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DAT Complete! BREAKDOWN! (*Spoiler: Not a 24+AA)

Discussion in 'DAT Discussions' started by NorIdaho, Jun 17, 2014.

  1. NorIdaho

    NorIdaho 2+ Year Member

    May 30, 2014
    Alright, so to start off I've been a long time stalker of SDN, but never posted. I can't stress how much help everyone's advice and breakdowns were to my success. That's why I decided to post a "quick" breakdown of my DAT adventure. Hopefully this info can be of some help, especially to those with a short time period to study. I finished spring semester near the end of May and then had to move out of where I was living, which took nearly a week ..... a week I could have been studying:annoyed:. I started some light studying on weekends during the semester beginning in April, but I feel like I retained close to zero information during that time, so that was a wash. After I got all moved and situated I spent the next three or so weeks studying 6-10+ hours a day. Anyways to the point! ... here are my scores:

    PAT: 22 :thumbup:
    QR: 19
    RC: 24 :eyebrow:
    BIO: 20
    GC: 21
    OC: 21 :shrug:

    TS: 21
    AA: 21

    I know these scores aren't anything special (What's up with people being upset over a 20 these days??), but overall I was fairly satisfied with my scores, especially considering the brief time I had to study. I would consider myself a pretty average student. I started college on a less than stellar note with a 3.0 GPA my freshman year, because I had terrible study habits (mainly due to never really having had to study in high school). Near the end of my freshman year I finally decided to be serious about my studies and have subsequently upped my GPA to a somewhat respectable 3.5. Anyways..... first things first: I CAN'T BELIEVE I'M DONE!!! :clap::clap: WHAT A RELIEF!

    Breakdown Time:

    PAT: CDP > Bootcamp >KBB
    After doing some research the consensus seemed to be that Crack the DAT PAT was the best choice. So I went with that (Even got the fancy 7million test addition.. something like that). I was pretty satisfied with the program. The explanations were usually pretty helpful and I found the test interface to be very similar to that of the actual DAT. I, however, wasn't able to get through all the tests and could have easily gotten by with the generic CDP. I believe I got through about 7 tests in total.. The first couple tests I did poorly (17-18), but after some practice I was consistently scoring 21-24. I was actually somewhat disappointed about getting a 22 on the actual DAT, but I'm definitely not complaining. I have read that some people think CDP is easier than the actual DAT, but I felt that it was pretty on point. CDP's angles and hole punches were definitely harder than on the DAT, but I found the keyholes to be quite a bit easier. Cube counting, TFE, and pattern folding seemed about equal. I also used KBB's PAT section, but really didn't find this to be very helpful. I did two of the bootcamp PAT's and almost had a heart attack with the keyholes... I then did allllll the keyhole question sets on bootcamp. (Don't worry the real DAT's keyholes aren't quite that difficult) One piece of advice I would throw out there is to do angle ranking, and hole punching practice sets on CDP (not sure if every version comes with this feature) whenever you get bored of studying another subject. IMO The key to success is to consistently work on your weaknesses.

    QR: Math Destroyer > Bootcamp > KBB
    So... I haven't taken a math class since high school and wow was I ever rusty. Math destroyer was helpful and a great resource ... I made it through about 6 tests before it became redundant. I knew this would be my weakest point and it definitely showed.. DON'T OVERLOOK QR! Anyways I rank math destroyer above bootcamp only because I worked with it more.. I thought bootcamp's questions were worded similarly to what you will see on the actual DAT. The key here is time management. If you think a question is going to take more than a few minutes make a guess, mark it, and move to the next question. This is the strategy I used and I feel like I maximized my score ... because I honestly felt like I could have easily gotten a 10. This is the one section I wish I would have spent more time with. KNOW YOUR TRIG FUNCTIONS!!

    RC: Bootcamp, 2007 ADA Exam
    I didn't really practice this at all besides in my bootcamp exams. I didn't do great on the abbreviated RC section of the ADA practice (18), but after I gave up on actually reading the passages I immediately did better (Scored 24 on both bootcamp RC sections I completed). I guess this is called the "Search & Destroy" method, but I just call it being a slow reader (and a good skimmer!) .. This is the way I go through my textbooks in school so it seemed to come naturally for me. On the actual DAT I finished all question with about 13min left and was able to completely review each question two times and at the time had felt like there was no way I had even missed a question, but I'll take a 24!+pity+This is a hard section to offer advice.. It is, however, very important to have a strategy that works for you rehearsed before test day.

    **Intermission/Popcorn & Snack Break** :corny: (Speaking of which, make sure to bring a snack to the test!)

    BIO: Cliffs AP BIO >>>>>>> Feralis ~Destroyer~Chad's~Bootcamp > KBB
    Cliff's has just about everything you need for the DAT... I read through the entire book and highlighted/took notes the first week I studied. I then went through KBB and did destroyer problems for the remaining time. The last week of studying I went through Feralis and any sections I felt fuzzy about I watched Chad's associated video. Chad's Bio videos aren't amazing like his chem videos, but they really help solidify certain concepts. Destroyer was a great resource.. Like it's chemistry section a lot of the questions were beyond the scope of what you would see on the DAT, but reading through ALL of the solutions and forcing myself to understand concepts really helped. I even had a couple questions on my DAT that were nearly word-for-word from the Destroyer book. In the end Biology is a crap-shoot... I got a good mix of questions on my DAT, but was really disappointed to have very few anatomy/physiology question which is my strong point, as I teach a lab section for both subjects. In the end I was alright with a 20, but had scored higher on a few practices. Like everyone says: the scope of the section is huge so try to expose yourself to a ton of material (Chad's, Cliff's, Destroyer, Bootcamp, etc.)

