2ma

Jul 6, 2015
17
9
Status
Pre-Dental
I wanted to thank everyone here because I read many breakdowns and tips on studying for DAT here and it was very helpful while I was preparing my DAT. Here is my breakdown now and it may not be amazing scores but I am pretty happy with my score. :)

friendly warning: this is going to be a long, very long indeed, breakdown. I don't know how to say this in a few words. Sorry.

PAT 23
QR 21
RC 21
Biology 22
GC 20
OC 27
TS 22
AA 22

Background:
I am a non-traditional student with design background. I am doing a career change at age 36 and I had no science background AT ALL and I never took chemistry or physics class before in my life until July 2014.
In fall 2014, I took general bio I (lecture + lab), general chemistry I (lecture and lab) and in spring 2015, I took general bio II (lecture + lab), general chemistry II (lecture and lab) and organic chemistry I lecture.
All I wanted to say here is that anyone and everyone can do well on DAT.

Schedule:
6 weeks review + 6 weeks practice problems - during these three months, I did 75 hrs shadowing and took a organic chemistry I lab summer course and I studied organic chemistry II on my own.

After last spring semester was over in May I had to take two week break because I was exhausted after taking so many classes at this age.

4 weeks: review - Chad's video, Cliff's note (as I review, I made my own note)
2 weeks: organic chemistry II - Organic Chemistry as a Second Language and Chad's video
6 weeks: practice problems

You are expected to spend min. 12 hrs (or more sometimes) a day. With very limited background in science although I spent last one year taking classes and with this much age, probably I had to spend more time than other people so please do not be overwhelmed. Anyone can do better and more efficiently than I did.
I know studying for more than 8 hrs is not efficient but I had no choice and I did NOT go to bed until I finished what I planned to finish. I made a schedule for three months and while I was studying I probably edited schedule a couple times to be more efficient and strictly followed it. I made a daily schedule for three months and also made a hourly schedule for everyday. I left Sunday off so that I can rest and catch up anything. Probably I spent half day rest and half day for catching up stuff because I had to write personal statement and finish application process which is another time consuming thing.

Material used:
Destroyer, Math Destroyer, Qvault, Bootcamp, Topscore, Crack DAT PAT, Cliff note, Feralis note, Chad's video, Organic Chemistry as a Second Language, DAT practice test 2007, DAT practice test 2009
I used these material in this order.

0. Chad's video (20/10)
It is a MUST.
I did his quiz twice. Once when I first watched his video and second before I start Bootcamp.

1. Destroyer and Math destroyer (10/10)
- 1st round: it was painful and painful. I was getting about half right - finished in 10 days
- 2nd round: it was better but I was still getting 7-10 out of 30 wrong and frustrated. - finished in 7 days
I originally planned to do it only twice but I wasn't doing great on the second run, so I decided to do one more time. Last few days of second round, I did more than one set a day to finish it within 7 days.
- 3rd round: it was probably done in three days or so because I was only doing the the problems that I got wrong on the second run and still got some problems wrong.
- 4th round: a day before DAT, I went through again but only GC and OC for the problems that I got wrong on the third round.

Bio 55 problems/day
GC 33 problems/day
OC 30 problems /day
1 Math Destoyer test/day

OC road map: I made a copy of road map and reaction table from Chad then deleted answers. Then I made many copies of this (road map and reaction table with no answers) and every night before I went to bed, I filled out the answers. It takes about one hour to do it and it is super helpful.

Destroyer is MUST and strongly recommend. Do not give up and it will pay off.
First found takes the longest and from second round it takes shorter.

2. Qvault (10/10): after doing destroyer once, I started Qvault while doing destroyer second time.
Bio 18/21/17/19/19/19/22/23/19/18
GC 20/21/17/22/24/20/21/21/21/21
OC 19/19/20/22/20/17/17/19/17/19
RC 13/20/21/20/18 - English is not my first language and this section actually gave me the most difficult time - mentally - and I ran out of my patience so I only did 5 tests. I used mapping method and always ran out of time in the end and last paragraph I used S&D.

