Aug 26, 2015
6
4
Status
Pre-Dental
Perceptual Ability 19
Quantitative Reasoning 17
Reading Comprehension 21
Biology 18
General Chemistry 18
Organic Chemistry 25
Total Science 19
Academic Average 20


Study materials:
DAT Destroyer
DAT Destroyer Organic Chemistry Odyssey
CrackDAT Reading Comprehension
DAT Bootcamp
Chad's Videos
DAT QVault
Feralis Notes
TopScore

Before I begin, I'd like to thank the SDN community for this amazing site with plenty of useful information. I'd also like to thank Dr.Romano as his books were so helpful to me, especially the Organic Odyssey. Studying for this exam did not come easy. Let me tell you something. Do NOT take a practice test score to heart. Yes, they may predict where you are at in the moment but they do not signal accurately how you will do on the real test. Unfortunately, my practice test scores brought me down and I freaked out so much that I almost decided to cancel taking my test. I was really hoping to get a 20 on a single top score exam but did not once. My biggest worry was reading comprehension. My first practice test score for reading was a 15. I struggled my second semester in organic chemistry and became so nervous while studying for that section on the DAT. I learned that the key is to be PERSISTENT and don't give up. Surround yourself with loving people!!! It would've been really hard for me to not cancel my test if it weren't for my family who encouraged me on my worst days. No matter what, keep trying and you will be surprised on test day. I struggled immensely with test anxiety on the day of my test so please, PLEASE be calm while taking yours. It will help a lot. I know there are so, so many other posts with much higher scores than mine but I wanted to write this post only to encourage and give hope to others who have trouble staying focused/are easily distracted, dwell on terrible past test taking experiences, and deal with worries while studying for the DAT.

Breakdown:
Biology- Cliffs is good for background information but there's a lot of extra stuff in there. I spent too much reading into unnecessary details. It was hard for me to remember what I read but Destroyer did an excellent job to reinforce the concepts. I really wish I started Destroyer in the beginning of my studies. So learn from my mistakes and use Destroyer as a learning tool, not as test questions (that's why I saved it until the end). I used it too late into my studies. Some questions are almost exactly the same on the real exam as other SDNers have said too. I was so shocked! Know destroyer very well and Feralis notes in the physiology section is really good. DAT QVault is very user-friendly and their taxonomy handouts are amazing. but DESTROYER stood out to me when I did the questions in the end.
Side note: as this was the first section, my sympathetic nervous system was really acting up. Read each question carefully with a calm mind. My heart was beating so fast I'm pretty sure it took a toll on me here. :dead:Oh, also, study your hormones.
General Chemistry- Chad's videos and quizzes. He does a solid job. Destroyer for this section seemed overkill like other SDNers have said. Majority of the questions felt straightforward. Not sure what happened, probably careless errors. Again, stay calm as it was hard for me to do here. More conceptual questions than calculations... but it may be different for you. Have a notebook with questions/answers you got wrong.
Organic Chemistry- Chad's videos and quizzes. He makes everything easy to understand!! Make flashcards of reagents you forget. Then, move onto destroyer. I went through some of the destroyer and literally got destroyed. I was so unhappy so I put it aside and decided to work on Odyssey. For those of you who struggle with organic, I highly, HIGHLY recommend the Odyssey. Put the questions you got wrong in your notebook and review. If you get it wrong again, mark it somehow and only review those. Road maps were very useful in my opinion; review them. NMR covered in Odyssey was amazing too as I really sucked at NMR when I took the course at my college. After finishing most of Odyssey, the Destroyer felt a lot easier. Also, DAT Bootcamp's video explanations were on point. :claps:
Reading Comprehension- I used DAT Bootcamp to start off with and my scores were all between 15-18. There were only 5 tests so I looked up on SDN what people used for reading comprehension for additional practice. I recommend CracktheDAT Reading Comprehension (10 tests). There are a lot of assumption, tone, and inference questions but I guarantee these tests will help you with your reading speed and search and destroy method by the time you take your real test. Be open and experiment different methods until you feel confident with one. Mapping did not work at all for me. Pure s&d did not either. Here is what I did in this order:
  1. Only read the first couple lines of each paragraph. Keep a mental map of places, dates, and people while skimming through.
  2. Read the entire first and last paragraph. (I disregarded the first paragraph while using CracktheDAT and realized how much information is found just from reading the first paragraph. The last paragraph is good because it summarizes the author’s standpoint.)
  3. Use search and destroy. Rapidly skip pointless words and keep your eyes focused on key terms. Go through each question one by one. If you can’t find the answer within a minute, skip it and come back. You will find the answer to that question when you answer the other questions.
Perceptual Ability- DAT Bootcamp. That's all you need! Use those generators like crazy. Every day. I regret skipping some days to work on science sections. I thought TFE was impossible to do when I first started and after discovering Bootcamp's generator, I was so, so relieved. Take advantage of it! However, I'm pretty sure my points were lost from Angles and Keyholes. I always struggled with those. So keep practicing DAILY (can't stress that enough) on your weak spots.
Quantitative Reasoning- The struggle is real. Haven't taken a math course in 3 years so this was difficult. I don't have much to say for this section because I did not feel prepared for this. I used Math Destroyer in the end but did not have time to thoroughly review questions I got wrong. From what I hear though, understanding and reviewing Destroyer is more than enough. I liked DAT Bootcamp's formula sheet. Know your trig.

