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DAT Breakdown, FINALLY! I can join the "DAT DONE" thread starters !

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JonLee

JonLee
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First of all, I want to give thanks to all my friends and family for all the support they have given me, without them, my DAT "journey" would've been a lot more difficult than it was. Also, huge thanks to all the support I've gotten from SDNers and all the helpful info on here!

I got so much great information from here that I feel it's only right I give back.

I originally was shooting for 18s across the board, but I was pleasantly surprised when I finished:

PAT-19
QR-20
RC-22
Bio-21
GC-19
OC-21
TS-20
AA-21

Ok, so the reason I aimed low (18s) was I felt extremely underprepared. No joke, this is how my studying for the DAT played out:

1) Summer of 2011(Just finished sophomore year and ochemII)-I bought Barron's DAT Prep Book (sucks btw) and barely got through that... was busy working and having fun (big mistake imo).
My advice:
motivate yourself and suck it up and study for the DAT during the summer when you actually have time! I finished ochem by the end of my sophomore year, so the original plan was to study during the summer and take it while ochem was still fresh in my head.. Didn't work out that way for me...BIGG Mistake.

2) Fall 2011-I told myself I would study for the DAT throughout the semester and take it at the end of winter break. Didn't work out... with classes and all your ECs, if you study intensely for the DAT like you should, it will probably be pretty difficult to maintain a good GPA. Over winter break, I had a month, and could have done it at the end. Once again, my self discipline sucked and I ended up only finishing the bio section of KBB (Took thorough notes on it though):sleep:.

3) So Spring 2012 of my junior year starts, and I made a New Years resolution to not procrastinate on this any further and I signed up for the DAT today, March 10, the Saturday at the end of my Spring Break.

I don't know why it happens this way, but when I procrastinate on studying for tests till a few days before, my work ethic does a complete 360 and I am like in the zone...I've yet to be screwed over by procrastination on tests, and I guess that is why I resort back to the dreaded ways -.-

I vow to not procrastinate on studying for things any further (starting tomorrow, jk, :D)

But yeah, studying throughout this semester was also hard as balls... On top of classes, I am interning with a dentist (super fun :D), trying to keep my club organized (I know it might not seem like it, but I am a super organized person, I just don't make the best decisions when it comes to deciding between spending large quantities of my time in solitude vs going out), research and working out.

Doing all the aforementioned stuff, I was always tired, and if I studied it was always after 9pm when everything was done or on weekends.

As you can imagine, it was hard as hell, and I was tired as hell all the time. That is why I STRONGLY advise you guys that haven't taken the DAT to do so over the summer!

I know it's easier said than done, but seriously, it is sooo hard and soooo stressful to do get adequate prep while in school.

Honestly, I don't think I had adequate prep in most people's eyes, but I guess miracles are possible :)


My prep materials-KBB, DAT Destroyer, CDP, Organic Chemistry as a Second
Language

PAT
KBB is ok for review, but do NOT just use this book to prepare. The practice tests lean towards the easy side compared to the real DAT.

CDP-Amazing, I got the royal flush addition and practiced a gazillion cc, hole punch and angle problems.
The actual PAT Apertures was much harder than CDP for me. From what I remember, a lot of the figures had different proportions, that was really annoying, especially because time is a big issue.
CC was slightly harder, Angles was slightly easier (than the 3 degree difference problems on CDP), Pattern folding was slightly harder, and TFE was about the same. Hole punching was also slightly harder in the sense that the diagrams are a lot smaller than CDP's and they had a couple "orgami" folds...

My advice for prep in this: work on your timing! I almost ran out of time, because I spent way to much time on the apertures... You can definitely shave off a lot of your time (and score high) in cc and holepunching. For cc, practice a lot and get used to being able to instantly recognize how many sides are exposed, like if you see a cube sitting on the very top of the stack with only one cube beneath it, you should know it has 5 sides exposed. If you can speed through this section by being able to instantly recognize everything, the extra time is invaluable for double checking problems that require more inspection.
Also, I didn't think it was possible, but getting through the Hole punch section under 10 minutes is a must. Practice on CDP a lot! I combined CDP's "unfolding" visual with a little tool of my own: I bought post it notes and a hole puncher and worked out problems that I couldn't get. This was so helpful in adding a kinesthetic sense and a much more visual aspect to the studying.