Bio: similar to real DAT
GC: GC on my real DAT was not similar to any of the practice material.
OC: similar to real DAT
RC: harder than real DAT

I did one of each section, Bio, GC, OC and RC every day and saved questions that I got wrong and any questions that made me think before I can answer.

3. Crack DAT PAT (7/10): while I was doing Qvault, I used Crack DAT PAT.
17/16/18/20/20/17/20/18/22/20

I bought 10 test version and I did one test every day. Again I am an architect so I thought I was gonna do well on this section but NO I did not. Angle ranking was the worst section and I was getting less than 50% right. Another painful section of the DAT. I think Crack DAT PAT is a good starter but Bootcamp is much more helpful than this if I have to choose one.

Keyhole: easier than real DAT
TFE: easier than real DAT
Angle ranking: similar to real DAT
Hole punching: similar but little easier than real DAT
Cube counting: similar but little harder than real DAT
Pattern folding: similar but little easier than real DAT

After I finish Destroyer, Qvault, Crack DAT PAT, I had two weeks lefts and summer school was over so I was able to spend all my time on studying during this last two weeks leading to the test date.

4. Bootcamp (10/10)

Bio 23/20/19/18/20
GC 20/21/20/21/20
OC 27/24/20/26/21
PAT 19/19/20/19/19/20
RC 16 - again, I hated this section and didn't practice after getting 16.

Bio: similar to real DAT
GC: GC on my real DAT was not similar to any of the practice material.
OC: similar to real DAT
RC: much much harder than real DAT
PAT: Bootcamp's PAT is great. Their keyhole and TFE is very difficult and it is very frustrating. I was getting about 50% or less right on the keyhole, TFE and on angle ranking. However real DAT is not much easier than Bootcamp's keyhole and TFE. And their generator is a great tool. I planned to do it every night but honestly, with too much things to do, I could not do it.

I did one of each section, Bio, GC, OC every day.

5. 2007 DAT
Bio 18 (raw score: 30/40)
GC 23 (raw score: 28/30)
OC 30 (raw score: 30/30)
PAT 21 (don't remember raw score)
QR 26 (don't remember raw score)

In general, 2007 test is TOO EASY. But I would still do it as a practice if you have time.
Bio: easier than real DAT but I don't know why I scored so low on this.
GC and OC: too easy
PAT: easier than real DAT but I did not like it because it's like a copy version of a paper test and quality of copy is not that great. I just went through really quick because some shapes were really hard to see the details.
QR: close to real DAT

6. 2009 DAT - close to what you will get on the real DAT
Bio 22 (raw score: 36/40)
GC 21 (raw score: 26/30)
OC 24 (raw score: 27/30)
PAT 23 (raw score: 82/90) - Keyhole and TFE is easier than real DAT.

In general, this is pretty close to what you will see on the real DAT. I did online version of this test.
I knew that paper version has benefit of being able to review after the test but I just wanted to get a feeling of the real test.

Important point: While you are doing the online test, there is a answer/solution button on upper right corner and it tells you the right answer. So while I was doing online test, after I answered each question, I clicked this button and used screen capture button on my laptop to save the screen for later review. I did this for all the questions except cube counting on PAT.

7. Topscore (7/10)
Bio 18/19/17
GC 20/20/20
OC 18/23/19

I had few days left after I finished everything above so I purchased this. In general, they are ok but it you don't have time, I think you can skip Topscore. They have some good questions but also have very weird questions. Destroyer, Qvault, and Bootcamp are enough.

Real DAT
- They give you laminated 8.5 x 11 paper - grid on front and blank on back
- At my test center, they didn't say anything so I drew grids and numbers for hole punching and cube counting on PAT during tutorial.

Bio
In general, they are close to Qvault and Bootcamp. A few very easy questions and a few very difficult questions - something you can never be prepared with any of the prep material above.
In the end, I marked about 7 questions and the score was better than I expected.
I did not have any meiosis/mitosis chromosome number questions. Taxonomy question was very basic.
I actually made my own note from Cliff note but later I found that it was not even closer to Feralis note in terms of details so I just used Feralis note to study and didn't even open my own note.
I read Feralis note 3-5 pages every day.

