once again - and I promise I'm not being payed to say this - Chad's quizzes were eerily identical to the real thing. Very straightforward. My only gripe is that I got FOUR C13 NMR questions. FOUR. This caught me off guard, so I wouldn't be surprised if I had missed three out of the four. I was rusty on C13 NMR cause I hadn't seen it in forever, and I didn't study it. My headache got worse. I felt like the DAT test writers were trying to screw me over (as if bio wasn't enough). I mean, come on, couldn't they have given me 1H NMR or IR instead? :laugh: And no, 1H NMR and C13 NMR aren't the same thing, although they're pretty similar. I got one C13 spectrum and the other three asked for the number of signals given a certain compound.

    If you're weak in OC - Chad, chad, chad, some more Chad, followed by bootcamp. I didn't watch Chad's OC videos, but I've heard great things, and based on what I saw on my DAT, his quizzes covered EVERYTHING. Some of the reactions I got tested on were EAS, Claisen Condensation, reagents that produce a syn diol, epoxide opening, alkene formation (acid catalyzed), Grignards, oxidative cleavage (with ozone/Zn - reducing conditions), a few dealing with Sn2 and E2, and last but not least, radicals. The remaining questions dealt with stereochem, acidity/basicity, and of course, my downfall - C13 NMR.

    If you're strong in OC - Chad's + Bootcamp is all you need. Bootcamp's exams are awesome. They did a good job of simulating the real thing in terms of difficulty and flavor of questions being asked.

    A word about destroyer - complete overkill for OC. I looked at the roadmaps and laughed. They are not necessary for the DAT. Destroyer will probably help you make an A in your undergrad OC course. The DAT, however, will be much more simpler than that.

    After I was done with the sciences, I looked at the clock, and I still had 20 minutes left. I used this time to go through all of my questions again one by one to look for mistakes. I had marked around 3 or 4 in bio, 1 in GC, and 2 in OC. My 2nd gripe about this test - some of the questions (in GC/OC) were really ambiguous. Throughout my college career, I was used to free-response exams, especially in chemistry. I wasn't used to this kind of standardized test "wording". For some of the questions, I kept telling myself - "well maybe it's A, but if you had this situation/these conditions, it would be C." Some questions weren't really specific about what they were asking, and it really pissed me off, which only made my headache worse. This led me to change some of my answers, and it wasn't until I got out of the exam when it hit me: DO NOT OVERTHINK THIS EXAM! TAKE THE QUESTIONS FOR WHAT THEY ARE. THEY ARE NOT TRYING TO TRICK YOU. IT REALLY IS AS SIMPLE AS IT SEEMS TO BE. Please, whoever is reading this, learn from my mistakes. Don't overthink it, and you'll do great!


    PAT (19): Initial time spent - 60 minutes:

    5 days before my exam, I started PAT. This was a colossal mistake. LOL. :nailbiting: I spent the last 5 days before my exam trying to figure out PAT. But thanks to bootcamp and this beautiful 10 minute video by one of our beloved SDN heroes John Chen,
    , I was able to make a 19 (someway, somehow).

    Keyholes: BOOTCAMP. Proportions, proportions, all the way. Bootcamp has some beautiful explanations and pictures. In fact, I'm going to go out on a limb and say that bootcamp's PAT alone is worth the money. YOU DON'T NEED CRACK DAT PAT! Way more expensive than bootcamp and bootcamp is 10 times better. My figures were on par with what I saw on Bootcamp.

