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Apr 25, 2019
322
218
Laniakea Supercluster
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Scores
PAT: 30
QR: 26
RC: 30
Bio: 26
GC: 28
OC: 30
TS: 29
AA: 28

Learning Approach:
Make connections, never learn anything in a vacuum. My learning style consists of making mental mind maps to link as many topics as I can together. Make generalizations if scientifically accurate. Group stuff together if needed.

For example, in my mind I would think about alternation of generations and how bryophytes and fungi are dominated by a gametophyte phase. But with all tracheophytes, they are dominated by a sporophyte (diploid) phase. Ferns, however, are unique in that their gametophyte and sporophyte are independent living plants. As for bryophytes, they have motile male gamete produced at their antheridia which needs to travel to the female component, the archegonia. But since they lack the protection of seeds and any comparable dissemination ability, the male gamete must instead be able to swim from antheridia to archegonia. That clearly would require a moist environment. Other things like spores and seeds can be disseminated by wind which allows survival in less moist conditions.

In summary? Develop an obsession with figuring out why stuff is the way they are and how they work then link this to other stuff.

I also want to emphasize I'm no genius. I got an F in a math course as as freshman. Probably 1 more F than most people here. But that experience is what motivated me to change my learning and studying approach to what it is today. Anytime you make mistakes, always try to figure out the root cause and identify ways to avoid making that mistake again. Develop and test new studying strategies. Be critical of yourself but also optimistic that you have the ability to improve yourself. Finally, never think of anything as impossible to understand or too complex. Instead, always think "How can I reframe this in more familiar terms?"

Schedule:
Don't pull all-nighters and stress yourself unnecessarily. Sometimes, take an entire day to relax and do something you like.

Generally, my schedule is 6 days a week. I've already graduated from college. I wake up at 11. Watch movies, shows, or play games until 1. Then I start studying. Every 1.5 hours, I take a 15-30 minute break. 4 hours in, I take a longer break. Then I keep studying and resting until 11 pm then some more movies and games. 1 hour before I sleep, I do some reading to wind down. Overall, I think its a very chill schedule so I was never feeling stressed.

I spent 4 months studying. The first month, I was going through DAT Bootcamp for content review. The remaining 3 months was focused on practice problems and tests. The last 2 weeks, I reviewed all questions I had previous gotten wrong in addition to 3 full passes through DAT Destroyer.

Resources: Destroyer + Bootcamp
For sciences and RC, I used Bootcamp for content review followed by 4 full lengths. Then I went right back to Destroyer for practice and extended content review. After 2 passes through Destroyer, I did 4 additional full lengths from Bootcamp. Then I did a 3rd pass through Destroyer followed by 2 final full lengths. For RC, I also bought the Booster which was well worth it. I used a spreadsheet for all Destroyer Questions to mark how I felt about my knowledge of the question (1 means I got the question wrong or just plain forgot how to do it, 2 means I'm iffy about the question but got it right, 3 means I got it right. I used conditional highlighting to assign red, yellow, and green cell highlighting for visualization).

For PAT, I switched from Bootcamp to PATBooster based on anecdotes about how Bootcamp is a bit too easy in that regard. I agree. In retrospect after taking the DAT, I feel PATBooster best prepared me for the PAT.

For QR, I started with Bootcamp but decided to get Math Destroyer and rely on that almost exclusively. Worth it.

Overall, if money is a concern, I would just get DAT Destroyer, Math Destroyer, PATBooster. I don't know where you would get RC practice since I've only used Bootcamp. If you can afford it, get DAT Bootcamp for extra practice and super awesome explanations. My Bootcamp test scores were a couple points less than my actual scores and I felt they were a big confidence booster.

Details:
PAT (30): Visualizing stuff in three dimensions is almost second nature for me. However, angle ranking was the bane of my existence. I tried different strategies until I came up with my own which entailed visualizing and inserting an isosceles triangle with two ~1cm sides. I then compared the third side. My timing was great thanks to PAT Booster. I started at the end and worked backwards because I am very confident in pattern folding, hole punching, and cube counting. I was somewhat less confident in angle ranking and keyhole. For keyhole, I was getting 50% correct on PATBooster.

QR (26): I used almost exclusively Math Destroyer. It is tougher than the real DAT but you will be solidly prepared. I had 15 minutes left over to check over the first half of the test.

