DAT BreakDown: For People Working Full Time; Free resources listed.


5+ Year Member
Jun 14, 2015
PAT: 21

QR: 30

RC: 23

BIO: 24

GC: 20

OC: 21

TS: 22

AA: 24
(the only reason it’s this high was because of QR…)

First of all, thanks to everyone who posted on SDN. You guys are seriously lifesavers. I pretty much purchased all materials based on what other people have posted and received a lot of helpful tips and information by reading these forums. This post is for people with limited time and/or limited money to pay for materials.

For those of you who are working full time, it’s possible to get a decent score! I seriously felt like giving up at multiple points especially with the sciences and the PAT (pretty much everything haha). I took classes this past year (two per semester) and started studying for GRE (june 2015) pretty much as soon as summer started, and then the DAT (August 2015), so the studying has been non-stop. The only day I took off work was to take the test (on a Monday), but if you can afford to take off, I would. It was super stressful, and the whole week before the test I wish I had taken off at least a couple of days.


  • -Graduated May 2014
  • -Been working full time at a university was able to take classes for free (only things that helped for DAT was a biochemistry class and perhaps microbiology
  • -Was for sure going to apply to PhD programs, but starting stressing out about job market.
  • -Started considering dentistry so got some shadowing experience and liked it

  • -I didn’t really study for QR because I had studied that for GRE, so if you haven’t done math in awhile, you should definitely add some math practice in the suggested schedule below.

  • -I didn’t really study for RC. You should do at least a couple practice sets though. The first one I did was horrible because I didn’t have a method and there’s a lot of material and a lot of questions in a short time. The method I used was 1) number paper (numbers signify paragraph) Look at first question 2) start reading passage. As you read, write down key ideas and terms. Keep reading until you can answer first question 3) Go to next question and see if you can answer based on what you have outlined (may require you to go back to the passage, but it should be easy with our numbered outline), if you cannot, continue reading passage. And keep doing this until you finish the passage.
Resources Summary (Note-Bought a lot of these resources, but some I didn’t have the chance to use; so the ones I have sited in my suggested schedule are the ones that are most important (if you are on a budget-still about $340…))

-2007 ADA Test (Free)

-2009 ADA Test ($35ish)

-DAT Bootcamp ($105-Use promo code you google)

-Chad’s Videos ($42.50-Use promo code you google)-1 month subscription

-Princeton Review Free Test

-Gold’s PAT Book ($35)-Comes with a full length practice test I think

-Lots of practice problems For PAT on on-line companion. Like 15 sets per section, but I thought they were difficult. I stopped using it because I was getting discouraged.

-Crack DAT PAT (5 tests-$99)

-Sterling DAT Biology 1500 Questions ($35)

-Cliff’s AP Biology 3rd Edition ($19/Free) (they have a free pdf version online)

-DAT Destroyer ($160… Try to buy it second hand if you know someone)

-Youtube videos (Free)-CrashCourse Biology

-Feralis’ biology notes (Free online-86 page word document)

-Quizlet App on phone (Free)-you can have access to flashcards other people have made. Just type in “DAT” or something to that effect in the search menu.

-OAT Practice Biology Test (Free)-I heard the makers of DAT also make the OAT test. So the relevant sections are good to use.

Study Schedule

-Studied Saturdays and Sundays and after work (Monday through Thursday) . Tried making a study schedule by day, specifically outlining what material I was going to get through but that started falling apart at the end. Try to stick to your schedule as much as possible because I think I could have done better if I had gotten through all the material I wanted to.

Outline of what you should do in order:

