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dudeethatsrad

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Hey!

If you're reading this, chances are you're preparing for the DAT! You've got this! I'm writing this a bit late (I took the DAT on July 7, 2016 - lol), but I believe this breakdown will give a bit of insight on how to get a great score. I gave myself a little less than 3 months, and felt like I had too much time. A week or two before the exam, I felt that I was forgetting information that I had learned earlier. I would recommend between 2 to 2.5 months depending on your background with the material.

My scores:
25 TS
24 BIO
26 GC
25 OC
20 PAT
25 RC
25 QR

Bootcamp Scores:
Test 1: 20/23/19/20/20/19 (I took this test 2 months before my exam date - in fragments because I was overwhelmed.)
Test 2: 23/26/24/21/X/19 (Skipped RC - was brutal. See below)
Test 3: 26/30/24/21/21/19
Test 4: 30/24/29/21/25/19
Test 5: 25/23/24/X/X/X
QR 7: 23

DAT QVault Scores:
Bio: 23/21/18/20/22/23/23/22/20/22 (The rule I heard was to take your average and add 2, which seems about right.)
GC: 26/20/24/24/24/24/29 (Maybe a bit too easy, but pretty spot on.)
OC: 22/26/24/29/21/24/20/26/22 (Great for practicing reaction problems.)
PAT: 19/20
RC: 24/26/22 (Probably a bit easy, but solid practice for Search and Destroy, which I used during the actual.)
QR: 23/22/22/21/23

As for the materials I used:

Chad's Videos/Coursesaver (11/10): Honestly, Chad is necessary for G Chem and O Chem. He makes learning tolerable and fun, and omits a lot of unnecessary information. The quizzes at the end of each video are great to check for understanding, and I probably watched through each section at least 3 times.

DAT QVault (9/10): I ended up getting the entire package. While not necessary, if you have extra time and money, it's a great way to flood yourself with questions and really ensure you have a surplus of practice problems. All sections are pretty spot on and typical of the actual DAT.

Bootcamp (10/10): A terrific tool to simulate the actual DAT, and generally ends up being a decent predictor of your actual score (see above). Wait until you're pretty much finished learning all of the material, otherwise it can be overwhelming! Even then, I found the PAT, RC, and the QR to be brutal. The Bio, GC, and OC are the best tools, and the rest, while still helpful, pale in comparison. Don't get discouraged if you're not getting the scores you want! Review your mistakes and keep chugging along!

Cliff's AP Bio 3rd Edition (8/10): Simple, helpful, and a good way to not flood yourself with information you won't remember. I was pretty laxed with my Bio studying, and only really studied subjects that I was unfamiliar with or didn't remember (taxonomy lol).

DAT Destroyer/Math Destroyer (7/10)(8/10): A decent tool if you have a lot of time and are not easily discouraged. As the authors explain, if fully utilized, their books will over-prepare you. These problems are generally very difficult or focus on the exception rather than the rule. I tended to find this distracting, but others swear by this resource. Math Destroyer was good and definitely helped bring up my QR, but also had questions that seemed to come out of nowhere and definitely were not on my DAT.

A quick breakdown of the actual sections:

Bio: A few questions were much easier than I expected, with one or two being harder than I expected. Otherwise, nothing too surprising.
GC: Pretty simple, not too many calculations.
OC: I had one or two questions that I didn't remember learning from Chad, but everything else seemed pretty straightforward.
PAT: Honestly, pretty tough. The keyholes were unlike any I had ever seen, and none of the materials I used seemed to accurately portray the types of questions I had. Angles were tough, but everything else seemed reasonable. Pattern folding was particularly simple, so if it's freaking you out now, just keep working on it and remain calm. Honestly, I was pretty shaken up by the keyholes, and had trouble concentrating for the remaining PAT. I thought I failed this section, but you can't void your test so keep chugging along! Take your break, take a deep breath, and try to reset your mood! Don't give up if you have a tough section!
RC: Search and Destroy definitely worked as a strategy. Maybe a couple of inference questions, but not many. It seemed that the first passage was very easy, second was tougher, and the last was pretty difficult! I ran out of time. Don't get complacent like I did!
QR: Tough, but definitely not impossible. Practice problems will definitely make this section more manageable. If you don't know how to solve a question, SKIP IT! You don't want to miss easy/free points on a question you probably won't solve anyway lol.

And that's it! You're then forced to take a quick survey (which definitely doesn't feel quick), and then your scores pop up on the screen!

Please let me know if you have any questions, and most of all, GOOD LUCK! YOU CAN DO IT!
 
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Bingwen

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I appreciate your motivational tone :) You rocked the DAT last summer!!! Congrats on the scores. I am preparing a little farther out personally just because, for most of these classes, it has been 5-6 years since I have seen the material. I am debating getting bootcamp early or 1-1.5 months before I take it. What is your recommendation?
 

dudeethatsrad

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I appreciate your motivational tone :) You rocked the DAT last summer!!! Congrats on the scores. I am preparing a little farther out personally just because, for most of these classes, it has been 5-6 years since I have seen the material. I am debating getting bootcamp early or 1-1.5 months before I take it. What is your recommendation?