RC (30): I used DAT Bootcamp practice tests as well as the RC Booster Pack. My approach is very similar to BYU4UYou's method. Differences are that I would read the first half at moderate speed then start trying to answer questions. I did not feel the need to read fast as I felt I lost comprehension by doing that. When a topic came up that I recognized wasn't from the first half of the passage, I used search and destroy on only the last half of the passage if the question necessitated it. Else, I would read the entire paragraph rapidly to get the main points out of it. I tried a pure search and destroy method but I hated it because I came out of the passage feeling like I learned nothing; I wanted to read a passage with the intent to actually learn something new. It's been said before but try to enjoy the passage; approach it with the right attitude and it won't be something to dread. In fact, you might actually enjoy the material.

Bio (26): Bootcamp's FREE 121pg notes are sufficient. The stuff I forgot was covered in the notes but I just plain forgot them. In retrospect, the days before the test it would have been helpful to read through the whole set of notes rather than only the chapters I thought I had a hard time with. However, if you must ration your efforts due to time limitations, that's fine as well.

GC (28) and OC (30): I used a combination of Destroyer and Bootcamp. Destroyer was tougher and prepared me well. I treated Bootcamp as extra practice which I really, really appreciated. For Destroyer, I went through every question 3 times. For Bootcamp, after all practice tests were done, I went through all questions again and bookmarked stuff I wanted to go over again.

After the science section, I had 30 minutes left over to double check my answers and good thing I did. I caught a couple silly mistakes. Don't throw away extra time. Double check your answers even if you just want to get the test over with.

Thoughts on Flash Cards:
I despise flash cards with a passion. I don't feel rote memorization is a good way towards mastery. Using Dr. Romano's Organic Chemistry RoadMaps as a guide, I aimed to understand the why's and the how's behind every reaction. It may seem like a lot but organic chemistry almost all comes down to nucleophile reacts with electrophile. Get used to spotting what is electron rich and electron deficient and reaction mechanisms will become second nature. The hint to why stuff react a certain way is in the molecules themselves. The only thing I did rote memorize was the function of reagents like PCC, LTBA, and such where the molecular structure isn't apparent.


My Question Review Strategy
After the 2nd pass through Destroyer, I started being able to answer questions but based on rote memorization of the question and answer which clearly isn't a good thing. So to make sure I understand the actual material, I mentally explain every answer choice and also anything even remotely related. In this manner, each question is like a cram review session for me. For example, if a problem was asking about the function of Immunoglobin D, I would explain that mentally, then I would also mentally explain the other immunoglobins. Then I would further expand on that and remind myself that IgA or immunoglobulin "apocrine" as I remember it is secreted in milk which confers passive immunity which is immunity gained by transfer of antibodies which is in contrast to active immunity. Active immunity involves the body responding to pathogens and developing its own antibodies. And so on... Point is, I get a crazy amount of review done this way. Yes, it takes longer than normal but I find it to be a worthwhile strategy to constantly test my own memory and explore connections between concepts.

Score Confirmation:
View attachment 297151
 
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Apr 25, 2019
322
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Laniakea Supercluster
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Did you use Dr. Romano's Biology? Or just 121 pages of BC ?
I used the Bootcamp 500pg Academy notes together with the 121 pg notes where I added my own notes and comments. I also did a lot of side research into more detail than was provided. I felt Dr. Romano’s notes were too dense for me because biology was already fresh in my mind. As far as my real DAT goes, all the stuff there was covered in the Bootcamp 500 and 121 pg notes. Keep in mind, however, that there are various versions of the tests in circulation however.
 
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ayoung1029

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Dec 27, 2015
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I used the Bootcamp 500pg Academy notes together with the 121 pg notes where I added my own notes and comments. I also did a lot of side research into more detail than was provided. I felt Dr. Romano’s notes were too dense for me because biology was already fresh in my mind. As far as my real DAT goes, all the stuff there was covered in the Bootcamp 500 and 121 pg notes. Keep in mind, however, that there are various versions of the tests in circulation however.
Now would you say the actual exam for bio/gc/oc section compared to the bootcamp questions (and destroyer questions), was the actual exam questions easier, like did they ask any very specific details ? or all pretty broad
 
Apr 25, 2019
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Now would you say the actual exam for bio/gc/oc section compared to the bootcamp questions (and destroyer questions), was the actual exam questions easier, like did they ask any very specific details ? or all pretty broad
For bio, Bootcamp and Destroyer were well representative in style with Destroyer having somewhat more depth. But you will be well prepared if you know the all the answer choices and why they are wrong.

