JBarr29

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I am a graduate student in Biology. I studied while taking a full course load, as well as working 4 days a week, so my schedule was pretty hectic. I studied for about 2 months, but maybe 1 or 2 hours a day if I was lucky.

Materials used: DAT Destroyer, CDP, Campbells Bio (reference), KaplanBB (only for math really) and Cliffs AP Biology.

Breakdown

Biology (22) – I thought most of the questions on the biology section were pretty straightforward. There were of course those oddball questions everyone is always fearful of. There was maybe one taxonomy question out of the 40 where it asked about something I had never really seen before. The other odd ball questions were application questions. Less straightforward, but definitely do-able. I read Cliffs AP Bio through a couple of times. Once I felt like I had most of the stuff down, I went onto the Destroyer Biology. Cliffs really builds a strong understanding of the basic material, and destroyer supplemented with some more difficult questions. There were definitely several questions that were EXTREMELY similar, almost verbatim from destroyer, and many others that were familiar. I think the key to getting the most out of the destroyer bio section is definitely to understand and know the questions, answers AND explanations. Any topic I was uncertain about I referenced back with Campbells. I would also like to say that there was one question I found to be in an unusual format from this section, although it was not very difficult. Basic format was as follows:

An apple is a fruit
An apple is a fruit that grows in the ground

A) Both statements are true
B) Both statements are false
C) The first statement is true, second false……. You get the idea

Wasn't hard, but caught me off guard.

Gen Chem (23) – Section was very straightforward. Most of the problems didn't need calculations and were set up in the answers. One or two actually involved some LIGHT math. Most of the other questions were pretty standard, no surprises. A lot of I felt one question was a little tricky, but definitely nothing too bad. I basically just used the destroyer here. Went through it several times and made sure I understood everything. Again I think if you really want to get your money's worth, you have to understand why the answer is right. Don't just know the right answer, it won't really help come test time. Destroyer is definitely harder, but if you can do that, DAT is much simpler. One more thing, know all your equations as far as gas laws, rate laws etc. – both calculations and theory.

Organic Chem (21) – So about 3 of the 30 questions I was shaky on. I probably got those wrong plus a silly error somewhere. Very basic in comparison to college level organic chemistry. A week ago I read someones post saying know the mechanisms. I did get a mechanism question, but it was not at all what I was expecting, in a good way. It was not difficult, and even if you had no idea what the reaction was, you could easily figure it out, almost like common sense. I had several application questions that were very basic. Roadmaps in destroyer definitely are something you should know come test day. It's guaranteed to bank you about 5 questions. Again, I think destroyer is the way to go, if you use it correctly. Know the roadmaps and know WHY and understand the reactions. Even the smallest blurb could pop up. (I had a question that seriously a small statement in the middle of an answer explanation that you probably wouldn't think is important). Also the spectroscopy question was pretty easy, no tricks involved.


Reading (20) – I didn't do anything for reading comprehension, I probably should have. I chose to really focus my time to the sciences. I'm not sure any preparation could help though, so no regrets. My strategy is always to just read the passage and answer questions. 2/3 passages were science related, and the 3rd was just boring as hell haha. The two science related passages contain stuff most people probably have SOME background with. The non science related one was packed with a lot of tone questions, which is where I probably lost most of my points

Math (16) – I am a pretty decent math student. I went through the KBB for a quick math review took the exams, and scored like around 22, so I didn't think I needed much more preparation. I barely looked at destroyer math because I was pretty confident. Mistake! I felt the KBB was way too easy comparatively to the DAT, and thus thought that Destroyer math was a little too hard. Questions from dat are much more similar to the destroyer, so that would probably have helped there.

PAT (17) – probably got every angle wrong. Did not practice much cause I felt angles really weren't going to improve. The TFE, and keyholes were very similar, about same difficulty. Really was not bad. Angles on the dat I thought were way harder, personally. Cube counting was easier, as well as most of the hole punches (some of the half holes). Because of my poor time management, had to quickly go through the pattern folding, which for the most part LOOKED easier, but I was short on time

Overall TS – 22 (98.4%)
AA – 20 (93.4%)

Hoping that helpful, please let me know if anyone has questions, but don't ask specific things you know I cant answer haha. Im hoping I don't need a retake for those 2 scores.
 
Last edited:

MrBeans

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Congrats on the solid science scores! I wouldn't sweat the QR section because it seems that it takes a backseat at many dental schools.

Your PAT is the only thing that may hurt you though; 17 is good, but average. Who knows though, you could be just fine depending upon your ECs! :)

What's your GPA and science GPA?

Depending upon what your GPA is would possibly help in determining if you should retake or not, only because of the lower PAT score.

