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earthcap

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Just took the DAT last Saturday and am very happy to be done. Since I got lotz of helps from reading numerous threads posted on this forum, I wanted to thank everybody and sort of "repay the blessings." Here is the summary of study materials that I used. It's by no means exclusive but these materials definitely allowed me to study the right things. I want to make sure everybody knows that this is simply my personal opinion based on my experience with them.
The DAT I took last week wasn't super hard. I thought the difficulty level was most similar to the third practice test of Topscore. Wish you good luck on the DAT!

1. Kaplan DAT (blue book): weak at certain areas of biology (especially in plant biology, classification, ecology, and invert./vert zoo.). Study with college textbook(s) such as Campbell. Chemistry and orgo are pretty solid. I thought Kaplan PAT was easier than the real PAT.

2. Schaum’s biology- very good comprehensive biology book despite some extraneous materials. if you wanna do really well on bio, study it pretty thoroughly. Too much is never bad when you have time anyway.

3. Topscore : an excellent set of practice tests. must-have for the prep. the only neg might be the angle section in the PAT was too easy compared to the real thing.

4. Barron’s book – Good PAT explanation and strategy, other than that, pretty much useless.

6. Free practice exam (Kaplan)- Take it, it's free. :) Kaplan intentionally makes the test extra hard so if you don't do well, do worry too much about it.

7. Examkrackers MCAT- Excellent prep material though it’s designed for MCAT. Warning: this set of five books is different from 1001 questions.

8. DAT Achiever- has by far the most challenging PAT section. In my opinion, the entire test was harder than the real thing and that makes it a very attractive prep material.

9. Examkrackers 1001 Organic Chemistry: gotta have it. You can nail Orgo on the DAT if you finish all the questions and know them by heart.

10. Examkrackers 1001 Gen Chem: I bought it, but didn't get to use much. But from the small number of questions that I solved, I thought it was pretty decent.

13. Columbia Review Biology, Gen Chm, and Orgo: oh, I love these books! :) There are some mistakes here and there but overall, they are really worth it.

14. GRE GMAT MathWorkbook: good review for the QR

15. Kaplan (White book): if you can get this somewhere, solve the questions following each section. They are helpful review questions that you might want to go over.

Finally, preparing for the DAT can be a daunting task. but you can really have fun and lower your stress level. Again, good luck to you all! :thumbup: :) If you have any questions, please feel free to ask!
 

wigglytooth

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earthcap said:
Just took the DAT last Saturday and am very happy to be done. Since I got lotz of helps from reading numerous threads posted on this forum, I wanted to thank everybody and sort of "repay the blessings." Here is the summary of study materials that I used. It's by no means exclusive but these materials definitely allowed me to study the right things. I want to make sure everybody knows that this is simply my personal opinion based on my experience with them.
The DAT I took last week wasn't super hard. I thought the difficulty level was most similar to the third practice test of Topscore. Wish you good luck on the DAT!

1. Kaplan DAT (blue book): weak at certain areas of biology (especially in plant biology, classification, ecology, and invert./vert zoo.). Study with college textbook(s) such as Campbell. Chemistry and orgo are pretty solid. I thought Kaplan PAT was easier than the real PAT.

2. Schaum’s biology- very good comprehensive biology book despite some extraneous materials. if you wanna do really well on bio, study it pretty thoroughly. Too much is never bad when you have time anyway.

3. Topscore : an excellent set of practice tests. must-have for the prep. the only neg might be the angle section in the PAT was too easy compared to the real thing.

4. Barron’s book – Good PAT explanation and strategy, other than that, pretty much useless.

6. Free practice exam (Kaplan)- Take it, it's free. :) Kaplan intentionally makes the test extra hard so if you don't do well, do worry too much about it.

7. Examkrackers MCAT- Excellent prep material though it’s designed for MCAT. Warning: this set of five books is different from 1001 questions.

8. DAT Achiever- has by far the most challenging PAT section. In my opinion, the entire test was harder than the real thing and that makes it a very attractive prep material.

9. Examkrackers 1001 Organic Chemistry: gotta have it. You can nail Orgo on the DAT if you finish all the questions and know them by heart.

10. Examkrackers 1001 Gen Chem: I bought it, but didn't get to use much. But from the small number of questions that I solved, I thought it was pretty decent.

13. Columbia Review Biology, Gen Chm, and Orgo: oh, I love these books! :) There are some mistakes here and there but overall, they are really worth it.

14. GRE GMAT MathWorkbook: good review for the QR

15. Kaplan (White book): if you can get this somewhere, solve the questions following each section. They are helpful review questions that you might want to go over.

Finally, preparing for the DAT can be a daunting task. but you can really have fun and lower your stress level. Again, good luck to you all! :thumbup: :) If you have any questions, please feel free to ask!


