jfucla1994

2+ Year Member
May 11, 2014
5
11
Status
Pre-Dental
Hey everyone!


So after a ridiculous summer of studying, I finally took my DAT on Thursday and couldn’t be happier with the turn out. I’m just going to start out by saying first and foremost, what you put into your studying, your DAT score will reflect. I spent 13 weeks studying, followed bootcamp’s 10 week schedule with the modifications of 1 week of review before starting destroyer and 2 additional weeks at the end reviewing and taking additional practice tests. Reading these DAT posts on SDN felt like some strange addiction throughout my studying and I kind of wish I stopped doing it toward the last couple weeks, but regardless everyone’s posts reassured me throughout the process, so its only fair that I give back to the SDN community in any way I can!


The other thing I wanted to say before I start the rest of my breakdown is that the most important thing to remember throughout your time studying is to trust yourself and trust the process. I know that kinda sounds cliché but honestly by the end of your time studying you WILL be ready.

Score breakdown:

Bio: 23
GC: 22 :bow:
OC: 27 :hardy:
PAT: 25 :soexcited:
RC: 21
QR:23



Okay so I will start out with an overview of the resources I used to study in chronological order:


1. Chad’s Videos: 10/10 DEFINITELY start out your studying using his videos for review and towards the end of your studying go back and take a couple refresher quizzes/ those DAT practice OC/GC sections since they reminded me a lot of the test.

2. Cliffs Bio: 6/10 Contains almost all the info that showed up on my test. However, for some reason I don’t really learn by just reading a book so I don’t think I got as much out of this as others did. I made really beautiful outlines and probably 800 flashcards by hand and never looked at any of them more than twice. If I could do it again, I would have just read the book once to refamiliarize myself, taking only casual notes if any. I ended up doing the majority of my bio studying with Ferali’s notes as an outline and youtube videos to nail in concepts/ making quizlet flashcards (with automatic images you can attach) and I felt so strong about bio towards the end.

3. Ferali’s Notes: 9/10 Contains everything and more, it’s beautiful! However, it is super dense so I could never sit down and read it in one sitting. Instead, I would do one chapter at a time, really taking in each detail, and then watching youtube videos and making quizlet flashcards as I stated above.

4. DAT Destroyer: 9/10 Killed me the first time through… like I would get 15/30 ish every sitting. Even though the questions were challenging, I think it was a very integral part of my studying and forced me to push myself every day. I went through 2x all the way through, a third time just going through the highlighted ones I missed after the second time, and then a fourth time a week before my test just doing the 30 or so from GC/OC I didn’t feel totally comfortable with. Overall, great workbook and necessary for gen chem and ochem! [I just took my last ochem course before summer had started, and even though I did very well, this book showed me there was so much I wasn’t perfect with and my score wouldn’t have been what it was without it.]

5. Math Destroyer: 10/10 The main math source I used. Made the actual DAT QR feel like a breeze and it was all because I learned to manage my speed on math destroyer. Went through it 2x and it left me feeling very confident going into the test. I loved it. Honestly, this could be the only thing you need for math if you utilize it well.

6. Crack Dat Reading: 9/10 I actually really loved this surprisingly enough. I was worried about RC from the start, but this program got me super comfortable with my technique and left me with no surprises on test day. Felt pretty similar except they did have some random history passages that wouldn’t appear on the actual DAT.

7. DAT Bootcamp: 10/10 Their schedule is PERFECT for organizing my time. Like I said, I did need to modify it to add in a couple weeks, but if you are looking for a good way to allocate your time, definitely check out their website. As far as their practice sections, the only ones I did twice were OC/GC. Both were representative/ harder than my DAT. Their OC video answers were amazing. Bootcamp is kind of just something you need to get if you want to do well on your DAT. It was with me every step of the way, and I’m so glad it was. Oh and honestly, my PAT score would have been horrendous without it. I can’t tell you how many times I did their TFE generator, but let me tell you, once it clicks with you, it pays off on test day.

8. DATgenius: 10/10 I felt like this was the hidden gem of resources. I didn’t find out about them until the last couple weeks of my studying, but it was the best way to end my studying. I used this program to simulate full practice tests since bootcamp I had used more as practice problems. And you guys, I loved it. The problems are challenging, but they grade leniently enough for how hard their questions are so it keeps you encouraged. Like I would miss 9 qs on gen chem and get a 20 which seems weird, but after taking the test, I get why they do it this way. Also, explanations are out of this world for bio and PAT. I was hesitant at first since not many people have been talking about them yet, but I would recommend DG to anyone in a heartbeat.