I did 5 CDP tests, my scores were:
16/16/18/18/21
It's really all you need. The reason I didn't score as high on it was that this dumb came in right after I started, and started POUNDING on the keyboard... I put in my earplugs to no avail... I should have asked for headphones because I got them after my break and with the combination of the earplugs and their headphones, I couldn't hear her at all!

QR-
I have always been strong at math, so the only prep I did was doing 100 problems from Destroyer. I hear math destroyer is the bomb, so those of you weak in math should get that.
Also, keep in mind that the 20 I got was after I skipped virtually every trig problem (5 of them -_-). If you can get about 25-26 right, you are golden. If you get stuck, skip it because you want to see all the problems before time is up.

The calculator sucks btw. It is laggy and the same as the caclulator shown in this tutorial:
http://www.ada.org/dat.aspx

The DAT will look exactly like that btw.
RC

-I used CDR (Crack DAT Reading). Only did two tests though, got an 18/19.
The passages I had were two science, 1 non-science.
The non science was basically like a history channel documentary put into article form (it was about hurricanes)... was super easy to retain the info.
The second science was about bacteria, and it was super easy imo because some of the questions could've been answered just from knowing your bio!
The last passage was crazy for me... It took up a lot of my time... It was about some crazy chemistry experiment that exploring the theories behind lasers.... This one was like reading a piece of primary literature (little easier), but still very bland (too me). One thing is for sure, it helps a LOT if you are interested in the passage you are reading. It worked wonders for my retention in the first to passages, but when i started the 3rd passage, my initial thought was "this **** is going to be so boring"...

Search and Destroy will definitely work for a majority of the questions, but about 10 of them require you to understand the article and infer things.

This section was a big surprise for me cause I suck at reading (lowest part on SAT), but hey, I am not complaining.
I am not a fast reader, but I still did ok :)
I read through each passage at a moderate pace (didn't skim) and I feel like that also worked wonders for my retention rather than skimming each article and saving 5-6 mins at most.

BIO
]
-KBB for priming. I took thorough notes on the BIo section and semi-thorough notes on the chemistries, I don't think it will be near as enough prep though by itself.

-Destoryer-A-A-Amazinggggg!!
If you know this book inside and out, you will do great. I saw a lot of destroyer questions in bio verbatum almost. The thing here is that you need to know why an answer in destroyer is correct. There are great explanations in the back. Know them, and if you understand the concepts of all the ansewrs and answer choices, you will be golden.

GC

-I read the KBB part of chem earlier this semester, than just did Destroyer problems over SB. No joke, I got destroyed... I was feeling very discouraged till I learned how much harder the Destroyer chem is compared to the real DAT (IT IS A LOT HARDER). I finished all the problems, and started making note cards of all the ones where I had trouble remembering the calculations done or a concept.. unfortunately I only made 100 note cards out of 250+ that I probably needed. Was kind of surprised I didn't score higher though, I have always been strong at chem. But yeah, if you know destroyer inside and out, you will surely ace this section.

Ochem


-No joke, I thought I was screwed for this part of the test. I only had time to do and understand 50 questions of Destroyer. (I made notecards of each question though and understood it fully). I was super surprised with my OC score!

-Not gonna lie, Ochem as a 2nd language (I and II) are sooo helpful. It's been a year since I finished ochem, and I hadn't looked at it since I finished, so I was SUPER rusty... These books helped me re-understand the concepts (is that even a word?), than I memorized all the road maps in Destroyer. But like many other posters have said, if you know the questions from Destroyer inside and out, you are set! Btw, I didn't get any spec questions, but I wouldn't risk not studying it, cause you never know!

Other random tips:
-You can bring your own personal earplugs
-The headphones at the center hurt your ear after a while, but are well worth it if someone is pounding on the keyboard like the girl next to me was during my PAT:mad:
-If I had to redo this whole thing, I would definitely have taken a sleeping pill around 6 or 7 pm yesterday. I'm sure most people will be like me and be panicked (probably not to the extent I was) but yeah, I had a HARD time sleeping last night... Only got 4 and a half hours!
-The Test center was a little cold, so glad I wore an undershirt. Definitely wear something comfortable since you will be sitting for about 4 and a half hours.

