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Oct 31, 2015
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Just took the DAT and since I always looked at other sdn'ers breakdowns during my downtime, thought I'd share my own testing experience. Firstly, I want to thank Ari, orgoman (dat destroyer), feralis, and scsc7211. I would not have gotten my scores if it weren't for them.

PAT: 20
QR: 19
RC: 21
BIO: 19
GC: 22
OC: 20
TS: 20
AA: 20

Bootcamp scores:
Test 1/2/3/4/5/6/7/8/9/10
Bio: 15,14,16,16,18,15,18,18,15,19
GC: 21,19,18,18,18,19,19,19,19,19
OC: 18,20,18,18,18,19,18,18,17,18,
PAT: 20,21,20,19,18,18,20,18,18,x
RC: 20,19,21,23,20,17,20,19,19,x
QR: 20,18,20,19,17,17,19,19,19,17

I did test 1 first, then 6-10 (ish), then did 2-5 with testing parameters.

2009 test: 19 bio, 20 gen chem, 18 ochem. This was before I checked for the wrong answers, and afterwards I didn't bother to redo the math as to not obsess over the scores + I felt hunting for the explanations were going to help me in the long run. I didn't do the rest of the exam or the 2007 exam.

Dat Prep:
I want to start off by saying I started the beginning with content review with Chad's videos for gen chem, organic, and qr. I did not think this helped me, and instead I felt like everything was going in one ear and out the other. I did that for about 2 weeks, then realized I wasn't getting any knowledge down. So afterwards, I simply started going over my lecture notes for those subjects and figured out that those helped way way way more better -- especially because my lecture notes from the school year were a combination of class, tutorials, textbooks, youtube vids, khan academy, bozeman science etc. I was also studying in between visiting family, personal obligations, etc.

I had about 3 weeks left at this point.

Chad's videos (0/10): I really wanted to like these, but... reason explained above. I'm probably an anomaly however.

2016 Dat Destroyer & Math Destroyer: (10/10) I was not able to do all of it fully due to time constraints, but nevertheless, it did point me at which direction I needed to go over. I hadn't taken QR related math in about 6 years, so the math destroyer really helped me out as a refresher. Roadmaps were amazing, but it didn't help me much on my exam. If I could do it again, I would have gone over all the destroyer questions.

AP Bio Cliff's 3rd ed. (9/10): Great overview, yet missing quite a bunch of anatomy.

scsc7211’s Version of Alan’s DAT Biology Notes (8/10): Great overview and condensed version.

AintNobodyGotTimeForDAT's Anki flashcard deck (8/10): Really good, but I did not manage to get quite far (enough) into the deck, imo.

DAT Bootcamp (10/10): If there's one thing you should buy, it's this.

Scientific American (10/10): I love reading. I always get distracted on wikipedia, SA, news sites, literature, and so much more. I'm not that used to reading heavy science articles compared to how much I read for fun, however.

The Exam:
Bio - Some of the questions were definitely "you know it or you don't" and some questions were a bit more application based. A few were incredibly random, but as we all know, breadth over depth.

Gen chem - I was kind of freaking out at this point because of the random bio questions, and for some reason my brain kept freezing at similar questions I had literally answered a few days ago. Everything here imo was doable and not random as far as I can remember.

Organic - There were a few questions that I had no idea what to do because I was not sure what it was asking, and it might have just been the way it was asked. Either way, there were enough times I got it down between two answer choices. Not a lot of questions that could be answered using roadmaps, sadly.

PAT - I was preparing for DAT to be super blurry or TFE/keyhole to absolutely wreck me. I had 1 question that I could safely say was a rock, but tbh, a few we could argue whether or not they were rocks. Angle was the same as BC. Hole punching had a few weird "in between" hole punches. Cube counting was nice, except I had one huge cube thing that was only for 1 question... lol. Keyhole was a bit easier than BC. I started PAT with angles and continued on from there.

RC - My method was to read all the relevant questions for the passage, read all or most of the passage while highlighting and then start answering. My first question was S&D, but my other two passages were definitely not S&D - a lot of tone/inference/true but not true, etc questions. One of my questions literally had the exact same answer choice shown twice (I checked 6x and stared at it to make sure!), and I put that tidbit down in the misc text box at the end of exam tutorial. That surprise kind of made me think I was going mad, not going to lie.

QR - I had QC, trig, and a few other questions that were seen in Bootcamp and Math destroyer. A few questions were similar, but not similar enough that it was taking me longer than usual. I felt like I guessed in an educated manner for about 6-7 of them, which really hurt my confidence because I always had time leftover for BC and destroyer. I wanted to tear up because at this point I thought I was going to get 16's or 17's across the board. Never the less, I focused until time was up because I knew mentality was half the battle.

When my scores showed on the screen, I felt *so* much relief. I know that my scores aren't on par with the rest of the SDN population, but I was seriously expecting the worse. Some advice would be to learn from your mistakes during your prep time -- a mistake now can be an answer later on the real thing.

UNUSUAL TIPS:
-I wear glasses that were two years old, and when I updated my prescription PAT (especially angles) became a whoLE lot easier. Make sure your glasses/contacts are up to date!
-Take everyone's own experiences with a grain of salt, what may work for one person may not work for you (re: chad's videos.)
-Taking practice tests in a test setting really helped me and any sort of testing anxiety when I took the actual test, as it didn't seem so nerve wracking and extreme.
-Figure out where the bathroom is before you start the test. The restrooms for me were practically in a different building.
-Since you know you're getting a laminated sheet/grid paper and expo markers, use those instead of pen/pencil/paper. I practiced with regular dry expo markers and a sheet print out shoved in a sheet protecter. As a person who writes with 0.38mm and 0.25mm pens often, I was lucky enough that the testing center had the "extra fine tip" expos.

Background: I just finished my second year of college at a large public university and am a rising junior. My residency is TX, and I still do not have a school list except for the 3 TX schools, so if anyone has any suggestions, please let me know! Additionally, my oGPA is a 3.59.
 

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DeSi#1

TheDeSiDentist
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Mar 24, 2017
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Solid scores! Took my DAT today as well! I really felt that the expo markers and whiteboards screwed me over in the QR section because I couldn't make out what I wrote. Everything I wrote looked like a blob! I did the Prometric Test Drive and I was given pencil and paper "by accident", so that is what I prepared for. I think it is great that you actually practiced with white boards and expos! For future DATers, I would take this "tip" into consideration!
 
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rectangle

5+ Year Member
Oct 31, 2015
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Solid scores! Took my DAT today as well! I really felt that the expo markers and whiteboards screwed me over in the QR section because I couldn't make out what I wrote. Everything I wrote looked like a blob! I did the Prometric Test Drive and I was given pencil and paper "by accident", so that is what I prepared for. I think it is great that you actually practiced with white boards and expos! For future DATers, I would take this "tip" into consideration!
Wow I can't believe they gave you pencil and paper by accident! Was it a different or new staff worker? I hope it didn't affect your scores too much!
 

DeSi#1

TheDeSiDentist
2+ Year Member
Mar 24, 2017
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Wow I can't believe they gave you pencil and paper by accident! Was it a different or new staff worker? I hope it didn't affect your scores too much!

No, they were just old people. When I was there for the test drive, it didn't seem like they cared all that much. I am happy with my score. Having pencil and paper probably would have helped me in the QR, but it is all said and done now!
 
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