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DAT Breakdown 6/12/2014

Discussion in 'DAT Discussions' started by toothshine, Jun 13, 2014.

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  1. toothshine

    toothshine

    141
    43
    May 8, 2014
    Disclaimer: These aren’t super high scores, but I’m happy with how I did! The last time I took the DATs was in 2010, so I don’t remember exact scores. I think TS was 18ish, PAT ~21, RC 25.

    Today’s Results:

    PAT: 21
    QR: 21
    RC: 23
    Bio: 21
    GC: 20
    OC: 20
    TS: 20
    AA: 21

    Achiever/QVault/ADA Practice Test Scores will be listed at the end. (I’ll also discuss those materials at the end as well.)

    To be honest, I’m a bit surprised my bio score was higher than my OC & GC scores, because my OC & GC scores were consistently slightly higher during practice tests. I think it was because towards the end, I focused more time on bio than I did either of the chems… Whoops. But I really can’t complain about my scores.

    Did ~2 months of studying while working part-time, though some weeks it approached full-time work haha.

    Bio: Cliff’s AP, Ferali’s, DAT Destroyer, Achiever, and DATQVault.
    • Cliff’s AP is a great resource to start out with and covers most of what you’ll see on the test. I don’t think any questions came out of left field, and overall I felt okay while going through the test. (My feeling ‘okay' had me nervous, though, because I “felt okay” while going through DATQVault and usually ended up with scores of 19.)
    • Ferali’s Notes are AMAZING. Seriously. If you don’t have it, GO GET IT: http://datbootcamp.com/feralis-biology-notes/ . I didn’t read the whole document - maybe half of it; mainly where my weak points were (so in my case, the renal system, circulatory, etc.). It’s definitely way more detailed than what you’ll see on the DAT, but I found it useful.
    • DAT Destroyer. I went through this ~1.5x. I went over all my answers, right AND wrong. Did TERRIBLY the first go-around, but improved by the second go-around.

    GC: Kaplan’s (I bought the set with the white book off of a friend - at least, I think it’s the white book), DAT Destroyer, Achiever, and DATQVault.
    • I personally thought Kaplan’s was good for GC. I hadn’t taken any classes to do with genchem since 2008 (so like 6 years… whoa, it’s just hitting me now that that’s a long time lol). Covered all the basics. I took handwritten notes on each topic.
    • Once I had refreshed my memory on genchem, I tackled the Destroyer. It’s really important not to get discouraged by the number you’re getting wrong/right here - I was averaging about ~50% on my first try but kept chugging. Went through Destroyer 2.5x.
    • Taking the test, I thought I got lower than an 18. I had marked a lot of questions, so seeing that 20 was a relief.

    OC:
    Kaplan’s (White book?? set), DAT Destroyer, Achiever, and DATQVault.
    • Again, it’d been about 5 years or so since I’d taken organic chem, and I found Kaplan’s to be a good refresher. Kaplan’s flash cards were pretty nifty for studying at any time. I would glance at them whenever I was taking the bus somewhere. Like GC, I took handwritten notes for each of the OC topics in Kaplan’s.
    • Destroyer was great. It’s definitely overkill and you won’t see like 70% of the reactions on the real DAT, but it was good practice and made me more confident in being able to do ochem problems. Just make sure to go over whatever you’ve gotten wrong (and right) and TAKE NOTES.

    Notes on doing well in the science sections:

    • I feel like Google needs a mention here, because I would Google topics I wasn’t sure about - either to find more practice problems or just to understand what in the world was going on. I find it easier to remember things when I have a big picture in my head, vs. just remembering “oh this happens there.” That way, if you have a minor panic attack during the test or encounter something you’ve only vaguely heard of before, you can deduce your way to the right answer (or at least the more correct answer).
    • Whenever you go through Destroyer or Achiever or whatever test program you’re using, TAKE NOTES ON WHATEVER YOU GET WRONG. Heck, I took notes on things I got right but thought was important to know.
    • I had about 10 min left on the science section to go over marked questions, which was surprising to me because I was really slowing down on the GC portion. But thank goodness for the “extra” time because I had the chance to look over marked questions.

