DAT Breakdown TS 23/ AA 23/ PAT 26

Discussion in 'DAT Discussions' started by lilaznsaphire, 09.25.14.

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  1. lilaznsaphire

    lilaznsaphire

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    First post! I would just like to put down how I studied for my DAT, and what worked for me personally. I just took it recently. This is coming from a person who has a pretty low BCP gpa (I just found out what that was recently).

    PAT: 26
    QR: 24
    RC: 22
    Bio: 22
    GC: 23
    OC: 24
    TS: 23
    AA: 23

    Resources:

    Kaplan DAT Prep Course:
    (7/10) SO MUCH MONEY :dead: It provides you with so many resources: 5 full length tests, 3 hour sessions covering bio, chem. physics, study strategies, practice tests, the whole shebang. But in all honestly, you can get all their resources from other places for a much cheaper price. One thing I also don't like is that people tend to rely heavily on the fact that Kaplan will teach you everything and you don't have to do as much self studying. I personally feel that this course is what you put into it, meaning that you should spend the same amount studying on your own with or without the course. I personally didn't do the workshops online, and I think that going to the 3 hour sessions is a good way to be re-introduced to the subject, and figure out what you're particularly weak at, but don't count on them. They're very general. I do recommend the Kaplan strategy of briefly outlining the passages for RC and looking back on the outline for questions. I felt that this was the best for me, in comparison to search and destroy, especially because I had a lot of questions with "all of the following except." It also creates a map in your brain also, so you do not have to spend a lot of time looking at your outline.

    Chad's Videos:
    (10/10) I LOVE HIM. ok maybe not in a creepy way, but he literally saved my scores for GC and OC. This is sufficient enough material, and mostly everything on my test and practice tests was covered by him (by mostly everything, I mean seriously, almost everything except for maybe a few questions over all the tests I took). I went over his quizzes only once, but I feel like doing them twice would be a good use of time. He makes gen chem and ochem easy to understand, and make sure you print out his worksheets before you start the videos. Take good notes! And be sure to take note of the exception to the rules he points out. He teaches some strategy as well. I did not use his Bio videos, because I know they aren't complete, but I did watch some of his QR videos for topics I was still a bit weak at (love his probability, permutations and combinations video, it made the concept so much simpler). I just ended up following the schedule that they put out for you. When I signed up for it, I had maybe 2 and a half months before my DAT. Definitely a must have.

    DAT Boot Camp:
    (10/10) Awesome sauce. Provided 5 practice test for each subject, and 10 for PAT. Do not be very discouraged by the scores you get. Make sure you focus on what you got wrong. The scores I got fluctuated greatly throughout the practice tests. They have great explanations and a lot more resources than just the practice tests. Make sure you look through their strategies. Ari has his study guide and study plan up on the site for free, if you're looking for a schedule to follow. I didn't see it until it was already three weeks before my test. PAT is super hard. Like wtf type of hard. But I found it super useful. I could not get above a 20 on their tests, but it really prepared me for the actual PAT which was a lot easier in my opinion. Also their website looks so clean and organized. Who can resist that?

    Cliff's AP Bio:
    (9/10) It covered mostly everything, I went through the entire book, typing on notes on the side. If you do this a chapter or two chapters a day, you will get through this quickly. I reread chapters that I felt weak on.

    Feralis's Bio Notes:
    (9/10) I hope I spelled his name right, but you get my drift. I found the notes on DAT bootcamp I went over Cliff's and then use Feralis to fill in any missing gaps (stuff that I saw on the practice tests that weren't in Cliff's. Feralis is specifically geared toward material for the DAT, so it was good to go over it. I did not read it extensively, just skimmed through some stuff, read anything that wasn't covered in Cliffs. Seriously recommend Cliffs and Feralis together.