-This isn't a tip, but for you nervous people that need to know everything about test day (I know I did).
When you get to the center, you sign in first on a sheet, get a locker to put all your stuff in, than you wait till the workers process other people taking tests (People will be there for all kinds of tests, GRE, MCAT, LSAT...). They call your name, you go into the office, and they take a scan of your right and left index fingers (3x each). Than they take a picture of you give you your "Scrap Paper" and you are good to go. I don't know if all centers are like this, but instead of a whiteboard, I got laminated graph paper and fine tip sharpies as my "scratch paper". You are now on your way to acing the DAT :):thumbup:
def visit your test center in advance so you won't be in a dilemma looking for it on test day.

By the way, here is a video of what test day will be like:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g5RHoCOfgpc

Last but not least, believe you can do it and keep calm. Panicking mid test will only hurt you. I seriously was feeling down after my PAT, but didn't lest that get to me and made up on the second half of the test!

Also let me reiterate NOT to procrastinate and study early!

I am happy to answer any questions you other SDNer's might have!

Also, I am going to set up a blog to help organize some of the most helpful threads on here! I probably won't get started on it just yet, but for future references, here is the URL:
http://acedat.blogspot.com/

Please send in any helpful ideas you have for categories via PM! Thanks and hope this thread helps!

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good job! i read your post couple days ago about taking it today
im glad you did a great job.
man im taking dat on may and i cannot wait to write breakdown!! lol
again CONGRATS
 
Last edited:
good job! i read your post couple days ago about taking it today
im glad you did a great job.
man im taking dat on may and i cannot wait to right breakdown!! lol
again CONGRATS

Thanks! :D

And good luck!
 
Great thread! congrats on getting great scores! I applaud you for working so hard and look what happen! you did great and you deserve the grade you got. Good job! :thumbup:

So how many hours did you put in a week?
taking mine mid-april. may I borrow your brain til then? :rolleyes:
 
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Great thread! congrats on getting great scores! I applaud you for working so hard and look what happen! you did great and you deserve the grade you got. Good job! :thumbup:

So how many hours did you put in a week?
taking mine mid-april. may I borrow your brain til then? :rolleyes:

Thanks! Still can't believe it's over haha feels so surreal 0.o

Honestly, I probably did 1 to 2 hours at most on school days and than about 4-5 on weekends. The past week (Feb 29-Mar 9) I got out for SB and spent about 8 hours each day studying.

Definitely go over Destroyer, it helped so much.

I feel like I have a pretty good background in science but regardless, Destroyer kicked my ***. Don't get discouraged like I was. It really prepares you for the sciences! I made as many note cards for questions that were difficult for me as time would allow.

You still got time on your side, so use it wisely!
I'm not gonna lie, of the "8 hour study days" I had, I was not 100% productive haha I'd get distracted and go on Facebook or play games on my phone 0.o So I caution you there. I studied in my room at home (prob not the best idea also haha) most days... Should have gone to the library but hey, no one is a machine..
Also, I had no social life the past 3 months, so just suck it up and get her done! (It super sucks, but worth it when you get good scores right?)
GL!:thumbup:
 
Ohh god! lols I dont know how you had an active facebook account. Couldnt take the distraction the first week I started (jan 2) and deactivated it for a while. Man, I study 6-8 hr on weekday and 12+ hour on weekends and I still feel very unproductive (even though I lock myself in the library all day). Teach me your secret! I need to know how to do well haha! :laugh:

Congrats again ;) ohh and ill def. check your post from time to time for tips. thanks for that as well.
Also, planned my DAT date after my springbreak.
 
Ohh god! lols I dont know how you had an active facebook account. Couldnt take the distraction the first week I started (jan 2) and deactivated it for a while. Man, I study 6-8 hr on weekday and 12+ hour on weekends and I still feel very unproductive (even though I lock myself in the library all day). Teach me your secret! I need to know how to do well haha! :laugh:

Congrats again ;) ohh and ill def. check your post from time to time for tips. thanks for that as well.
Also, planned my DAT date after my springbreak.

I know right... facebook..:nono:

It seems like you will kill the DAT if you have been studying that long! Don't burn yourself out!

I bet you will do well! Especially with your work ethic! I barely got anything accomplished while I had classes, except CDP :p
Destroyer was my saviour! And I didn't even have a chance to go through the whole thing thoroughly! If you go through that book and understand everything, I assure you, you will do GREAT!

I also don't know where you stand with science classes, but I had a crap ton in high school and have been taking at least 1-2 science classes/semester while in college (Bio major) so I'm sure that played a role too.

