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DAT done! Some tips...

Discussion in 'DAT Discussions' started by CUDental, May 9, 2008.

  1. CUDental

    2+ Year Member

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    Just took it this morning am for the most part happy with the scores. We had finals last week so I have been studying nonstop since then using Kaplan stuff (I took a course and used their lesson book and review book for my studying). Kaplan class itself wasn't very helpful and the Kaplan bio materials weren't very complete (several questions on things I had never seen before). Gen chem and orgo were good though - orgo was probably even a little too in detail. Kaplan tests were helpful too (took 3 - definitely take at least one or two on a computer before the real thing). PA was easier on the actual test than with Kaplan, RC was a bit harder. QR was probably about the same. I was getting about an 18 TS, 19 AA, and 22 PA on practice tests before my weeklong study blitz after finals. But anyways, here's the breakdown:

    PA - 27... 100 percentile - Like I said, it seemed easier than Kaplan's other than the angles (they were extremely easy on Kaplan tests, a bit more difficult here... nothing too bad though)

    QR - 21... 91.3 percentile - About like Kaplan tests. Know general 45, 45, 90 and 30, 60, 90 triangles and some basic equations and you should be fine. Some tricky calculations, but nothing impossible. I thought I would have had another point or two here.

    RC - 20... 67 percentile - Seemed more difficult than Kaplan. Fewer questions seemed to be pulled word for word from the reading. Some tone questions even told you exactly which sentence they were referring to, and then seemed to have a couple of answers that could work (you know they'll be tricky when they tell you exactly where to find it). Oh yeah, and a 20 is only the 67th percentile!!

    Bio - 20... 87.4 percentile - I'm a bio major so I'm not happy with this one. I thought I was going to kill the bio section but there were a couple of specific questions on plants and some other things that I really haven't had much about in class and the Kaplan stuff didn't really cover.

    GC - 21... 87.3 percentile - Kaplan seemed to cover most things. I thought I did well on it and would maybe have another point or two... oh well. I don't remember much from it but it didn't seem too difficult.

    OC - 23... 93.7 percentile - I thought my bio and orgo scores would be the opposite of what they were. Kaplan review book went into more detail than was necessary on specific functional groups and specific reactions. The lesson book alone covered all of the reactions on the test (E1, E2, SN1, SN2, general oxidations and reductions, and some halogenations). I was surprised at how easy it seemed as I went through it. There really weren't any trick answers that I can remember either (answers that would make you know the mechanisms in painstaking detail to differentiate).

    I guess that sums it up. TS ended up 21 which was 92.4 percentile and AA 21 which was 91.5 percentile. Oh, I feel like I should mention that I just put the percentiles in here so you can see that a 20 on a section like RC is much different than a 20 on a section like QR, not to brag or gloat or anything like that.

    General advice and random thoughts: Study your *** off and don't worry too much about the score until you are done... you'll have plenty of time to worry about what schools you'll get into with what score after the test's over. Like I said earlier, definitely take some practice tests on a computer before the real thing. I really didn't like how you had to go back individually through the questions unless you were at the end of a section (a couple of times I remembered something about 5 questions later). Dry erase boards suck. Make sure your markers work and I would recommend changing them out at break so you don't run out in the middle of a section. Also, put the cap back on after you write something - one of mine dried out between reading sections so I was down to one. I can't think of anything else at the moment and I'm hungry so I'm going to go eat. Hopefully this helped a bit. Let me know if you have any questions
     
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  3. doc3232

    7+ Year Member

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    Good job
    Whats scores did you get on Kaplan???
    Please be exact

    thanks
     
  4. UNR.Grad

    5+ Year Member

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    ...:idea:
     
  5. doc3232

    7+ Year Member

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    there are 5 total full practice tests for Kaplan, thats why I ask.
    I was hoping he would be able to tell me what his scores where and if he had finished studying when he took them.
     
  6. CUDental

    2+ Year Member

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    Thanks!

    Scores go as follows, starting with diagnostic, then online midterm, then online final.