9. Topscore: 4/10 really difficult to figure out how to download, but good for simulating practice test conditions. IMO I wasn’t a fan of their layout, their PAT, or their RC questions. I’d say do Bootcamp for practice and simulate test conditions with DATgenius. I would say skip out on topscore, and I never took achiever but still don’t think I would because even hearing about how hard it was stressed me out. Also the test is not very hard compared to BC and DG and you don’t have a lot of time to review towards the end so I don’t see a whole lot I could have gotten out of achiever.

10. DAT 2009: 8/10 The last test I took. Made me feel confident going into the actual test since I realized that the actual DAT was much easier than my practice tests (which is the best way to feel). Not sure whether taking it made me feel overconfident or even more nervous. Take the score you get with a grain of salt, and keep pushing yourself as hard as you can regardless of the score outcome. Note that there were errors, so be sure to keep those in mind when going through your test.


Section by section:


Bio (23)-
I’m a biology major so I’m pretty strong with this subject, but to be honesty I forgot a lot more than I realized. In order to study this fully and completely, I used Cliff’s to start off with, but then for second, more intense half of my studying I used Ferali’s notes and youtube videos. Below I will post a link to the most helpful videos I found online, because I’m a super visual learner and finding the right videos can be a pain, so if anyone is intersted feel free to check out the links below! I read Feralis one chapter at a time, stopping whenever I didn’t fully understand the bigger picture, then watched a related youtube video. MAJOR shout out to Bozeman Science!!! This guy gave me so much clarity throughout my bio studying and actually made studying Fungi & plant hormones interesting. After, I made a quizlet with all terms &images I needed to memorize. TRY QUIZLET BEFORE HANDMAKING FLASHCARDS! Even if you think you may learn better by muscle memory (which I did initially) being able to add an image to my quizlet flashcards was so fast and easy and the pictures really do stick with you in helping memorize.


Practice: Did all of biology destroyer 1.5 times. DATgenius’ biology section was awesome and did an awesome job filling in last minute gaps. The day before, I just watched all of the youtube videos on 2x speed and refreshed my memory, it was great.


Test day: Obviously more straight forward than a lot of the stuff I had studied. However, they can and will throw any random detail at you and its always better to be as prepared as possible. I think watching all the videos REALLY helped me answer the conceptual questions.


GC (22)-
General chemistry was not my strong suit in college so I was probably most worried about this section. I told myself that if I do well in every other section, getting an 18 on GC would be more or less overlooked. However, I’m so happy that I stayed confident and pulled through with this section. Felt very similar to Chad’s videos. However, I’d argue that his videos alone would not have been enough.


Practice: Destroyer made me face the hardest problems you would see on the test. Bootcamp and DATgenius gave me a lot of great calculation problems that I was able to make flashcards with. I ran through these 40 qs twice in the last week and made sure I could do each in under a minute. SERIOUSLY helped me on test day.


Test day: A relief seeing problems that I actually knew. Not at all as hard as DATgenius but I loved them for challenging me. Bootcamp had kinda a couple conceptual questions that through me for a loop, but I was relieved not to see anything I wasn’t familiar with on the test.


OC (27)-
I knew this would be my strongest subject since I had an amazing ochem teacher in college (Shout out to Neil GARG!! All my fellow UCLA bruins know who I’m talking about…) However, doing DAT Destroyer I realized that I forgot a lot of the stuff I learned in the first of the two undergrad ochem classes. For instance, the acid/ base stuff is huge, best resonance structure (complete octet is most imporant), and the difference between geometric vs constitutional isomers.


Practice: I made formula flashcards and thought that between Chads, Destroyer, Bootcamp, and Genius, you are set for a great ochem score.


Test day: No crazy formulas or suprises again here. Didn’t have to flag any problems and finished this section relatively quickly, which left me time to go back and review bio/GC.


PAT (25)-
This section is all about practice. I did all 10 of BC’s practice sections (5 as practice and 5 with the pratcie tests). I also did 5 DG tests with their practice tests, 1 topscore PAT, and the 2009 test. The 2009 test was most accurate (obviously) but I needed bootcamp and DG to really master it.

