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DAT BREAKDOWN 3/14/2014 Tips from a Non-Science Major :)

Discussion in 'DAT Discussions' started by Jaychou5o3, Mar 16, 2014.

  1. Jaychou5o3

    Jaychou5o3 2+ Year Member

    Aug 4, 2012
    PAT: 20 ( :))
    RC: 17 :(
    QR: 18 :yuck:
    BIO: 23 ( :cat:
    GC: 24 ( Wtfreezepops?) :singing:
    OC: 23 :)happy:)

    TS: 23 :cigar:
    AA: 21:biglove: ( HAPPY DANCE)

    Hi guys, so I just got out of my DAT 2 days ago and decided to write a breakdown. Its not the best score in the entire world, but I want to talk about things I did well and things I should of done while studying. I wanted to thank the community of SDN for helping through my journey on the DAT. I'm a Public Health major so all you non-majors out there. YOU CAN DO IT.

    STUDY TIME: 2/1/14-3/14/14. ( While taking full course load, working part time, volunteering at local hospital). It was tough but doable. Number one thing you really need to have is discipline ( SOMETHING I STILL DO NOT REALLY HAVE :p).


    CHADS VIDEO (GC) (10/10):
    THE BEST INVESTMENT EVER. He goes over everything you need for the general chemistry section. He emphasis what you need to know to do well. He teaches you ways to do problems swiftly which is much needed. I wish I could find him and give him a fat smooch on his shiny forehead! <3
    CHADS VIDEO (OC) (10/10): Same quality as general chemistry. Only thing I used to brush up my organic chem. He has a PDF of all the reactions you need. He also goes over lab techniques many people overlook which actually showed on the actual DAT.
    CHADS QUIZZES: (10/10): Really important to do especially after watching each video. Even though
    DAT DESTROYER 2012 (GC/OC) (8/10): I used this right after I finished Chad's videos. It really reinforces the concepts you need for GC and OC. What I did was I did 50 questions of GC and OC a day. Whatever I got wrong, I would refer to the answer solution, learned from it and took notes. I would mark the problems I got wrong to make sure I come back to it again and redo it. I found destroyer is more useful as a learning tool and not used as a practice test.
    DAT DESTROYER 2012 ( Bio) (7/10): It was okay. Again, destroyer does a good job to test how much you really know. I really loved my Biology classes so I could answer most of these questions in one try. Again, I would do 50 questions a day, check answers, and took notes on what I missed. I only went through DAT Destroyer bio once since it was so long... (~400 questions @[email protected] )
    DATQVAULT (Bio, GC): (10/10): Its the next best thing after CHADS VIDEO. It is composed of practice problems and test to really test your understanding of your sciences. You can take a practice test for the sections showing you your score and what your weaknesses are. After analyzing your weakness broken down by subsections, then you can take a bunch of practice for your weakness. DATQvault resembles the level of difficulty of questions you will see on the real DAT.
    DATBOOTCAMP( All sections) (8/10): Similar to DATQvault. Its a relatively new resource but it was just as helpful.
    Kaplan blue book 3rd edition ( 5/10): Not worth it. I got it at a garage sale. It was most useful when I first started studying for my PAT but it wasn't enough to get you a great score in my opinion.
    AP Barron's BIO 3rd edition (9/10): It was great review book to brush up concepts of general biology. It also had quizzes at the end of every chapter. What makes this book good was that it touches all the biology concepts you need for the DAT with enough breadth.
    Crack DAT PAT ACE EDITION: (8/10): Very essential in terms of practice for the PAT section. The Ace edition included 10 practice test.
    scsc7211 biology notes (8/10): I was scavenging SDN for dat tips and hints like the rest of you and ran into this guy. He offered his notes to everyone on SDN to download. What he did was he compounded more notes on "Alan's notes" while studying for bio. It was another helpful resource to add into my biology studying!
    Math Destroyer (9/10): It was very helpful IF I HAD PUT MORE TIME INTO IT. (More on this later)
    Topscore: (8/10): This program offered 3 full length practice test. I only ended up doing one the day before the test. It was helpful in terms of getting your mind to endure 5.5 hours of testing. My practice score was much lower than my real dat (aa:17).
    The internet (Wikipedia, Khan's academy, Bozeman Science etc) (8/10): I randomly googled websites of any concepts I didn't understand. Its not essential but it adds another dynamic resource to be used while studying.