    DAT Destroyer:
    (9/10) I really liked Destroyer. For Bio, I felt that this was really helpful. When I first started doing problems for Bio, I was like "what is this random sh*t" and I felt that it was hopeless. But as you go through them, and read every single explanation for every bio questions (which I recommend), it sorta comes together. I made note cards for the ones I got wrong and stuff in the explanations that I knew I would not remember, and reviewed them every so often. There was a lot of "All of the above" for the answers, so make sure you review them, even if you got it right. Overall, the bio section made me get a better feel of what random stuff can pop up on the test. For chem, I got really discouraged because I missed half (sometimes more than half) whenever I did a set of problems. But as I went through it, it started to click more. Explanations were good, and I felt that the questions weren't too hard (some were tricky though) by the end of it. For ochem, the questions were very difficult, more so than on the actual test. I don't know if I would recommend doing all the problems if you don't have time or have another resource for ochem practice questions. I just felt that it was overkill. All in all, its a great thing that these problems are harder than the actual thing, and I think its a good resource for practice questions.

    Math Destroyer:
    (9/10) Good practice for time tests. There are questions that cover topics that people aren't automatically familiar with that might come up (chords, circles, internal angles, some trig) and its good to take time to go over them. Around test number 10 and up, it gets significantly harder to do, so I didn't finish the rest.


    Preparation:

    I spent 6 weeks going over material and 6 weeks doing practice problems. For the practice problems, I did 40 bio 30 gc and 30 oc problems everyday for destroyer, and worked my way up to 50 bio, 40 gc and 40 oc. Some people try to do timed tests with the problems, but I feel that won't help as the problems are much harder, and you don't want to feel rushed when doing the problem. You want to see if you understand it. Also on the side, I did one practice test everyday for GC, and then I moved onto bio, and then ochem. I finished destroyer with 2-3 weeks, so I moved onto the Kaplan subjects tests, taking one bio, one chem, and one ochem every day (they have five of each) and they also have a total natural sciences tests (3 of them) as well. I also did the practice tests from Bootcamp again when I had time. When I was finished with destroyer, I also started to do a PAT practice test from bootcamp every day, along with a QR test from MATH destroyer. I procrastinated on RC til the end.. but I used bootcamp for that. It was pretty haphazard on scheduling.

    The week and a half before my actual test, I did a practice test every day or every other day (using Kaplan full lengths and 2007 and 2009 from the ADA). Total of six I think. I really recommend doing this as it builds up your endurance and prevents you from burning out throughout the actual test. You practice your timing too, and have more experience with practice problems, which is never a bad thing. I recommend doing the 2007 test first to build up confidence, because it is significantly easier than the actual DAT, but its always nice to see that you received a good score on a practice test. I would save 2009 last, its difficultly is similar. (Don't fret too much about the score you receive on it, I've had a friend who got 20 on it and receive 24 on the actual thing, he cray)

    Strategies I recommend:

    PAT - I really recommend using Tic Tac Toe for hole punching, it can get you 15/15. Practice using the generator on DAT bootcamp, and even though its kinda hard to get your head around it, practice makes perfect. For cube counting, recommend the tally method ( you should get 15/15 if you practice well). For Top Front End, I didn't use the line counting method much, I mostly tried to imagine it in 3d. For Angles, I tried to compare it against a 90 degree angle to figure out the obtuse ones. I struggled the most with angles, and would get about half of it wrong on practice tests. Just really try to find a method that works for you, and more shading for acute sharp angles = smaller angle.

    RC - really recommend Kaplan's method of outlining it on the note pad. It works great, and its not as stressful as search and destroy. To really be able to do this well, you just need practice.


    Actual Test:

    Bio (22) - random and some hard questions, some easier. I should have studied harder for Bio, but I really couldn't motivate myself to for some reason. It was very similar to Bootcamp. Had no questions about lab techniques

    Gen Chem (23) - I did not have much calculation on mine. I struggled with the more conceptual questions

    Ochem (24) - Ok, this section was so easy compared to every single practice test I did. I've heard similar things from friends who have taken it as well. I don't know if I had an easier section, or if its generally like that, but it did not really have any trick questions, or anything that I haven't seen before in Chad's videos.