Practice:

TFE- My strategy was to start with TFE since I got very good at that section through the generators. My advice is to ABSOLUTELY use the generators to exhaustion for TFE since I promise it is the most frustrating to get good at, weeks went by and I had the hardest time visualizing the shapes, but the easiest to be perfect at once you’re good.

Angles- Angles were kinda a shot in the dark for me. Bootcamp I sucked, but the actual DAT was easier. Rapid eye glance was the best technique but I honestly played with them all (laptop, visualizing a weapon or pencil point, and I did some weird mountain peak thing too). Essentially just do what you need to do to eliminate your answers in the fastest time possible. If you aren’t very good at this, just go with your first gut instinct because it is often times right and looking at something too much messes with you.

Hole punch- Line of symmetry x100000. Best method by far. Just doing these in my practice tests prepared me well enough for the test.

Cube count- I did the little chart thing everyone else does. I first stare at the image and check for any weird optical illusions & come up with a quick way to count the cubes the fastest in my head. Then I count them in rows or little groups of 3 or 4 at a time and jot them on my chart (like 3,4,4,5 and then write my tallies for those numbers). At the beginning this section took me a long time since I was slow at counting cubes and had to recount sometimes and it was pretty annoying. However, once I started taking a few seconds to just stare at the arrangement and decide on a plan of counting attack, my speed increased insanely. This section took me 6ish minutes on the actual test… practice makes perfect and speedy.

Pattern folding- generators!! Try to not spend so much time folding the object. If you have to imagine more than one fold, the majority of the time, there is a faster way and you are doing it wrong. For shading, remember that if the black part is touching one object, then that means that the white side has to be touching the other shape opposite to it. Finding little tricks like this will help you finish this section quickly and efficiently.

Keyhole- I didn’t feel very comfortable with this section for a while. When I was slower I just skipped it and chose C then went through as many as I could in the last minute or so and changed the Cs to Ds on anything that 100% did NOT look like C. No real strategy except process of elimination.


Test day: each section took me 10 minutes or less. I practiced this way and on the actual day I was able to stick with this time schedule. Generally, angles, holes and cubes took less, TFE, patterns, and keyholes took a little more. Overall, equivalent in difficulty to 2009.


RC (21)-
All about finding your strategy. My strategy was to read the first searchable question (if it was a tone q, read the next question), then map until I find the answer. Keep going through questions like this, continuing the mapping process when you get to a question you haven’t read the answer for.


Practice: When I did CDR, I only mapped for 6 minutes then did questions after. I adjusted my strategy when the passages got more dense in bootcamp and DATgenius. Overall, Bootcamps RC was a little too stressful compared to the test, but I’m glad I was prepared for anything. DATgenius felt accurate.


Test day: Like I said under materials, felt super similar to CDR and DG. Just be confident and attentive and you will do great. Just make sure to stay sharp and focused and not let your mind wander.


QR (23)-
Math is kind of repetitive. Make sure you remember tactics at approaching various types of problems (d=rt problems, trig identities, stats stuff, compounding interest, proportions, and 2 people doing the same task in different amounts of times). Make flashcards for problem types so that you know exactly how to attack a problem when/if you see it on the test.


Practice: 100% Math destroyer is more than all you need. Just get fast and familiar and you will be set for the test! Definitely make sure to use BC and DG for timing practice regardless.


Test day: Go through as quickly as you can, marking questions you can’t immediately do. With your remaining time, go through as many marked ones as you can. I marked 5 and got through 3 of them at the end of the test. No tricky problems I didn’t know how to deal with. Thanks Dr. Romano!!!



~Final Thoughts~

1. If you are getting 20s on your practice tests, you are ready to DESTROY the DAT! Don’t freak out about the scores because the only one that matters is the one on test day. Also, they intentionally make these tests more difficult so keep that in mind!

2. Be careful listening to songs in the car before taking a practice test. I had far too many songs stuck in my head during these 5 hour tests and believe me it sucks… stick to NPR or something in the car, makes you feel smart during your drive to the library or wherever you study haha.

