Luther2016

University of Iowa Class of 2021
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Jul 1, 2015
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Hey guys, first order of business: Thank you, without this community I would have never found the advice or resources to score well on this exam.

Took the DAT this morning and still recovering, it takes a lot out of you.
Scores:
RC: 25
PAT: 20
QR: 25
OC: 23
GC: 23
Bio: 21
TS: 23
AA: 24

The Breakdown!
I had about two and a half weeks to study for the exam mainly due to me putting it off while taking summer physics. I spent an average of 6 hrs a day for those two and a half weeks with about 2 days off studying using Kaplan, DAT Bootcamp and DAT Destroyer. My philosophy for studying was to spend almost all of my time on the sciences, as I felt those would be the most looked at sections by adcoms and with how little time I had to study I knew I wanted to do well in at least these sections.

Bio: To study for Bio I did all of the DAT Bootcamp biology tests and drilled what I did not know. The explanations are the best thing about Bootcamp. Instead of simply looking at the correct answer, look at the rest of the answers to see why they were incorrect as well as the explanation for why the correct answer was the correct answer. There will be many times that you want to just move on after seeing that you missed a question, DON'T do it. I also used the first 200 or so questions from Destroyer to figure out where I needed to focus, from there I would just wiki stuff... Honestly Bio was just drilling the basics until you knew them in your sleep and then drilling the not so basics and knowing that the odds were in your favor the more you studied. It's not a test of understanding, rather than a test of rote memorization.

OC: My first two exams on Bootcamp were a 14 and 16 if I remember correctly, which was the wakeup call I needed. It's been years since I have taken O. Chem and I definitely needed a refresher. After seeing those scores, I realized that I needed to spend a couple days drilling O. Chem non-stop and so I did. I used Bootcamp to see what I missed, watch the explanation, and then redo the problem methodically until I had it. In addition to Bootcamp I used Professor Dave's video's on youtube, they are invaluable and one of your greatest and best of all FREE resources. After drilling for two days my subsequent OC Bootcamp scores were 29, 27 and 24. I didn't spend much time after these two days on OC, which is why my scores dropped over time and even more so on the actual exam. I didn't actually do any of the Destroyer problems past #50 after realizing how ridiculously difficult and time consuming they were, however the must know rxns. at the beginning of Destroyer were invaluable and I made sure to brush up on them everyday.

GC: Purely Bootcamp, and honestly I didn't study for gen. chem until the day or two before the exam for a couple of hours. Gen. Chem has always been my strong point throughout undergrad and I fell back on that for better or for worse. If you're not a wiz at Gen. Chem. I would suggest repetition, that is drill Bootcamp and Destroyer until you know it inside out. The beautiful thing about Gen. Chem is that there isn't that much they can ask you about, so just review what you miss and repeat.

PAT: I took 2-3 Bootcamp exams and got two 19s and and 18. I didn't spend much time on it, because I had heard that Bootcamp is more difficult than the real thing. When I was taking the real thing, I was sure I was going to get an 18 or so, not the case.

RC: Did one or two practice exams, the biggest thing here is to get your timing down. I found it helpful to read the whole passage quickly and answer what you can, then comeback at the end to nitpick for what you couldn't pick up in your initial reading of the passage.

QR: I've always heard that this is the least important section, so I didn't bother studying for it. I also just came off of physics, so plenty of formulas, algebra and trig. are still fresh in my mind.

Ratings:

DAT Bootcamp: This is the holy grail of DAT preparation, I can't stress this enough. 1000/10

Destroyer: I didn't realize what I was getting myself into here. With only two weeks to study, Destroyer was literally the worst piece of study material. Had I had a couple months to study, it likely would have been up there with Bootcamp. The breadth is simply too much and there are too many specifics that prevent you from attacking the basics. **Destroyer is for the already proficient, those who have mastered the basics, use it as your final preparation** For me: 4/10; for those with more time: 10/10. Now proficient, I feel like I could study with Destroyer for a month and fill the gaps between my 22s and the more elusive 25-27. Destroyer is intense, respect it, the disclaimer behind the cover is there for a reason.

Kaplan: Spent a day with it, took a practice exam, felt depressed and put it in the corner. 0/10

Finally, take breaks from studying! Even if I only spent 6 hours a day studying, I still felt mental fatigue by the end of the day. Take breaks every hour or two, otherwise you'll find yourself going through the motions while thinking about something completely unrelated. Maybe that's just me...

