DAT Breakdown and DAT Bootcamp (25AA)

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Carlee Marcuccilli

New Member
Jul 13, 2023
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Hi everyone! I took the DAT on May 24, 2023. I only used DAT Bootcamp and got an Academic Average of 25!! Here is a breakdown of how I studied for each section:

Background: I am a neuroscience major at Indiana University, so I have a strong science background. I have already taken most of the prerequisites for dental school. I followed Ari’s Extended 150 day schedule exactly. While studying, I was enrolled in a full time schedule of undergraduate classes, so I studied over a longer period of time. I began studying in January and took the DAT the end of May. Then, I applied for dental school in June (last month). DAT Bootcamp was amazing. It took me through everything step by step and allowed for endless practice. I spent an extensive amount of time completing everything on Bootcamp, and it totally paid off!

Total Science: 24
Academic Average: 25

PAT: 21
Perceptual Ability was very difficult for me at first. I started out by watching the videos, and then, I just tried to do practice problems as often as I could. Doing practice problems is really the only way to get good at this section. Toward the beginning of studying, I always made sure to watch the video explanation which helped me get down the right process of thinking when going through the problems. Top-front-end questions were always the hardest for me, but after doing endless practice problems, I started to catch on to it. I was nervous to start the practice tests because I was pretty slow. It was helpful to start doing these practice tests earlier so I could see where I was at with each type of problem and especially figure out timing.

QR: 23
I had learned most of the content in Quantitative Reasoning before, but it had been a very long time so I had to relearn everything. I watched the videos and took notes on important information/equations. I completed all of the quizzes. By the time I reached the practice tests towards my last few weeks of studying, I was not doing as well as I wanted - scoring 19-20. The more practice tests I did, the better I got at identifying the types of problems and how to solve each type of problem. Also, I was working too slowly, so I had to start selecting an answer for ones I didn’t know or would take me a long time and focusing on solving ones I could do within a minute. The real test had many problems that were very basic/easier than bootcamp but also had problems that were the same difficulty level as Bootcamp.

RC: 30
I am not a big reader, so reading comprehension had never been my strong suit. I watched the lessons and tested out a few different the methods. I determined the best method for me was to read a few questions, read the passage, answer questions as I found them, and repeat. I always highlighted important information or topics of each paragraph to help with search and find once I had leftover questions. The practice passages and tests were similar in difficulty to the real DAT.

Biology: 26
Biology took up most of my time studying because of how many lessons there were. I watched every video, answered every practice question, and did all of the practice tests. Fortunately, I have an ipad, so I downloaded the pdf notes and took notes directly on them. Once I finished all of the lessons, I immediately started taking practice tests because I was worried about remembering the early lessons that I had learned a few months prior. The practice tests were very helpful for reviewing, especially reading the detailed answers/feedback after answering questions. The feedback always is very helpful for reviewing. Also, for large topics like meiosis/mitosis and development, I drew out my own diagrams to help with recall and reviewing. The real DAT was less difficult than bootcamp, so I felt confident when taking it.

Gen Chemistry: 21
I took a general chemistry class two years prior, so I had a lot of information to review. I, once again, watched all of Mikes videos, completed all practice questions, and took all of the practice tests. It was a bit easier reviewing and preparing with the practice tests because it felt like a good summary. I felt like there were so many little details that I tried to memorize during the videos but ended up not being very important in the big picture. I was not scoring as high as I wanted on practice tests (17-19), but the more tests I did, the better I got. The real DAT was similar in difficulty.

Organic Chemistry: 27
Orgo has been my strong suit as I took three semesters of it recently. This section really just requires memorization of the reagents. I watched all of the videos, answered all of the questions, and completed all practice tests. I used flashcards on quizlet to help review the reactions. Also, while watching the videos, I would draw out the reactions myself. I made a large reaction map that connected all of the reactions. This was very helpful for reviewing and putting all of the information together in one picture. The real DAT was similar in difficulty, maybe a little bit easier.

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