Overall, I did not feel this section was much easier than Qvault and Bootcamp. I think I had two difficult questions that could only be prepared from studying Destroyer.

GC
I don't know how I got 20 on this section. I thought I had to retake the DAT because of this section.
I had no single question about pH calculation (actually no calculation question at all) but had lots of concept questions and one lab technique question (separating compound) which I had no idea. One or two ridiculously easy question but overall this was the toughest section and I spent most of time on this.

Overall I felt this was somewhat "different" than Qvault and Bootcamp. I wouldn't say it was much more difficult but it was "different." I wish I have a better way to explain but I don't know how.

OC
Qvault and Bootcamp is harder but good practice tool for this section.
2009 is the most accurate representative of this section. Again Destroyer road map is MUST.
I first started filling out road map and reaction table every night and later I added few more pages with questions I repeatedly got wrong from prep materials to this fill-out practice and did it every night.

Overall I felt this section was the easiest.
I think everyone can do this section very well. I studied organic chem II on my own with Organic Chemistry as a Second Language and this book covers more than what you need to know for the DAT but it is very very helpful. I studied this book and after each chapter I watched Chad's video and did his quiz.

I only had less than 5 min. to go back and review but it didn't really matter because I knew I did NOT know the answers for those marked questions anyway.

PAT - I will compare this to Bootcamp because it is most helpful tool preparing this section
  • Keyhole: similar to Bootcamp. I had crazy rocks at least twice
    • spent about 15 min.
  • TFE: similar to Bootcamp
    • spent about 13 min.
  • Angle ranking: easier than Bootcamp. I was never good at this section so I really just went through really fast because I knew I wasn't gonna go well no matter what
    • spent about 5 min.
  • Hole punching: similar to Bootcamp. They had several weird folding (that folds in the middle of the holes/grid) but Bootcamp should be good enough to mater this section. Line of symmetry works best.
    • spent about 10 min.
  • Cube counting: easier than Bootcamp. They had fewer cubes. No optical illusion but some cubes only had two questions so it's not like each set of cube has 3-5 questions like Bootcamp.
    • spent about min. 10
  • Pattern folding: similar to Bootcamp
    • spent about 7 min.
Overall I felt this was close to Bootcamp but I was tired and I ran out of time so I just guess last three problems on pattern folding.

RC
I was worried so much about this section because it wasn't something that can be prepared within a few months. English isn't my first language and even in my languages, I've hated reading since I was born. Reading is just not my thing. So I told myself that I would be more than happy if I could get 17.
BUT!!! The real one was easier than I expected. It is much easier than Bootcamp and easier than Qvault.
All three passages were about 12-14 paragraphs. I used mapping method and ran out of time by the time I was on the third passage, I used solely S&D on the third paragraph - 100% S&D

1st passage - herb/alternative medicine: 15 min mapping + 10 min answering
2nd passage - antibiotic: 15 min mapping + 10 min answering
3rd passage - thunderstorm: 10 min S&D and answering

QR
It is really difficult to think straight at this point.
I tried my best NOT to waste time on trying to figure out answers if I didn't know the answer immediately.
I just marked and skipped to the next questions whenever it MADE me THINK how to do it - make sure you don't leave anything unanswered when you skip it though. In the end I marked about 5 questions and ran out of time. The level of difficulty is close to 2007 DAT test. I did maybe half of 2009 DAT test QR and stopped because it was ridiculously hard. No difficult probability or trig questions at all.

It was a long long review but I wanted to share my experience and just wanted to encourage everyone that anyone can do this well as long as you choose the right method for yourself.
Thanks for reading my long review. I really appreciate again for all your help here.
Good luck!
 

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htorres89

5+ Year Member
Sep 15, 2014
236
139
Amazing breakdown and amazing scores!! Thanks for taking the time to do this. Congratulations!! You killed it! You definitely should get some interviews. Best of luck to you with your new career.
 

enamel88

5+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Mar 24, 2012
519
209
CA
Status
Dental Student
great breakdown. good job!
 

orgoman22

DAT DESTROYER... Dr. Romano and Nancy
Lifetime Donor
Sponsor
Vendor
10+ Year Member
Mar 12, 2005
4,189
3,038
New York City
www.orgoman.com
Status
Non-Student
I wanted to thank everyone here because I read many breakdowns and tips on studying for DAT here and it was very helpful while I was preparing my DAT. Here is my breakdown now and it may not be amazing scores but I am pretty happy with my score. :)

friendly warning: this is going to be a long, very long indeed, breakdown. I don't know how to say this in a few words. Sorry.