3. I had a HORRIBLE time sleeping the night before my test. My adrenaline kicked in the night before and I couldn’t digest my dinner well and my stomach felt like it was tied in knots. I woke up at 3 am and thought I was going to puke. I forced myself to go back to sleep and rewoke up at 5 am then stayed up until I heard my mom walking around upstairs around 7. When I saw her I broke down because I was so mad at my body for ruining my night’s sleep before this super important test. But then she told me that when you don’t sleep, it just means your body doesn’t need the sleep. If it did, you would have slept fine. My body was in fight mode, ready to take on this monster of a test, and that is exactly what I was able to do. I guess just trust yourself on test day, and realize that if you have trouble sleeping, its because you might just not need it!


I hope my breakdown was helpful for at least someone out there :) Good luck and please reach out to me if you have any questions at all!

......

Wow long post haha thanks for reading!


Practice test scores:

Bootcamp 1st time

OC: 20/19/19/29/20
GC: 17/17/19/16/18
PAT: 17/18/19/20

Crack Dat Reading

16/17/18/22/23/21/20/23

Bootcamp full tests

Bio/GC/OC/PAT/RC/QR

1) 25/18/24/20/19/23
2) 25/20/21/20/18/20
3) 19/24/25/20/20/20
4) 21/24/30/21/23/21
5) 22/20/22/21/20/20

DATgenius full tests

Bio/GC/OC/PAT/RC/QR

1) 20/20/21/21/20/NA
2) 22/20/20/22/20/20
3) 23/20/20/22/21/20
4) 20/20/21/22/19/21
5) 22/20/22/22/21/20

Topscore

Bio/GC/OC/PAT/RC/QR

1) 21/23/19/22/20/20
2) 20/18/20
3) 20/20/19

2009

Bio/GC/OC/PAT/RC/QR

23/23/22/22/21/18



IMPORTANT VIDEOS

Polyatomics (chem)


Biogeochemical cycles


Immune system


Clotting Cascade


Endocrine System


Excretory System

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qfWx8msgHqM

Juxtaglomerular Apparatus & RAAS Brief Overview

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XICqq88YBrA

Digestive system

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nM5kMSjBrmw&index=2&list=PLCC2DB523BA8BCB53

Nervous system

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UabDiuTtU0M

Integumentary system

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z5VnOS9Ke3g

The Brain (structures and function)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kMKc8nfPATI

Fungi

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dj9m7Oc36wM

Protists

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8deF3Rw4ti4

Kingdom Animalia (phylogeny, invertebrates, vertebrates)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wd-QnKlfZHI

Bacteria (gene transfer, gram pos/neg, quorum sensing)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h-z9-9OOWC4

Viruses

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L8oHs7G_syI

Plant structure

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zHp_voyo7MY

Plant nutrition and transport (covers monocot/ dicot, casparian strip, transpiration)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bsY8j8f54I0

Plant hormones

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HdwIcIkSoBY

Double fertilization

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bUjVHUf4d1I

Female reproductive cycle

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2_owp8kNMus

Male Reproductive system

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v22CjFYizi0

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sr4recOxmNc

Detailed animation on fertilization (capacitation, zp3, acrosome reaction, zone pellucida, fast/slow block)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7G2rL5Cutd4

Neurulation (neural groove, neural tube, neural crest)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lGLexQR9xGs

Gastrulation (primitive streak, primitive pit)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3AOoikTEfeo

Notochord

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m8v2SNVlPH0

Amniotic fluid, amnion, chorion, and yolk sac

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9FA5sw8_M5I

Embryonic development of the frog

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JceGik3Q5A8

Totipotent, pluripotent, and multipotent stem cells

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KZGgZd-FNwc

Cancer (tumor suppressor genes and oncogenes)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5inw61JlQlw

Glycolysis enzymes if you want them

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QQmlyMGeN9U
 

Attachments

Last edited:

htorres89

5+ Year Member
Sep 15, 2014
236
139
First off, AMAZING scores! You really knocked this exam out of the park. Congratulations. It seems like you really worked your tail off for this lol Second, AWESOME DAT BREAKDOWN!' This is so detailed and helpful. I'm definitely going to be revisiting this page a few times so I can check out all these helpful videos. You are great! Appreciate this :)
 

kdforthree

2+ Year Member
Jun 24, 2015
17
21
Status
Pre-Dental
I attend UCLA and also finished my test on Thursday as well! Wish I had the chance to take 14D with Garg, haha. Congratulations on the excellent scores. :)
 
Sep 14, 2015
51
13
Status
Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
Hey jfucia,

Are those videos that you labelled important concepts that showed up on your actual DAT? Like the double fertilization angiosperms thing?

