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DAT Breakdown - It's Finally OVER!

Discussion in 'DAT Discussions' started by Saint Richie, Apr 6, 2017.

  1. Saint Richie

    Saint Richie 2+ Year Member

    Aug 11, 2015
    I'll have to preface this by saying that I'm not like you. I did not get a 28 AA or a 27 SNS cause when I set up my character in customization, I dedicated my attribute points towards luck... and that was it.

    My DAT scores are (2015 attempt -> 2017 attempt):

    PAT - 23 -> 24
    QR - 18 -> 18
    RC - 20 -> 23
    Bio - 17 -> 22
    Gchem - 19 -> 19
    Orgo - 21 -> 22
    SNS - 19 -> 21
    AA -19 -> 21

    Background (AKA the part you'll skip over)
    I graduated from undergraduate school last May with a degree in Bio and a minor in creative writing. I graduated with an oGPA of 3.62, a sGPA of 3.49, and a BCP of 3.45 (I hope those are good...). I applied for dental school during the 2015 cycle after finding out dentistry was the profession in health care that suited my personality, skills, and interests. The caveat was that I found out early in 2015, so was scrambling to throw in my application for the 2015 cycle so I could go to dental school after graduating from undergrad.

    It did not go well. I was accepted into Rutger's Gateway to Dentistry, which solidified my interest in the field, and my shadowing and volunteer work was starkly different from the medical doctors, physicians, therapists, etc. that I shadowed before that as I scoped out for a career of interest. I wound up taking the DAT in September, and finally putting my application in late October (ouch). Only had 1 interview, which obviously did not lead me to an acceptance letter.

    Now that I graduated, I moved from NJ to FL, and worked on improving my application by covering my 3 weaknesses from last cycle: 1. "meh" DAT score, 2. not a lot of shadowing, and 3. Late as hell application submission.

    Materials for Review:

    DAT Destroyer:
    Some say its overkill, but if you really want to get yourself into the 21+ range, this is a necessity. Do all the problems two or three times. Study the road maps. More importantly, understand why you got something wrong/right and why the other options for a problem is wrong/right.

    DAT Bootcamp: Very well rounded and a great resource for test format, difficulty, and material covered. The addition of videos for the orgo and chem sections also makes this resource even more valuable!

    DAT Genius: A good resource for taking tests to review, not necessarily to test yourself on how well you might do come test day. I would describe it as if DAT Destroyer was in Bootcamp's format.

    Feralis's Notes: God wrote the Bible, Feralis wrote Bio notes. Enough said on that.

    TY Jacob's Chem/Orgo Notes: Amazing notes for both sections. You could find them on DAT Genius' site. TY, Jacob!

    Chad's Videos: Great resource to review chem and orgo with. He breaks it down in a way that you can understand. I found myself going back to his videos/quizzes to brush up on my weaknesses and various topics.


    I followed Ari's study guide and it helped really well. The first time I took the exam, I gave myself 6 weeks to study. Was stressed and frustrated the whole way through, disorganized, etc. Ari's study guide gives that organization. What I would do differently is set a test date, that way I would procrastinate less. I studied for 5 months, but it definitely wasn't every day (holidays, time with family, etc.).

    The Test:

    Environment: Cold, bring a jacket. I managed to keep pretty toasty. The first time, though, I wish I had one.

    Bio Section: Breadth over depth if you want to get through this section. It is nothing like the '09 or '07 DATs, which were more factual. A good portion of these questions will require you to apply what you know. I made it a point to learn some root words and suffixes, as it could help when you encounter a word that you've never seen in Feralis' notes before. I jumped 5 points in this section from the first time I took it, which I'm most proud of as I found it embarrassing that a bio major's lowest score on the DAT the first time around was the biology section.

    Chem Section: Chemistry has and will always be the bane of my existence. No question in this section particularly stumped me. I wish I would have scored higher than a 19, but a 19 isn't too bad. Mostly concept questions, with about 5 calculations and 5 questions looking at a graph or chart.

    Orgo Section: I finished this section pretty leisurely and without an issue. Only 2 or 3 problems were actually a mechanism problem. The rest were concepts.

    PAT: I feel like I can't really give advice in this section. I never had an issue with this section. There are rocks though - I didn't have a problem with it, but many people apparently do.

    RC: Come on ADEA... what. the. Ba-jeebers?? I **** you not folks, the first 2 passages were from my first DAT exam. I don't have amazing photographic memory, but I do remember having the first 2 passages that I had from the first DAT. Made this section a breeze. Looks like my investment into the luck attribute paid off.

    I found out a few things about RC though that I feel would be beneficial to others.
    You can highlight text- Every passage starts with just the passage itself. You have to click "Next" to get the first question to the passage. It is on this full-screen passage screen that you can highlight text, which will then stay highlighted for all questions thereafter. Highlighting text on a question and then going to the next one will not have those highlights on the next question.