PAT 23
QR 21
RC 21
Biology 22
GC 20
OC 27
TS 22
AA 22

Background:
I am a non-traditional student with design background. I am doing a career change at age 36 and I had no science background AT ALL and I never took chemistry or physics class before in my life until July 2014.
In fall 2014, I took general bio I (lecture + lab), general chemistry I (lecture and lab) and in spring 2015, I took general bio II (lecture + lab), general chemistry II (lecture and lab) and organic chemistry I lecture.
All I wanted to say here is that anyone and everyone can do well on DAT.

Schedule:
6 weeks review + 6 weeks practice problems - during these three months, I did 75 hrs shadowing and took a organic chemistry I lab summer course and I studied organic chemistry II on my own.

After last spring semester was over in May I had to take two week break because I was exhausted after taking so many classes at this age.

4 weeks: review - Chad's video, Cliff's note (as I review, I made my own note)
2 weeks: organic chemistry II - Organic Chemistry as a Second Language and Chad's video
6 weeks: practice problems

You are expected to spend min. 12 hrs (or more sometimes) a day. With very limited background in science although I spent last one year taking classes and with this much age, probably I had to spend more time than other people so please do not be overwhelmed. Anyone can do better and more efficiently than I did.
I know studying for more than 8 hrs is not efficient but I had no choice and I did NOT go to bed until I finished what I planned to finish. I made a schedule for three months and while I was studying I probably edited schedule a couple times to be more efficient and strictly followed it. I made a daily schedule for three months and also made a hourly schedule for everyday. I left Sunday off so that I can rest and catch up anything. Probably I spent half day rest and half day for catching up stuff because I had to write personal statement and finish application process which is another time consuming thing.

Material used:
Destroyer, Math Destroyer, Qvault, Bootcamp, Topscore, Crack DAT PAT, Cliff note, Feralis note, Chad's video, Organic Chemistry as a Second Language, DAT practice test 2007, DAT practice test 2009
I used these material in this order.

0. Chad's video (20/10)
It is a MUST.
I did his quiz twice. Once when I first watched his video and second before I start Bootcamp.

1. Destroyer and Math destroyer (10/10)
- 1st round: it was painful and painful. I was getting about half right - finished in 10 days
- 2nd round: it was better but I was still getting 7-10 out of 30 wrong and frustrated. - finished in 7 days
I originally planned to do it only twice but I wasn't doing great on the second run, so I decided to do one more time. Last few days of second round, I did more than one set a day to finish it within 7 days.
- 3rd round: it was probably done in three days or so because I was only doing the the problems that I got wrong on the second run and still got some problems wrong.
- 4th round: a day before DAT, I went through again but only GC and OC for the problems that I got wrong on the third round.

Bio 55 problems/day
GC 33 problems/day
OC 30 problems /day
1 Math Destoyer test/day

OC road map: I made a copy of road map and reaction table from Chad then deleted answers. Then I made many copies of this (road map and reaction table with no answers) and every night before I went to bed, I filled out the answers. It takes about one hour to do it and it is super helpful.

Destroyer is MUST and strongly recommend. Do not give up and it will pay off.
First found takes the longest and from second round it takes shorter.

2. Qvault (10/10): after doing destroyer once, I started Qvault while doing destroyer second time.
Bio 18/21/17/19/19/19/22/23/19/18
GC 20/21/17/22/24/20/21/21/21/21
OC 19/19/20/22/20/17/17/19/17/19
RC 13/20/21/20/18 - English is not my first language and this section actually gave me the most difficult time - mentally - and I ran out of my patience so I only did 5 tests. I used mapping method and always ran out of time in the end and last paragraph I used S&D.