    ~ After Sciences, I had a lot of time left over, I used 2-3 minutes to draw out the Tic Tac Toe grids and the tables for tallying for PAT, don't do this during the tutorial or else you could be kicked out ~

    PAT (26) -
    Keyholes: significantly easier than what I saw on Bootcamp, it was actually most similar to Kaplan's PAT, which is known for being way to easy, I used the crush method.
    Top Front End: Pretty hard, I felt it was close to Bootcamp's.
    Angles: Very close together, most similar to Bootcamp's. There were questions where the angles were obvious, so some free easy points!
    Hole punching: Tic Tac Toe made it easy.
    Cube counting: Just tally!
    Pattern Folding: Similar to what you see on the practice tests from the ADA. I just practiced a lot with these problems using Kaplan and the generator on Bootcamp.

    RC (22) - Honestly, its a toss up for what passages you can get. I got two fairly easy passages, and one hard passage, filled with uninteresting facts and plenty of unfamiliar terms and complicated names. Uses Kaplan strategy

    QR (24) - USE THE CALCULATOR if your center has a functional one. I would actually ask around to see which centers have a non-buggy calculator. I've heard horror stories, but I've heard from friends that their calculator was fine. Use the numberpad also, it is faster than clicking it on the screen. Overall, not as hard as MATH destroyer. I felt it was similar to Kaplan's tests for QR.


    Tips:

    A little amount of stress is good for motivation, but if its the week before the test, stressing out won't do any good but hurt your confidence. Rem to leave time for enjoyable things. The week before, I would usually take the practice test, go over what I got wrong, and not do anything for the rest of the day. The day before, I went over quickly over problems for and hour or two and then didn't study. It was hard not to, but its better to have a peaceful state of mind right before you take your exam. Thinking that you will receive a bad score will not help in getting a good score. Try to stay off of horror stories on sdn or don't try to compare yourself.


    Sorry it was such a long breakdown, I just wanted to be as detailed as possible. I really thought I would do badly, and I did not think I could even get a 21. But its all possible with a good work ethic. I'd be willing to reply if anyone has questions.
     
    Last edited: 09.25.14
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  3. Syntav

    Syntav 2+ Year Member

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    great scores, congrats!

    could you explain what you meant by "more shading for acute sharp angles = smaller angle." ?
     
  4. Mary1984

    Mary1984 2+ Year Member

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    congrats on your great scores.
    I have two questions.
    1. What is the crush method that you used for Key Hole portion of PAT?
    2. Which videos or references did you use for QR? I mean except for the practice tests what did you use to learn it?
     
  5. Tooth Fairy85

    Tooth Fairy85

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    Congrats. Solid scores! Do you mind sharing the topics for the RC section?
     
  6. Weakfart

    Weakfart 2+ Year Member

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    What's up DAT brother?
     
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  7. mkhan27

    mkhan27 2+ Year Member

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    Firstly congrats on the scores. You absolutely rocked the PAT and those scores are awesome. Big props to you :claps::claps::claps::claps::claps::thumbup: :thumbup: :thumbup: :thumbup: :thumbup:. I did want to ask about Math Destroyer. Math Destroyer Test #12 has p-value questions. Did you happen to catch any of those on your QR? How would you compare the calculation difficulty on Destroyer Gchem to the actual Gchem? I am totally struggling in the calculations on Destroyer Gchem. I know how to set things up, but when it comes to estimation and numbers that is where I get stuck. Any tips will definitely help. Thanks and congrats again!
     
  8. lilaznsaphire

    lilaznsaphire

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    Sharp acute angles have a little shading overlap, if you notice. The more shading that you see near the tip of the angle, it usually indicates more overlap, and hence a smaller angle
     
  9. lilaznsaphire

    lilaznsaphire

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    1. Its a method recommended by Kaplan, where you picture the object crushed from the front, from the side, and from the top. Like crushing a soda can from the top would make a circle, but crushing a soda can from the side would make a rectangle.
    2. I used Chad's for some topics I had trouble with, but most of QR is basic math that I felt I already knew. So I only needed to practice on timing and not making errors. I only used MATH Destroyer to practice QR, and it went over some topics I wasn't used to seeing, such as chords of circle and internal angles of polygons. I googled those topics to get more clarity.
     
