Jul 23, 2016
11
22
Status
Pre-Dental
PAT - 21
QR - 24
RC - 21
Bio - 24
GC - 26
OC - 30
TS - 26
AA - 25

I used Ari's study schedule, but didn't keep to it religiously. I started studying mid-late May and took the exam this past Tuesday, 7/26. When reviewing, I focused on finding and understanding the right solution whenever I got any problem wrong rather than whether or not I got it correct. Whenever I found myself wondering about a detail I wasn't sure about (no matter where I was or what I was doing), I would immediately open up my notes or search the internet for the answer. I believe this was especially helpful for the Bio, GC, OC, and QR sections. The breakdown:

PAT preparation - On the bootcamp PAT tests, I believe my average was 20. Keyholes and angles were the toughest for me (I would frequently get 7 or 8 of 15 correct for each section), but angles became a bit better when I discovered the hill strategy. The other four sections I was able to do very well on by the time I took my DAT. I used the tic tac toe method for hole punching, and the count all method for cubes. I only used DAT bootcamp for the PAT.

Actual PAT - I personally found it much easier than bootcamp for most sections. Keyholes were way less tricky than bootcamp. TFE was about the same as the TFE problems in bootcamp's PAT tests. FYI, the TFE generator on bootcamp is way too easy, and not a good method to prepare for the DAT (the other generators are pretty good though). Angles were about the same difficulty, but they were one of my worst sections in studying. Cubes were about the same as bootcamp as well, though there was a question where I recounted the number of cubes 3 or 4 times because I thought there was a mistake on the exam, though it was probably just me. Pattern folding had a few tricky problems, but overall was SUBSTANTIALLY easier than bootcamp, but pattern folding was also the easiest section for me while studying. During the exam, I skipped keyholes at the beginning and started at TFE because keyholes were my worst section during practice, while pattern folding was my best, so I wanted to have enough time to get through pattern folding to get the most correct answers possible in case I ran out of time. I had two or three minutes remaining after I finished all the questions, and used the time to review questions I marked.

QR preparation - I used Chad's videos, Math destroyer, and Bootcamp. I re-watched Chad's videos for a specific subject whenever I got a question wrong on bootcamp or destroyer math, even if it was a stupid mistake. My average on the bootcamp tests was probably a 19 or 20.

Actual QR - Overall, I would say the questions in the practice materials were slightly harder than the ones on the actual DAT, but it was pretty close. The reason why I think I did substantially better on the actual QR was because I knew I was decent at math, and was confident I had reviewed enough by the time I took the exam. I had plenty of time, and went over the questions I marked. Overall, I would personally say the QR I took was comparable to the 2007 DAT in terms of difficulty, and nowhere near that of the 2009.

Bio preparation - I was really bad about this. I had not even read and reviewed all the material with only two weeks until my exam date. I ended up using Barron's AP Bio and the Kaplan DAT 2016 to review, along with a small amount of Ferralis. I also only did about 50 of the destroyer bio problems due to ignoring bio for the longest time (not recommended). On the bootcamp tests, my average bio scores were pretty low the first time around, but after a huge amount of review, by the time I took the full-length practice tests I believe it was mid 20's or so.

Actual Bio - Some of the bio problems were pretty tricky, and required me to reread a few of them multiple times to understand the gist of the question. The process of elimination helped me get rid of ridiculous choices, and for most questions I had 1 or 2 choices left after elimination. The cross-out tool was my best friend for this.

GC preparation - I used Chad's videos, destroyer, and bootcamp to review, and used google to clear up anything else. Let me preface this by saying (this also applies to the OC section) that I am a chemistry major and had the greatest interest in doing well in this section, as well as OC, than any of the other sections. I think my interest in the subject made me study much more harder for the two chemistry sections than any other. I did every single question on destroyer for GC and OC. My average on the bootcamp GC tests was probably in the low 20s the first time around, and close to 30 during the full-length practice tests.

Actual GC - Much less calculations than in bootcamp or destroyer. For most problems requiring calculations, the answer was displayed as the numbers given multiplied and/or divided by each other, similar to some of the answer choices in bootcamp and destroyer. There were a few very obscure questions, which I believe brought down my score. Of all the sections, this was the one I was most confident I might have scored a 30 on.

OC preparation - I used Chad's videos, destroyer, bootcamp, and the internet in preparation. I found masterorganicchemistry to be especially helpful for further explanations. Like I said with GC, I was especially interested in doing well in this section, so I believe that made me study all the more harder. My bootcamp tests were probably 20 or 21 average the first time around, and mid 20's during the full-length tests.

Actual OC - The questions were much easier than destroyer, and a little easier than bootcamp. I felt like there were quite a few simple gimme questions on the actual test, though there was one question in particular that I found INCREDIBLY tricky. Nothing was on the test that wasn't in Chad's or bootcamp.

