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Nov 24, 2020
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  1. Pre-Dental
Hi everyone,

(I originally posted this on facebook)

I wanted to write about my experiences studying for the DAT. I’ve found these breakdowns to be quite useful and hope that this might help some readers here. I took the DAT today (Feb 4th) and scored a 28AA, 28TS, and 25PAT!

Context: Undergrad Junior, studying on-and-off since October 2020 and spending all of Winter Break doing full-time studying. Feel free to leave a comment/reach out if you’ve got any questions and I’ll do my best to answer them.

Main study materials:

DAT Bootcamp: 9/10, absolutely a must. Excellent range of topics, and I gained a better understanding of how to time myself and prioritize questions through the practice exams. -1 because the biology section was sometimes hyper-specific at the expense of understanding applications and broader concepts. But in general, there’s a reason why this is the #1 resource that pre-dents hear about. It works, and it works well.

DAT Booster: 8/10, I really credit my PAT score to Booster, daily practice is the name of the game and it WORKS!! I always used the generators and did 15x questions per generator per day. This seemed like a lot at first but PAT is like a muscle that you just gotta keep working on. -2 because there were a lot of times where I was taking practice exams and would get logged out in the middle. Not fun.

DAT Destroyer: 6/10, good for extra practice, but definitely not as a first resource. Get a copy from 2018+ and you’ll be golden.

Exam Prep:

Bio (27)
I used Ari’s study schedule and the condensed notes to review all of the major topics. I did this for the “first half” of my studying, then switched over to Romano’s notes for the second half. I felt that it was good to use two sources and get multiple explanations of the same topics. No Anki— I never really found a way to use it that I liked. Be sure to read all of the practice exam explanations even if you got the answers correct! That’s my number one tip to solidify your understanding of the material.

GC (30):
Oh boy. I was worried about this section going into my prep (October) because I hadn’t learned much in Genchem at school. I first used Chad’s videos to understand the major theory and concepts, and then used Mike’s videos to solidify my problem-solving skills. I think that this was a great studying method and helped me out a lot on the real thing. It’s important to understand concepts, but nothing can replace problem-solving.

OC (26):
Mostly relied on my knowledge from college orgo to get through this section. I think it’s really important to learn the mechanisms of each reaction, because you can better reason through logic even if you’ve never seen a particular reagent before and stuff like that. Orgo is not just about reaction sequences! Bootcamp especially has some great theory questions (practice exams 6-10) that really push your knowledge. Booster has some detailed ones as well.

PAT (25):
Again, DAT Booster all the way. I thought that Bootcamp’s exams were a little easier than Booster’s, but you can’t go wrong with either. The BEST thing to do for this section is practice every day. Even if you need a rest day of the academic subjects, do some PAT!! I feel like this section really depends on your energy level and a bit of luck too. I’ll echo everyone else- don’t spend too long on angle ranking, because it’s much better to spend time on parts (like cube counting) where you’ll actually have a better chance at solving correctly.

RC (26):
Bootcamp does a great job preparing you for this section. I honestly wasn’t a fan of Booster because the RC exams were SO DAMN HARD and often had questionable answer choices where 10-15% of people were answering “correctly”. Still, I can’t complain. Highlighting is your friend! I used my personal adjusted BYU4You method (read first 2 paragraphs thoroughly, then skim while stopping to read thoroughly at major transitions in the article’s focus). For example: reading first two paragraphs about animals, skimming stuff about specific animal species, thoroughly reading about animals being poached, and then skimming the rest about specific hunting techniques. Not my exam topics, but same idea.

QR (30):
I’m honestly kinda surprised on this score. Used Math destroyer, as well as Dr. Blois’ videos (on Destroyer YT). Something that I hear a lot (and I think works) is knowing when to skip a problem and revisit it later. It saves a lot of stress working on hard questions when you know that you’ve already got the easy ones in the bag.

Final Thoughts/Corny stuff:

On the day of the exam, I walked in the room and told myself that I was ready, and that I would be proud of my work no matter the result. This might sound weird, but I think it helps. You can’t control everything about the exam but you can control the mindset that you walk into the exam center with.
 

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Jul 2, 2020
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  1. Pre-Dental
This is a wonderful score!
I had a question, for bio, do you recommend me to buy romano's bio notes? I am currently using the condensed notes and the 500-page boot camp notes! would this be enough?
I just didn't want to spend more money on things.. haha
And for RC, how did you study for it overall..? Are Bootcamp question bank questions harder than the actual DAT? (I am getting about 6-10/17 for all of the question bank problems....) Do you recommend any other source that has more questions for RC?
Last question.. did you use destroyer for GC, OC, bio?
Thank you!
 

orgoman22

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This is a wonderful score!
I had a question, for bio, do you recommend me to buy romano's bio notes? I am currently using the condensed notes and the 500-page boot camp notes! would this be enough?
I just didn't want to spend more money on things.. haha
And for RC, how did you study for it overall..? Are Bootcamp question bank questions harder than the actual DAT? (I am getting about 6-10/17 for all of the question bank problems....) Do you recommend any other source that has more questions for RC?
Last question.. did you use destroyer for GC, OC, bio?
Thank you!
Hi you can access our Dr. Romano's Dynamite Biology Review for free on our FB page, so you don't need to spend any money for that.

Nancy, co/owner, DAT Destroyer
 
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