Rlow04

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Feb 19, 2009
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I'm so glad to be done, it's time to take a break.

I'm super happy with my scores because I averaged around a 19-20 on my topscore sciences, so I didn't expect to do this well. I checked SDN compulsively throughout the whole process (3 weeks studying 5-8 hrs/day and 3 weeks of studying 8-12 hrs/day) and the advice here on SDN helped a ton.

PAT 25 (99.7%)
QR 22 (95.7%)
RC 30 (100%)
Bio 29 (99.9%)
GC 24 (95.2%)
OC 30 (100%)
TS 28 (99.9%)
AA 27 (100%)

A lot of what I studied is similar to what everyone does (KBB, Cliffs AP Bio, Chad's videos, Topscore, Achiever, Destroyer, Math Destroyer), but I did find some new resources that I'm excited to share.

PAT: I used Crack the DAT PAT and did 5 of my ten tests, I was scoring from 22-24 on average. Angles were a little easier on the real DAT and patterns were like complex origami.


QR: Eerily similar to Math Destroyer. I'm not one of those people who push Destroyer, but I've got a conspiracy theory about Dr. Romano extracting test questions from people who've taken the DAT...

Khan Academy:
If you struggle with any particular section of math (trig, geometry, probability, statistics, ellipses, etc.) go to this website and look up some free videos on that topic:
http://www.khanacademy.org/

Don't be intimidated by the volume of videos, just ctrl-f and search for a topic.

He also has some good videos on biology and chemistry, but I like the Thinkwell course and Chad's videos more (see below).


RC: I don't like search and destroy, so used this strategy I found from Vicviper here on SDN (Vicviper's RC Strategy):

I read all the questions first and try to remember a key word from each question (I don't write anything down). Then I read the passage one paragraph at a time, making sure I answer all questions related to that paragraph. If I can't remember what the questions are, I scan through all of them again. Any questions I missed I go back to that part of the passage and reread it and answer that question.

My first practice test with Topscore I used search and destroy and got a 22. I switched to this method and got a 29 on the two remaining topscore tests. On the actual test each passage took me about 16 min, giving me about 10 min to go back and re-read all the questions (I fixed two that I did wrong the first time around). With search and destroy I felt like I was wasting so much time scanning and not actually reading. With this method

I end up reading the whole passage once, paragraph at a time, and saving time to go back and check my answers.

*Edit: Also, during my 15 min break I wrote the numbers 1-50 on my whiteboard. When I answered a question I erased that number so I would know which questions I had left.

If you're still confused, read Vicviper's post.

Biology: This was the section I was most worried about because it is so broad and I haven't taken classes on taxonomy, evolution, plants, or ecology. I read through KBB, Cliffs AP Bio, and did destroyer. Those were good, but I still lacked a basic knowledge of Taxonomy etc. Two resources that really helped me:

Thinkwell Bio

This biology course by Thinkwell:
http://www.thinkwell.com/student/product/biology
has videos, quizzes, and additional content. But it costs $150.

EDIT:

UnFortunately, all the same videos are NO LONGER posted for free on two different websites:
http://www.5min.com/Tag/George%20wol...l?CategoryID=0
http://www.mefeedia.com/feeds/92219/...-videos/oldest

Now you have to either buy the whole course from Thinkwell.com or buy chunks/individual sections from http://thinkwell.mindbites.com/series/441-biology

I've posted this before, but the guy that teaches these videos is really good. He is cheesy and normally a high school teacher, so I can understand if you don't like his style.

His videos on plants (alternation of generations), diversity of life (taxonomy and evolution), embryology, and respiration/photosynthesis are golden.

I don't recommend that anyone watch all of the movies, it would take too much time. Go the first link, look for something you're not comfortable with, and then look up the title of that video on one of the second two links.

TTC Biology: The Science of Life

I don't recommend this for anyone who has less than a month before the DAT, but there's an 72 chapter audiobook (30 min each) called Biology: the Science of Life by The Teaching Company. I got it on sale for $80, so don't pay full price for it if you can avoid it. Basically it's a professor teaching a comprehensive biology course, subject by subject. I didn't listen to the whole thing, but I probably listened to at least 20 hours of it. I would listen to it when I went running in the mornings and while I worked in my lab. If you've got a lot of time, big commutes, or a long road trip, I highly recommend it.

I did the sections on evolution (Hardy-Weinberg eq., etc), development, the origin of life, and random other sections. It was great.

If you're a biology major and have already learned this stuff, you might be bored out of your mind.

Follow BiomajorPreDent's advice:
http://forums.studentdoctor.net/showthread.php?t=652091

Basically he says to read Ch: 19-21 in Campbell's 7th edition Biology. If you have the 8th edition it's pretty much the same, but the front of the book explains where they've changed those chapters in the 8th edition. I highly recommend it, especially if you haven't had molecular bio. There were a couple of questions on the DAT that came directly from those chapters.


