moose786

2+ Year Member
Jan 25, 2016
46
19
Status
Pre-Dental
So relieved - beyond words. I took the exam 2 days ago, and only had the chance to finally type a breakdown now since my family decided to take a road trip to Florida the day after my exam. Firstly, I want to thank @orgoman22 for the wonderful book we all hold dear to our souls. Nancy, thank you for reaching out to me the day before my exam, and the morning of, and the day after - I am so so sorry that I was either asleep or taking my exam whenever you called - and that you could not pick up when I called back haha. In addition, @Ari Rezaei for developing Bootcamp exactly when you did. You could have decided to make it after you finished your time at Columbia, but no, you chose to bless us with it whilst handling a tough curriculum, I am sure. Props to you, man. Lastly, @ImSirius for being my go-to man for any and every Math Destroyer problem I could not figure out. I am telling you, this man needs to be hired for even more detailed solution-writing in prep books like the Math Destroyer. Though I was upset that I could have had a higher QR score, I am still much more upset that the DAT did him dirty for his math section. Regardless, he destroyed it anyway. Also, a general thanks to everyone who may have answered my questions - it was truly a great help!

Scores:

PAT - 19
RC - 20
QR - 21
Biology - 21
General Chemistry - 26
Organic Chemistry - 24

TS - 22
AA - 22

Background: I am a rising senior at my state university. I failed Organic Chemistry my first semester - it was one of the darkest semesters of my life - and it's just because I didn't know how to study Organic Chemistry. Honestly, I can't even explain what was going on through my head back then. If I knew then what I know now...Anyways, I had also failed out of a course the semester before that - for an attendance reason. I won't elaborate on that as it's all in the past - but needless to say, my GPA suffered a lot because of these two things. However, I was able to pull off a 4.0 for all of my Junior Year and now have a 3.01 sGPA, 3.00 BCP, and 3.38 oGPA (Note - my school, in its own GPA calculations, replaces repeated course grades so my GPA is a 3.64 on my transcript, but AADSAS does not show such leniency haha). It's bad - I know. But I just had to not let it bug me too much, and just focus on somehow "killing" this DAT - especially in the Organic Chemistry to hopefully show schools that my past failures aren't reflective of my knowledge in Organic Chemistry.