Note to Ari: Sorry I never replied to your emails! I was so busy cramming all of this studying into the past two weeks that I forgot to check my emails. Thank you so much for Bootcamp, I can't begin to express how amazing of a study tool it is. The videos included with the GC and OC sections were perhaps the greatest chemistry study aid OF ALL TIME. Thanks again!

If anyone wants a full history of my Bootcamp scores, let me know. I'd be happy to dig them up and post them for you.

Best of Luck!
 
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Hard Work Pays Off

Leo the Lion says Ger
Jun 17, 2016
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what entity do I have to sell my soul to, to get these scores. But seriously, you did an amazing job! I studied everyday since june 1st and my test is in 13 days and I still feel like an idiot who has learned literally nothing, so what you did there is beyond amazing! congrats!
 
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WheatLom

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Did you find that the RC was really really easy compared to DAT? Like the questions were straight out the passage, no thought questions except 1-2 per passage.
 

LuckBloodandSweat

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what entity do I have to sell my soul for to get these scores. But seriously, you did an amazing job! I studied everyday since june 1st and my test is in 13 days and I still feel like an idiot who has learned literally nothing, so what you did there is beyond amazing! congrats!
Bro don't be scared. You're working hard and you an do it :). Confidence is key. I always feel like an idiot xD. Just yolo ;)
 

orgoman22

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what entity do I have to sell my soul for to get these scores. But seriously, you did an amazing job! I studied everyday since june 1st and my test is in 13 days and I still feel like an idiot who has learned literally nothing, so what you did there is beyond amazing! congrats!
When is the big day?
 

orgoman22

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the big day is August 24th at 12 PM. I'm dreading every one of the 12 days, 17 hours, 53 minutes and 57 seconds leading up to it :scared:
No No, don't dread it! Change the attitude! You have to suit up and get ready to face the DAT Beast!!! Play the "Rocky Theme Song"! You gotta go in fighting with every thing you got!!!
 

LuckBloodandSweat

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the big day is August 24th at 12 PM. I'm dreading every one of the 12 days, 17 hours, 53 minutes and 57 seconds leading up to it :scared:
Bro counting maniacally will only make it worse. Just kick it's butt >: )
 
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WheatLom

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what entity do I have to sell my soul for to get these scores. But seriously, you did an amazing job! I studied everyday since june 1st and my test is in 13 days and I still feel like an idiot who has learned literally nothing, so what you did there is beyond amazing! congrats!

Yo.... Remember Hard work pays off ;)
 
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Luther2016

Luther2016

University of Iowa Class of 2021
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Jul 1, 2015
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Thanks for the kind words everyone! WheatLom, I did feel that the actual DAT RC was easier than Bootcamp. In both the sense that the passages were easier to read as well as the questions were much simpler, I would say that they asked you to make an inference maybe 3 times throughout the entire RC exam. Those annoying "is the statement and reason correct/related" questions showed up about twice per passage. Hard Work Pays Off, you'll do great! At no point in time do I think anyone feels ready to take the DAT, nor do they ever feel like they know it all! I was dreading the exam until I realized that all I can do is give it my best and that the rest is out of my hands, once you do that, you actually look forward to taking the exam (in a sense). Let me know if I can help in any way!
 
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WheatLom

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WHAT?!? you got the statement and reason questions? I didn't get a single one. Thats why I asked if yours was like bootcamp.
 
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Luther2016

Luther2016

University of Iowa Class of 2021
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Jul 1, 2015
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Lucky! Yeah, I got around six of them, I was not happy. But hey, all that ends well is well!
 

WheatLom

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I got very lucky, I also got a passage that was 80% similar to a practice test. Cant tell you which one cause i think id violate the DAT rules, but it happened. no joke. I almost had to stop and be like " R U SERIOUS"
 

rebecca_chatul_tov

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It's not a test of understanding, rather than a test of rote memorization.
I'm also a bit pressed for time so you're post is actually pretty encouraging for me. I was hoping that you could maybe clarify whether the DAT is about rote memorization or understanding the concepts. I was unsure exactly what you meant.
 

Jonathan96

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Very valuable and uplifting post luther2016 I am a few months out and am looking to avoid a 3 week crunch! Thanks for all the great info regarding study materials!
 

DMikes

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I'm also a bit pressed for time so you're post is actually pretty encouraging for me. I was hoping that you could maybe clarify whether the DAT is about rote memorization or understanding the concepts. I was unsure exactly what you meant.
I realize this post is a bit old, but I entirely disagree with the DAT being a test of rote memorization. I can say for certain that a multitude of questions on my DAT were not something that was simply memorized. Many questions definitely required an applicable, working knowledge of the subject. Were some facts that one could've memorized? Sure. But most? Absolutely not.