  10. lilaznsaphire

    lilaznsaphire

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    First one was about herbal medicines vs prescribed medicine, second one was about the body's response to bone fractions (this was the hard one), and the third I can't recall but it wasn't a hard to read passage
     
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  11. lilaznsaphire

    lilaznsaphire

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    No pvalues at all! the actual qr was a lot easier than the Math Destroyer. The only thing about stats that came up was the bell curve (probability out of a variable amount of standard deviations).

    I felt like gen chem on actual DAT was easier than the Destroyer Gchem. I was still getting a good amount wrong even towards problem 200, in comparison to practice tests where I would get only 2-4 wrong out of 30. For gen chem on the actual DAT, they make the numbers really nice and round, so its easy to do math with them, in comparison to the random numbers in Destroyer
     
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  12. kkristenyyyyy

    kkristenyyyyy 2+ Year Member

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    Great Job! Can you briefly go over Kaplan's method of outlining for RC?
     
  13. Syntav

    Syntav 2+ Year Member

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  14. lilaznsaphire

    lilaznsaphire

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    It's basically just reviewing the passage quickly, writing down any keywords,unfamiliar words, and what its about for each paragraph, so if you see a topic on the question, you know where to look

    Heres a more specific version : http://quizlet.com/20159738/kaplan-reading-comprehension-flash-cards/

    heres an example of notes I would take for the passage in 2007

    1) X radiation, Wilhelm Conrad Roentgen in 1895, Corpuscular radiations
    2) speed of photons, transverse and oscillatory, wavelength in electromagnetic wave
    3) different waevlengths, radio and gamma, Angstrom, Xray related to cancer
    ...

    And so on.

    Its hard to do on the 2007 and 2009 one if you have the paper version or pdf because the passages aren't numbered, but on the real thing, it will be.

    I think to really master it, you have to practice and see what type of words you want to put down. Mine differs a bit from what Kaplan tells me to do (I did not write tone and topic down). The most helpful part about this strategy for me is that when I review it briefly, it creates a mind map for me, so I already kinda know where everything is. Just remember not to read the passages in depth at first, just quick scan (you can do this by reading the first and last sentence of the paragraph, and scanning the paragraph for odd words, or something you think would come up in a question, but this varies). To make a map should take you 6 minutes or less.

    If you don't like this strategy or feels like it doesn't work for you, then thats ok! You should try others and see which one you are most comfortable with.
     
  15. biomolecmed

    biomolecmed 2+ Year Member

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    Awesome scores. Congratulations. Nice breakdown.
     
  16. Dotoday

    Dotoday 7+ Year Member

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    Solid scores. Well done.
     
  17. Tooth Fairy85

    Tooth Fairy85

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    Thanks for all the great tips!
     
  18. lilaznsaphire

    lilaznsaphire

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    WHOAA what up, soul sista!
     
  19. kkristenyyyyy

    kkristenyyyyy 2+ Year Member

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    Thank You! Congratulations again! :)


     
  20. Ari Rezaei

    Ari Rezaei Senior Member Lifetime Donor Gold Donor 2+ Year Member

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    Fantastics scores, I think it'll definitely help bolster your application for your BCP. Congratulations!
     
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  21. dentalgirl101

    dentalgirl101 2+ Year Member

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    Congrats!
     
  22. Sharon914

    Sharon914 2+ Year Member

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    Great! Congrats!!
     
  23. Dotoday

    Dotoday 7+ Year Member

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    Were there calculations in bio section? Like Mendelian genetics or estmating an age of a specimen based on isotopes?
     
  24. lilaznsaphire

    lilaznsaphire

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    It had the punnett square mainly. One of the questions asked about the original percentage of DNA after it goes through certain number of rounds of replication. But other than that, no math for me
     
  25. Dotoday

    Dotoday 7+ Year Member

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    Ok. Thanks. So simple math.
     
  26. belmont3

    belmont3

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    Congratulations. Awesome scores!
     
  27. Syntav

    Syntav 2+ Year Member

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    what topics were the random bio questions related to?
     

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