Resources Used (rating out of 10):
  • DAT Destroyer - 300/10 - for those of you reading this a week, two weeks, a month or two before your exam. You need to get this book. Especially if you have the GPA background like I do. I don't care what other posts say about them not using this resource and still getting great numbers. I am not saying it's not possible to succeed without this book, but I am telling you that if you don't want to risk your science scores, you need to use this book. It is better to be way overprepared for this exam. Especially with the organic chemistry since if you get one wrong, plop goes your score. Usually to a 27 if you get 1 wrong and probably like 24-25 if you get 2 wrong. I probably got 2 wrong on mine - 3 tops.
  • DAT Bootcamp - 299/10 - another one of those crucial resources. People have different ways of using this. Some use it exactly like Destroyer - as a learning tool. Ignore the scores and just learn a bunch from here. Others use it at the very end of their studies - mainly to test themselves of their knowledge and use it as a tool to gauge how they would actually do on the exam. And others are a mix. Use it how you study best. I did the chemistries after my first run of the Destroyer. Also, this is the only thing you need for the PAT. Do not bother with any other resource. I am telling you right now. Do not bother with any other resource for the PAT. Maybe the rock keyholes that DAT Genius has right now, but that's really it.
  • Chad's Chemistry Quizzes - 200/10 - Literally 5-7 days before my test date, I found myself in a major dilemma. I had felt that I had forgotten a lot of my chemistry, especially the organic. I had learned organic by understanding mechanisms - and trust me, it's not that hard because most of the reactions revolve around the simple acid-base mechanism. But I had forgotten little things like how to rank boiling point, polarity, melting point, etc., which are high-yield questions to be asked. My dilemma: do I do Destroyer a 3rd time, or do I do chad's quizzes - which are FREE (for now) on his new website (defeatthedat). I had never done his quizzes before, and I really liked that he had the quizzes broken down into individual chapters. After much thinking, I decided to just go for the new set of questions, instead of overdoing the Destroyer (I feared that I might answer questions just based on my memory of that specific question instead of my understanding of it. I had also marked up the book brutally during my second run). Chad's questions were generally easy and chill, but they definitely had lots of tricks hidden in them. Which I loved. It really filled in my gaps of knowledge in the chemistries. His solutions were also on point. My original plan was to knock them out in 3 days, but that was very unrealistic lol. I did them in 6 days total. I kept a tally of my score in each quiz and totaled them up when I was done with both subjects. My scores: 437/473 on the General Chemistry (92.39%) and 327/386 on the Organic Chemistry (84.72%). I finished my last quiz the day before my exam. I also typed notes about the ones I got wrong in a separate document. I never got time to read it over again, but I'm sure just typing up little things like that helped to solidify my knowledge further. This held a HUGE role in my chemistry scores on test day. I couldn't believe how much I had forgotten! Do NOT ever think that you'll guaranteed retain everything you knew two weeks prior. I blazed through the Destroyer on my second run of the Destroyer for the chemistries just two weeks prior to my exam.
  • Math Destroyer - 250/10 - definitely a needed resource. I had a good-ish background in Math prior to this - I had taken AP Calculus BC in my senior year at high school, and SAT Math was something I never really had trouble with either. So this book was definitely awesome in that it helped to bring back so many things I had forgotten how to do, as well as adding so many question-types that I never really came across in my past - like the work problems. It was "fun" to go through this because, even though I did not know everything, obviously, I personally just preferred learning about math amidst all of the science chaos.
  • Google - keep googling on - especially for Biology. There's probably a diagram for every topic in Biology. So when going through any Biology material that sounds unfamiliar - be it in the Destroyer or Cliffs or whatever resource you use - just Google it. Especially for hormone responses and pathways - diagrams simplify things so well sometimes (e.g. calcitonin & PTH).
Well, I thought I could keep things short and simple. But I keep rambling on. Hopefully, you all don't mind. I am absolutely beat right now from the very long road trip. I will post a picture of the score report, as well as more details on each section tomorrow morning (or night). Bear with me! My scores are certainly not the most impressive ones in the world (or this site...), but I am extremely happy, as I was ready for a retake immediately after the SNS section. I will elaborate more in the next post. I will also include my Bootcamp scores for each section. If there's anything specific someone wants answered, do let me know.
 

orgoman22

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Moose!!!moose786 Congratulations! Wow!! Fantastic scores..Your hard work paid off and these scores will help offset your GPA!

Thanks for the shout out and happy the Destroyers helped you achieve these scores.

Enjoy your time before school starts again! Celebrate!!!

Nancy
 
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moose786

moose786

2+ Year Member
Jan 25, 2016
46
19
Status
Pre-Dental
First of all, thank you everyone for the replies and well wishes. My apologies on the delay, but I had gone to Florida and just came back. I meant to post during my time there, but unfortunately, did not get to it. I have attached my Bootcamp scores, as well as my score report from my exam day - which was a week ago. My Bootcamp scores were actually scary accurate to my actual scores. PAT could have been easily higher on the actual DAT, but I can live with it.

I have already mentioned the resources I used to study for the DAT in my first post. I will, however, suggest reading the Second Language book by Klein. It is seriously amazing, especially for those who have not touched OC in a while, and for those of you who want to get a solid basis down for OC before jumping into the Destroyer. More on this below in the OC section. I am telling you - I loved this book. As for the breakdown...well, here goes my attempt at one:

General Chemistry
  • It was very basic. I forgot that I had not done the last exam for General Chemistry the day before my exam and did it. I scored a 25 and felt comfortable with the content. I suppose my main concerns were almost always with the wording of certain concept questions. I usually misinterpreted the ones I did get wrong, especially in Destroyer. So, I think that it is super important to expose yourself to these concept questions as much as you can. At a certain point, you will often find yourself getting things right, but once in a while, you will come across another question that you could have sworn you had down, but just misinterpreted its wording. You do not want that to happen on test day. I personally feel that doing Chad's quiz questions after having gone through Destroyer twice was very beneficial to me. Having not done them before, I was not only exposing myself to new questions days before my exam, I was also narrowing down my flaws - especially in terms of concepts. Even for some of the problems I got correct, I read over the solution and realized that the process of thinking that I used to get my answer was completely wrong! This is why it is important to build the habit of reading the solutions, regardless of whether or not you got the question right. Since Chad's quizzes are generally more "basic" than Destroyer - it serves as great practice before the actual DAT. It helped me realize where I was thinking too much (I often found myself thinking even the simplest solutions were meant to be a trick question - Destroyer is jam-packed with tricky solutions!) This is something I had a problem with since I would get simple questions wrong because I thought there was a hidden trick in there when there wasn't actually anything to fret about LOL. Regardless, it's still healthy to be paranoid about some tricky worded questions. I believe I ran across some of these questions, but since I had been exposed to such tricks so many times, I did not even realize it on exam day. The tricks of the past seemed like normal, everyday problems on test day. Ultimately, if you had only one resource to choose - all you need to destroy this section is the Destroyer. But I would recommend the Trifecta of Bootcamp, Destroyer and Chad's Quizzes. Try doing Chad's quizzes - or even the Destroyer for one last run - as close to test day as possible - I do not think I would have been able to get the score I did if I had not done that. I'm glad I made the choice of doing Chad's quizzes for the first time instead of Destroyer a 3rd time, though.
Organic Chemistry
  • Same advice as General Chemistry.
  • Make sure to watch Chad's videos on the Lab Techniques. I personally did those, wrote notes, and realized that since I had not taken OC Lab before, I would easily forget all the techniques in a matter of a week or two. So I decided to read over my notes the day before on the Lab Techniques. I didn't see a point in learning them again and again during my studies if I knew I would forget them soon after.
  • ON THAT NOTE...I need to mention that my BC OC scores - at least in the beginning - were severely impacted from me just jumping into the exams without having done Chad's videos on the OC Lab Techniques. I just prayed that they wouldn't pop up on the first three exams, but there were typically 2-3 problems per exam on the techniques - which I obviously got wrong each time because I had no clue what was being asked. However, I decided to watch the videos and study the techniques after the third exam. This was a good choice because Exam 4 had lots more lab questions than the others - and that is why my score spiked from 19 to 29 on Exam 4. I think Exam 4 was just overall easier, too, because I have seen other breakdowns in which the Exam 4 score skyrocketed for people. I never got to do Exam 5. I was saving Exam 5 for the OC and GC for a day or two before my exam, and completely forgot about them. I managed to squeeze in the GC, though, as previously mentioned.
  • Also, make sure to review Chad's summary sheet on the reactions.
  • SECOND LANGUAGE BOOK! Omg, this book is golden. Especially since this time, I really wanted to understand mechanisms during my studies. I am telling you, if you take the little bit of extra time to learn the mechanisms behind the reactions we need to know - it will only SAVE you time in the future. This book does a great job at that. If you don't want to read the whole thing (which I didn't since I had read most of it last year during my OC class), please make sure to read the chapter on Acid-Base Chemistry. This is the chapter that really brought it home for me. Even though I had read it before, it still felt like I was learning something brand new. I don't know why it never clicked before for me, but I am happy that it did during my read-through of this. Klein explained it so beautifully, and after this, I looked at all the reactions I had "blindly" memorized before in a new light. Honestly, 75% of the reactions we learn revolve around acid-base mechanisms, and I found myself relying on this mechanism to figure out how a reaction would be carried out - not on my memory of the reagents. This is not to say that you won't have to memorize at all because there are still some reactions that are different, and that you will have to memorize. But please, just read this chapter, and you will hopefully understand what I am trying to tell you. Same goes for the Substitution/Elimination chapters. Thank me later.
Biology
  • Don't even ask. Omg. This was hell for me, for some reason, lol. I had just taken General Biology this past year at my college, so that had a huge hand in my score. Regardless, I was never 100% with this section. I always felt like I knew nothing - and had forgotten everything. I had actually taken the first Bootcamp exam after finishing my final for Biology II. I scored a 22, and felt super confident. However, this was back in mid-May. This is when I finally got the chance to start my DAT studies (after finals), and I wanted to see how well I had learned biology. I loved the first exam. As time went on, I started forgetting all my systems - and felt that I had forgotten everything in a matter of a month. I had actually been reading Cliffs to refresh my knowledge of Biology I. I was all over the place with my Biology prep - I kept fluctuating from Feralis to Cliffs to my own notes. I had way too many resources and always felt that I should be using another resource when I didn't think the current one was good enough. I had actually moved up my original August 3 test date because I did not feel like I was ready for Biology. At that time, I had just finished typing up notes on the first 300 problems for Destroyer. I did what lots of people recommended - to just write notes on the Destroyer Biology on anything I did not think I knew for sure. And I felt that for pretty much all the problems, so I proceeded to literally type out all each and every problem. Not word-for-word. But I Googled a diagram for 75% of all the problems and put them into my giant Destroyer Document for biology. I think I had about 60 pages - single spaced, Gill Sans size 10 font with 0.5 margins all around. This is just how I prefer my Word Documents for my OCD reasons. But that was a lot of text and diagrams. In the 2 weeks after I extended my date (August 3-18), I did not even look at these notes. My plan was to review all these notes/diagrams many times and know them inside out. I do not even know what happened, but I did not do anything for the first 3 days after I extended my date. I was so unmotivated - and this scared the hell out of me. I actually did not touch these notes ever after that. I always told myself I would, but got invested in the chemistries afterward. I decided to try and maximize my scores in those since hours spent studying those would hopefully result in a higher score, whereas Biology was a toss-up. I also did the Bootcamp exams - without reviewing them - in this time. I had managed to get the scores I did (20-ish consistently), which I felt was mostly by luck. I just hoped such luck would play out on exam day.
