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DAT Done 8/4, Moving on...

Discussion in 'DAT Discussions' started by rmm30, Aug 5, 2011.

  1. rmm30

    2+ Year Member

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    Status:
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    PAT: 18
    QR: 17
    RC: 23
    BIO:24
    GC: 23
    OC: 21
    TS: 23 (99.3)
    AA: 22 (98.9)

    I took the DAT yesterday afternoon. Gotta be honest, I don't remember much of it. Started studying last summer, didn't get around to taking it. Picked up again in May, putting in around 8 hours every day for up until day before exam. The exam was kind of a blur. But I will attempt a breakdown. Should I be concerned with QR and PAT?


    PAT: Major, major letdown. I'm not a wiz at PAT but I'm better than 18. The test was more than fair; easier than any of the practice tests I've taken (except for angles, which were just mean). The problem was my time budgeting. I got caught up on a a handful of difficult keys, TFE, and angles. Part of my brain was screaming "mark and move on." But I didn't. Wound up going into Pattern Fold with 3 minutes left. Had to guess on 10 questions. Which is upsetting bc other than cubes Patterns are my strongpoint. Good advice for this section and DAT overall: If you don't know something, MARK IT and just keep plowing ahead. This is easier said then done because you don't want to give up. But but by not heeding this advice I left a lot of points on the table.

    Materials: CDP 10T, Achiever 5T, Barrons DAT, Kaplan BB. All great resources. You really can't go wrong here. Use Kaplan to learn the fundamentals, Barrons to develop strategies and improve. Sharpen up your skills and hone your timing with CDP and Achiever.

    QR: Lame. I have no idea how somebody finishes this test in the apportioned time. There were some bulky calculations that required a calculator. Which was junk by the way. Why doesn't Prometric spend less money on metal detectors and retinal scanners and whatever other CIA security equipment they have there and invest in computers that can actually handle a piece of **** calculator from Windows 1.0? Anyway if you are decent at math and well prepared the problems are doable. Just work on speed is all I can tell you.

    Materials: Kaplan BB, Sparknotes SAT Math, Chad Trig, Math Destroyer.
    Used a combination of Kaplan and Spark to relearn fractions and my timestables and all the algebra I forgot from 8th grade. Chad for trig which, like everything else Chad, was terrific. But the best resource for QR is Math Destroyer. While it's not the Holy Grail for this section, it's pretty close. I only did 6 tests of 12 and I wish I did more. There were problems in math destroyer that were verbatim to the real thing. I even think the names were the same. If I could take this test over I would make time to do all 12 tests. I cursed it a lot going through it because I never finished a test in time. But now I know why.


    RC: Nothing too crazy here. Three scientific passages 15-20
    paragraphs. Saw a good cross section of each type of question (inference, tone, fact etc). Finished w 15 minutes left. I'm a pretty slow reader but I guess I have pretty decent retention and comprehension. My strategy was really simple. Read the passage as quickly as possible without sacrificing comprehension. Try to keep a mental map of topics in your head so when you have to go and search through the passage you have an idea of where it is. I don't think pure Search and Destroy is good policy. As I understand it search and destroy doesn't require reading the whole passage, but rather reading a question and scouring the relevant text for answers. I don't see how that can work for me. But other people have had success with it i guess.

    Materials: CDR, Achiever, Godfrey.
    CDR was great. Good variety of topics. Good questions. Good practice for finding a strategy that fits your style. Achiver is awful. Everything Achiever (save for PAT) is an abomination. The passages are an absolute mess. They don't make any sense and they read like stereo instructions. Avoid achiever RC like the plague! It will only make you upset and insecure. If you want a challenge, get Godfrey. Passages are superlong and intese but theyr're readable.


    BIO: Easy to the point of being offensive. There are only two types of bio questions: The ridiculously simple and wierdly obscure. Topics were all over the place. But if you prep, you should be ok.


    Materials: Schaums, Cliff AP, Bio Destroyer
    Schuams took me forever to get through it. It's like a supercondensed little textbook. It was a good read but absolutely unnecessary. An utter waste of time. Use Cliffs instead. Almost everything you would need to know is in there. The occasional mistake notwithstanding, Bio Destroyer is another winner. Really good for filling in any gaps that Cliffs misses.


    GC: More calculations then I would have liked. Completely doable. No surprises really. For the most part easier then all the practice material. One question had 2 right answers. I'm sure of that. Also a few repeats. Same question worded differently. Whats the point of that? I wish the people who create this test are as serious about it as the kids who take it.