Haha of course! The main point I wanted to make was that anyone can crush the DAT. I would get Bootcamp 1.5 months before you take it. Any other materials you plan to buy that have longer subscriptions (QVault, Destroyer, etc), you can buy earlier. Use Bootcamp to check for understanding, and to know whether or not you're ready for the real one!
 
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Bingwen

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Awesome thank you so much for the insight. I think that is what I will probably do.
 

DAT Destroyer

Dr. Romano and Nancy
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Hey!

If you're reading this, chances are you're preparing for the DAT! You've got this! I'm writing this a bit late (I took the DAT on July 7, 2016 - lol), but I believe this breakdown will give a bit of insight on how to get a great score. I gave myself a little less than 3 months, and felt like I had too much time. A week or two before the exam, I felt that I was forgetting information that I had learned earlier. I would recommend between 2 to 2.5 months depending on your background with the material.

My scores:
25 TS
24 BIO
26 GC
25 OC
20 PAT
25 RC
25 QR

Bootcamp Scores:
Test 1: 20/23/19/20/20/19 (I took this test 2 months before my exam date - in fragments because I was overwhelmed.)
Test 2: 23/26/24/21/X/19 (Skipped RC - was brutal. See below)
Test 3: 26/30/24/21/21/19
Test 4: 30/24/29/21/25/19
Test 5: 25/23/24/X/X/X
QR 7: 23

DAT QVault Scores:
Bio: 23/21/18/20/22/23/23/22/20/22 (The rule I heard was to take your average and add 2, which seems about right.)
GC: 26/20/24/24/24/24/29 (Maybe a bit too easy, but pretty spot on.)
OC: 22/26/24/29/21/24/20/26/22 (Great for practicing reaction problems.)
PAT: 19/20
RC: 24/26/22 (Probably a bit easy, but solid practice for Search and Destroy, which I used during the actual.)
QR: 23/22/22/21/23

As for the materials I used:

Chad's Videos/Coursesaver (11/10): Honestly, Chad is necessary for G Chem and O Chem. He makes learning tolerable and fun, and omits a lot of unnecessary information. The quizzes at the end of each video are great to check for understanding, and I probably watched through each section at least 3 times.

DAT QVault (9/10): I ended up getting the entire package. While not necessary, if you have extra time and money, it's a great way to flood yourself with questions and really ensure you have a surplus of practice problems. All sections are pretty spot on and typical of the actual DAT.

Bootcamp (10/10): A terrific tool to simulate the actual DAT, and generally ends up being a decent predictor of your actual score (see above). Wait until you're pretty much finished learning all of the material, otherwise it can be overwhelming! Even then, I found the PAT, RC, and the QR to be brutal. The Bio, GC, and OC are the best tools, and the rest, while still helpful, pale in comparison. Don't get discouraged if you're not getting the scores you want! Review your mistakes and keep chugging along!

Cliff's AP Bio 3rd Edition (8/10): Simple, helpful, and a good way to not flood yourself with information you won't remember. I was pretty laxed with my Bio studying, and only really studied subjects that I was unfamiliar with or didn't remember (taxonomy lol).

DAT Destroyer/Math Destroyer (7/10)(8/10): A decent tool if you have a lot of time and are not easily discouraged. As the authors explain, if fully utilized, their books will over-prepare you. These problems are generally very difficult or focus on the exception rather than the rule. I tended to find this distracting, but others swear by this resource. Math Destroyer was good and definitely helped bring up my QR, but also had questions that seemed to come out of nowhere and definitely were not on my DAT.

A quick breakdown of the actual sections:

Bio: A few questions were much easier than I expected, with one or two being harder than I expected. Otherwise, nothing too surprising.
GC: Pretty simple, not too many calculations.
OC: I had one or two questions that I didn't remember learning from Chad, but everything else seemed pretty straightforward.
PAT: Honestly, pretty tough. The keyholes were unlike any I had ever seen, and none of the materials I used seemed to accurately portray the types of questions I had. Angles were tough, but everything else seemed reasonable. Pattern folding was particularly simple, so if it's freaking you out now, just keep working on it and remain calm. Honestly, I was pretty shaken up by the keyholes, and had trouble concentrating for the remaining PAT. I thought I failed this section, but you can't void your test so keep chugging along! Take your break, take a deep breath, and try to reset your mood! Don't give up if you have a tough section!
RC: Search and Destroy definitely worked as a strategy. Maybe a couple of inference questions, but not many. It seemed that the first passage was very easy, second was tougher, and the last was pretty difficult! I ran out of time. Don't get complacent like I did!
QR: Tough, but definitely not impossible. Practice problems will definitely make this section more manageable. If you don't know how to solve a question, SKIP IT! You don't want to miss easy/free points on a question you probably won't solve anyway lol.

And that's it! You're then forced to take a quick survey (which definitely doesn't feel quick), and then your scores pop up on the screen!

Please let me know if you have any questions, and most of all, GOOD LUCK! YOU CAN DO IT!

Congratulations! You Destroyed the DAT! Thanks for your very detailed breakdown, it will help a lot of students yet to take the DAT!

Wishing you the best..

Nancy
 
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