DAT prep suggestions. DAT Bootcamp, DAT Destroyer, Math destroyer, chad's videos, Ferali's notes.

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Aug 24, 2014
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So I just wanted to post on here what I did to get a good score on the DAT to help out other people because I wished that there was more information out there on SDN on what to study and what the comparisons were to the real DAT and things like that so this is what I am trying to fulfill for others. I will also give some strategy for some sections.

So I will start with my scores to let you see if they are scores you would like to shoot for.

PAT- 22
RC- 28
QR- 20
BIO - 22
O CHEM - 23
Total science - 22
Academic average - 23

So really the only things I used to study were Chad's videos, DAT Destroyer, Math Destroyer, and DAT Bootcamp, Feralli's notes. I can't speak for any other study materials but I know that these worked for me and prepared me for the DAT.

The thing I did first was watch Chad's videos. I watched nearly every video that chad has in the DAT section. I watched them in double time so that it took a lot less time than it would have normally been. They were so helpful. Chad is knowledgeable about what kind of things can be presented on the DAT. He clearly has done his research to make his videos great. He also has quizzes after each video to make sure that you understood the concepts presented in the video. He was very helpful and explained things succinctly and clearly. I would strongly recommend his videos to review gen chem, o chem, and math.

As I finished each section of Chad’s Videos, I would go and do all the practice tests on DAT Bootcamp corresponding to that section. This only happened for O Chem, Gen Chem, and Math because those are the videos that Chad offers for prep. I also did about 6 or 7 tests from MATH Destroyer with the MATH sections.

Then I went and I read Ferali’s Notes. During this part, I just read through it and highlighted the things I thought would be important. Then I went and did the tests on DAT Bootcamp. That gave me a good idea of what was going to be tested on the Biology part because there are so many things that can be tested in Biology. Then I went back through Ferali’s notes and read the whole thing again and when I recognized topics that corresponded to the topics I saw in DAT Bootcamp, I made sure I knew all that was covered in Ferali’s notes on that topic and made flashcards for things I didn’t know and couldn’t easily remember. Then I went back and did the DAT Bootcamp tests again. I also made flashcards of the questions I got wrong.

Then I went through a couple of the Reading Comprehension tests on DAT Bootcamp. I didn’t do all of them right off. I did about 2 and then moved on to work on the PAT section.

After I did that, I went to DAT DESTROYER and did all the questions from O Chem, Gen Chem, and Bio. I read all the explanations of the questions that I didn’t view as easy. I marked the questions that I got wrong so that I could review them in the future.

Then I did several practice tests to review in MATH DESTROYER.

Then a week before I took my test, I did a full length practice test on DAT BOOTCAMP. I tried to do tests that I hadn’t done in a long time so that I didn’t just remember what the answer was and I had to actually think through it and make sure I could come to the correct answer.

Then I went through all the DAT DESTROYER questions that I got wrong in the sections that I did and made sure that I got them right and reread the explanations for each one in preparation for the Test.

Then the Day before the test, I didn’t do anything. I rested my brain so that I would be rested and not tired and confused on test day.

Study Materials I used vs. Real DAT

Chad’s Videos - Chad’s videos were complete. There wasn’t anything that I was unprepared for after watching his videos. His videos are the easiest way to review these things that you have learned already. I wouldn’t go without Chad’s videos and I felt like they were reasonably priced. Make sure you view them in 2x fast mode, it is better that way. You can speed through it but still get the material well.

DAT Bootcamp - Overall the tests were very representative of the real DAT. The two exceptions I would say for that would be the QR section and the PAT section. The QR tests were definitely harder than the real DAT but that makes it an excellent preparation for the real DAT. The PAT tests were slightly easier on the hole punching section, and TFE section but I thought overall it was great. I didn’t feel like I needed anything else. I felt like I did well enough on the PAT. DAT Bootcamp is another must have. Such a great purchase. A note on DAT BOOTCAMP - my scores on the real test were higher than my normal scores on DAT Bootcamp. That was a good thing. It made me work harder and then on test day I was happy with my scores.

DAT Destroyer - This was so much more in depth than the real DAT on every section but the QR. The QR was too easy. I don’t think that particular section was very representative of the real thing. The fact that DAT Destroyer was more in depth was wonderful. It allowed me to really learn the stuff so that when questions came up on the actual test that I had not seen before, I was able to think my way through it. It covered so many topics as well. It was a wonderful study option.

