DAT Breakdown 27AA/28TS/23PAT


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2+ Year Member
Apr 9, 2018
  1. Pre-Dental
    The breakdowns on SDN were super helpful in guiding my own studying, so I figured I would contribute one as well to help out those who are taking the DAT in the future.

    Just took the DAT today, very excited with my results. Here are my specific scores:
    PAT: 23
    QR: 22
    RC: 28
    Bio: 26
    GC: 30
    OC: 30
    TS: 28
    AA: 27

    I've studied passively since mid-May or so (~10 hrs/week), after class or whenever I had some free time. Became much more intense throughout July (at least 2-3 hrs/day), and then studied full-time these past two weeks in August (8-12 hrs/day).

    Materials used: DAT Destroyer and DAT Bootcamp. I honestly feel that these two have everything you need when preparing for the DAT.

    PAT: For PAT, I watched the PAT Academy videos on Bootcamp to get an idea of a strategy for each topic. For practice, I would do half of the practice PAT exams on Bootcamp, since doing a full exam just took too long. I would do #1-45 one day, and #46-90 the next. This kept things varied and consistent when it came to difficulty and volume. Angle ranking was by far my worst, I was getting 5/15-6/15 on the first 5 or so practice tests I took. So, I would spend some time on the generators for these, and by the end I could get 11/15-12/15 which was good enough for me.

    On my actual DAT, the PAT felt pretty difficult. The keyholes were pretty gnarly and the TFE were also pretty difficult. I think I might have had like four or so "rock" keyholes. Cubes, pattern folding, and hole punching were all fine I felt. Angle ranking was pretty shaky, I was honestly pleasantly surprised by my score based on how I felt finishing this section.

    QR: I majored in chemical engineering and figured the math-heavy curriculum would carry me through QR. I did a few tests on Bootcamp just to get a feel for the timing and types of problems. It helped to review some of the more difficult probability problems that I came across. I also did a few of the problems at the back of DAT Destroyer.

    On the actual DAT, I though this section was crazy hard. I did pretty well on my Bootcamp QR tests, but here I was running out of time, trying to remember formulas I didn't know I would need, and screwing around with the calculator. I guessed like 2-3 questions that my numbers turned out to be close too, but off by a few decimals or more. A little more preparation here would have payed off, but in the end, I'm very happy with my score and glad to be finished.

    RC: To prepare, all I did was two full length RC exams on Bootcamp to get an idea of the timing and questions. The first one, I got like a 25, which I was definitely happy with, so I stopped practicing. Then, the day before the exam, I got a 20 and kinda freaked out about the drop-off. I spent all my time on Bio, GC, and OC and just ran out of time to practice for this.

    On the actual DAT, this section was way easier than Bootcamp. The passages were much easier to read, less inference and tone questions, and I got through it much quicker than either practice exam. I think Bootcamp is an excellent tool for this section to sort of over-prepare so that the actual test is much more comfortable.

    Bio: I had not taken much biology in school, so this section was definitely the one I was most worried about. To review, at first I tried Cliff's but it was too general. Then I checked out Ferali's and Dr. Romano's notes, but they were too text heavy. For some, they may prefer this, but for my style of studying, I preferred something I could look over much faster for repetition. I ultimately settled on the Bootcamp Bio notes. They seemed to be just the right balance information/concision. To apply all of this, I lived by DAT Destroyer Bio and Bootcamp Bio. I did all of the subject tests on BC, not really worried about scores. I used them more diagnostically to see what I needed to review more intensely. Then, I would move onto like 30-40 problems of Destroyer Bio when I had some time to really push myself. It's no secret it goes into plenty of detail, but I definitely saw some questions on the DAT that felt straight out of the Destroyer.

    On the actual exam, the biology wasn't too bad. It was definitely easier than Bootcamp, much easier than Destroyer. The questions were a bit more application based than I had seen, but the level of preparation I got from Destroyer/BC made these more than manageable.

    GC: As I mentioned before, I majored in ChemE, so I was pretty strong in a few sort of random sections of GC. Stuff life electrochem, equilibrium, and periodic trends definitely needed reviewing. For these, I used a lot of the Bootcamp videos. For practice, I did all of the BC subject tests, with the same methodology as Bio. This allowed me to sort of diagnostically see where I could use more work. Besides that, I used Destroyer GC to really nail a lot of the concepts I felt rusty on.

    I felt very well prepared for the actual exam. It aligned well with the difficult of BC. I think the combination of BC and Destroyer was more than enough to tackle this section.

    OC: At the beginning of my studying, this section was very intimidating. I hadn't taken any OC for over two years and was about to go into Orgo2. I took Orgo2 over the summer, so this refreshed a lot of topics for me and pushed me to review things I didn't remember so well. I used Destroyer and BC for this, the same as GC and Bio. I would use them to point out my weak areas and learn what I needed to know there.

    The actual exam wasn't bad at all in this section. It was far easier than BC I would say. I was incredibly happy to see my score in the end here.

    In conclusion:
    I feel that I study best through repetition of problems. I just feel like application is a bit more fun/engaging than attempting to memorize all of the information. So, Destroyer and BC were the ideal resources for me, as they each had hundreds of problems I could go over ad nauseam. I tried to be efficient with my studying, going over what I felt I was weakest in, and not going over what I considered strengths. This worked for the sciences, but looking back I should have gotten a few more reps in with QR. On another note, I will be submitting my application early next week for this cycle after I finally have my DAT finished. I hope this breakdown can help give one more perspective of a DAT preparation methodology to those taking the test in the future. Best of luck!


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