    TFE: I hate TFE. I hated TFE so much (because I sucked at it badly) that I honestly didn't even bother with it. I even tried "my wicked sick PAT tutorial" and I still couldn't get it. So my strategy for this was to guess "C" on all of them. And that's exactly what I did. I finished TFE in 15 seconds. :laugh:

    Angle Ranking: Bootcamp's angle ranking generator and bootcamp's angle section was EXACTLY on par with the real thing. EXACTLY. All of the angles were no more than 3 degrees different in size. My strategy was to find the biggest first, then just work my way down to find the smallest. Yes, a little time consuming, but since I guessed "C" on all of TFE, I had extra time for this. PLAY THIS GAME!!! http://woodgears.ca/eyeball/

    Hole Punching: These HP's were the hardest I've ever seen. Bootcamp was on par with this, but I feel like my exam was harder. I got all kinds of folds! Half folds, third folds, fourth folds, and even folds where the paper had been folded four times. However, just watch señor Chen's video on hole punching. You should be able to get 15/15 on this section after practicing a bit using his method. It won't matter what kind of folds you get and hole punches you get, it'll ALWAYS work!

    Cube Counting: Not much to say here. Bootcamp was the most representative, except you won't see 20+ cubes. On the real thing, all of them were around 15 cubes. Another section where 15/15 should be attained.

    Pattern Folding: Bootcamp's pattern folding explanations were so beautiful, I could stare at them all day. The real thing was easier. All you had to do was find one pattern and look for it, but if you can do bootcamp and learn their explanations, you'll probably make 15/15 on the real thing.

    PAT can be learned. Unfortunately for me, I made a bad decision, and left it to the end. While I was taking the test, my head was pounding, and I had to take a huge leak BADLY. So I stopped for about 2 minutes, recollected myself, said a prayer, and got myself through it. I thought I was going to end up with a 15. In my head, I was already planning a retake, but when I saw my score at the end of the exam, I couldn't have been happier.



    RC (18):

    I didn't study for RC at all. I'm an avid reader, so I figured I would do ok here. In hindsight, I regret not studying for this. I probably should have postponed my exam for another two weeks. Anyway, my passages were about prions, fiber optics, and genetic diseases. The first passage caught me off guard. I enjoyed reading it, but the passage had some "postulates" spread throughout different paragraphs, and I had about 10 questions in a row that asked about a theoretical situation in which you had to go back in the passage and look to see which postulate applied to the theoretical situation. I kind of started getting worried here, which ended up costing me a lot of time. As I looked up, there were 35 minutes left, and I hadn't started my 2nd passage yet. :( What saved me was that the questions on the last two passages could easily be found by search and destroy, for the exception of one "tone" question and a few "the statement is correct but the reason is not" type of questions.

    QR (20):

    I did the math destroyer found in the regular destroyer (the one with bio, GC, and OC). This was actually the most accurate. Very simple. Had about 4 questions dealing with conversions - mi/s to km/s, degrees F to degrees C, etc. All conversions factors were given, except for the equations. I recommend blitzing through all of the easy questions and marking the hard ones as you go. There should be around 25 questions that you can do easily. The rest will require some more thinking. There were a few permutations/combinations, but they were really straightforward and simple. Nothing like boys and girls sitting side-by-side or stuff like that. I marked around 8 of them, and by this time, I was so worn out and my head was killing me so much that I just chose "C" on all of the ones that I marked.


    TEST-DAY REGRETS:

    1.) I should have brought a few snacks to eat during my break. After PAT, I was starving, and having a headache only made matters worse.

    2.) I forgot to draw my grids for the hole punching section. DON'T FORGET TO DRAW YOUR GRIDS! USE THE TIME DURING THE 15 MINUTE TUTORIAL TO DRAW YOUR GRIDS!

    3.) My BIGGEST regret - studying for biology burned me the heck out. When I started studying for chem (7th day before my test), I was mentally and physically exhuasted. I didn't want to study anymore. I just wanted to get it over with, and it ended up hurting me, as you can see by my lack of preparation for RC, PAT, and QR. I should have probably postponed the exam for another 3 weeks and taken a few days off in-between. But I'm stubborn as hell, and I always have to end up learning the hard way.