OChem and Gen Chem:
Chad is the man. If you don't know who Chad is, go to course saver . com and pay the $35 (per month) to see his videos. It's worth it. Just search sdn for Chad if you don't believe me.
I followed Chad up with Destroyer. Don't do it in the reverse order, it will just make you depressed.


Anki: It will raise your score and save you time. Use it
I'm too tired to give it the attention it deserves, but in short it's a free flashcard program that uses spaced repetition to help you memorize more in less time. Check out KarateTooth's amazing post about it. I really started using it 2 weeks before the DAT, but I wished I had used it sooner. Also, don't use someone else's flashcards, make your own based on what you miss on practice tests, it will be much more helpful.

Other than that, I had a friend who I studied with. Having a DAT study-buddy is awesome because you motivate each other, stay focused longer, and share useful resources. I highly recommend it.

Oh, and running in the mornings helped a lot as well. Once you're done with the DAT check out this book about the effects of running on the brain:
Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain

I'm applying to UoP, Indiana, Creighton, UNLV, Ohio State, Case Western, Marquette, Louisville, Tufts, Nova, Midwestern, and a few others.

I hope my breakdown helps someone. I've learned a lot from everyone else's advice here, so I want to give back. Thanks!
 
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Jun 17, 2009
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Not only are your amazing scores very motivating, but your breakdown is phenomenal! I would say top 5 of the tons of breakdowns I've read over the past half year [I've been a major lurker lol]. I hope you get into the school of your dreams, you definitely deserve it! wowww :love: {lol}

This breakdown is definitely worthy to be bookmarked...
 

MichaelWestin

10+ Year Member
Jul 9, 2008
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TY for the breakdown. I actually have the TTC Biology: The Science of Life Videos you are talking about. The mp3's / audio cd's are just ripped from the video stream.

For anyone who can get it and has plenty of time, I'd recommend it. I got it like 2 years ago online, and it is like 15 gigs. It is basically like retaking a bio course, without the exams. The instructor is really good. If you are someone who took Gen Bio 1 and 2 within a year and are on top of your game, it isn't for you. But for some of the non-traditional students who took time off or haven't taken a bio class in some time, it is perfect. It doesn't replace something like destroyer which has specific questions, but it is good to refresh your memory on topics.
 
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OP
Rlow04

Rlow04

10+ Year Member
Feb 19, 2009
291
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So did you get a lot of questions on taxonomy/diversity in your test? Like the cliff's chapter on biological diversity with fungi, protists, etc?
I got two taxonomy questions, both on a phylum level. I was worried before the test because on some practice tests there are very specific 'class' questions. The DAT doesn't get that specific, if you know your kingdoms and major phylums, you should be good.
 
Feb 1, 2010
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danggg i wish i coulda read this post earlier or biopredents post.. shucks.. guess i'll contribute by linking up this page.
 

dentalWorks

Nights Watchmen
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Jun 25, 2009
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lol (thats all I am going to say)

how come I am seeing so many 25AA+ these past couple of weeks lol. I remember I read somewhere back in 2006 only 8 people got a 25AA or higher for that application cycle

Congrats to all of you who litterally destroyed the DAT
 

omarbasha

Junior Member
Jun 5, 2010
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Bro... if you apply to one more schoool!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! haha
2 3o's pshhhhhhhhhhh we need to talk sir!!!.. could you please expand on the RC section!! so dont take notes on the side, like a squiggly line of what the paragraph talks about!!!!! no!?
 
Sep 25, 2009
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amazing scores!! :D

so for chapters 19-21, are there any other sources we can get the info from or just from campbell?
 
OP
Rlow04

Rlow04

10+ Year Member
Feb 19, 2009
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could you please expand on the RC section!! so dont take notes on the side, like a squiggly line of what the paragraph talks about!!!!! no!?
I didn't take notes, but I did write 1-50 on my whiteboard during the 15 min break and I erased each problem I answered so I would know not to go back to those.

Read Vicviper's post for RC, I just edited the breakdown and added it.

so for chapters 19-21, are there any other sources we can get the info from or just from campbell
I'm sure there are sources that cover the biotechnology, development, and other material from those chapters, but I'd rather go to the source the ADA is using to make the tests. It's only $14 plus shipping on Amazon for a used copy of Campbell, if you're not taking the DAT next week it's worth it to buy it as both a reference and for those specific chapters.

Oh, and one more thing I need to add to the breakdown. Someone mentioned in their breakdown to watch Chad's Ochem videos on Lab techniques and carbohydrates, which I did. For me it was really useful because I haven't taken OChem lab and so it was the first time I'd learned that stuff and I needed to brush up on carbohydrates.
 
Jan 1, 2010
43
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so for the QR you suggest the MATH destroyer or the questions from the regular Destroyer? I am struggling with qr so I wanted to know which you would suggest.
thanks!
 
