DAT Breakdown 3/24/14

Discussion in 'DAT Discussions' started by 1Overdrive, Mar 24, 2014.

  1. 1Overdrive

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    PAT 21
    QR 21
    RC 25
    Bio 21
    GC 25
    OC 29 :soexcited:
    TS 24
    AA 24 :claps:

    Materials used:
    • Chad's Videos
    • Cliffs AP Biology 3e
    • Topscore (barely)
    • DAT Destroyer
    • DAT Bootcamp

    So, I've been studying for this for the past 3 months, on and off, maybe 5 hours a week for the first two months and for the last month, 6-7 hours every day, and after taking it today, I think I can confidently say that spaced studying and constantly doing practice tests is key to preparing for the DAT.

    Way before I started studying, I took the sample test (2007 I believe), and I got sub-20 scores on all the sections, especially biology, probably got 20 wrong out of 40. As someone with a decent science background, I was really surprised I got half of the bio questions wrong on the sample test. So I took to studying Cliffs notes, inside and out. Read it once. Read it a second time, taking very detailed notes. Went over the notes over the course of a month (spaced studying) and then moved on to Ochem/genchem (Chad's videos), still studying about 20 minutes of bio during each of those sessions. I also took detailed notes for Chad's ochem, but took no notes for his genchem (I had a solid general chemistry background, but a very weak organic chemistry background).

    At this point, I felt I was ready, so I started taking practice tests from the destroyer, and let me tell you, I was not prepared for the difficulty of those questions. For ochem, Out of the 30 question intervals I did, I would get 15-16 correct. Even QR was giving me trouble (especially trig), and Bio/genchem, forget about it, I was getting the the equivalent of 15-17 scores on those. I felt discouraged, and didn't look back at the destroyer til the last few weeks in order to review some road maps, and random bio facts (I think Ochem roadmaps were a bit excessive as the problems on my DAT were mostly mechanism based and not really a "which reagent would accomplish this", but for Bio, any fact at all that I could commit to memory was worth it).

    Fast forward to a week before the test (still haven't done any PAT at this point, I was screwed lol), I find out that DAT bootcamp is pretty representative of the actual DAT (and I can tell you from today, the OChem from bootcamp was spot on with regards to the actual DAT), the Bio was 50/50 in the way they asked the questions, and genchem from bootcamp was relatively representative of the actual DAT. DATBootcamp PAT was INSANE compared to the actual DAT. I felt like it has prepared me so much, with respect to looking at the tiny differences in keyholes, eliminating choices instead of trying to figure out how the shape looks like, and even the pattern folding was 3 times harder than the actual DAT. (Really, kudos to Ari for the difficult questions. I hated the PAT questions after I saw my bootcamp score but it really helped!)

    After a whole week at the bootcamp, I finally felt that I was ready, so 2 days before the test, I took some topscore exams and here is what I got (never really got to the 2nd and 3rd exams, I don't know why)

    RC 20/ BIO 17 / Chem 18/ OChem 20/ TS 19/ AA 19

    As you can see, the Bio/chem/ochem are definitely not representative of my actual scores, could be a difference in scoring methods or just difficult questions on topscore. Now, came the moment of truth. The day before the exam, I just reviewed hormones, excretory system and reproduction/development (my weak subjects) for 2 hours and relaxed for the rest of the day, knowing that if I didn't know ochem/genchem by now, no amount of studying would help, but bio is something that can be memorized.

    Now onto the actual DAT:

    Biology: pretty straightforward, many fact-based questions.
    Chemistry: again, straightforward, conceptual questions, had to know equations for some questions
    OChem: I think I missed one question, everything else was pretty straightforward, Destroyer was overkill with regards to roadmaps, but it helped a lot.
    PAT: the only PAT resource I used was DAT Bootcamp, and I believe it did help tremendously for the keyholes and pattern folding, really got me thinking about looking for the smallest details.
    RC: All or most of my questions were Search and Destroy based, finished with 1 minute to spare. A few were tone inferences and true/false. The thing I noticed in this section was that if they asked for percentage values in the question, 9 times out of 10, the number was written out in letters and percentages were written out as "percent" instead of "%." Tricky bastards =P.
    QR: I don't know what to say. Ran out of time on the last 3 questions and had to rush to finish, but overall I think I did well on this section.

    Again, thank you Ari, Chad and Dr. Romano for the amazing resources.

    And without further ado, the score report:
     

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    #1 1Overdrive, Mar 24, 2014
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2014
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  3. StumpMT

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    Excellent scores!!!! You really.....back side attacked that o-chem section *slaps knee and laughs*.
     
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  4. customx

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    Congrats! Those are some amazing scores
     
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  5. SmileDesignersDDS

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    Awesome scores!!! You killed the ochem section!
     
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  6. Ari Rezaei

    Ari Rezaei Senior Member
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    Nice!! You hit it out of the park, congratulations on your scores, and great job on ochem too!
     
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  7. hongbinbaneben

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    You murdered the test! Congrats!
     
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  8. 1Overdrive

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    Haha. The really funny thing is that I had absolutely no SN2 questions on the test.
     
  9. Sharon914

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  10. StumpMT

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    Now that is pretty funny. I'll be taking mine next Thursday and feel pretty damn good about it, but I'm wondering about biochem on the orgo section. The only place I've seen any biochem regarding mutarotation, etc was in Destroyer. Did you see any on your exam? Also about how many IR, NMR questions did you see, if any?
     
  11. DogeDDS

    DogeDDS Wow
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    Taking mine next Monday! Any last minute tips?
     
  12. 1Overdrive

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    Only tip is to relax on the last day before the test, and try to just memorize as much bio as you can if you are good on ochem/chem already. Definitely know all the equations for chem, they do show up a lot. Know how to draw lewis structures too, those are really important. Know how to balance reactions, rates and half lives, etc. Know E1/E2/SN1/SN2 inside and out and when you would do one instead of the other (e.g. SN2 with strong nuc/weak base, E2 with strong base/weak nuc, etc).
     
    #11 1Overdrive, Mar 24, 2014
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2014
  13. DogeDDS

    DogeDDS Wow
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    Edited. Thanks!
     
  14. 1Overdrive

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    Yes, I did mean gchem, I've edited out the post to reflect that. Sorry about that =P. No equations for ochem, I promise.
     
  15. pilotdentist

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    You got a 21 on the actual PAT. How did this compare to your bootcamp PAT scores? Thanks.
     
  16. spr2402

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    Those are awesome scores. You said that you used Chad's videos for Ochem and Gen Chem. Did you use the regular 2012 Gen Chem and Ochem videos, or did you use the HD Gen Chem and Ochem videos found under the DAT videos section? I am trying to decided which ones I should by so that I can start studying for the DAT.
     
  17. 1Overdrive

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    These were my bootcamp scores for PAT: 17/18/18/21/17.

    Much harder than the actual DAT in my opinion.

    I'm not sure. I think they are both the same. I did purchase the subscription for the DAT Videos section though, but I am about 90% sure they are the same.
     
  18. biomolecmed

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    Good job. Congratulations.
     
  19. JHekmati

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    congrats! awesome numbers!
     

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