DAT Breakdown 7/12/2022

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yoda0705

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DAT Breakdown 07/12/2022

Hey everyone! I am super happy to say I am DONE with the DAT! I have always found this group super helpful and wanted to post my #breakdown here. I took the DAT the first time in 2020 and did not have great results. I just retook my test on Tuesday and am over the moon with my scores!

PAT 18 -> 19

QR 14 -> 16

RC 29 -> 24

BIO 16 -> 19

GC 14 -> 21

OC 16 -> 20

TS 16 -> 20

AA 18 ->20

Background: I am a super senior (5th year) with a 3.81 cGPA and a 3.68 sGPA.

First Attempt Breakdown/Summary:

For my first attempt, I solely used DAT Bootcamp. I do believe I set myself up for failure, as I did not have a strong science foundation and attempted to study for the DAT in just 4 weeks. I attempted to follow Ari’s 8-week schedule but ended up condensing it to 4 weeks. I took all 10 practice exams and was not scoring higher than a 15 in any category, except for RC which was a 22-24. Additionally, I was studying for 12-14 hours per day, which led to extreme burnout. I do believe DAT Bootcamp is a good resource IF you follow Ari’s schedule how it is laid out. Unless you have a strong science foundation. If you are using Bootcamp and have a weaker science foundation, you will most likely need to supplement with Professor Dave Explains or Chad. After my first attempt, I felt defeated, and I was crushed. I knew I wanted this so badly, so I decided to keep my chin up and push on. After my first DAT attempt, I aimed to retake Summer of 2021. This was the plan until I got active-duty orders from the Army, which pushed my retake back to this summer.

Second Attempt Materials Used:

DAT BOOSTER! I absolutely loved DAT Booster, especially for the sciences. Professor Dave does an awesome job of explaining concepts thoroughly and starts with the basics at the beginning of each lesson, which I found immensely helpful. I followed the DAT Booster 8-week schedule and allowed myself an extra two weeks at the end for review. When the schedule says Chad’s Videos are optional---WATCH THEM!!!

DAT Booster Crash Courses were awesome. I specifically took the QR crash courses, and they helped so much! My practice test scores in this section went from 13’s to 18’s after the crash course. I believe my 16 on test day was due to nerves. My heart was beating out of my chest knowing my scores were about to pop up after I clicked submit. I am still proud of this score, as I had a two-point improvement from my first attempt.

DAT Bootcamp OC Reaction Bites helped me see patterns within the Organic Chemistry Reactions. Although I loved these, I do not think it is worth paying $497 if this is the only resource you will use from Bootcamp like I did. I hope DAT Booster will create something similar to OC Reaction Bites in the future.

Study Timeline:

I began studying on April 19th and took the exam on July 12th. I followed Booster’s 8-week schedule and allowed myself an extra two weeks to review and retake practice tests. The time I spent studying varied. I would study anywhere from 3-5 hours per day. I was having a difficult time staying focused, so if I could only do three hours, that is all I did. I knew if I did anything beyond that I would just be staring blankly into my computer screen. Three weeks prior to my exam, I found out I have ADHD. This allowed me to realize why I have never had set study habits throughout school, and why I have such a difficult time staying focused. I was determined to score well on the DAT, so I continued with studying and was not going to let ADHD stand in my way.

BIO 19: I utilized Feralis notes, however, I learned the most by taking and retaking DAT Booster practice tests. You start to notice a pattern with the types of questions you could be asked. I had 7-8 questions on my exam that were word-for-word from Booster. I was scoring 17-19 on practice tests. On the 2007 DAT I scored a 21.

QR 16: I took all the practice tests. Since math is my weakest subject, I took exams 1-5 untimed. For exams 6-8, I gave myself one hour. For exams 9 and 10, I did them under timed conditions. By taking exams 1-5 untimed, I allowed myself to see how to solve the problems. Additionally, I took both QR Crash Courses offered by DAT Booster. I saw a 4-point jump in my practice test scores after I completed the crash courses. I was scoring 13’s on the first two exams, and anywhere form 17-18 on the rest. Like I said earlier, I contribute my 16 to nerves and lack of sleep before the exam. I felt the difficulty was similar to Booster, which is why I was expecting at least a 17.

PAT 19: I completed 6 practice tests on Booster. In my opinion, the actual test was MUCH harder. I usually breeze through angles and took 16 minutes on the real exam for angles. Keyholes were a tad easier, I had two rocks. Pattern folding was a tad more difficult; I did not have any dice. Hole punching was a tad easier, and I had two three-folds. In my opinion, cube counting was very difficult. I had a cube structure that appeared to have half faces exposed. I am interested to see if anyone else experienced this. I was scoring 18’s on all practice exams.

RC 24: In all honesty, I did not study for reading. Reading has always been my best subject, and I have always been an avid reader. On the exam, I skimmed the passage for my answers. I had a passage on Alzheimer’s, a passage on the Nervous System. I cannot recall what the third passage was about.

GC 21: I increased this score by 7 points!!! I credit Professor Dave and Chad for this. I have not taken GC since 2018, so I felt rusty. I watched all of Dave’s videos and Chad’s videos that were recommended on the study schedule. I completed all extra questions, and repeated the extra questions for sections I was not feeling confident in. On the exam I had one ICE table and maybe four calculations. The calculations were easy, as they were set up for you. My practice test scores ranged from 17-18. On the 2007 DAT I scored a 19.

OC 20: I am so proud of myself for this. I got Cs in OC during undergrad, so I was hoping for a 19+ on this section. I watched all of Dave’s videos, watched the recommended Chad’s videos, and utilized the Bootcamp OC Reaction Bites. On the exam, I had maybe 3-4 reactions, the rest was mainly conceptual. I was scoring 17-18 on practice exams, and a 22 on the 2007 DAT.

Advice:

If you are preparing to retake the DAT, I want you to know that you can do it! This test is a beast, and I am so happy with my results. What helped me the most this time around was getting out of my own head, believing in myself, and hanging out with friends and family. Even though this test is important, you should not become a house hobbit and give up your social life. Your mental health is important. Best of luck to everyone this cycle. You can do it!

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