RC preparation - I was really bad about reading articles everyday, and this was the section I was most worried about in the days before the DAT. If I could go back, I would have read a passage or two everyday on scientific american that was about the same length as the DAT passages. On the bootcamp RC tests, I scored as low as a 16 and as high as a 24. I switched between a lot of different strategies while practicing.

Actual RC - Much easier than bootcamp. The strategy I used was to carefully read the first two paragraphs in order to get a gist of the passage, then I used search and destroy. I don't know if it's standard or not, but the questions on my DAT were mostly in order of the passages. My passages were also interesting, which helped, and one of them was about a topic I knew a decent deal about. I had just enough time to finish all the questions.

I know it's hard not to feel nervous, but staying calm during the exam, I believe, contributed to my scores. I would especially recommend going outside during your break between the PAT and RC in order to get some fresh air. DO NOT skip breakfast. Eat something beforehand so you're not starving during the test, and therefore can't concentrate on it. I also brought a snack to eat during the break.
Another thing that may have contributed to my score is my personal tendency to relate everyday occurrences to something I had studied, even before studying for the DAT. For example, if I had just gone for a run, I would relate my increased breathing rate to oxygen saturation in my blood and the bicarbonate buffering system. I know that's really weird, but it's something that has come naturally to me, and isn't something I would say that most people could easily pick up just for the DAT. As I said, it's something I have been doing for a while and was already used to.

If you've studied hard and are confident going into the DAT, you'll ace it!
Edit: Seriously you guys, confidence is one of your most important assets. I remember daydreaming about a 25 AA during my time studying, and the thought pushed me to keep going. If I can do it, anybody can :)
 
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Don Kim

5+ Year Member
May 11, 2014
81
127
Status
Pre-Dental
Wow Killer scores, awesome job!! Glad to hear that the Math wasn't close to 2009. (just took it today and got super discouraged haha)
 
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LuckBloodandSweat

2+ Year Member
May 26, 2015
1,368
835
Status
Dental Student
BRO AMAZING SCORES :D! Grats :). And Don, the math is much easier than 09 lol I got like a 19 or 20 in 09 math and was disgusted with myself haha.
 
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OP
disharmony
Jul 23, 2016
11
22
Status
Pre-Dental
is it even worth it to attempt 09 QR and RC?
I did, but the 2009 QR was so out there I didn't bother reviewing it, especially because it was two days before my exam and I didn't want to be stressing about problems that would most likely not be on my DAT anyway.
 
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orgoman22

DAT DESTROYER... Dr. Romano and Nancy
Lifetime Donor
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10+ Year Member
Mar 12, 2005
4,189
3,038
New York City
www.orgoman.com
Status
Non-Student
PAT - 21
QR - 24
RC - 21
Bio - 24
GC - 26
OC - 30
TS - 26
AA - 25

I used Ari's study schedule, but didn't keep to it religiously. I started studying mid-late May and took the exam this past Tuesday, 7/26. When reviewing, I focused on finding and understanding the right solution whenever I got any problem wrong rather than whether or not I got it correct. Whenever I found myself wondering about a detail I wasn't sure about (no matter where I was or what I was doing), I would immediately open up my notes or search the internet for the answer. I believe this was especially helpful for the Bio, GC, OC, and QR sections. The breakdown:

PAT preparation - On the bootcamp PAT tests, I believe my average was 20. Keyholes and angles were the toughest for me (I would frequently get 7 or 8 of 15 correct for each section), but angles became a bit better when I discovered the hill strategy. The other four sections I was able to do very well on by the time I took my DAT. I used the tic tac toe method for hole punching, and the count all method for cubes. I only used DAT bootcamp for the PAT.

Actual PAT - I personally found it much easier than bootcamp for most sections. Keyholes were way less tricky than bootcamp. TFE was about the same as the TFE problems in bootcamp's PAT tests. FYI, the TFE generator on bootcamp is way too easy, and not a good method to prepare for the DAT (the other generators are pretty good though). Angles were about the same difficulty, but they were one of my worst sections in studying. Cubes were about the same as bootcamp as well, though there was a question where I recounted the number of cubes 3 or 4 times because I thought there was a mistake on the exam, though it was probably just me. Pattern folding had a few tricky problems, but overall was SUBSTANTIALLY easier than bootcamp, but pattern folding was also the easiest section for me while studying. During the exam, I skipped keyholes at the beginning and started at TFE because keyholes were my worst section during practice, while pattern folding was my best, so I wanted to have enough time to get through pattern folding to get the most correct answers possible in case I ran out of time. I had two or three minutes remaining after I finished all the questions, and used the time to review questions I marked.

QR preparation - I used Chad's videos, Math destroyer, and Bootcamp. I re-watched Chad's videos for a specific subject whenever I got a question wrong on bootcamp or destroyer math, even if it was a stupid mistake. My average on the bootcamp tests was probably a 19 or 20.