Jan 12, 2010
143
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41
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Hey. First of all, congrats on your AWESOME scores.
I have approximately 11 days before I take the DAT.
BIO: I think I will use the videos you suggested for evolution, diversity, and taxonomy; I took genetics, physiology, aand molecular cell biology so I think I'm okay with those stuff..
GC OC: Chad + destroyer
RC: No plan, trying to find the best method (the most problematic section)
PAT: CDP
QR: CDM

I'm thinking of doing 1 practice test/day starting monday until the day b4 the actual one, about 8 tests in total of Kaplan and topscore.
wht do u thk of my plan? any suggestions? :) let me know how you studied in the last two weeks or so please :)

Thanks for the GREAT breakdown tho.
 

jirotrom

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Mar 5, 2008
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Thankyou... really. I have 24 days left to finish all of destroyer 3 times, all achiever and top score tests, finish math destroyer once more, 5 more CDP tests, those 3 chapters in campbel, and those vids you posted.:D Already been using khan.

You have truly inspired me... can you post your achiever and topscore scores, also, when did you take them?
 

Habbas

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Dec 29, 2008
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when i see scores like this i legitimately think im screwed with my 21/21/20
 

jirotrom

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I have the 7 thinkwell discs from 2001... it seems like they are still using the same videos from then... anyone know if this is correct?
 
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Vicviper

Michael De Coro, DMD - AKA Steve McAwesome
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Glad to hear another success story with my RC method! Congrats on those amazing scores! And you're totally right, just reading books doesn't work for everyone, I know that I remember things I watch much more clearly.
 
OP
Rlow04

Rlow04

10+ Year Member
Feb 19, 2009
291
8
251
Central Texas
www.SharedPractices.com
Status
Dentist
Hey. First of all, congrats on your AWESOME scores.
I have approximately 11 days before I take the DAT.
BIO: I think I will use the videos you suggested for evolution, diversity, and taxonomy; I took genetics, physiology, aand molecular cell biology so I think I'm okay with those stuff..
GC OC: Chad + destroyer
RC: No plan, trying to find the best method (the most problematic section)
PAT: CDP
QR: CDM

I'm thinking of doing 1 practice test/day starting monday until the day b4 the actual one, about 8 tests in total of Kaplan and topscore.
wht do u thk of my plan? any suggestions? :) let me know how you studied in the last two weeks or so please :)

Thanks for the GREAT breakdown tho.
Sounds like a great plan. I was doing practice tests and watching Bio videos right up until 2 days before. The day before I did math/PAT in the morning and then took the afternoon off so I wouldn't be fried for the test.
 

Strag

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Mar 17, 2009
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Nice! I'm using Anki as well. Could you post a sample deck? I'd like to see how you arranged the format of some cards...I'm still tweaking mine and suggestions would help!
 
Jul 1, 2010
1
0
1
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I am surprised with those school that you are applying. I thought with your score and GPA you could try HARVARD or UM, UPenn? I have a hard time to decide which school is the SAFE school to apply. Do you have any idea?
 
OP
Rlow04

Rlow04

10+ Year Member
Feb 19, 2009
291
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251
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www.SharedPractices.com
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Dentist
I was studying a Kaplan book today (DentEssentials) and it made me think of this thread. The book is horrible, it reminds me of a database of information. There isn't any explanations, no guide, just tables and tables of data. Videos ARE better than books!!! This is my first and last experience trying to make sense of Kaplan's study material.
I tried to make it through the KBB GChem section, but I just couldn't do it. I'll stay away from that DentEssentials book when I get to NBDE Part 1.

I am surprised with those school that you are applying. I thought with your score and GPA you could try HARVARD or UM, UPenn? I have a hard time to decide which school is the SAFE school to apply. Do you have any idea?
My decision to not apply to any Ivy League schools was somewhat influenced by Malcolm Gladwell's opinion of Ivy League schools. (Sorry for another long video!).

However I might apply to UM now that you mention it, I didn't apply to there initially because I didn't know much about them. After researching their program, they seem like a great school...
 

vicsin

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Had to bookmark this breakdown...
Incredible scores. Congrats congrats congrats!

Btw, is the QR section of Destroyer good help for that section because I don't want to purchase extra math things :S I have destroyer, kaplan, topscore, and kaplan subject tests from 1999 (don't think those will be useful for math). But I'm hoping the stuff I have is enough because math is normally my strongest subject.
 

Phish

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Jul 12, 2010
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awesome breakdown... I will definitely use some of these tips!
 

hoylematt

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Nov 23, 2008
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Sorry I had to bump this to say thanks. Your breakdown was my most used SDN bookmark for good reason.
 

meendabean

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Apr 21, 2010
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wish i saw this before i took my test. my 21/22/22 seemed good until i got onto this forum and read everyones scores and then yours. haha good job though. i never even could have imagined a 30 on any section
 
Jan 12, 2013
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For Thinkwell, do you just get a username/password and log in? Could it be shared by multiple people? Thanks for the awesome breakdown!