For OC, both Bootcamp and Destroyer were comparable to my real DAT. While practicing, I made frequent use of scrap paper but in the real DAT, I was able to get by without using it at all for OC.

For GC, the calculations involved were somewhat less involved than Bootcamp and definitely Destroyer. The few calculations present were straightforward without tricks. Just know the equations from the Bootcamp equation sheet and you'll be fine on that end as long as you can put in the right numbers.

Overall, I don't recall any particularly tricky or nuanced questions.
 
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2thDoc11

2+ Year Member
Nov 19, 2018
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For bio, Bootcamp and Destroyer were well representative in style with Destroyer having somewhat more depth. But you will be well prepared if you know the all the answer choices and why they are wrong.

For OC, both Bootcamp and Destroyer were comparable to my real DAT. While practicing, I made frequent use of scrap paper but in the real DAT, I was able to get by without using it at all for OC.

For GC, the calculations involved were somewhat less involved than Bootcamp and definitely Destroyer. The few calculations present were straightforward without tricks. Just know the equations from the Bootcamp equation sheet and you'll be fine on that end as long as you can put in the right numbers.

Overall, I don't recall any particularly tricky or nuanced questions.
Have you ever used defeat the dat? Its a site created by chad from chads videos. I'm wondering if that site covers everything and is representative of the dat? Im sruggling with general chemistry and I do well with that but fail hard with the dat destroyer... Still working st it but it'd boost my confidence knowing defeat the dat site is similar..... If you watched chads videos or did his quizzes the site is a lot like that but with slot more problems..
 

2thDoc11

2+ Year Member
Nov 19, 2018
581
468
For bio, Bootcamp and Destroyer were well representative in style with Destroyer having somewhat more depth. But you will be well prepared if you know the all the answer choices and why they are wrong.

For OC, both Bootcamp and Destroyer were comparable to my real DAT. While practicing, I made frequent use of scrap paper but in the real DAT, I was able to get by without using it at all for OC.

For GC, the calculations involved were somewhat less involved than Bootcamp and definitely Destroyer. The few calculations present were straightforward without tricks. Just know the equations from the Bootcamp equation sheet and you'll be fine on that end as long as you can put in the right numbers.

Overall, I don't recall any particularly tricky or nuanced questions.
And I'm sorry about trying to create more work for you, but if you didn't use the site is there any way you could go on there and check it out to see if its easier or similar as far as difficulty? The site is free.. If not I completely understand, I'm sure the day is the last thing you wanna think about... Congrats on the great scores!!
 
Apr 25, 2019
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Laniakea Supercluster
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Have you ever used defeat the dat? Its a site created by chad from chads videos. I'm wondering if that site covers everything and is representative of the dat? Im sruggling with general chemistry and I do well with that but fail hard with the dat destroyer... Still working st it but it'd boost my confidence knowing defeat the dat site is similar..... If you watched chads videos or did his quizzes the site is a lot like that but with slot more problems..
I've watched a couple of Chad's videos and I think they're good. However, I didn't use them more than that since I relied on DAT Bootcamp's videos so I can't comment on the quizzes.
 

2thDoc11

2+ Year Member
Nov 19, 2018
581
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I've watched a couple of Chad's videos and I think they're good. However, I didn't use them more than that since I relied on DAT Bootcamp's videos so I can't comment on the quizzes.
Okay! As far as general chemistry goes, how were the questions? Pretty basic? I'm taking mine april 20th..pretty nervous..
 

2thDoc11

2+ Year Member
Nov 19, 2018
581
468
Straightforward stuff I think. No long calculations. Know your stoichiometry and electrochemistry calculations.
One more question about ochem.. Did they refer to compounds by their names or did they provide a visual. The destroyer often posts the names, expecting you to know the structure which can add more difficulty. For instsnce in destroyer he refuses to pyrrole and anthrocene, naphthalene...
 
Apr 25, 2019
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Laniakea Supercluster
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One more question about ochem.. Did they refer to compounds by their names or did they provide a visual. The destroyer often posts the names, expecting you to know the structure which can add more difficulty. For instsnce in destroyer he refuses to pyrrole and anthrocene, naphthalene...
Those did not occur on my exam but that doesn't mean they can't show up. I would suggest just using a mnemonic to memorize their number of rings.
 
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