  • Exam day - I marked at least 20 of my bio questions on exam day. I felt like I had hit rock bottom. I had narrowed down far too many to 33/33/33 and some to 50/50. Needless to say, I feel super blessed to have gotten the score I did with this section. I was honestly expecting a 16 and hoping for a 17 or higher. That is how badly I felt. It was so random, but I did feel that I would have been so much more confident with some of my choices on exam day had I memorized my notes on the first 300 Destroyer questions. I still wish I did, but I am super content with my score.
QR
  • Math Destroyer is all you need. I did it all untimed, and was comfortable with most of it. I was happy that I had not lost too much skill in terms of math since high school. This was the most fun to study for, personally. I did time myself on the last few Math Destroyers and was able to finish most of it on time - I usually had about 2-3 skipped. I think the lowest I got was a 36/40 on the last exams from 13-17. However, I also did not get any perfect score in Math Destroyer.
  • For the ones that I ran out of time for, I would usually just make 2 scores for myself: one timed - and one untimed, in which I worked out the problems I had skipped to see if I could do them at all. There was usually just 1-2 tops that I could not figure out for the life of me.
  • Exam day - aw man, make sure to memorize all your formulas - and your CONVERSIONS! The very first question I had was something about ounces - I was like... WHAT!??!?! It seemed so SIMPLE but I just could not figure it out. I was pretty much always able to figure out the conversions and/or formulas in Math Destroyer after a certain point, but I don't think I came across ounces like that. Know the conversions Chad's has in his Math PDF packet, I suppose. I spent 5 minutes on that first problem on my DAT - worst decision of my life. I probably got it wrong, and I had to skip EASY problems that I knew how to do. I just had to skip them because I knew they would take up some time, which I could not risk wasting if they threw some super quick questions later in my exam. Which they did. I had skipped 3 super easy problems in the middle (of course, I guessed on them as I went) - so I probably missed those. My last problem was a "lengthier than usual" age problem, which I knew how to do, but 20 seconds was just not enough to do it. Hence, my score could have been a lot higher if I did not get fixated on that one problem. :(
  • I tried 2 BC Math exams for the timing and it felt accurate to the timing on the actual exam.
Reading
  • Scary how accurate BC scores were, but my passages were overall simple and honestly, I realized that I should have been using Search and Destroy - or a variation of it for my exam. I realized this with 15 minutes left on the clock, though :( . The actual exam - at least for me - was 90% fact-based - and that, too, in order. I wasted lots of valuable time doing my usual approach. So my tip: I would skim through all of the first passage's questions. Yes, I know many people say to just do the first 5. But if I had to do it again, personally, I would just look through all of the first passage's questions to see how straightforward they are. This way, I could know if I will be okay with just using search and destroy. With search and destroy, I would have pretty much just read the question and started reading the passage until I found the answer. And the answer pops up a lot sooner than you may think. With this, I would have been able to finish my questions much faster and probably had time to spare afterward. I had to rush my last section a lot since I had 15 minutes left when I started. Regardless, I am still happy about the score since I wasn't so confident with it after finishing. One of the section's questions were also very annoyingly worded lol.
PAT
  • Aw man. After the sciences - mainly Bio - I felt that I had to retake the exam. So I had the initial mindset of "aw who cares. Take your time; pacing doesn't matter anymore since you will have to retake this anyway" However, I was able to shake it off quickly - but it kept coming back and I found myself often fighting my inner voice. There was this one cube counting question that really stumped me, though. I never really had a problem with cube counting, so this may have to do with why I was so caught up with this question. The answer I had gotten did not show up as one of the choices. I did this problem 3 times. All with the same answer. This was a big point during my exam, since this is where I had to tell myself to move the heck on constantly. But my inner voice said "who cares? you messed up in bio, anyways..."
  • My, oh my, the rest of the exam was overall so much simpler than Bootcamp though! Ugh! I usually spent more than the suggested 5 minutes on Angles - I actually spent about 12-15 minutes during my own BC practice exams. Why? Because I was pretty accurate with how I did the angles, for some reason. It wasn't a toss-up for me as much as it is for others - for some reason - and I decided to focus on making sure I got those points than suffer in others. Angles were soooooooooo much easier on the actual DAT, though. Unfortunately, I only had 2 minutes left after angles to do my most dreaded section: the keyholes. I don't even know what happened with my Keyhole skills. I dominated the first two BC exams - I did them in 8 minutes and scored 14 and 13, respectively for the Keyholes. However, after the 3rd test, they got insanely hard for me and I had to save them for last after that :( I had to blindly guess on ALL of the Keyholes because of my lack in pacing in the beginning of the exam. I had about 30 seconds left over after all my random guessing and I tried the first Keyhole question - it was so much SIMPLER than BC! How I wish I had not gotten fixated on that one cube hole question -.-
  • Needless to say, I was so SHOCKED that I still ended up with a 19 on the PAT - after completely guessing on all of the Keyholes. I also guessed "D" on all the keyholes - this is just something I had done on my BC exams since I would never have time to do the keyholes in those either LOL. Wow! Since I was ready for a 16 in both Bio and PAT, I was not too upset about the 19 on my PAT section. Yes, I could have easily done better, but I will never forget the sunken feeling I had after I finished my exam. The shock I felt when I saw how I scored in all the sections - just wow.
So do NOT give up after the SNS. I actually remembered reading a post about someone advising the same. And that is the advice I used on exam day itself. I told myself: "who knows? Maybe you'll luck out." And luck out I did. I had to remind myself of this CONSTANTLY during the exam, but it still helped. So if you are reading this, PLEASE remember this piece of advice on exam day. Just forget about the section(s) you've already done - don't let them drag you down in the future sections. Well, I feel that my rant is done. I probably forgot to mention some things, so if I left anything out, please do not hesitate to reach out.