    QR: ADEA.... sick of your ****... Okay, this time it was my fault. I didn't look at the ADEA guide for what is being tested on each section. There are rumors going about the ADEA cutting geometry and trig from the DAT. Maybe I missed something, but I don't think data analysis was a part of previous exams either. My exam had trig, geometry, and data analysis. Those analysis questions really threw me off. Was not ready for them and I probably got a good few of them wrong.

    The Mindset:

    I made this mistake both times: Your estimated scores do not correlate with your actual scores. When I took the bootcamp and genius tests, I first had the mindset that I would score +/- 1 or 2 points on the actual exam. DAT Bootcamp and Genius are in the business of making you score better on the DAT. Their estimated scores will be more strict and stingy because that way, if you score higher on the DAT, you'd think that the practice exams were harder. I'm not saying they are bad resources or that they are easier than the DAT itself, but just keep in mind that what really matters is if you understand the questions you got wrong and knew why you picked the correct answer on the ones you got right. Focus on understanding why you got problems right/wrong. You are not learning effectively if you get a 25 on BC and decide you don't need to look at the questions you got wrong. You are not learning effectively if you don't look at the questions you guessed on and wound up getting right. You are learning effectively when you learn from your mistakes and acknowledge your strengths.

    It is intimidating to log onto this site and see breakdowns of unreal scores. You feel like a 21/21 score isn't much to brag about. I put this breakdown up to remind the silent majority that 20s and 21s are really good scores. 21+ is competitive, and 19-20s are nothing to brush off.

    You can do this. My biggest fear was not doing bad on the DAT, but not doing much better compared to the first time. Confidence in yourself is what will help you focus and stay on track. Confidence in yourself will be the difference between you freaking out when the way to solve a problem is not initially clear, and being able to break the problem into manageable bits.

    My only question regarding my score is whether or not the QR score would affect my chances. I keep reading how QR is not really an important section to a lot of schools, and I'm hoping a 18 is good enough to not get rejected cause of a score cutoff.

    Now if you excuse me, I'm going to get a Tom Collins and listen to the Rolling Stones.

    Attached Files:

    socal6, Faefly, tyjacobs and 4 others like this.
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  3. I-hate-alginate

    I-hate-alginate La Dolce Vita

    Mar 28, 2017
    Congrats! :claps:
    artist2022 likes this.
  4. FeralisExtremum

    FeralisExtremum SDN Gold Donor Gold Donor Classifieds Approved 7+ Year Member

    May 17, 2008
    Solid improvements and great breakdown!
  5. orgoman22

    orgoman22 DAT DESTROYER Lifetime Donor Exhibitor Classifieds Approved 10+ Year Member

    Mar 12, 2005
    New York City
    SDN Exhibitor
    Congratulations! Wow, impressive move...Going from a 19 to 21 is no easy task. These scores will open the door to interviews.

    BTW did you see Trig and Geometry on your DAT?

    Wishing you the best...

    Nancy and Dr. Jim Romano
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2017
  6. Rekker

    Rekker 2+ Year Member

    Oct 16, 2014
    Congrats, awesome scores!
  7. 8_man

    8_man Achievement Unlocked: Dental School

    Jul 22, 2016
    Great scores! Enjoy the upcoming interviews
  8. Ari Rezaei

    Ari Rezaei Senior Member Lifetime Donor Gold Donor Classifieds Approved 5+ Year Member

    Mar 14, 2012
    New York, NY
    This is key advice, couldn't have said it better myself. Congratulations on your improvement!! I'll be linking to this for other students retaking the test, this is the mentality you need to have to get a great score. Thanks for sharing :)
  9. tyjacobs

    tyjacobs 2+ Year Member

    May 10, 2015
    congrats on the score! let me know if you have any questions applying
  10. Zesta

    Zesta One who knows all.

    Mar 11, 2017
    Congrats, mind sharing a screenshot of your scores?

    Just thought it was shady how you post after 2.5 years with a DATbreakdown, kind of feels like a promotion tbh.
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2017
  11. Saint Richie

    Saint Richie 2+ Year Member

    Aug 11, 2015
    Thanks! :D I had a problem involving the shadow of a tree, which required trig to solve as they gave me the angle. There was also some geometry. I know there was more, but one involved using the area of a rectangular prism and another the area of a square and perimeter
  12. Saint Richie

    Saint Richie 2+ Year Member

    Aug 11, 2015

    Just posted a picture. I hid the DENTPIN and part of my name as it seems other breakdowns did the same. I posted 1.5 years ago cause that was when I last took the test. Hope this clears some of the confusion :p
  13. Faefly


    Jun 21, 2016
    Congratulations. Thanks for the tips and encouragement. You did very well, best of luck!

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