    PAT: Crack the DAT PAT, Achiever. I also tried one of DATBootcamp’s tests.
    • People have been saying that CDP is a lot easier than the real DAT, but I found it to be right on point.
    • The angles on the real DAT were pretty challenging for me. I found pattern folding and keyholes easier on the real DAT compared to CDP and definitely compared to Achiever. So for me, CDP and DATQVault were about the same difficulty as the real test, and Achiever PAT was a bit harder.
    • I think I had a 1/3 punch or two, but luckily it wasn’t every single hole-punching question.

    QR: DAT Destroyer QR section, Achiever.
    • I’m not a math person. It’s consistently been one of my worst subjects since elementary school, but the DAT Destroyer QR section was enough for me.
    • I actually thought I bombed the math section - not because I was running out of time, but, uh, funny story… it turns out that when you have a small bladder like me, it’s NOT a good idea to drink all 500mL of water in your water bottle during the break! I usually don’t drink that much at one go but was thirsty after the first half of the exam lol. ANYWAY, point is, I basically spent the second half of the test trying to hold my pee so I was pretty distracted. (I’m sorry if this grosses anyone out; I just think it’s hilarious… though not at the time.)
    • Whenever you encounter a question you don’t know how to solve within the first 5 seconds, MARK IT, select a random answer, and move on to the next question. I guarantee you’ll find a lot easier problems you can solve. I used this method and went through the test, had about 10 min at the end and used it to go over problems I had marked (and corrected a few of them).

    RC:
    • I didn’t prep for this besides the time I spent taking the Achiever tests, so I can’t really offer any solid advice besides do what you feel works best for you. I found it easier to read the passage as I went along because I felt more comfortable answering the questions after getting an idea of the bigger picture.
    • I actually didn’t get any tone questions that I can remember. I think I might have been able to do a little bit better in this section had I not been so focused on trying not to hold my bladder, but maybe not!

    Now for practice test scores - I think this might calm some of you down. I know I needed to take a step back after taking some practice tests, because I was definitely freaking out and didn’t know of anyone with practice test scores like mine vs. how they did on the DAT.

    Achiever Bio / GC / OC TS RC / PAT / QR

    Test 1 15 / 16 / 17 16 17 / 16 / 18

    Test 2 16 / 15 / 15 16 18 / 18 / 18

    Test 3 15 / 16 / 17 16 16 / 18 / 20


    CDP: 18 / 18 / 18 / 18 / 21 / 19 / 19 / 21
    • I didn’t take the last two tests.

    DAT QVault Bio: 18 / 20 / 18 / 18 / 17 / 17 / 20 / 19 / 20 / 17
    DAT QVault GC: 19 / 18 / 19
    DAT QVault OC: 19 / 18 / 19
    • Did all the QVault Bio questions, including the ones that didn’t appear as one of the questions on the 10 tests. I’m wondering if maybe if I had kept working on the OC and GC sections, maybe I could’ve landed a better score, but it’s too late for that now. (I chose to look over Destroyer and my notes instead of practicing QVault GC/OC questions.)
    • I found the GC questions in QVault were a little simpler than what I saw on the real DAT? Just the way they worded the questions, I actually understood a little more what they were asking. Versus the real DAT, where I remember not really understanding what they were trying to get at.

    Bootcamp Bio / GC / OC / PAT
    Free Test 19 / 17 / 16 / 19
    • I took these 2 days/1 day before my test and REALLY FREAKED OUT. If you’re in a similar situation, I’d say… just learn from your mistakes. That’s all you can do. If you feel like you need to reschedule, then reschedule; just make sure you’re making good use of the extra time.
    • I would actually recommend Bootcamp as a resource. I wish I had tried it out earlier; I would have bought this whole package instead of the QVault GC & OC.