But I assure you, Destroyer is good stuff!
 
Hey,

Thanks for the breakdown!

I am currently studying and read these forums during my study break.

I started my DAT studying with Kaplan's course on demand (big mistake), but the upside is it has kept me studying for the last 2 months. I just started the DAT destroyer on Thursday and I am exactly 2 weeks out from my test day, but have spring-break the whole week before (9 full days of nothing). Should I really just put all my emphasis in finishing the destroyer?

I've been getting like 60% of the questions right, but I definitely understand all the problems and explanations. I have system down that I actually do each problem three times before moving on, as well as I had my destroyer re-bounded so I have the solution right there.

Any advise would be nice, I'm kinda stressing out, because the destroyer is difficult. I want to make sure I'm making the most of my final weeks.

Thanks,
 
Hey,

Thanks for the breakdown!

I am currently studying and read these forums during my study break.

I started my DAT studying with Kaplan's course on demand (big mistake), but the upside is it has kept me studying for the last 2 months. I just started the DAT destroyer on Thursday and I am exactly 2 weeks out from my test day, but have spring-break the whole week before (9 full days of nothing). Should I really just put all my emphasis in finishing the destroyer?

I've been getting like 60% of the questions right, but I definitely understand all the problems and explanations. I have system down that I actually do each problem three times before moving on, as well as I had my destroyer re-bounded so I have the solution right there.

Any advise would be nice, I'm kinda stressing out, because the destroyer is difficult. I want to make sure I'm making the most of my final weeks.

Thanks,

Well, if you have been studying for the past two months, the Destroyer is def. a good way to measure what your strengths and weaknesses are. If you are getting 60% right without spending much time that is AWesome:thumbup:

Destroyer owned me on the chems (especially ochem haha), but imho concentrate on finishing destroyer. Mark any questions you are hesitant on or don't quite under stand and do whatever works best for you to maximize your understanding of whatever concepts you are rusty on. If you fully understand every Destroyer question and answer choices, you will beast the exam. The chemistry questions in Destroyer are a lot more difficult than the real DAT. Bio was on par with the real deal.

If you have been studying hard for the past two months things are definitely in your favor! I know it sucks, but def. use those 9 days of SB before your exam to just review and brush up on anything you are questionable on.

You got this!
 
Thanks,

In the destroyer should I spend time memorizing every single road map and mini road map? I got down the bigger ones for the most part, but have really drawn out the small ones. Did those definitely help that much?

Also, is gen chem dead on target in the destroyer? Cause basically thats all I'm going to study from this pointing. Thanks for the help. It's extremely helpful to hear advise from someone who was just in my shoes a couple days ago.
 
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Thanks for the rundown! I'm one of those who isn't quick with math, I have to work hard to do well at it. I just got Math Destroyer so hopefully that will give me the practice and speed I need.
I'm debating on when to take the DAT......I just don't want to jeopardize my GPA. I have been aiming for August since I have to take 2 summer courses that will end early July.
 
Great job! Congratulations. I hope you learned your lesson and will not procrastinate when you are in Dental school.
 
Thanks,

In the destroyer should I spend time memorizing every single road map and mini road map? I got down the bigger ones for the most part, but have really drawn out the small ones. Did those definitely help that much?

Also, is gen chem dead on target in the destroyer? Cause basically thats all I'm going to study from this pointing. Thanks for the help. It's extremely helpful to hear advise from someone who was just in my shoes a couple days ago.

Obviously, the more you know from the roadmap the better. You won't see every rxn on there, but knowing the whole thing helps a lot in the sense that you will have a higher chance of seeing a rxn you know and you can have more piece of mind.
There are those curve ball questions though, that you might get that requires proficient knowledge on some rxns not in the roadmap, likes diels alder.

But if you are feeling good about most of them and not as good about GC, I'd focus on GC.

If you master destroyer GC, you are definitely good to go for the real DAT.
Destroyer is particularly good imo bot bc of the critical thinking a lot of the questions require, but also bc the answer choices can all be topics you should know well to be prepared for the DAT.

Glad I can be of service :)

Best of luck!
 
Thanks for the rundown! I'm one of those who isn't quick with math, I have to work hard to do well at it. I just got Math Destroyer so hopefully that will give me the practice and speed I need.
I'm debating on when to take the DAT......I just don't want to jeopardize my GPA. I have been aiming for August since I have to take 2 summer courses that will end early July.