Actual QR - Overall, I would say the questions in the practice materials were slightly harder than the ones on the actual DAT, but it was pretty close. The reason why I think I did substantially better on the actual QR was because I knew I was decent at math, and was confident I had reviewed enough by the time I took the exam. I had plenty of time, and went over the questions I marked. Overall, I would personally say the QR I took was comparable to the 2007 DAT in terms of difficulty, and nowhere near that of the 2009.

Bio preparation - I was really bad about this. I had not even read and reviewed all the material with only two weeks until my exam date. I ended up using Barron's AP Bio and the Kaplan DAT 2016 to review, along with a small amount of Ferralis. I also only did about 50 of the destroyer bio problems due to ignoring bio for the longest time (not recommended). On the bootcamp tests, my average bio scores were pretty low the first time around, but after a huge amount of review, by the time I took the full-length practice tests I believe it was mid 20's or so.

Actual Bio - Some of the bio problems were pretty tricky, and required me to reread a few of them multiple times to understand the gist of the question. The process of elimination helped me get rid of ridiculous choices, and for most questions I had 1 or 2 choices left after elimination. The cross-out tool was my best friend for this.

GC preparation - I used Chad's videos, destroyer, and bootcamp to review, and used google to clear up anything else. Let me preface this by saying (this also applies to the OC section) that I am a chemistry major and had the greatest interest in doing well in this section, as well as OC, than any of the other sections. I think my interest in the subject made me study much more harder for the two chemistry sections than any other. I did every single question on destroyer for GC and OC. My average on the bootcamp GC tests was probably in the low 20s the first time around, and close to 30 during the full-length practice tests.

Actual GC - Much less calculations than in bootcamp or destroyer. For most problems requiring calculations, the answer was displayed as the numbers given multiplied and/or divided by each other, similar to some of the answer choices in bootcamp and destroyer. There were a few very obscure questions, which I believe brought down my score. Of all the sections, this was the one I was most confident I might have scored a 30 on.

OC preparation - I used Chad's videos, destroyer, bootcamp, and the internet in preparation. I found masterorganicchemistry to be especially helpful for further explanations. Like I said with GC, I was especially interested in doing well in this section, so I believe that made me study all the more harder. My bootcamp tests were probably 20 or 21 average the first time around, and mid 20's during the full-length tests.

Actual OC - The questions were much easier than destroyer, and a little easier than bootcamp. I felt like there were quite a few simple gimme questions on the actual test, though there was one question in particular that I found INCREDIBLY tricky. Nothing was on the test that wasn't in Chad's or bootcamp.

RC preparation - I was really bad about reading articles everyday, and this was the section I was most worried about in the days before the DAT. If I could go back, I would have read a passage or two everyday on scientific american that was about the same length as the DAT passages. On the bootcamp RC tests, I scored as low as a 16 and as high as a 24. I switched between a lot of different strategies while practicing.

Actual RC - Much easier than bootcamp. The strategy I used was to carefully read the first two paragraphs in order to get a gist of the passage, then I used search and destroy. I don't know if it's standard or not, but the questions on my DAT were mostly in order of the passages. My passages were also interesting, which helped, and one of them was about a topic I knew a decent deal about. I had just enough time to finish all the questions.

I know it's hard not to feel nervous, but staying calm during the exam, I believe, contributed to my scores. I would especially recommend going outside during your break between the PAT and RC in order to get some fresh air. DO NOT skip breakfast. Eat something beforehand so you're not starving during the test, and therefore can't concentrate on it. I also brought a snack to eat during the break.
Another thing that may have contributed to my score is my personal tendency to relate everyday occurrences to something I had studied, even before studying for the DAT. For example, if I had just gone for a run, I would relate my increased breathing rate to oxygen saturation in my blood and the bicarbonate buffering system. I know that's really weird, but it's something that has come naturally to me, and isn't something I would say that most people could easily pick up just for the DAT. As I said, it's something I have been doing for a while and was already used to.

If you've studied hard and are confident going into the DAT, you'll ace it!
Congratulations! Wow! You Destroyed it! You will have a lot of interview invites in September.

Go celebrate and enjoy the rest of summer!

Wishing you the best in your journey to becoming a dentist.

Nancy and Dr. Romano
 
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Ari Rezaei

Senior Member
Lifetime Donor
7+ Year Member
Mar 14, 2012
699
529
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Status
Dental Student
When reviewing, I focused on finding and understanding the right solution whenever I got any problem wrong rather than whether or not I got it correct. Whenever I found myself wondering about a detail I wasn't sure about (no matter where I was or what I was doing), I would immediately open up my notes or search the internet for the answer.
QFT! This is the attitude that leads to acing the DAT like you did. Congratulations on your scores!! Best of luck in the application cycle, get ready for the interview invites :)
 
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