    How I studied for each SECTION:

    I spent the first week watching CHADS video, took notes and did the quizzes RIGHT AFTER the video. I then moved into DAT destroyer GC and took notes. When I was done reviewing this section and was ready to move on with other section. I made sure to spend few hours at least once a week to go over my Chad's notes to make sure I wont forget it by the time of the exam. From there, it was practice, practice, practice AND PRACTICE. Most of the practice came from DATqvault and redoing Chad's quizzes.
    OC: I didn't put too much time on studying for this section because OC was my forte. I'm currently an organic chemistry volunteer tutor at my university so I didn't have too much trouble with it. Even if I was, there were reactions and concepts I needed to brush up. I went through CHADS OC video and DAT destroyer once. I can tell you that Chad's OC video by itself is MORE THAN enough to do well in this section. DAT destroyer was overkill to add more certainty of doing well in this section.
    BIO: I would read Barron's AP bio and scsc711's notes in conjunction of whatever chapter I was reading. It is VERY IMPORTANT to focus on your weaknesses since time is FINITE. After reviewing, it was DATqvault practice all the way. READ -->TAKE NOTES -->PRACTICE --> ANALYZE YOUR WEAKNESSES, --> RINSE AND REPEAT
    PAT: I dived into Crack the PAT practice test right away. I started out by getting the feel of the PAT by doing a practice test untimed. Most of your time should be analyzing questions you get wrong. I remembered how hard the PAT was me for the first time especially TFE, Angles, and pattern folding. The timing was the hardest. I recommend practicing PAT everyday from day 1. With frequent practice, your pat skills and timing will get better. I referred to and Youtube for pat tips and hints.
    RH/QR: These were my worst 2 sections of the DAT. I blame myself for this because I started studying for this 2 weeks before my DAT because I was too focused mastering my sciences. I don't think I can give you much advice for this but to incorporate these 2 overlooked sections of the DAT much earlier when studying. For the QR, the math destroyer saved my butt from getting anything lower than below average. For the RH, its essential to find a technique that works for you and stick with it! REMEMBER PRACTICE EQUALS BETTER SCORES and obviously I didn't put enough time into it.

    Day before test:

    I took my one and only practice test from TOPSCORE software and got an aa:18. I felt demoralized because I really hoped for a higher score( Don't let practice scores get you down). By the time I finished my practice test, I was fatigued and felt my brain just went through a dishwasher. It was already evening and decided that it was futile to study any further. I took the night off without studying, watched tv and drifted off to sleep.


    I woke up at 8AM from a full night's sleep (VERY IMPORTANT). My test doesn't start until 12:30PM. I spent my morning glancing through my biology notes. I had a banana and a glass of milk an hour before the exam. I drove to the Prometric testing center, signed in and awaited to get my name called. Inside the testing room, they provided me with 2 laminated sheets of paper and 2 "permanent pens". During the 15 minute tutorial, I drew out my PAT techniques such as the tic-tac-toe method and wrote out a few chemistry equations. I allowed myself to close my eyes and took a few deep breaths and pushed the start button.

    Bio: VERY similar and a tad easier than DATqvault. There were 1-2 questions I was unsure of but that's is all. The questions were simplistic and not too detailed. Remember, breadth over depth!
    GC: Mostly conceptual. Maybe a 1/4 of the question was calculation but nothing too hard and extreme. Questions were VERY SIMILAR to Chad's GC. There was only one question that I was unsure of and marked but forgot to come back to it. T_T
    OC: The hardest part of this exam in my opinion was the multi-step reaction synthesis. The longest multi step was about 4 steps. Chad's OC video if more than enough to prepare for this section. There was one reaction not mentioned by Chad's but was in destroyer. So doing destroyer actually saved me there. :p

    At the end of the science section. I had about 8 minutes left. Unfortunately, I used this time to use the bathroom since I chugged water right before the exam (NOT SMART).

    PAT: The PAT was difficult for me and I struggled to finish the section on time. Since I used crack the PAT exclusively for studying. The DAT drawing of each PAT problem was slightly different than Crack the PAT software especially in keyholes, TFE and pattern folding. My slight hesitation of adapting to the real DAT cost me essential time to finish the PAT on time. I started panicking and had to guess and mark on a few questions. I managed to finish the PAT on time but at the risk of guessing on some of them. I was disappointed and was angry at myself. This lowered my morale which probably affected my last 2 sections.

    During my 15 minute break. I decided to go outside and stretch for 5 minutes. Signed back in, replenish new laminated sheets and jotting down math equations and conversions.

    RH: During this section, I tried to use the search and destroy method but utterly failed. My only practice was the day before the exam and it really was bad. I was skimming each article for the answers but it was very difficult to find anything. I started panicking again and cursed myself for not practicing enough for this section. I managed to answer some and pushed myself to finish the test. After the reading section, I had already had a thought I was going to bomb the DAT. :( My tip for you is, don't be like me and study this section last minute. Incorporate this early on and develop a strategy for yourself.