Bio: similar to real DAT
GC: GC on my real DAT was not similar to any of the practice material.
OC: similar to real DAT
RC: harder than real DAT

I did one of each section, Bio, GC, OC and RC every day and saved questions that I got wrong and any questions that made me think before I can answer.

3. Crack DAT PAT (7/10): while I was doing Qvault, I used Crack DAT PAT.
17/16/18/20/20/17/20/18/22/20

I bought 10 test version and I did one test every day. Again I am an architect so I thought I was gonna do well on this section but NO I did not. Angle ranking was the worst section and I was getting less than 50% right. Another painful section of the DAT. I think Crack DAT PAT is a good starter but Bootcamp is much more helpful than this if I have to choose one.

Keyhole: easier than real DAT
TFE: easier than real DAT
Angle ranking: similar to real DAT
Hole punching: similar but little easier than real DAT
Cube counting: similar but little harder than real DAT
Pattern folding: similar but little easier than real DAT

After I finish Destroyer, Qvault, Crack DAT PAT, I had two weeks lefts and summer school was over so I was able to spend all my time on studying during this last two weeks leading to the test date.

4. Bootcamp (10/10)

Bio 23/20/19/18/20
GC 20/21/20/21/20
OC 27/24/20/26/21
PAT 19/19/20/19/19/20
RC 16 - again, I hated this section and didn't practice after getting 16.

Bio: similar to real DAT
GC: GC on my real DAT was not similar to any of the practice material.
OC: similar to real DAT
RC: much much harder than real DAT
PAT: Bootcamp's PAT is great. Their keyhole and TFE is very difficult and it is very frustrating. I was getting about 50% or less right on the keyhole, TFE and on angle ranking. However real DAT is not much easier than Bootcamp's keyhole and TFE. And their generator is a great tool. I planned to do it every night but honestly, with too much things to do, I could not do it.

I did one of each section, Bio, GC, OC every day.

5. 2007 DAT
Bio 18 (raw score: 30/40)
GC 23 (raw score: 28/30)
OC 30 (raw score: 30/30)
PAT 21 (don't remember raw score)
QR 26 (don't remember raw score)

In general, 2007 test is TOO EASY. But I would still do it as a practice if you have time.
Bio: easier than real DAT but I don't know why I scored so low on this.
GC and OC: too easy
PAT: easier than real DAT but I did not like it because it's like a copy version of a paper test and quality of copy is not that great. I just went through really quick because some shapes were really hard to see the details.
QR: close to real DAT

6. 2009 DAT - close to what you will get on the real DAT
Bio 22 (raw score: 36/40)
GC 21 (raw score: 26/30)
OC 24 (raw score: 27/30)
PAT 23 (raw score: 82/90) - Keyhole and TFE is easier than real DAT.

In general, this is pretty close to what you will see on the real DAT. I did online version of this test.
I knew that paper version has benefit of being able to review after the test but I just wanted to get a feeling of the real test.

Important point: While you are doing the online test, there is a answer/solution button on upper right corner and it tells you the right answer. So while I was doing online test, after I answered each question, I clicked this button and used screen capture button on my laptop to save the screen for later review. I did this for all the questions except cube counting on PAT.

7. Topscore (7/10)
Bio 18/19/17
GC 20/20/20
OC 18/23/19

I had few days left after I finished everything above so I purchased this. In general, they are ok but it you don't have time, I think you can skip Topscore. They have some good questions but also have very weird questions. Destroyer, Qvault, and Bootcamp are enough.

Real DAT
- They give you laminated 8.5 x 11 paper - grid on front and blank on back
- At my test center, they didn't say anything so I drew grids and numbers for hole punching and cube counting on PAT during tutorial.

Bio
In general, they are close to Qvault and Bootcamp. A few very easy questions and a few very difficult questions - something you can never be prepared with any of the prep material above.
In the end, I marked about 7 questions and the score was better than I expected.
I did not have any meiosis/mitosis chromosome number questions. Taxonomy question was very basic.
I actually made my own note from Cliff note but later I found that it was not even closer to Feralis note in terms of details so I just used Feralis note to study and didn't even open my own note.
I read Feralis note 3-5 pages every day.