    Materials: Chad, Destroyer, Textbook Ebbing Gammon
    I hadn't done any general chemistry for years so I needed a brush up so I read my college text. The entire f'n thing! Did all the odd problems. Hands down biggest mistake I made in terms of DAT prep. Epic waste of time. Anybody who is reading this, take the collective advice of SDN and get CHAD. Dollar for Dollar Chad is overwhelmingly the best purchase you can make for DAT. Watch the videos, understand everything, take meticulous notes, do quizzes. Follow Chad up with DAT destroyer. Best 1 2 combination for chemistry. The reason why Chad and Destroyer are such great resources is because they are efficient and streamlined specifically for the DAT. Reading your textbooks will do more harm than good.


    OC: Same as Gen chem basically. Fairly simple. I got a couple reactions I've never seen before. I think a better testaker may have inferred the products from the answer choices. One problem did not list a correct answer. It was a total softball question, no ambiguity and I'm sure that all the choices were incorrect. What can you do? SNS overall is very manageable. Finished with 10 minutes left.


    Materials: Chad, Destroyer, Odyssey, Voldhardt text
    Read first 5 chapters of text just to regain the feel of Ochem again. I was really rusty. Chad + Destoyer is great combo. It's not mentioned much but Odyssey was immensely helpful to me. It's overkill for DAT but if you are like me and haven't had Ochem for years it was perfect for getting back into practice, albeit very time consuming.



    Don't drink a lot of coffee before the test. I had to pee during the exam and the two old bitties working at Prometric were not sharpish about signing me in and out of the room. Make sure you know exactly where the test center is. I got lost on the way and it stressed me out bf the exam. If you're putting a serious multi-month grind together to study make sure you designate 1 day out of the week where you don't do any studying at all to relax. Also be wary of anybody who tells you to make textbooks your primary source of material. Anybody who tells you that is a mean person who wants you to fail and should be thrown screaming from a helicopter :scared:
     
    #1 rmm30, Aug 5, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2011
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  3. Clancyp

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    Congrats man! Great job, good luck with your interviews! And I completely agree with you about the QR.
     
  4. carolinagrl346

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    nice scores! congrats, you did it! :)

    I completely agree with the bio analysis, I stopped reading Schaums about halfway through lol it was way too detailed and time-consuming and I found myself staring the page more than I was actually comprehending anything. I ended up using Kaplan's white book and whatever questions I missed on Achiever/Destroyer/etc.
     
  5. Dusk

    Dusk Member
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    congrats!!! glad to see you did well :thumbup:
     
  6. FROGGBUSTER

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    Good job, I feel you on PAT.

    I don't think you should be too worried though. An 18 PAT seems to be around the average for people who get acceptances, and QR is the least important section.

    I think you're good.
     
  7. FROGGBUSTER

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    By the way, did you do the Destroyer roadmaps for Orgo? I'm surprised when you say got a couple of reactions you had never seen before because the roadmaps seem to be pretty comprehensive.
     
  8. LetsGo2DSchool

    Removed 2+ Year Member

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  9. LetsGo2DSchool

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    I know, this concerns me too. I've been spending some good time memorizing these roadmaps. They better cover everything!
     
  10. rmm30

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    Nope. I skipped them. I knew all the rxns from Chad inside and out. But roadmaps are more comprehensive so those rxns I was referring to were probably covered in roadmaps. I don't like mixing up my source material. So I used destroyer primarily for practice. If something wasn't covered in Chad, I skipped it. I don't recommend doing that bc as fantastic as Chad is, his lectures lack depth in some critical areas; eg he's pretty light on grignard.


    Thanks everybody for the kind words. The SDN community has always been good for a pat on the back or a swift kick in the butt (when you need motivation ).
     
  11. benyamin

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    nice scores!
    I am using chad videos and i also found them pretty awsome,until I begin to take achiever! I AM FREAKING OUT! I got 18/17 and 15 !!! on gen chem! I dont know what else i should do!
    Can I ask about your scores on achiever?! how close are your average scores on the achiever to the real one?
     
  12. nhitb

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    and ur scores on topscore please :D
     
  13. rmm30

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    IMO Achiever is nearly worthless. That's just me though. The PAT is good bc it's a bit on the tough side. I wouldn't worry about low scores in Achiever science. Most people's scores are higher on the real thing. I would take great care to take really solid notes on Chad and work destroyer over. The problems I got on the DAT were like stripped down versions of destroyer.
     
  14. rmm30

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    didn't do it. sorry. I was already about 800$ deep in DAT prep materials so I passed on Topscore.
     
  15. Dyslexic

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    A well worth $800! Awesome scores congratulations
     

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