Aug 5, 2009
This is my first post, I just wanted to give back to SDN for helping me study for this test.. I don't know what' I'd do without you guys : ) I know this is not immediately after my test, but I had other stuff to do... like work on my app ( more on that later :( )

DAT: 7/31

QR: 17 ( : ((()
RC: 23
BIO: 19
TS: 21
AA: 21

Here's my breakdown:
I basically studied for about 1.5 months some days more than others. I really panicked the last 1.5 weeks and studied for at least 10 hours each day, but by studying that would probably consist of taking timed tests.

Materials used:
Kaplan course subject tests
Kaplan blue book
AP bio Barrons/ Cliff's
ExamKrackers Gchem
CDP- 10 tests
TopScore :
- The first test I took 1.5 weeks before the exam, I scored an 18 in AA, and 20 in PAT, I forgot the exact breakdown but my bio was LOW ( my program has since expired ... I jumped the gun and bought it way too early.. and it expired the day after my test.. wheewww)
- Test #2 TS 18 AA 20 PA 20
- Test #3 ... I took the night b4 my 8AM test... and only had time to take the sciences... I got 20 ( 25 on ochem 18 on bio and gchem) .. and that's when I started to FREAK OUT.. more on that later.


Bio: I did not even look at the Kaplan blue book, I read the AP bio books listed above twice, did all the chapter tests. I didn't take notes ( I think I should have, but the questions in the actual DAT were random that I had to draw from school knowledge ) I did the Kaplan subject tests twice ( there are 5 , each 40 questions), understood all of my mistakes, and re-read the tests a few times after that. I basically memorized the answers and basic reasoning.

GChem: ExamKrackers for MCAT (I don’t think this book gets enough love from people studying for the DATs.. but it is a great book regardless… it’s not enough to just prepare with this book though.. you need to review the kaplan book), read through the entire book doing mostly all the problems in the book ( some were mcat formatted.. so I skipped them) This book is amazing, it is very well written, concise, sarcastic, and even fun to read sometimes ( yes I'm lame) I like it because it is in COLOR, and that helps me a lot with visualizing concepts...let's face it... DAT books are BORING... I then read through and took notes on every chapter of the Kaplan blue book. I did not take the time to do all the problems though. I went through all the Kaplan subject tests 3 times improving my score every time ( although I'm sure it was because I started to memorize the answer)... on certain concepts where I wasn't too sure on, I looked up online, especially on periodic trends. Maybe it was just my version.. but I had many calculations.. while a lot of people on this forum said that there wasn't too many calculations.. that caught me off guard, and took a LONG time... in top score I usually had at least 15 minutes left.. but on the real test.. I basically ran the clock down to 0.

OChem: I feared this subject the most. I got a B and C in my Ochem classes :(:(:(. I studied about a week for this, and still felt as though I knew nothing. I went through the Kaplan blue book once, writing out every single reaction and understanding the mechanism, then I went through it again to understand concepts ( I basically drew all over my book) I watched youtube videos on every concept ( I think it's the freelance teacher one) I think that helped a lot. Then I tackled the Kaplan subject tests ... getting probably half wrong the first time ( this was like 2 weeks before the real test ..) I sat down and went through every answer right OR wrong to see what Kaplan had to say about the answer. That seriously took so long, a few hours per subject test, but in the end I think it was well worth it. The real test was "easier" than the Kaplan subject tests, there were no weird reactions, no strange nomenclatures, no carbs or AA, no strange labs... I was very VERY surprised.

PAT: CDP!!!!! Bought this 2 weeks before the test, only got through 7. My scores were 18/18/18/18/20/22/21 , so my REAL PAT score was not far off. I was kind of disappointed, but I think it's ok. The keyholes were a lot harder on the real test ( I was scoring perfects on Keyholes/ TFE/ Pattern folding on CDP), so that caught me off guard. Angles and hole punching were easier on the real test, and pattern folding was harder : /.

RC: Let me tell you first, I hate reading. I did NOT want to study for this section.. so I didn't. (I'm a notoriously slow reader...) I took 2 topscore tests scored like 21 and 22. I used search and destroy like most people. I was lucky enough to get passages on subjects I knew about. I had some application problems..., which never came up in the topscore tests. I ran out of time and guessed on a few.

QR: I think I focused way too much on the sciences and forgot that there was a math section. I always assumed that I would ace the math section because of my history with math in high school.. boy was I wrong : ( ... I got very angry while taking that part of the test. I hate doing math with a fat ( even though it's extra fine tip) marker. I hate that I didn't have enough time. Give me 3 hours, and I can ace that.. but 45 minutes... props to those who did very well on this section... it's very impressive that your mind works so well after 3.5 hours of testing :p

I freaked out before my test. I was searching this forum like crazy about tips to study. I knew that my bio was tanking and.. apparently my gchem was too. I think I just got lucky. I remembered taking the ADA's practice test seriously 8 hours before my test ... only the bio part... I got a 16... that was heartbreaking, but also made me stay up basically all night cramming every last bit of bio into my brain. I slept for 2 hours. I woke up, ate a banana, clif bar, and drove to the testing center. I sat in the car and review those laminated sheets Kaplan gave out, that helped a lot because it just reviewed basic materials... then I took the test.. the rest is history :)

More about me.. The problem with my app is.. I have not submitted. EEK Ok before you guys yell at stuff, and me for being so late I'll just tell you this. I know : ( . I just could not touch my app just because of all of this DAT studying. I'm trying to submit within the next few days. All I need is my PS. I go to a public CA school, however here's another problem. My sci. GPA is a 3.1... : ( My overall GPA is around a 3.2... my school is pretty competitive and hard ( we have too many pre-meds...grrr) .... I have a few hundred hours with dental related activities that include research, shadowing, and volunteering. I would like some input in where I should apply to. I was thinking Western, UOP, UCLA (school loyalty... but I won't get in), UNLV, ASDOH, NYU, BU, TUFTS... I need to add more schools to this list because I feel like my chances at a lot of these schools are slim... can anyone give me some advice? Thanks!!!! Good Luck to those taking your DATs sooon!!! :luck: :love::luck:

r8 dds

10+ Year Member
Oct 11, 2008
Great breakdown! Solid scores, I think your set for a few interviews! UCLA is definitely hard to get into, but I would give it a try with your scores! Good luck!