    GChem: CHAD's!! & Destroyer (just to make you want to punch a hole in the wall)
    I didn't have a great experience with my Gchem class in college and really never was great with this business, but with Chad's videos I think my 6 month old puppy could do a solubility constant problem or two. That being said, I felt like my brain went blank on a couple problems on the DAT :bang:... of course the second I get to my car after the test I remember how to do them. To study I went through Chad's videos and quizzes once then did all the destroyer problems (I promise they are worth it). I then went back and watched the videos a second time skipping over things I felt I had mastered and did all the quizzes a second time. Long story short: Chad's the man... :bow: well worth the money.

    OChem: Chad's > Destroyer ~ Bootcamp
    Being fresh off OChem I felt like I should kill this section. I'm very frustrated with my DAT score as I had only once scored that low on a practice. I felt very confident with all the reactions (even names of reactions!), but my DAT ended up having a ton of questions on spectroscopy, lab techniques, and stereoisomerism. All things that I had put less time into. My score wasn't bad by any means, but really felt like I should have scored better. Anyways... to study I watched all of Chad's videos (I wish I had these during the school year) and did his quizzes. I then made it through all the destroyer problems once.. which again were much more difficult than most that you'll see on the DAT, but if you can do those problems you should be able to rock the DAT!

    I only took 3 full length simulated exams, one as more of a diagnostic, and the other two as prep for time management. I did, however, take all the science portions of the bootcamp exams.
    Bootcamp Scores: B/GC/OC/PA/RC/QR
    1: 20/17/24/-/-/-
    2: 19/19/21/18/24/17
    3: 18/20/24/-/-/-
    4: 21/17(distracted & ran out of time)/24/18/24/18
    5: 19/18/30/-/-/-

    2007 ADA Practice - Diagnostic (Before finishing my review & starting destroyer)

    The key to cramming all of your studying into a month or so is definitely focusing the hours you spend studying. Make every hour count! If you feel like you're getting burned out go for a run (or a walk..nobody's judging) just don't take a nap. I tried to stick to a fairly consistent sleep-schedule as well.. sleeping by midnight and awake and studying by 9-9:30. This is especially important for those of you with an early exam time. All that being said I don't recommend trying to study for this exam in less than a month, and partly wish I would have given myself an extra month, but it ended up working out in the end. I was unbelievably nervous the days leading up to exam day, so the day before I decided to take it easy.. I took a PAT in the morning then went for a long run and watched some baseball in the afternoon. That really helped me to relax and I feel like being relaxed and well rested is key to performing come exam day (I know.. this is serious ground-breaking info!). On top of that you have to be in the mindset to seriously kick some ass! I even made myself a D(DAT)-Day mix for my ride to the test center to pump myself up. You may laugh, but I was definitely ready to kill it when I got there!

    I apologize for my DAT novel and, but I guess I have been looking forward to writing one of these more than I thought I was :thinking:... Anyways for those of you who made it this far I hope this was of some help to all you future test-takers out there. Feel free to ask me any questions. Happy Studies!!
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2014
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  3. qafleshi89

    qafleshi89 2+ Year Member

    Nov 24, 2012
    Great scores! Awesome breakdown! Congratulations!
    NorIdaho likes this.
  4. hongbinbaneben

    hongbinbaneben 2+ Year Member

    Mar 16, 2013
    Awesome scores! Congratulations on being done :happy:
    NorIdaho likes this.
  5. Senee

    Senee 2+ Year Member

    May 29, 2014
    Congrats on your scores! I also had a horrible freshman. Might have to invest in Chad's videos for my chem classes =)
    NorIdaho likes this.
  6. Dotoday

    Dotoday 7+ Year Member

    May 27, 2007
    Nicely done. Good job.
    NorIdaho likes this.
  7. ph159

    ph159 2+ Year Member

    Dec 13, 2013
    First off, Congrats!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Im currently studying for the DAT and so soo soooo nervous.
    GC and Qr are hands down my weakness.
    Im taking my DAT In august and will be extremely happy if i get scores like you haha
    NorIdaho likes this.
  8. NorIdaho

    NorIdaho 2+ Year Member

    May 30, 2014
    Thank you all!

    Good luck! I'm sure you will do great! If you use Chad's videos and quizzes and supplement them with bootcamp exams you shouldn't have any problem scoring well in GC or QR. I found the bootcamp question format to be very similar to that of the actual DAT. Destroyer is over the top for both subjects, but can really help you feel confident about anything that will get thrown at you come test day.
    ph159 likes this.
  9. biomolecmed

    biomolecmed 2+ Year Member

    Apr 7, 2012
    Well done. Good scores.
  10. derbear

    derbear 2+ Year Member

    Apr 15, 2014
    True North
    Congratz, awesome breakdown! I wonder if we got the same exam...
  11. NorIdaho

    NorIdaho 2+ Year Member

    May 30, 2014
    We very well could have! Our scores seem quite similar. I don't know the process the ADA goes through to randomize their tests. Does anybody know? Do they just have a couple full versions of the exam? Or is it randomized out of a large bank of questions?
  12. Ari Rezaei

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

    Mar 14, 2012
    New York, NY
    Good job man, congratulations!
  13. NorIdaho

    NorIdaho 2+ Year Member

    May 30, 2014
    Thanks Ari! Bootcamp was an excellent preparation source. The question format was spot on!
  14. alligator10


    Jun 17, 2014
    WOW, great gob!!
  15. GVattes


    Jun 10, 2014
    Queens, New York
    Well done!!What schools are you applying to?

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