Jan 5, 2016
59
24
Hi All,

I've been a lurker for a while and I'm also a non-traditional applicant. I haven't taken gen chem & gen bio since 2007 or orgo since 2009. I was a bio major in undergrad and received my Master's in 2013 in public health (concentration in biomedical sciences) in 2013, so it's been a while since I've taken any classes. This whole process was a big undertaking for me and I needed to re-learn everything from gen chem and orgo, but I figured with all the input from the SDN community and how they raved about the available materials I should be able to get it done. Here's a breakdown of my scores:

BIO - 23
GC - 19
OC - 24
PAT - 21
RC - 21
QR - 19
TS - 22
AA - 21


Bio: Very few regurgitating facts questions and more about applying what you know. The bio section was random, I think I was lucky since I didn't get any questions about plants and few detailed questions about taxonomy. Know the first few chapters of Cliff's like the back of your hand. I think a majority of my bio section was mostly knowing everything up to heredity. For bio I used Cliff's 3rd (pdf and book) supplemented with Ferrali's (and associated flashcards through the Anki app), Course Saver bio quizzes, DAT Bootcamp, and Crash Course. The book was full of typos and missing reactions and graphics. How did this get the okay to be published? (version was 2009). The week before the test I reread the Cliff's and watched all of Crash Course after each chapter. Crash Course definitely answered one of my questions that I may not have known if I didn't watch the series. Thanks Hank!

GC: Thought I would do better in this sections. Went through Destroyer 3 times for the GC section and understood all the content. Watched all of Chad's 3 times and took all the quizzes. The wording on the questions was a little strange. I used mainly Course Saver/Chad's, DAT Destroyer, and DAT Bootcamp for GC.

OC: I don't know how I did it to be honest. Orgo was never my strong suit, but Chad is the man. My bald brother taught me everything I needed to know. I utilized DAT Destroyer's must know reactions and roadmaps and finished half the problems. I also used DAT Bootcamp's orgo sections to figure out where my weaknesses were. After watching Chad's 3 times, I drew out all the reactions and made copies of the half done reactions so I could draw out the product. I did this probably 15 times with the sheets I made. I felt like this was huge for me and definitely helped me with the synthesis. Too bad I had maybe 5 total synthesis questions. Don't skip the DAT Bootcamp questions where they want a product, but only give you the name of the reactants and not the drawings. I had to draw out a lot of structures and was only given the names.

PAT: Angles and folding were easier than Bootcamp and hole punches were just as hard. TFE and keyhole were similar in difficulty too. DAT Bootcamp is the best resource for this. Know the line of symmetry and cube counting methods and practice. I also used DAT Mastery app for practicing PAT on the go.

RC: Only did RC once prior to the DAT and that was during the one full length Bootcamp test I took. Two of the passages weren't bad and pretty interesting. The longest one (16 paragraphs) was extremely dense but had straight forward questions. The shortest passage (7 paragraphs) had a majority of the questions including the tonal and statement/reason questions. Read first, highlighted important parts, then searched and destroyed.

QR: Ran out of time and ended up guessing on about 7 questions. Prayed for no Trig, got 3 trig questions. So don't slack on any of the sections. Used Chad's to brush up and Math Destroyer for practice questions. Math Destroyer is most similar to this section.

Thoughts on the DAT: Strikethrough feature is fantastic. Use this as much as possible. It definitely helps when you mark a question and come back to it. The laminated sheets and markers they give you suck. They couldn't spring for fine point? These will fill up quick since you can't really write small. One of my markers was pretty dried out so make sure they're fine before you start your test. I had time before I even started the tutorial to set up my sections for the hole punching and cube counting. I'd suggest doing the tutorial so you know how to use the strikethrough (right mouse click) and highlight feature.

I was convinced I was going to get a 16 the morning of the test. Panic mode set in but once the test started it was game time. I put in the work so I knew I was able to reap the rewards. I started reviewing bio in the Fall using Cliff's + Ferralis. Once I went through the book and took meticulous notes I moved on to Ari's 10 week guide (I went way over 10 weeks) which I followed for the most part up until all the science review was completed. I work full time and only had nights and weekends to study. I did all this while planning a wedding (and getting married) and making my poor wife suffer through my lack of social life. After the wedding I went back and chugged through Destroyer and Course Saver. Chad's and Bootcamp are definitely worth it. Destroyer is a great tool as well, but don't let it discourage you. If I could do it while working a full time job, planning a wedding, and not taking classes in years so can you. Thank you to everyone who's posted their DAT breakdowns and big shout out to Ari. You the real MVP. Time to enjoy what's left of the upstate NY summer.
 

O Gaúcho

2+ Year Member
Jul 14, 2014
519
321
Status
Dental Student
Congrats! Those are awesome scores! I always wonder what my scores would be if I got a different test. I feel like my RC was pretty easy compared to what some people get and my bio was insane. Super random facts about things I've never even seen in destroyer or boot camp.
 
OP
D
Jan 5, 2016
59
24
Congrats! Those are awesome scores! I always wonder what my scores would be if I got a different test. I feel like my RC was pretty easy compared to what some people get and my bio was insane. Super random facts about things I've never even seen in destroyer or boot camp.
In my orgo section I had one question that had the full reaction drawn out including reactants and products (it was some cycloalkane) and the next question was a "what reactant creates this product". It was the same exact synthesis as the question before with just one more carbon in the cycloalkane. I had to double take. But hey, it was a nice gimme question lol
 
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O Gaúcho

2+ Year Member
Jul 14, 2014
519
321
Status
Dental Student
Out of curiosity, like what? How bad could it be? Did they ask you to name a dinosaur lol?
Not quite that extreme lol. Everyone gets a few of those crazy random fact questions, but my test seemed to have an excessive amount of those questions. I'm not making excuses and I am sure if I was more prepared those questions wouldn't seem so random. It was more of a food for thought idea how each test is unique and there is some luck that goes into which test you happen to get and how prepared you are for that specific one. And the only way to prepare is to prepare for everything! So it goes back to me probably not being as prepared for bio as I should have.
 
Jul 31, 2016
27
13
Status
Pre-Dental
Not quite that extreme lol. Everyone gets a few of those crazy random fact questions, but my test seemed to have an excessive amount of those questions. I'm not making excuses and I am sure if I was more prepared those questions wouldn't seem so random. It was more of a food for thought idea how each test is unique and there is some luck that goes into which test you happen to get and how prepared you are for that specific one. And the only way to prepare is to prepare for everything! So it goes back to me probably not being as prepared for bio as I should have.
This test literally seems like it's 50% what you know 50% how much good karma you have on test day lol
 
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LuckBloodandSweat

2+ Year Member
May 26, 2015
1,368
835
Status
Dental Student
Grats! It seems like you've been on a long journey! I hope you get into dental school soon!!