If you made it this far into my breakdown, I applaud you! :joyful: Sorry for such a long post! For those who doubt and worry like I do, I hope you gained hope from this post! I did not get a single 20, which I was truly hoping for, on any of the three practice top score tests and I felt even more terrible because I imagined it was going to be like that or worse on test day. Again, don't take practice scores seriously. The key: do whatever it takes to stay calm and be confident. I learned it's all about the mindset you have! Wake up in the morning each day and tell yourself that you can do it. Why? Because you can. Don't give up and you WILL be surprised with yourself on test day. Let me know if you have any questions or comments. Good luck! :clap:

"Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and he will establish your plans." Proverbs 16:3 :highfive:
 
Last edited:

enamel88

5+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Mar 24, 2012
519
209
CA
Status
Dental Student
Congrats on being finished and great breakdown!!! I hope your parasympathetic system kicked in by now ;) Thanks for the encouragement and also the Bible verse on the bottom is whats keeping me sane :cool:
 

htorres89

5+ Year Member
Sep 15, 2014
236
139
Congratulations. Wish you well in the interview process. Just curious, what were your QVAULT scores for Biology? I keep on scoring pretty low on them(15's) and its freaking me out because my test is in 10 days.

Also how were you scoring on DAT Bootcamp?
 
OP
C
Aug 26, 2015
6
4
Status
Pre-Dental
Congrats on being finished and great breakdown!!! I hope your parasympathetic system kicked in by now ;) Thanks for the encouragement and also the Bible verse on the bottom is whats keeping me sane :cool:
Haha yes yes it sure did! Thank you! Glad you enjoyed reading it!
 
OP
C
Aug 26, 2015
6
4
Status
Pre-Dental
Thank you! I averaged around 17 on QVAULT. Don't worry about those scores. Make sure you utilize the save questions button on there! Biology section is always iffy as you never know what you'll get. Have you been using the Destroyer for Biology section as well?
I don't have my written scores on me at the moment but I'll check when I can and let you know!
 
OP
C
Aug 26, 2015
6
4
Status
Pre-Dental
Congratulations. Wish you well in the interview process. Just curious, what were your QVAULT scores for Biology? I keep on scoring pretty low on them(15's) and its freaking me out because my test is in 10 days.

Also how were you scoring on DAT Bootcamp?
Thank you! I averaged around 17 on QVAULT. Don't worry about those scores. Make sure you utilize the save questions button on there! Biology section is always iffy as you never know what you'll get. Have you been using the Destroyer for Biology section as well?
I don't have my written scores on me at the moment but I'll check when I can and let you know!
 
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