    4.) I was overthinking the questions. I was trying to dissect every question and every answer choice way too much, which probably cost me getting a 30 in both gen chem and o-chem. I should have just left my answers as they were the first time when I was blitzing through them. Having extra time to "think" was probably my downfall in those sections. DON'T OVERTHINK THIS TEST! Take each question exactly for what it's worth. They're not trying to trick you. Everything will be straightforward.

    5.) My 2nd BIGGEST regret - I didn't take a full length practice exam before taking the real thing! I thought to myself "oh well, I'm studying like 10 hours a day, a 5 hour test will be nothing." WRONG, WRONG, WRONG. I'm not even going to comment on this further. Yes, I'm an idiot.

    MY 3RD (AND FINAL) GRIPE ABOUT THIS TEST: The layout. I mean, come on. It's 2014. The layout looks like it's running 32-bit Windows 95. I was led to believe (by previous breakdowns) that the actual layout of the exam would represent DAT Bootcamp. But on the real thing, you won't see the boxes with the question number as you see in Bootcamp. For example, if your strategy is to skip to question 46 on PAT (to start with hole punching), you would have to click the "Next" button 45 more times to get to that question. +pissed+



    TEST-PREP REVIEWS :

    DAT Bootcamp - 12/10 - Hands down, the best prep around. Thank you Ari, thank you bootcamp. You were always there for me, responding to my every email as quickly as possible. This is customer service at its finest. You guys make every other pre-health prep look inferior. Worth every penny. And no, I'm not being paid to say this haha. I just wish it had a little more evolutionary biology stuff, but that's just because of the kind of test I ended up getting.

    DAT QVault (Bio only) - 10/10 - 400 biology questions. Helped immensely. Definitely worth the 50 bucks. Their charts were really helpful and awesome too! I did all of these questions by section only. I never actually worked a timed exam on QVault.

    Feralis Biology Notes - 12/10 - Dear Mr (or Mrs) @FeralisExtremum, if I ever meet you, I'm buying you a drink. Thank you for taking your time to write and publish these notes online for all of us. If any of you guys memorize these notes, you'll more than likely make a 20+.

    2014 Destroyer - 7/10 - I'm a bit conflicted when it comes to destroyer. Biology was excellent. All the explanations and questions were definitely helpful. Chemistry, however, seemed like overkill to me. I didn't try them, cause I could tell just buy looking at it that it would be pointless. But I can see how someone that's not very strong in chemistry would find this useful. I wish Dr. Romano would just sell a "Bio Destroyer," but I'm sure that's never going to happen. $$$

    Chad's quizzes - 10/10 - I only saw a few videos, and they were incredibly helpful. Chad knows what you need to worry about and what you don't need to worry about. The quizzes were excellent, because they resembled the difficulty of the actual exam. I'm serious - very straightforward and simple. If you can do Chad's quizzes, you'll be in good shape.

    Craig Savage (on YouTube) - 10/10 - Everything you need to know about plants, photosynthesis, alternation of generations, and domain eukarya - all here. He had amazing layouts. Highly recommended!

    Topscore - 5/10 - highly outdated. The biology section still references Campbell's 4th Edition. A waste of money for me.

    Kaplan Blue Book - 1/10 - I referenced this book a couple of times when I starting learning endocrinology. That was it. Unfortunately, it's an awful book. Don't get it. A waste of money.

    Cliffs 3rd Ed. AND Barrons AP Bio - 10/10 - Cliffs was so detailed. This was both good and bad. The plant stuff was wayyy too much. I wish I hadn't spent three days trying to learn all that. Barrons is a much more easier read, but less detailed. If you're strong in Biology - I recommend Barrons. If you're starting from scratch like I did - Cliffs is the way to go. Both are great, and you can't go wrong with either of them.