    ADA Practice Test 2006 Bio / GC / OC / PAT
    19 / 18 / 22 / 18


    ADA Practice Test 2009 Bio / GC / OC / QR
    19 / 16 / 16 / 16

    I took the ADA 2009 practice test ~2 days before my test. I really would NOT recommend taking practice tests that estimate your score right before you take your actual test, because it’s pretty disheartening to see these scores. But if you take it with a grain of salt and understand what you got wrong, I think you’ll be okay. Also, remember that the 2009 ADA practice test has a couple of mistakes, so be sure to look those up when you’re grading your test.

    Sorry this ended up being super long, but hopefully it helps or at least reassures some of you out there! I’d say the take-home message would be even if you’re getting crappy scores on your practice test, just remember that they are there for you to learn from and improve on! As long as you’re doing the work to make sure you don’t make the same mistakes next time, you’ll be all set.

    Good luck to everyone!
     
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  3. Daneosaurus

    Daneosaurus D2 5+ Year Member

    1,928
    1,428
    Mar 13, 2012
    Nice job! Congrats! Work on the rest of that app!
     
  4. CoFe2

    CoFe2

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    Dec 11, 2013
    Thanks for a great breakdown and sharing all of your scores! You showed amazing improvement in biology compared to your practice exams. Was your key just reviewing the stuff that you got wrong or did you keep re-reading cliffs? I've got about a week and a half left and I would love to improve my average bio score as much as you did!! Thanks for the help and CONGRATS on such an awesome score!!!
     
  5. djwon1

    djwon1 2+ Year Member

    93
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    Apr 21, 2014
    Very solid score & breakdown !!
    Do you mind sharing what topics you got on RC ?
     
  6. TheDanger

    TheDanger 2+ Year Member

    266
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    May 7, 2014
    What's up with people getting 20+ across the board and not thinking they did awesome?? Nice job man.
     
  7. alexis2010

    alexis2010 2+ Year Member

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    May 17, 2014
    Congrats. Very good scores indeed.
     
  8. toothshine

    toothshine

    141
    43
    May 8, 2014
    Thanks everyone for the kind words! I'm glad to be done.

    I only went through Cliff's once and I took notes on it. I think what helped me was going over what I got wrong and trying to understand it - not just read over it and go, "okay, I got it," but actually making sure that I had the concepts down. For example, I was weak on the renal system when I first started, but then using Google/Ferali's/Cliff's, I drew out the renal system and made sure I understood what was happening where, osmolarity of tissue gradient from the cortex to the inner medulla - then I actually started getting practice questions on that topic right.

    I wouldn't re-read the whole book unless you really have the extra time on your hands; I know I don't concentrate as well, so I'd say review the notes you took and brush up on any concepts you still feel like you're weak in. Good luck!!

    I'm not sure I can share the exact topics I got - isn't that against policy? (I remember reading something that said I shouldn't be sharing questions or something.) I will say that I got technology- and science-related topics.

    I got used to seeing scores of 24+ (especially in the sciences) on SDN, so in comparison, it doesn't seem like much and I wasn't sure if anyone would find this useful. (But then I figured, there have to be people like me out there who would be happy with their scores that are around this range, right? I know I would've been encouraged by it had I found a similar thread back when I was studying.) Thanks!
     
  9. Dotoday

    Dotoday 7+ Year Member

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    May 27, 2007
    Good job. Congratulations.
     
  10. omgitsjj

    omgitsjj 5+ Year Member

    28
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    Dec 20, 2011
    Congratulations! Your post was very encouraging for me, I'm taking the test tomorrow. I've been worried about the PAT section since everyone lately has been saying that CDP is outdated. Thanks for sharing!
     
  11. biomolecmed

    biomolecmed 2+ Year Member

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    Apr 7, 2012
    Very nice job. Congratulations.
     
  12. Ari Rezaei

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

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    Mar 14, 2012
    New York, NY
    Congratulations, you have great scores!
     
  13. JHekmati

    JHekmati

    94
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    Jun 24, 2014
    Good job!
     

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