DAT Breakdown (AA 24/TS 25)

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Apr 5, 2022
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(AA 24/ TS 25) Hello! I hope all is well. I took my DAT in Feb 2022, and finally got the time to do a proper breakdown. I used BC for the majority of my preparation; I hope this helps you. :)

PAT (18): This was my lowest section, but while taking the exam, I thought I would get perhaps a 16/17 (it was brutal). My strategy was to skip to angle ranking, as this was my strength, go till pattern folding and then return to keyhole/TFE. Unfortunately, the original strategy that I was using for angle ranking didn't work, and I ended up taking a lot more time on this section, making me panic for the other sections as I was running out of time. Also, I think I got 2-3 rock keyholes. I studied by watching the videos first, doing the question banks, and then moved onto practice tests. My recommendation: don't get comfortable with just one technique; know the other methods and apply them throughout your practice.

QR (22): The difficulty level is the same as BC. I studied by watching the videos and doing the related questions from the bank; after I finished them all, I moved on to the practice tests. I also wrote down re-occurring formulas/concepts on post-it notes and had them taped on my wall. My recommendation: know when to skip a problem - this can only be understood through practice, practice, practice. You know your strengths and weaknesses when you practice repeatedly, which will help you bag maximum correct questions.

RC (21): The passages and questions were more manageable than BC, but somehow I scored lower than my average on BC (23/24). I used the BY4U method during my studying because I am a very slow reader, but honestly, the passages were so interesting in the exam that I read them fully and had enough time to do the questions. My recommendation: If you only have a laptop right now, please please get a mouse (like a plug-in one, nothing fancy). What really helped me was highlighting as I read any dates, names, fact type statements, or opinion type statements. I would *not* recommend marking too many questions because the lag time is so awful that you will run out of time - so highlight, find the answer, mark it, and move on.

Biology (26): The questions are less detailed than BC, but that does not mean you should not take the time to understand the details of the questions - especially why some questions are right or wrong. I printed out the condensed version of the BC notes and read through them while doing annotations here and there. I then did the questions from the bank, but felt this was not enough to make me confident - so in my free time, I did bio bites for topics I was uncertain about. There were some topics and questions which I just couldn't nail down, so I took the help of youtube vids for better understanding. I also used DAT Booster for their bio practice tests and saw an overlap between concepts from Booster and BC - both were great with this section. My recommendation: Talk aloud - teach yourself, teach the wall, teach stuffed animals. Bio is about reinforcing concepts and details because the information is *a lot*. During the exam, I was able to talk myself through the options in my head and use the cross-out feature to confidently choose my option and move on.

GC (24): I felt like BC had a lot more calculations, but the exam was more conceptual. To study, I watched Dr. Mike's videos, did the questions bank, and made notes of anything he said to *memorize* and had that taped to my wall. I then moved on to practice tests. I would review the practice tests by briefly writing the question on a sheet of paper and then writing the thought process of how I can reach the answer (Dr. Mike's video explanations are excellent for this). I would then staple the "test" together and review it during my free time - this way, the concepts, and thought processes were fresh in my head. My recommendation: do not neglect GC when you start studying for Ochem, I made that mistake, and it was a bump in my studying.

Ochem (26): I was surprised by this score, given how much ochem made me cry in undergrad. I did the same thing as GC: I watched Dr. Mike's videos, annotated on the provided note sheet, and did the question bank. My recommendation: use the reaction condensed reaction sheet to make flashcards (cut the flashcard in half, and each half is a reaction). One card can be dedicated to "what is the product of this reaction," and the other could be "what reactants can get me this product." I also made flashcards for the lab tests.

Closing thoughts: hard work does pay off, so please keep studying! I was able to travel to India (after nine years) following my exam, and this score made my travel even better. A big thank you to Ari and the Bootcamp team!! Happy studying!


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Jul 13, 2021
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Thank you for the detailed feedback! Was there anything you felt BC lacked in preparing you for the actual DAT?
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