    Practice Test Scores (I took these after going through Destroyer bio, QVault bio, and Chad's quizzes):

    DAT Bootcamp: Section/#1/#2/#3/#4/#5

    Bio: 30/28/30/25/25
    GC: 24/30/30/24/24
    OC: 30/30/30/25/23
    PAT: 21/19/ didn't do the rest (ran out of time/burned-out at this point)
    RC: didn't do it
    QR: didn't do it

    2007 ADA (two days before my test):

    Bio: 24
    GC: 30
    OC: 30
    PAT: didn't do it
    RC: didn't do it
    QR: 20

    For those of you who keep studying and studying and studying but can't seem to breakthrough - you will. I will leave you with this quote, because I thought it highly embodied all of my efforts and endeavors over the last five years, especially one such as this.

    "When nothing seems to help, I go look at a stonecutter hammering away at his rock, perhaps a hundred times without as much as a crack showing in it. Yet - at the hundred and first blow it will split in two - and I realized it was not that blow that did it, but all that had gone before." - Jacob Riis




    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: 05.14.14
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  3. cdp1210

    cdp1210 2+ Year Member

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    Nice scores and great breakdown!
     
  4. ziggy1104

    ziggy1104 2+ Year Member

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    Awesome! Good scores, go celebrate :)
     
  5. bowerbird25

    bowerbird25

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    Great job and great breakdown! The evolutionary bio questions seem to pop up every once in a while.

    Are these questions cell bio or more broad scope questions like eras or both?

    Again congrats and cheers! From one non traditional to another, go celebrate!
     
  6. SmileDesignersDDS

    SmileDesignersDDS

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    Wow sick scores! Thanks for taking the time to make such a great breakdown!! Anyway I guess the destroyer, cliffs, and crack dat really helped!!!
     
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  7. DogeDDS

    DogeDDS Wow 2+ Year Member

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    Ugh, if you would actually read the breakdowns instead of talking out of your rear, he clearly said you don't need Crack DAT. Please stop these indirect attempts to advertise for whatever companies you're working for. It's quite obvious.

    Anyways, congrats OP! Great scores.
     
    Last edited: 05.14.14
  8. BobcatDMD

    BobcatDMD 2+ Year Member

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    Lol you need to work on your reading comprehension, the passage stated "YOU DON'T NEED CRACK DAT PAT!" In paragraph 12 ;)

    Btw awesome scores and breakdown triflate!
     
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  9. Triflate

    Triflate

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    lol, i knew you would come here and troll. Anyway, just want to make it clear that Crack DAT PAT is totally unnecessary and a complete waste of money. Bootcamp offers way more bang for your buck, and it's much more affordable! Bootcamp >>>>>> CDP by light years
     
  10. Triflate

    Triflate

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    lol sorry for all the paragraphs!
     
  11. pilotdentist

    pilotdentist 2+ Year Member

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    lol. What a donkey.

    Good breakdown man. Congrats on doing well and being done. I agree completely that Destroyer was overkill for both chems and bootcamp has all you need to do well in PAT (helped me get to a 24 PAT).
     
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  12. FeralisExtremum

    FeralisExtremum SDN Gold Donor Gold Donor 7+ Year Member

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    These results please me
     
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  13. thedestroyerdat

    thedestroyerdat

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    I think we wrote similar tests haha. Exact same topics for RC and your bio descriptions sounds spot on!
     
  14. biomolecmed

    biomolecmed 2+ Year Member

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    Congratulations. A job well done.
     
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  15. Triflate

    Triflate

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    so what came after the dino but before the shark? lol I still have no clue
     
    Last edited: 05.17.14
  16. Dotoday

    Dotoday 7+ Year Member

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    Great job and good breakdown.
     
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  17. Moo10

    Moo10

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    I just wanted to say thank you for this breakdown. It has been incredibly helpful to me and my studies. Thank you for your honesty about each section. I've read a ton of breakdowns on SDN and this has been one of the most helpful ones I've come across - especially on the sciences. Congratulations on your scores and thank you for all of your tips! :)
     
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  18. Daneosaurus

    Daneosaurus D2 2+ Year Member

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    :laugh:
     
  19. Daneosaurus

    Daneosaurus D2 2+ Year Member

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    This may be one of the greatest breakdowns I have ever read. Congrats on your great scores!
     