Glad you find my posts useful.

I didn't use the Math Destroyer personally, but I have read many posts where ppl (who said math wasn't their strength) have used it and gotten great results.

Speed is def. Key as you already know in this section. I'd advise knowing how to do trig application problems. I just memorized the identities so I didn't know how to do any of the trig app problems on my QR XD

About taking the DAT, def don't take it during this semester if you think itll jeopardize your gpa.

If you plan on applying this cycle though, I have often been told that the earlier you apply, the better.

August should be ok though if you submit your app soon after testing.
I have a friend who did the same and she has gotten accepted to a couple of dental schools!

Wish you the best!
 
Great job! Congratulations. I hope you learned your lesson and will not procrastinate when you are in Dental school.

Thank yuh vayr much :)

I learned my lesson and will def not do so in dental school!

Your sn! Lol my new philosophy hahaha
 
Haha, I recognize you from CDP competition mode over the past quarter. I am "david" in cause you are wondering.
 
Haha, I recognize you from CDP competition mode over the past quarter. I am "david" in cause you are wondering.

lulz, nice haha

Yeah CDP really saved my butt, I would have done worse than I already did if I just stuck to Kaplan who just explains what the PAT is in their BB...
 
Congrats on a job well done and welcome to the club of "Post DAT Pre Dent"

Any ideas as to which schools you'll be applying to?
 
Congrats on a job well done and welcome to the club of "Post DAT Pre Dent"

Any ideas as to which schools you'll be applying to?

Gracias!

I'm looking at MUSC, Chapel Hill, Medical College of Georgia and maybe University of Florida?

How about you?
 
Being of the California bent, I am targeting the UCs, UoP most. Out of state schools: UMB, Detroit Mercy, Columbia and Harvand (definitely my reach schools cause I don't have a very good chance at either I feel :(), UNC Chapel Hill...still working on this list though.
 
Great to hear that, lol. What schools are you applying to?

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Being of the California bent, I am targeting the UCs, UoP most. Out of state schools: UMB, Detroit Mercy, Columbia and Harvand (definitely my reach schools cause I don't have a very good chance at either I feel :(), UNC Chapel Hill...still working on this list though.

Hey, well best of luck man. It just takes acceptance into one school to kick start our dreams of being a dentist.!
 
Great to hear that, lol. What schools are you applying to?

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Yup haha
I am looking at 'm looking at MUSC, Chapel Hill, Medical College of Georgia and maybe University of Florida.

What about you?
 
I hear great things about chapel hill. How about Florida?

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good job dude

Thanks man, you as well! Must have been super stressful when you knew you had to retake, but you got over it and conquered :D

I was so worried I was gonna have to retake >_< Thank God I don't have to haha So glad it's over, I thought I was gonna die from all the stress the week before my DAT.
 
I hear great things about chapel hill. How about Florida?

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Same about UNC, regarding Florida, I haven't really heard anything good or bad about it. I I'm just applying there as a back up.
 
hey i got a quick question. i was able to get my hands on the 2011 destroyer and am studying for the DAT in april. u think i should order a new copy just to be safe or am i fine with the copy i got?
 
hey i got a quick question. i was able to get my hands on the 2011 destroyer and am studying for the DAT in april. u think i should order a new copy just to be safe or am i fine with the copy i got?

You should be just fine with the 2011 version. The 2012 version will probably have a few extra questions, but I don't think it's worth shelling out almost $200 for a completely new copy of Destroyer for the handful of extra questions.
 
hey,

congrats on your scores!!! Your breakdown has been most helpful, I'll be taking the DAT very soon. Are you going to sell your DAT Destroyer? If so, I'm interested in buying it from you.. I took a Kaplan online course and I need more material to study with! lol

Thanks,
Korey
 
hey,

congrats on your scores!!! Your breakdown has been most helpful, I'll be taking the DAT very soon. Are you going to sell your DAT Destroyer? If so, I'm interested in buying it from you.. I took a Kaplan online course and I need more material to study with! lol

Thanks,
Korey

Glad it helped you out Korey. And sorry, got rid of mine already. If you don't find anyone else that is selling it, I'd recommend checking eBay or half.com for it. You can sometimes get a good deal on there! Or you could just buy straight from Orgoman if you need it urgently and spending a little more isn't a big issue.
 
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