Overall, I did not feel this section was much easier than Qvault and Bootcamp. I think I had two difficult questions that could only be prepared from studying Destroyer.

GC
I don't know how I got 20 on this section. I thought I had to retake the DAT because of this section.
I had no single question about pH calculation (actually no calculation question at all) but had lots of concept questions and one lab technique question (separating compound) which I had no idea. One or two ridiculously easy question but overall this was the toughest section and I spent most of time on this.

Overall I felt this was somewhat "different" than Qvault and Bootcamp. I wouldn't say it was much more difficult but it was "different." I wish I have a better way to explain but I don't know how.

OC
Qvault and Bootcamp is harder but good practice tool for this section.
2009 is the most accurate representative of this section. Again Destroyer road map is MUST.
I first started filling out road map and reaction table every night and later I added few more pages with questions I repeatedly got wrong from prep materials to this fill-out practice and did it every night.

Overall I felt this section was the easiest.
I think everyone can do this section very well. I studied organic chem II on my own with Organic Chemistry as a Second Language and this book covers more than what you need to know for the DAT but it is very very helpful. I studied this book and after each chapter I watched Chad's video and did his quiz.

I only had less than 5 min. to go back and review but it didn't really matter because I knew I did NOT know the answers for those marked questions anyway.

PAT - I will compare this to Bootcamp because it is most helpful tool preparing this section
  • Keyhole: similar to Bootcamp. I had crazy rocks at least twice
    • spent about 15 min.
  • TFE: similar to Bootcamp
    • spent about 13 min.
  • Angle ranking: easier than Bootcamp. I was never good at this section so I really just went through really fast because I knew I wasn't gonna go well no matter what
    • spent about 5 min.
  • Hole punching: similar to Bootcamp. They had several weird folding (that folds in the middle of the holes/grid) but Bootcamp should be good enough to mater this section. Line of symmetry works best.
    • spent about 10 min.
  • Cube counting: easier than Bootcamp. They had fewer cubes. No optical illusion but some cubes only had two questions so it's not like each set of cube has 3-5 questions like Bootcamp.
    • spent about min. 10
  • Pattern folding: similar to Bootcamp
    • spent about 7 min.
Overall I felt this was close to Bootcamp but I was tired and I ran out of time so I just guess last three problems on pattern folding.

RC
I was worried so much about this section because it wasn't something that can be prepared within a few months. English isn't my first language and even in my languages, I've hated reading since I was born. Reading is just not my thing. So I told myself that I would be more than happy if I could get 17.
BUT!!! The real one was easier than I expected. It is much easier than Bootcamp and easier than Qvault.
All three passages were about 12-14 paragraphs. I used mapping method and ran out of time by the time I was on the third passage, I used solely S&D on the third paragraph - 100% S&D

1st passage - herb/alternative medicine: 15 min mapping + 10 min answering
2nd passage - antibiotic: 15 min mapping + 10 min answering
3rd passage - thunderstorm: 10 min S&D and answering

QR
It is really difficult to think straight at this point.
I tried my best NOT to waste time on trying to figure out answers if I didn't know the answer immediately.
I just marked and skipped to the next questions whenever it MADE me THINK how to do it - make sure you don't leave anything unanswered when you skip it though. In the end I marked about 5 questions and ran out of time. The level of difficulty is close to 2007 DAT test. I did maybe half of 2009 DAT test QR and stopped because it was ridiculously hard. No difficult probability or trig questions at all.

It was a long long review but I wanted to share my experience and just wanted to encourage everyone that anyone can do this well as long as you choose the right method for yourself.
Thanks for reading my long review. I really appreciate again for all your help here.
Good luck!
Congratulations! 2ma :highfive::highfive::highfive:

Very nice scores indeed! Love 22, 22:love:. Thank you for the VERY detailed breakdown and encouragement for students still preparing for the DAT. I commend you on your 21 reading score, with English being your 2nd language your proved that with persistence and a good study plan you can achieve.

The DAT Beast was no match for you and you will receive many interviews with these scores.

Wishing you the very best!

Dr. Jim Romano and Nancy