Overall, great scores! Solid science testing! You should be happy!
 

dentalWorks

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don't even bother about the QR, its the most hated section of the DAT by both the students AND dental schools. I did the same thing, I underestimated the QR section (for crying out loud I had a minors in mathematics in 2004) and STILL ENDED UP WITH 18. For those of you studying for the DAT.... DO NOT UNDERESTIMATE THE QR SECTION.

PAT is a little on the low end side, but who cares, you got a 22 TS, thats gonna draw more positive attention than the 17.

Honestly, Your all set, great scores :thumbup:
 

JBarr29

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don't even bother about the QR, its the most hated section of the DAT by both the students AND dental schools. I did the same thing, I underestimated the QR section (for crying out loud I had a minors in mathematics in 2004) and STILL ENDED UP WITH 18. For those of you studying for the DAT.... DO NOT UNDERESTIMATE THE QR SECTION.

PAT is a little on the low end side, but who cares, you got a 22 TS, thats gonna draw more positive attention than the 17.

Honestly, Your all set, great scores :thumbup:
Thanks a lot. I really appreciate your posts too man, extremely helpful throughout the study process.
 

bobu

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congratulation guys,

I try to find out how you all did so well on DAT. I took last year and got overall 15. My GPA is 2.8, SC is 2.7. Although my last 2 year in biology with everage is 3.4. I try to get a high DAT to find a chance to get into any, any dental school.
- you guys think i still have a chance?
- to get high DAT just as you all, any sources should I get. I have kaplan, topscore, and review book.

- any idea or recommend will be appreciated.
- should i get DAT destroyer?

thanks a lot, anh you all have a nice day
 

MOUTHY

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Bobu,
It is really hard to tell if you are for real. You have been posting for a few years and have you taken the DAT in July 2006,Sept. 2007 and May 2009- with a 15 AA in 2009. Your acknowledged GPA and ScGPA are very low and you realistically have virtually no chance of getting into dental school without special circumstances. If you have actually been trying to get into dental school that long, I admire your tenacity but it may be time to choose another profession.
 

JBarr29

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Bobu,

If you are serious about getting higher scores, the two sources I would recommend is Cliff's AP Bio for Biology, and the Destroyer for the sciences and math. I saw Topscore, and thought it was discouraging. I was not too happy with the kaplan blue book, but I think it is a pretty decent review, but will not get you those high scores. It's missing some things in organic chem, and over emphasizes points in gen chem which I dont think would show up on an exam. But good luck and give those sources a try.
 

dentalWorks

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congratulation guys,

I try to find out how you all did so well on DAT. I took last year and got overall 15. My GPA is 2.8, SC is 2.7. Although my last 2 year in biology with everage is 3.4. I try to get a high DAT to find a chance to get into any, any dental school.
- you guys think i still have a chance?
- to get high DAT just as you all, any sources should I get. I have kaplan, topscore, and review book.

- any idea or recommend will be appreciated.
- should i get DAT destroyer?

thanks a lot, anh you all have a nice day
Hi Bobu,
please underestand that EVERYONE has a chance to make it to dental school, its just for some its way harder than others.

In your particular case, ADCOMS are going to look at your application and see a less than 3.0 GPA for both overall and science, thats gonna deter them away from you cause its telling them you don't have the correct work ethic for dental school. Then theyr gonna look at your DAT and see a 15, and conclude that you didn't sacrafice enough time and effort to preparing for the DAT.

You have to fix the way adcoms look at you, you will either need a strong post-bacc performance (which Is what I ALWAYS recommend for students with less than 3.0 GPA) or a strong performance in a biology-related masters program and a strong DAT perforamance.

You might be asking how strong of a DAT performance, well, a 20AA is nice, but with a 2.8 GPA, its rather low. A 24 AA is AWESOM and will get you in even with a 2.8 GPA, but a 24 is a VERY difficult score to obtain. You should aim for something in middle. Do post-bacc to bring your GPA to above 3.0 AND a DAT score of 20+AA should improve your chances enough to get accepted somewhere as long as you apply to a large number of schools (20+) and have the schools picked wisley
 

FutureDent020

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In your particular case, ADCOMS are going to look at your application and see a less than 3.0 GPA for both overall and science, thats gonna deter them away from you cause its telling them you don't have the correct work ethic for dental school. Then theyr gonna look at your DAT and see a 15, and conclude that you didn't sacrafice enough time and effort to preparing for the DAT.

You have to fix the way adcoms look at you, you will either need a strong post-bacc performance (which Is what I ALWAYS recommend for students with less than 3.0 GPA) or a strong performance in a biology-related masters program and a strong DAT perforamance.

You might be asking how strong of a DAT performance, well, a 20AA is nice, but with a 2.8 GPA, its rather low. A 24 AA is AWESOM and will get you in even with a 2.8 GPA, but a 24 is a VERY difficult score to obtain. You should aim for something in middle. Do post-bacc to bring your GPA to above 3.0 AND a DAT score of 20+AA should improve your chances enough to get accepted somewhere as long as you apply to a large number of schools (20+) and have the schools picked wisley
This is not bad advice, but you say it as if it a matter of fact. You are a predental student not an admission's officer. Pump the breaks on the omniscient point of view.
 