Thanks
 
OP
jfucla1994

jfucla1994

2+ Year Member
May 11, 2014
5
11
Status
Pre-Dental
First off, AMAZING scores! You really knocked this exam out of the park. Congratulations. It seems like you really worked your tail off for this lol Second, AWESOME DAT BREAKDOWN!' This is so detailed and helpful. I'm definitely going to be revisiting this page a few times so I can check out all these helpful videos. You are great! Appreciate this :)
Thank you so much!! I'm so glad that you found this breakdown helpful during your studies! :) Good luck you you!! You will do great.
 
OP
jfucla1994

jfucla1994

2+ Year Member
May 11, 2014
5
11
Status
Pre-Dental
Hey jfucia,

Are those videos that you labelled important concepts that showed up on your actual DAT? Like the double fertilization angiosperms thing?

Thanks
Hello! I guess "important" isn't the correct word choice. As I was going through Feralis' notes, I found certain concepts difficult to understand, memorize, or visualize, so I turned to youtube for help. These videos helped me reach clarity on various topics, so I thought I would share them in case they do for anyone else!

Remember, anything can show up on Biology, so the more you know, the better the position you are in. Good luck!!
 
Sep 14, 2015
51
13
Status
Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
Hello! I guess "important" isn't the correct word choice. As I was going through Feralis' notes, I found certain concepts difficult to understand, memorize, or visualize, so I turned to youtube for help. These videos helped me reach clarity on various topics, so I thought I would share them in case they do for anyone else!

Remember, anything can show up on Biology, so the more you know, the better the position you are in. Good luck!!
OK, thank you very much. They're great videos. Congrats on your score again and for the awesome breakdown
 

orgoman22

DAT DESTROYER
Lifetime Donor
Sponsor
Vendor
10+ Year Member
Mar 12, 2005
4,186
3,038
New York City
www.orgoman.com
Status
Non-Student
Hello! I guess "important" isn't the correct word choice. As I was going through Feralis' notes, I found certain concepts difficult to understand, memorize, or visualize, so I turned to youtube for help. These videos helped me reach clarity on various topics, so I thought I would share them in case they do for anyone else!

Remember, anything can show up on Biology, so the more you know, the better the position you are in. Good luck!!
jfucla1994, Congratulations! :clap::clap::clap::clap:

You Destroyed the DAT! The DAT Beast was slain once again. I sincerely thank you for giving back to the SDN community with such a thorough breakdown and links to numerous study videos. That's awesome and I have already shared it with my students.

Your hard work paid off and you will receive MANY interviews. Love your science scores!:love:

Thank you for the shout out and our apologies for the delay in acknowledging your accomplishment!

Wishing you the best in your journey to becoming a dentist.

Dr. Jim Romano and Nancy
 

fayevalentine

See you space cowboy.
5+ Year Member
Feb 13, 2014
505
285
Status
Pre-Dental
Hi, thank you so much for the awesome breakdown and videos! You killed the DAT, great job!
I was wondering if during your 13 weeks you had any classes or worked, or did you treat studying as your job? About how many hours per day did you study? Thanks again!
 

Schaf77

5+ Year Member
Sep 5, 2014
34
6
Status
Pre-Dental
Hi, nice job on the scores. Just wondering, for the angles on the PAT portion, were a lot of them like ...

2 < 3 < 1 < 4
3 > 2 < 1 < 4
2 < 3 < 4 < 1
3 > 2 < 4 < 1

where you could compare two of the angles at a time. I noticed that for the Bootcamp angle generator, almost all the answer choices are like this, but for the Bootcamp PAT section tests, only some of the answer choices like this.

Thanks,
 
Sep 27, 2015
27
10
Status
Pre-Dental
Hi, nice job on the scores. Just wondering, for the angles on the PAT portion, were a lot of them like ...

2 < 3 < 1 < 4
3 > 2 < 1 < 4
2 < 3 < 4 < 1
3 > 2 < 4 < 1

where you could compare two of the angles at a time. I noticed that for the Bootcamp angle generator, almost all the answer choices are like this, but for the Bootcamp PAT section tests, only some of the answer choices like this.

Thanks,
Schaf, go with what they have in the section tests. The angle generator is just a computer program, the actual tests are more accurate

And this is a killer breakdown - so awesome you took the time to write this, thank you.