DAT Breakdown!! Advice and encourgament!!

Discussion in 'DAT Discussions' started by kejs, Aug 1, 2011.

  1. kejs

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    Hey everyone! So I just took my exam today and I am beyond ecstatic to be DONEEEE! I want to thank God and SDN for helping me out tremendously and in return, I want to try to help as many people as I can with my breakdown!

    My scores:
    PAT- 18 (55.3%)
    QR- 19 (92.9%)
    RC- 20 (78.5)
    Bio- 20 (91.8%)
    GC- 21 (91.6%)
    OC- 25 (98.4%) :love:
    TS- 21 (96.2%)
    AA- 21 (97.2%)

    Materials used:
    Crack DAT PAT and Reading, DAT Destroyer, Math Destroyer, Achiever, Cliffs AP Bio, Khan Academy (for bio), DATqvault, Chad (I only watched some of his videos), 2007 and 2009 ADA DAT Sample test

    First of all, it is NOT as bad as you will imagine it to be! I know that being on this forum and reading everyone's posts can get a little bit stressful at times but honestly, the DAT is pretty basic in comparison to all of those practice material out there. Nonetheless those practice materials definitely do their job in preparing you for the exam! Just a few days before my exam I was freaking out and literally had a meltdown (lots of tears) thinking I wasn't going to get a good score. Somehow, I was able to remain my composure and stay calm after my big breakdown for the next few days. I recommend staying away from SDN at least 1 week prior to your exam or you're just gonna freak out more. I had to block SDN and Facebook (SDN primarily) while studying so I wouldn't be distracted :laugh:

    Anyways, here are my thoughts on each section and what I did to prepare for each...

    PAT Ok, so this part wasn't that bad. I was hoping for a higher score but I am content with an 18. I was scoring 18-21 on CDP. CDP is definitely the way to go for this section. Like everyone says though, keyhole and TFE were slightly harder than CDP because the keyholes were more focused on figuring out the sizes rather than the dimension as a whole. For TFE, DO NOT rely on line counting! Luckily, I never really relied on this method to start with and I just tried my best to visualize the figures. CDP is still very helpful though for practice. Cube counting, hole punching, pattern folding were on par with CDP. I would say pattern folding focused more on folding together shapes (which in my opinion is much easier) rather than on patterns and shades. Angles....ugh terrible as always. I spent the least time on this. I advise you to do the same. I would say half of it is luck anyways on guessing the right angle.

    QR Math Destroyer definitely prepares you well for this section! I didn't do the last two tests though because they were super duper hard and I thought it would be better to spend that time focusing on the sciences. I took the 2007 and 2009 ADA sample test and thought the questions on the real DAT were slightly harder. Know your conversions and do not try to rely on the calculator! There was a slight lag for me so I couldn't enter numbers really fast. I also lost a minute on this section because I went to go get my laminated sheets exchanged during the small break between reading and math and my proctor didn't bring my laminated sheets on time since he had to sit someone else for their exam so I went back to my computer with the countdown already starting!

    RC I used Crack DAT Reading to help me prepare for this. I would say that you should mainly use Crack DAT Reading to help you with timing and figuring out tone questions. I would say I had 2 tone questions per passage and the rest were pretty much S&D type questions. I basically just tried to read each passage as fast as I could and very quickly jotted down some words from each paragraph although midway through the 2nd passage I realized I was running a bit low on my time and basically employed S&D for the rest of the 2nd passage. While on the 3rd passage, I VERY quickly skimmed everything and then headed straight to the questions. I am very happy with my 20 considering it is a weak area of mine. I scored pretty low on Achiever and only managed to peak at 19 on Crack DAT Reading. Also the passages I received were all scientific in nature but they were not so crazy to comprehend. I would say the 2009 ADA test had passages that were pretty representative for this part.

    Biology Oh man, I was freaking out about this section the most!! I was scoring between 17-19 on DATqvault so I was almost sure I was going to get an 18 or so on the real thing. This section is super random BUT TOTALLY DO-ABLE! There were some questions I had never encountered before in any of my practice materials but if you can deduce which answer choices are wrong and have some common sense then you will be able to derive the correct answer! This is particularly useful for evolution/ecology questions. I had no questions on plants at all (kinda bummed since I reviewed it pretty well) and a couple of taxonomy questions which were really easy. I had one question that was WORD FOR WORD taken from one of the ADA sample test! (Sorry I don't remember if it was from 2007 or 2009 but I know it was definitely from one of them). There was also another question that was also taken right out of Destroyer!