    QR: Since I was a child, I was never great with numbers and it was made worse by studying this section last minute. I did 4 math destroyer test but didn't have enough time to go over it. Timing is key. What saved me from total failure was making sure I finished every single question before time ran out. What I did during the DAT was analyze if I knew how to do it. If I knew I couldn't do a problem in less than 40 seconds. I would mark, guess and moved on. Luckily most of the problems in the QR consisted of basic algebra and statistics I could manage to do.

    At the end of my DAT, I felt very bitter filling out the optional survey of my test. During the QR section, I was already planning in my head to make time studying for a retake before the application cycle starts. I started randomly clicking away on the survey and my DAT score posted up. When my unofficial score report came on my screen. I thought initially it was a sample DAT scoring report because I thought the score was too high to be mine. When I found out the score was mine, I was exhilarated and ran out of the testing center to my car forgetting I left my car keys and belongings in my locker. THE BEST FEELING EVER.


    This breakdown was longer than I expected but hopefully it was helpful despite many grammatical problems :p. What I want to say is. "YOU GUYS CAN DO IT". I was in your shoes just a few days ago and despite at times not believing , I manage to surprise myself. Studying for the DAT is never pretty and fun. With determination, it is possible to get the scores you want. Remember PRACTICE PRACTICE PRACTICE. Even if its cliche and you probably seen it a million times with other breakdowns. BELIEVE IN YOURSELF AND WORK HARD. Its so true. Okay no more rambling. If you guys have any further questions. Feel free to message or post on this thread. I will answer any questions that I didn't do a good job explaining. I'm also planning to make some youtube videos of different PAT subsections I believed I mastered and did well in. So keep an eye! :)
    AShar_84 and mmarzouk08 like this.
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  3. hongbinbaneben

    hongbinbaneben 2+ Year Member

    Mar 16, 2013
    Congratulations! Great scores, especially TS!
  4. customx

    customx 7+ Year Member

    Oct 20, 2009
    RC is a bit low, but with a 20 PAT, 21 AA and 23 TS you did an amazing job! Congrats!
  5. peacelove&TX

    peacelove&TX 2+ Year Member

    Mar 12, 2014
    GREAT job! congrats
  6. Daneosaurus

    Daneosaurus D3 5+ Year Member

    Mar 13, 2012
    Nice work!
  7. Ari Rezaei

    Ari Rezaei Senior Member Lifetime Donor Gold Donor Classifieds Approved 5+ Year Member

    Mar 14, 2012
    New York, NY
    Congrats on beating the DAT! Great science scores, awesome job.
  8. Glimmer1991

    Glimmer1991 5+ Year Member

    May 5, 2012
    This is why I always tell people to stay far, far away from practice tests! Practice problems are good. Graded practice tests? BAD! It can mess you up, even if you are a very smart and capable person!

    Congrats! I know it feels so good to be done. :D
  9. Jaychou5o3

    Jaychou5o3 2+ Year Member

    Aug 4, 2012
    Thank you everybody. Shout out to Ari for his DATBOOTCAMP resource. It really helped man. I'm still a little concerned about my 17 on the RC. Do you guys think it will be a make or break situation? It was hard because English is not my native tongue.
  10. taimishu616

    taimishu616 2+ Year Member

    Feb 17, 2014
    Great scores man. I would say your other scores are high enough to "compensate" for the low RC, honestly. Another deserved shoutout to Ari! your tests helped out a lot.
  11. Dotoday

    Dotoday 7+ Year Member

    May 27, 2007
    Well done. Congratulations.
  12. biomolecmed

    biomolecmed 2+ Year Member

    Apr 7, 2012
    Awesome job. Good scores.
  13. NewBee12

    NewBee12 2+ Year Member

    Jan 11, 2010
    Nicely done. 17 in RC is still pretty good. you killed the sciences.
  14. Dotoday

    Dotoday 7+ Year Member

    May 27, 2007
    What do you think about Barron's bio vs Cliffs, vs Feralis notes? Which is better? Does Barron's cover everything enough for you to answer Destroyer, Kaplan or CrackDAT questions?
  15. Jaychou5o3

    Jaychou5o3 2+ Year Member

    Aug 4, 2012
    I never used Feralis. I used Cliff's initially but thought it was a bit dry to read compared to Barron's IN MY OPINION. I do not believe either of these books will go in detail as in questions in the DAT destroyer. Cliff's and Barron's cover probably 80% of it. Use destroyer to reinforce Cliff's and Barrons and add into your knowledge of whatever that is left out! Hope that helps.

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