Math Destroyer - This was harder than the real DAT by quite a bit. Which was good. It helped me to get back into math thinking mode and do well. I consistently got about 11 wrong out of 40 every time I tried to simulate the math section. That was not that great. Missing 11 is a lot but I missed a lot less on the DAT and was much more comfortable with the test and felt better and didn’t feel as rushed because I learned to do harder questions in a small amount of time by doing Math Destroyer.

Ferali’s Notes - They were great. They covered so much Biology and nearly everything that could be asked. It was a great core for my biology study. I would definitely recommend it.

I loved all of my study materials and felt like it was such a great combination of study materials. I just used all of these things to get a feel for what kinds of things were going to be on the test and then DAT Bootcamp to evaluate my progress and see if I was getting the scores that I wanted to get.


Reading Comp strategy - I honestly didn’t think any of the complicated strategies out there were good for me. My strategy was straightforward. Read through the section quickly but carefully. Then go through the questions and answer them and if you aren’t sure, try to remember where you saw information that relates to the question. You can scan through the paragraphs til you find the answer. The sections aren’t that long and you have enough time to complete it. I usually read the section in about 6-7 minutes and answered the questions relating to that section in about 13 minutes. That worked for me but for others it may not.

The PAT sections on DAT Bootcamp were good for me. They were hard for me, it was not something I was great at right off the bat. I had to work at it and practice and work and practice and try different strategies ’til I found out what worked for me. I will share my strategies for the PAT here.

So for me, Keyhole was my worst. I still was not that great at it on test day but I could’ve gotten better at it if I had worked more on it. The best way I found to do it for me was to find the options that didn’t work. Just look for the ones don’t work. Look at each of shapes and proportions of each option and try to find something wrong with each one. Hopefully you can eliminate all but one. Try to do it as quickly as possible.

For the Top Front end, there is no short cut other than getting used to how the shapes are drawn and then picturing the view that is missing. Practice, Practice, Practice is the best way to get good at it. It is hard at first but you can get better at it. I don’t have any great strategies but also tackle it same as the Keyhole. Picture what you think the view should look like and compare it against the options and eliminate as many as possible

For Angle Ranking, sit back from the screen. Look at your answer options first. Look at the smallest in each answer choice, usually they will make you choose between 2 different angles as the smallest angle. This will allow you to just focus on two angles and tell the difference between them. Find the smaller one and that will lower the amount of options you have. Then do the same for the angles that are options for the Largest. This will either give you only 1 option left or give you 2 options left. If you still have 2 options left, then compare the two angles you haven’t decided as being the smallest or the largest yet. You can do this section. Your brain is built to see the difference and just “feel” that one is smaller than the other. You still will need to practice but DAT Bootcamp has an Angle Ranking generator and that was very helpful to just do a little bit every couple of days to practice that.

The Hole Punching section. For this one, I would mentally go through the folds that they showed me and made sure I understood which direction it was being folded. Then I would go to the end and mark on a piece of grid paper the punches that were made, even if they were half or quarter holes because eventually they will become whole holes. Then just go through the steps and fold the paper mentally in your head across the fold and just mirror the holes you have already drawn across that fold. Do that for each fold and you will have your final look and then find your picture amongst the options.

The Cube counting section. I do this one by writing 1,2,3,4,5 in a column on a sheet of paper. Then I go through the entire picture and systematically count the sides on each and every cube and tally them next to the corresponding number in the number column. Then you can easily answer each question about that picture and move on to the next picture.

The pattern folding section. The only way I got good at this one was practice. I went through the options and tried to find something wrong with them by comparing them with the original picture. I did this mostly by comparing sides that I knew would be next to each other (if it is one of the ones that has colored sides) or by comparing the shapes of the sides and eliminating answers that had shapes that didn’t appear in the original picture (if it didn’t have colored sides).

My overall strategy for the PAT section was to skip to the angle ranking and go through it all and then go back to the TFE section and then finally to the Keyhole section because I knew that I could get all of the sections but the keyhole correct if I didn’t feel rushed. I did the keyhole last because it was my worst section so that if I ran out of time, I didn’t get questions wrong that I knew I could get right.

Math section - I went through this and if I didn’t know how to do a question right off, I would move on because there were going to be questions I did know how to do. I would just mark an answer and then mark the question for review and then come back to it at the end. That way, you avoid getting stressed about not knowing questions and can get the ones you know how to do, correct, before tackling the hard ones. Then you give your brain a chance to mull it over behind the scenes as you do other things.

That is about all the information I have. Good Luck.

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Those are great scores!!!! I really like your strategy for reading section.

congrats again
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Congrats on your Amazing scores. Also, thanks for taking your time and posting a detailed breakdown.
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