    What I found EXTREMELY helpful in preparing for bio was taking my own notes and DRAWING everything out!! I went through each section of Cliffs and made my own notes (nothing more than 2 pages for each) with plenty of diagrams. I am a very visual learner and this really helped me learn bio because it was my weakest science subject to start with. I also used Khan Academy to supplement and watched all of his bio videos and took notes from him as well. I think he's really great at explaining everything in a very easy to understand and condensed version…I even learned the immunology portion from him! But seriously, if you are a visual learner (and even if you're not, you should try it) take out some colored pens/pencils/markers and draw your bio notes out visually. Using different colors for different concepts and words, I was actually able to visualize all the material I wrote from my notes as I was studying and doing bio questions. Even if you can find the diagram or table online or in a book, you will without a doubt memorize the material better if you write it out yourself! Just one example, for the taxonomy classification portion, I basically copied Cliffs version and their table but I used different colors for each and drew some weird stuff next to each one to help me remember that "Oh, Platyhelminthes are acoelomates and Nematodes are pseudocoelomates and etc." Bio really isn't that specific like Achiever and I thought it was even slightly easier than DATqvault. With maybe 1 or 2 really random and specific questions aside, bio is do-able.

    Chem I thought this section was hard compared to the 2007 and 2009 test. I had 2 questions where I actually had to do some calculations (not fun :() although they would have been really easy otherwise if I had a calculator. I came in with a pretty strong background in chem so I mainly used Destroyer to help prepare me in this section. I watched some of Chad's videos on this mainly because I heard a lot of people talking about how talented he was at teaching chem and did not want to miss out on some good stuff just in case. His quizzes were much more beneficial to me though since I mostly understood a lot of the stuff in his videos. I would say if chem is a weak point for you, watch Chad's videos!

    Organic Chem YAY! I was so excited to see my orgo score! Let me tell you, it was definitely the easiest section out of all of them (at least for me). Might I add, I got solid B's in all of my orgo classes and labs so getting the 25 was definitely a big redeeming moment for me :) I had maybe 3 questions on lab techniques and NMR but they were easy and basic. Overall, know you acidities and boiling points. If you know the roadmaps on Destroyer and watch Chad's videos (I mainly used his quizzes, didn't really watch his orgo videos), then you should be good to go!

    Also on Achiever, I was scoring 16-18 overall on all of my tests which brought me down a bit but just know that Achiever is totally not representative of the real DAT at all! In fact, it's the one thing I would recommend NOT getting since it's super hard and doesn't accurately gauge your scores at all!

    Allrighty, so that's my breakdown! I hope it is of some help to people! To those who are super nervous/scared, please don't be! If you put in all of your efforts and really invest your time into studying, you WILL do well! Do not freak out and get frustrated when you see a million questions on this forum regarding weird, complex questions that you have no idea how to do. When you take the exam, just have confidence in yourself and go in with a positive attitude...it really helps. Also, I studied on average 6 hours everyday for about 2 and a half months. Sacrifices had to be made on my social life (as if I really had one to begin with lol) but now that I'm done, I'm ready to have some rest and relaxation!

    Let me know if you have any other questions! I would be more than happy to help you :)

    Cheers!
     
    #1 kejs, Aug 1, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2011
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  3. nondescriptive

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    Great score and breakdown!!! Solid across the board.
     
  4. tayloreve

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    Wowza. Good job. Especially ochem. What's your GPA?
     
  5. rmm30

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    Way to go! I would kill for that score. What did you use as source material to study/review Ochem if you didn't watch Chad.? Whatever it was it seemed to do the trick.
     
  6. LetsGo2DSchool

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    Great score and great breakdown!
     
  7. kejs

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    Thanks everyone!

    tayloreve- I won't be applying this cycle but my overall GPA is 3.5 and my science is also around there as well. Hopefully they will both go up within the next year :)

    rmm30- I did Destroyer and went over it 3x to study for gen chem and orgo and then did Chad's quizzes 2x. I just finished my last orgo 2 class in the spring so most of it was fresh in my mind. It also helped that along my orgo 1 and 2 class, I made a list of my own reactions that I encountered throughout each chapter. These reactions are basically what you see on Destroyer roadmaps and Chad's study guides...just organized in my own manner to help me memorize and study.
     
  8. Clancyp

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    Congrats! Cant wait to be done, mines tomorrow! Glad you said that about achiever, Ive been down and expecting 17s since I took the tests! Congrats again, go enjoy yourself!
     
  9. NewBee12

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    Congrats man. Awesome scores
     
  10. Vsno123

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    Thanks for this post! I think I'm in the same position you were. SDN is starting to make me nervous. I've made a point to stop looking at DAT breakdowns and only use SDN for any questions I have from my practice material. (I only opened yours because it said the word "encouragement" on it lol). I've been doing Kaplan exams but I've need something harder so I'm taking my first Achiever test this week...:rolleyes:
     

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