    Bio - 17, 20, 18
    GC - 14, 18, 17
    OC - 14, 15, 18
    PA - 18, 22, 22
    RC - 20, 19, 21
    QR - 22, 21, 20
    TS - 15, 18, 18
    AA - 17, 19, 19

    I didn't do any of the other three tests that come with the class. The diagnostic was with no real studying. The midterm was with 1/2 the class and a little bit of out of class studying (not all that much though - a couple of hours a week). The final was with the other 1/2 of the class. I really hadn't studied too much outside of class between the midterm and the final since I was focused on my classes which were finishing up about the same time (took Kaplan final the day after finals, a week before real DAT). I never really did much studying for PA, QR, or RC other than what basic stuff we went over in the class. Just getting familiar with those sections on the practice tests seemed to be good enough. Science sections I went nuts over for the past week... spent probably 2 days on bio, 2 days on gen chem, and 3 days on orgo using Kaplan lesson and review books. Bio was the only one that Kaplan materials seemed to be insufficient for - I thought I would destroy it based on the stuff in the Kaplan books.
     
  7. jay47

    jay47 Think Positively!
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    How could the class have been improved? I am teaching a class this summer and would like to make it as helpful as possible. What can I do to make it a better experience and more helpful for my students? Thanks
     
  8. kema

    kema Eureka!!
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    Great scores man, I would be siked to get those scores. I am retaking the exam in August I think. I wanted to know your input on whether 2 months is sufficient to study? How many subjects is best to study at a time? Is it better to focus on one section and master it or just study all sections together or maybe 2 at a time? anybody that has an opinion, please feel free to give it. Thanks:)
     
  9. jigabodo

    Dentist 10+ Year Member

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    Great, uniformed score! :thumbup:
     
  10. CUDental

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    Thanks again everbody!

    Jay - I wouldn't say that the class is totally useless. It was a good refresher for some of the basic concepts in subjects like chem that I hadn't seen in a while. However, in the amount of time you have to cover so much material, you really don't cover much beyond the basic concepts. That's why I say the class wasn't very helpful, but the books and online materials were (for the most part). I am pretty good at motivating myself to study, so I feel like my time would have been better spent going over the material on my own, since it didn't take long to refresh my memory usually. I think that the class would be more useful to someone who is maybe 5 years removed from school and would have a more difficult time teaching the material to themselves after so long. I feel like, for me, the money and time commitment could have been better utilized. That being said, I wouldn't say that my teacher was bad and I don't think that there is too much you could do to make it better. With such a limited amount of time, you can only cover so much. The students will have to do the vast majority of their studying independent of the class, regardless. That is why I'm not sure that the price can be justified for a student like myself. Definitely talk to the students, though, and see how they would like you to approach it. If they are years removed from school, going over the basics well is what will help them most. If they are all still in school, you can run through the basics quickly and go a bit more in detail, depending on how familiar they are with everything. Ultimately, it will probably be a mix of both, though. Some will benefit more than others and there won't be too much you can do about that aside from encouraging them to follow up with their studying outside of class. Wow... that was longer than was probably necessary... hopefully it made some sense. If not, I can try to clarify it. This is all just my opinion though - I'm sure some people got much more out of the classroom part than I did. Good luck!

    Kema - That probably depends on you specifically. It depends on how efficient you are in your studying and how much time you spend at it over x amount of time. For me, two months would definitely be enough and I wouldn't have to surrender the rest of my life for the most part, either. I would budget out a few of hours each day over the two months for studying and that would be enough for me. I was able to improve my science scores 3 points though in a week of nonstop studying. It really ultimately depends on how you study best and your background in the various sections. As for the breakup of the studying, I know I wouldn't do well jumping around from subject to subject every hour or two. You also probably shouldn't spend a couple of weeks on one subject, then a couple of weeks on another, etc., because by the time you get back to the first subject you might not remember much of it since you haven't looked at it in a month. For me, dividing it up by doing a different subject every day or two seemed to allow me to focus in on that subject alone for a good amount of time yet not so much that the other subjects weren't fresh in my head still. I'd say experiment with what works best for you since you are still 2.5 months out. Put in a good amount of time every day, emphasizing your weaker subjects, and you'll kill it! Good luck!
     

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