Sounds like a lot of books! How long did you study for before the test, what was your regiment, and, if I may ask, how did you fare???
 

golfmontpoker

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Ya im curious, how well did you do?? By the way, im curious, what was your weak areas?? sounds like you were weak in the chemistries, just like me... If thats the case, i will be quite interested in buying these books... Anyways, congratz on completeing! cant wait to get that feeling!
 

earthcap

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wigglytooth said:
Sounds like a lot of books! How long did you study for before the test, what was your regiment, and, if I may ask, how did you fare???

Dear Wigglytooth,
I "started" studying last summer. But it was actually February of this year that I got into organized studying mode. So I guess I kinda studied on and off for about 6 months and wnet hardcore for about 3 months. I studied anywhere from 3 to 6 hrs each day up till 4 weeks before the DAT and increased studying time up to about 8 hrs a day. In total, I took 10 practice tests every Saturday and generally relaxed on Sundays. Thankfully, I did very well on the real DAT. I don't really like to publicly announce my score in the forum so if you'd like to know, PM me. :)
Hope I answered your questions alright.
 

earthcap

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golfmontpoker said:
Ya im curious, how well did you do?? By the way, im curious, what was your weak areas?? sounds like you were weak in the chemistries, just like me... If thats the case, i will be quite interested in buying these books... Anyways, congratz on completeing! cant wait to get that feeling!

I was most concerned with gen chem and evolution/ecology/invert. in bio, but the real DAT was much better than I thought it would be. I hope you'll be able to pull off chem for the real thing.
And sorry, I don't intend to sell the books, and you might be better off buying new ones anyway since most of the questions are already answered.
I really think I can breathe better after the test. :)
 

wigglytooth

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earthcap said:
Dear Wigglytooth,
I "started" studying last summer. But it was actually February of this year that I got into organized studying mode. So I guess I kinda studied on and off for about 6 months and wnet hardcore for about 3 months. I studied anywhere from 3 to 6 hrs each day up till 4 weeks before the DAT and increased studying time up to about 8 hrs a day. In total, I took 10 practice tests every Saturday and generally relaxed on Sundays. Thankfully, I did very well on the real DAT. I don't really like to publicly announce my score in the forum so if you'd like to know, PM me. :)
Hope I answered your questions alright.

Thanks for replying! One more question though, how did you divide your time among all those books!? Did you focus on your weak areas first, and if so which books did you start with? I know it sounds a bit psycho to ask for all of the details but it my help someone in the future :)
 

earthcap

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wigglytooth said:
Thanks for replying! One more question though, how did you divide your time among all those books!? Did you focus on your weak areas first, and if so which books did you start with? I know it sounds a bit psycho to ask for all of the details but it my help someone in the future :)

That's okay. :)
I sort of skipped around a lot but I'll try to summarize how I studied for each subject.

Biology:
When I started studying for the DAT, I had already taken several bio courses, such as gen. bio, cell bio, micro, human a&p, genetics, etc. So I started out with Kaplan Blue book and Schaum's bio outline. They helped me to focus on the big picture and brought back the stuff I learned in the past. At the same time, I used college textbooks (e.g. Human A&P/Campbell/Zoology) as reference to zoom in the parts that either I couldn't recall very well or wanted to learn more extensively. It took me about two months to get through the two books first time. By that time, I already started taking practice tests, and they revealed many weak areas I needed to focus on. For example, I was particularly weak at classification and ecology so I went over those sections in Campbell and studied them extensively. But a word of caution here, don't spend too much time on detailed classification and ecology unless you have time for it b/c the DAT has relatively the small number questions on classification and ecology. I also made bio flashcards of concepts and small facts that were hard to understand or remember. They really helped me since I could look over the shaky concepts one more time before taking the real DAT. Continually review the materials and gradually add new facts till the DAT day.

Chemistry and Orgo:
I took more of a hardcore approach on these subjects. Right up front, I read my college textbooks in entirety primarily to bring back the concepts and formulas. Then, I went on to Examkrackers review books. Third, I used Columbia review gen. chem and orgo to review the materials once more. Finally, I studied with Kaplan book as it seems to be most concise yet covers pretty much all the essential materials.

RC: Whenever I had time, I read articles related to frequent RC subjects at wikipedia.com or on the web. Reading science articles from magazines like Scientific American, Science, and Nature helped me greatly. Though RC passages are usually not as technical and difficult as articles of Science and Nature, if you are comfortable with reading them, you should do fine on the RC. As far as test-taking skills go, quickly summarizing each paragraph and writing down technical terms helped me keep track of the facts.

QR: I reviewed some with GRE/GMAT math book and math books that I had from the past.

PAT: I practiced the PAT section mostly as I took my practice tests. DAT Achiever was extremely helpful.

A week or two before the actual DAT, I literally started solving questions after questions on all three science subjects. I used books like Kaplan White book, Columbia Review Bio, Chem, Orgo, Examkracker 1001 (Orgo, Chem).

A day before the DAT I reviewed all the questions that I missed in the past (practice tests (more important in my estimation) and prep books).

This is simply the way I approach studying the DAT. But perhaps I hope you can benefit from this by adapting to your own way as you prepare for the DAT. Good luck to you all!
 
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