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  20. Daneosaurus

    Daneosaurus D2 2+ Year Member

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    Sharks predate dinosaurs.
     
  21. Triflate

    Triflate

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    Thank you for the kind words :)
    I hope you do great on your test!
     
  22. Triflate

    Triflate

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    it might have been the other way around! haha
     
  23. BrazilianRider

    BrazilianRider 2+ Year Member

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    I know you don't care at this point, but now my interest is piqued... Can anybody tell me if this is right/wrong?

    Jawless Fish >> Cartilaginous Fish >> Bony Fish >> Lobe-Finned Fish >> Amphibians >> Reptiles >> Birds
     
  24. Daneosaurus

    Daneosaurus D2 2+ Year Member

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    That is the correct order.
     
  25. Daneosaurus

    Daneosaurus D2 2+ Year Member

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  26. TheDude22

    TheDude22

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    In terms of thermodynamics i have really just been looking at heat of reaction problems, hess's law, heat of formation, Gibbs Free energy and thought this was sufficient.

    I just started to uncover more stuff like thermal/volume expansion, internal energy, work done, adiabatic expanion and never really dealt with this stuff before and haven't seen it on practice tests. How relevant do you guys think this info is for thermodynamics?
     
  27. acts936

    acts936 2+ Year Member

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    thanks for breakdown im takinkg DAT in 6 weeks and freaking out but it is comforting to see that expensive destroyer isn't a necessity.
     
  28. Daneosaurus

    Daneosaurus D2 2+ Year Member

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    Work is the only thing I remember Chad mentioning would be on the DAT, the rest of that gets into physics and is therefore more for the MCAT.
     
  29. Dotoday

    Dotoday 7+ Year Member

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    How did you get all the requirement classes? You had to graduate with any major and then take chemistry and bio as a post back?
     
  30. Daneosaurus

    Daneosaurus D2 2+ Year Member

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    Most med/dental applicants are biology majors. Not only because its a major that relates to their goals, but because the prereqs are generally part of the courses required for the major.
     
  31. PredentGirl

    PredentGirl 7+ Year Member

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    I heard the 2014 DAT Biology changed in that the questions asked are less pure regurgitation of facts but require more application of knowledge. Did you find that in the actual exam?

    Also, I heard they removed trig from QC?

     
  32. Triflate

    Triflate

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    No. The entire section was pure and 100% regurgitation, unfortunately.

    As for trig - I had a couple of questions dealing with trig/trig identities. I believe the changes are slated for next year, but I would ask around the forum just to make sure!
     
  33. BrazilianRider

    BrazilianRider 2+ Year Member

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    99.9% sure I got this same exact test.
     
  34. Ari Rezaei

    Ari Rezaei Senior Member Lifetime Donor Gold Donor 2+ Year Member

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    Just realized I never congratulated you on these scores, you did excellent! Congratulations!
     
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  35. Member 139582

    Member 139582

    Joined:
    08.12.13
    Messages:
    72
    Status:
    Pre-Dental
    I got the same RC passages!! Those postulates mann hahaha, they were terrible!
     
  36. DentalLonghorn2014

    DentalLonghorn2014 2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    12.11.13
    Messages:
    1,478
    Status:
    Pre-Dental
    I emailed the ADA and they said that the QR section wont be changed until 2016. Biology will change in 2015.
     
  37. Dotoday

    Dotoday 7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    05.27.07
    Messages:
    1,561
    Do you think it is better to select a non-science major and then take chem classes as a post-back to increase your GPA?
     
  38. Triflate

    Triflate

    Joined:
    11.23.13
    Messages:
    107
    Status:
    Dental Student
    Thank you, sir. :)
     
  39. JHekmati

    JHekmati

    Joined:
    06.24.14
    Messages:
    95
    Status:
    Pre-Dental
    Congratulations!! you killed it!
     

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