JBarr29

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By the way, my explanation of the PAT was a little rushed. When I am making comparisons in reference to harder or easier, I am referring to CDP. Sorry for the confusion.
 

dentalWorks

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This is not bad advice, but you say it as if it a matter of fact. You are a predental student not an admission's officer. Pump the breaks on the omniscient point of view.
Hey what I said right there was something an adcom told us last year when I went to one of Univ of Michigan's open houses, Im not referring to the 24 DAT number, but about how he specifically related the applicant's work ethic to GPA.

We got to know the guy after the presentations. He was sharing with us how some adcoms get piles of 100-200 applications at thier desk. They spend less than 5 seconds looking only at the front-end numbers (GPA and DAT), if they don't like what they see, they throw the application aside and eventually that application gets a rejection letter.... If they liked what they saw, they put it on another pile to "review" more into it some other time.

What I said was cut and dry, and you might think my point of view is "omniscient", but those were facts.... feel free to think adcoms have a different point of view on applicants with lower stats, but the fact remains. There is a very clear reason why people with higher stats get more interviews than people with lower stats.
 

FutureDent020

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A 24 AA is AWESOME and will get you in even with a 2.8 GPA
What I said was cut and dry, and you might think my point of view is "omniscient", but those were facts.... feel free to think adcoms have a different point of view on applicants with lower stats, but the fact remains.
Your statement is not a fact. And I am also not arguing that the OP doesn't need to get their GPA up.
 
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solid scores especially sciences. congratulations. I'm planing on taking the DAT after i finish orgo2 which i'm taking right now. Do you think that destroyer is a big help in Gchem and Orgo? I have both destroyer (2010 )and math destroyer. i consider my self to be good in math but when i opened math destroyer I knew i should put more time into it. I really dont wanna end up with a low score in math even though a lot of ppl here say that it's not important. Any insight will really be appreciated
 

JBarr29

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solid scores especially sciences. congratulations. I'm planing on taking the DAT after i finish orgo2 which i'm taking right now. Do you think that destroyer is a big help in Gchem and Orgo? I have both destroyer (2010 )and math destroyer. i consider my self to be good in math but when i opened math destroyer I knew i should put more time into it. I really dont wanna end up with a low score in math even though a lot of ppl here say that it's not important. Any insight will really be appreciated
The destroyer is definitely spot on for the gen chem and organic. make sure you understand it inside and out, from the explanations and answers, and the incorrect answers. i cant stress it enough. as for the math, do not take it lighly. definitely use that destroyer math book. i regret not going through it because after the fact, MANY of the questions looked pretty familiar. practice the timing, and do not rely on the calculator. it eats up a lot of time and is probably more detrimental than anything. bio i would use that cliffs book, its concise and contains the main areas you need to focus on. after you feel comfortable, try the destroyer bio. you will see a lot of similar problems on the real thing. remember to read those explanations carefully!
 

MichaelWestin

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Solid scores JBarr!

Seems like you were pretty prepared with the sciences. Did you have time left over after that section?
 

JBarr29

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Solid scores JBarr!

Seems like you were pretty prepared with the sciences. Did you have time left over after that section?
I flew through it with at least a half hour left over to be honest.
 
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Thanks JBarr29 for the advice. I'm actually going through both destroyers right now. Ochem is kind of intimidating especially when i encounter problems that i have no clue how to do. I;m trying though. for the math i feel pretty comfortable although my timing is still of a bit. Bio there is so much to know i dont actually know know where to start. I"m using campbel and cliff notes and i'm gonna save destroyer for last.
thanks again
 

JBarr29

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Thanks JBarr29 for the advice. I'm actually going through both destroyers right now. Ochem is kind of intimidating especially when i encounter problems that i have no clue how to do. I;m trying though. for the math i feel pretty comfortable although my timing is still of a bit. Bio there is so much to know i dont actually know know where to start. I"m using campbel and cliff notes and i'm gonna save destroyer for last.
thanks again
You will be in good shape. Gotta muscle through that Ochem, but destroyer will get you in good shape.
Just dont underestimate any one section of the exam. You don't want to wind up with solid scores and have to retake for one section.
 

MichaelWestin

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Since you finished the sciences early, did you move on to the next section or just relax for a bit?
 

JBarr29

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Since you finished the sciences early, did you move on to the next section or just relax for a bit?
I went over some of the questions i marked and double checked for math errors. So i did use all my time. Whats the rush you know?
 

JBarr29

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Also, to the guys who responded to the post, thank you very much for the kind words. I wish you all the best of luck in your future endeavors and remember to study hard!

Joe