  1. Take 2007 ADA test as diagnostic to see where you are weak. I skipped orgo and PAT section because I knew I didn’t know anything. Skipped RC because I didn’t want to do it
    1. BIO: 26/40 (16); GC 26/30 (20) QR: 36/40 (24).
    2. My general chemistry was pretty lucky I think and/or it might be easier than real DAT. As you can see, I didn’t raise my score for the real thing, which is kind of sad since I was a chemistry major… So for this diagnostic, if you manage to do well in one section, don’t neglect it! It’s to give you a general idea of what you need to put a lot more time into.
  2. Get through Chad’s Videos (all his videos)
    1. Watch videos, take good notes
    2. Do the quizzes immediately afte
    3. Start making flashcards with reaction
  3. Watch CrashCourse Youtube videos (Plan these as close to test as possible, it’s better for biology to be fresher since it’s just recalling things)
    1. Take good notes-For each topic I would use a half sheet of paper (ie. "Menstrual cycle, parasympathetic response). (Before the test, review notes. Choose a sheet, and read the topic. Be able to recite the path with important components and key regulators, etc. When I answered biology questions, it was a lot easier if you understood the concept rather than recalling random facts.)
    2. Did this on lunch breaks (the videos are about 10 minutes long each but they’d take 20 minutes to get through with notes)
    3. They are very good because it goes through almost all of the topics (except for ecology and taxonomy)
    4. Study the biomes cuz they are easy questions to answer if you know it
    5. For taxonomy, downloaded the taxonomy cheat sheet (I think on Ari’s bootcamp site) and cut them into strips horizontally so when I saw “Echinoderms” I went through the list and named (1. Example organisms 2. Tissue type 3. Coelom? 4. Respiratory system… etc.
    6. The test I definitely had one or two taxonomic questions. It is a lot of information to remember though just for those questions…
  4. Start doing PAT
    1. Watch youtube videos for PAT
    2. Do untimed and reveal answers right after so you can see what you did wrong. Verses trying to do all the problems and then reviewing answers. It takes double the time if you have to look over the problem twice
    3. Once you become more comfortable, do everything timed
  5. Do problems
    1. DAT destroyer
      1. If you look on the ultimate breakdown collection in SDN forum, there’s a list of documents. They have one for the DAT destroyer where you can write in answers and it breaks down how many problems you should do each day (9 days to get through the book, but it doesn’t take into account questions added for the newer Destroyer versions). So maybe will take 10-11 days? I was scoring 50% on them. Don’t stress about it. Just understand how you get to the answer.
      2. As suggested, do first time around untimed. If you have time to do it again, do it timed
    2. Sterling biology problems (Didn’t get through all of it, but the questions I saw were very good and had very good explanations
  6. Take practice tests
    1. Started doing this everyday the week before the test
    2. My original plan was to take the test, review the answers, and then review material I missed all in one day. But didn’t realize it would take so long (+4 hours). So just took the test and went over answers.
    3. I took the DAT BC (5 tests) and the ADA 2009 test
      1. Scores (BIO/GC/OC/PAT/RC/QR)-Taken within one day of each other
      2. BC1: 22/19/18/20/19/22
      3. BC2: 17/20/19/20/18/23
      4. BC3: 19/23/18/19/20/24
      5. BC4: 17/20/20/19/22/23
      6. BC5: 20/20/20/19/21/18
      7. ADA 2009: (28/30)/(27/30)/(23/30)/(78/90)/(37/50)/(30/40)**The math section was ridiculously hard on this test, so don’t worry if you don’t do well
  7. If I had more time this is what I would added: (** After learning material/reviewing, the most important thing is practicing questions. Get access to as much material with questions as possible.)
    1. Doing all the practice tests
    2. Doing all the practice tests multiple times
    3. Redoing the Destroyer problems time
    4. Doing all the Sterling Biology problems
    5. Doing practice questions in Cliff’s Notes book
    6. Reading and outlining Cliff’s
    7. Doing all CRACK DAT PAT tests
Test/Day Before Test

Day Before Test:

-I know a lot of people say relax the day before the test, but I have always been a crammer and I do believe that last minute going over material does help (So it’s as fresh as possible. Do what’s best for you though (My stamina was already pretty good from studying for the GRE, so if you get mentally tired you shouldn’t do this because quant and pat will require some thinking). Studied from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Went running. (If you know you’ll have a hard time sleeping, I would do something like stay up late the night before or exercise to make sure you get a good nights rest). Ate dinner. Packed my stuff: snacks (little smokies (haha weird I know), snickers, skittles, nuts, cheezits, water, tea), two forms of I.D. (yes they actually asked for both), and made sure I knew directions to testing center. Was in bed by 9: 15 p.m.

Day of Test:

-Woke up at 5:30 a.m. to eat breakfast (muffin, little smokies, nectarine, yogurt, orange juice, coffee), review and get out of groggy state. (It’s important when taking practice tests to try to simulate testing conditions as much as possible. I tried (but failed) to get out of the house (went to old university) and start taking the practice tests by 8:00 a.m. What I noticed was that I didn’t wasn’t really awake until 10:00 a.m. So on test day I woke up at 5:30 to give me two hours to warm up. I would suggest trying to get your body adjusted to being ready by 8:00 though (unless you’re taking it at noon).

-Got to test center

-During 15 minute tutorial: make grids for hole punching and tally diagrams for cube counting. Number for reading sections if using the outline method.

-Materials they give you: two laminated papers with a sharpie like pen. It smears, but doesn’t rub off easily. Important: you can only have two of these at a time. I tried to get another one in the middle of my science section and they said you had to turn one in. It sucked because I had prewritten my grids and tally things for the PAT section and didn’t want to turn it in, so I had to squeeze work onto whatever space I had left.

Got scores and now I’m typing this post. All I can say is, that you can do it! I doubted myself so many times, but I did a lot better than I thought I would and you can do it too! A lot about this test is studying efficiently and knowing your learning habits. I actually spent a lot of time looking up strategies (reading SDN, looking at youtube videos, etc) and although it took some time to do it, I was able to use the time I did have more efficiently. Another important thing is to try to do a little of everything everyday rather than blocking off chunks (ie. GC one week, OC the next)…

PM me if you have any questions :D good luck!
Last edited:


5+ Year Member
Dec 17, 2014
"....it’s possible to get a decent score"

HAHAHAH. very funny ;);)

great job and thanks or the BREAKDOWN.
(gonna read it now)D:
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5+ Year Member
Jul 11, 2015
Dental Student
I find it amazing how you were able to pull off that score while working a full time job AND studying for the GRE. Congrats on your score and good luck with the rest of your application!
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