Also, I made a schedule for myself using Excel a while back. This was more when I was doing content and planning out what exactly to do each day. I highly recommend doing this. Don't say "I will do 4 hours of GC tomorrow." Lay out exactly what you will get done - just like Ari's study schedule. This will help you realize you have a lot less time than you originally though (at least it did for me). It will also help you stay on track and understand how far behind or ahead you are in your studies. I have an excel sheet that even lets you determine how many hours you will give each activity of the day - and how many hours it will total to in the day. This helped me be realistic about how much I could actually get done in the day. Let me know if you guys want that, as well. Warning: took me a while to fill out the excel sheet so give yourself a few hours to fill it out (depending on how long your schedule is).
 

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moose786

moose786

2+ Year Member
Jan 25, 2016
46
19
Status
Pre-Dental
Oh, and also the 2009 ADA scores. I had actually not planned on doing this since I had so many other things to do the day before/morning of, but I decided to do it in the spur of the moment. Biology felt mostly really easy, but I had still marked about 8-10 in it (but they were 50/50 or I had just marked them to look back at later if I had time). SUPER SCARY how accurate these scores were...seriously what the HELL!? I saw other posts commenting the same thing, but didn't believe it would hold true for me as well. ESPECIALLY for the Bio, lol.

Scores:
Bio: 23 (36/40)
-Note - I got a 33-34/40 aka a 21 using the original (messed up) answer key since the original ADA exam key had mistakes in it. Regardless, the 21 was more accurate of a score lol.

GC: 26, spot on!

OC: 22, +2 on actual!

I did not have time to do the other sections.