Jul 8, 2009
10
0
Status
Pre-Dental
Hi everyone! This is the first time I'm posting on SDN. I haven't been a member for long and heard about this website from a Kaplan instructor. I think it is a great resource for anyone pursuing a career in any of the healthcare-related fields. I've been studying for the DAT since the middle of May and I just took it today. I took the Kaplan course which personally, I feel since I put the time in for it since I was out of school, really helped me improve my skills. The class sessions themselves were pointless (except for general chemistry) because honestly, anyone who is trying to get into dental school should definitely know what meiosis is and the basics of genetics, etc. The resources from Kaplan were excellent: I got a lot of extra practice. I also took the Topscore exams. I took a total of 9 practice exams the 2-3 weeks before test day. The days in between I used to go over the tests. Since many people are curious, here are my scores:

Kap M.T./Kap Final/Kap1/Kap2/ADA/TS1/TS2/TS3/DAT
PAT-23/21/25/25/22/21/23/24/28
QR-16/20/21/22/24/21/21/21/21
RC-16/19/20/20/16/18/20/20/20
Bio-17/19/24/24/21/18/19/19/20
G. Chem-16/19/18/18/25/18/18/18/18
Orgo-19/23/19/16/30/20/21/18/23
Tot. Sci-18/24/25/25/25/19/20/19/20
AA-17/20/21/21/21/23/20/19/20

Sorry if some of the scoring seems off...for Kaplan I had to compute some of the scores myself by finding out how many I got right and looking at the chart ADA provided online. I actually took another Kaplan test (i.e. mention of taking 9 practice tests but only putting the results up for 8) but it turns out that it was the same test I had taken previously (I don't know why they would put duplicate exams on their syllabus), so those scores don't count because I already knew all the RC passages/answers, etc. I'm pretty content with my results, even though my AA wasn't as high as I wanted it, but I'm glad that all the individual section scores were in the 20's (except G-Chem :eek:) and that way I hopefully won't fall into any cutoffs. I'm a California resident attending undergraduate on the East Coast, but I really really want to come back home for dental school so I can be closer to those I love :p. Besides my DAT, I think my application is competitive, so hopefully I can get into a California school. To break down each section...

Biology: This section wasn't as bad as I was expecting from other people's posts. There were a small handful of odd questions that I was confused on (destroyer only helpled me on one bio question). It was pretty encompassing, from genetics to ecology, etc. Nothing too hard for me since I like science. I don't think Kaplan was that great of a help for me in this section. Since I'm a bio major I already knew most of it, so it just took a lot of reading and reviewing (I really liked Kaplan's AP Biology).

General Chemistry: I never really liked G. Chem. but Kaplan prepared me pretty well compared to the shape I was in before I took the course. Destroyer was too much for this section, nothing as complicated as the problems I haggled over in that book.

Organic Chemistry: I love organic chemistry, but this was a little challenging. I had a great organic professor and it's been over a year since I took the class, yet I remembered most of it, so it just took some reviewing. Kaplan is a good resource for reviewing all the major reactions, IR, NMR, etc.

PAT: I solely used Kaplan for this (and applied that to topscore). I was freaking out days before the exam when I started to notice everyone was saying that you have to get crack the dat pat. This stuff comes to me naturally as well as with practice, so I just practiced a lot and I thought that the key holes and top/front/end were really simple and simpler than some of the stuff kaplan gave me. But hey, I'd rather train super hard so the real thing doesn't seem bad. There were like 1-2 really wierd pattern-folding questions, but everything else was not that bad.

Reading Comprehension: This has never been my strong point. The articles were really long and dense and the last one was confusing as s***. I used the Kaplan road-mapping method where you pretty much make a paragraph-based outline with key words from each paragraph. The only issue I have with it is that I feel I need to actually read the passage and not just skim for important words that pop out to me. But to do that AND road map, you have to read really fast. So I sped through the articles with my road maps, and by luck I found the answers to many of the questions just by seeing it in the text. I honestly don't know how I got a 20.

QR: I've read a lot that this section is really complicated and difficult with confusing word problems, so naturally hearing that, I was expecting the worst. But I totally thought this section was IDENTICAL to the topscore qr exams. There weren't many word problems and I finished on time.

Overall, if you study hard and practice, practice, practice, you should be fine. Another key is to relax on test day. I was calm for the entire exam (except one part where I thought the ground was shaking and we were going to have an earthquake :laugh:). I told myself to just take it like another practice exam, and it turned out alright. If I forgot to mention anything, let me know and if you have any advise, etc. for me, that would be great too!! Thanks and good luck with everything!
 

suhshi

10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Dec 15, 2008
481
6
Status
Dentist
wow
28 for PAT from Kaplan alone?

impressive..

congrats an goodluck
 

dasubline

10+ Year Member
Feb 24, 2008
102
0
Status
Pre-Dental
28-PAT!!!<<<< very impressive without Crack PAT. I think you have solid scores, good luck applying...
 

ZzZzSleepyhead

10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
2+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Jan 7, 2009
524
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Pre-Dental
Wow awesome scores, especially the PAT. If you have time, can you elaborate on any techniques you used for PAT ?
 

GOLF

7+ Year Member
Jul 6, 2009
179
3
Status
Dental Student
haha im from california too - those earthquakes don't happen on the east coast!
 
OP
H
Jul 8, 2009
10
0
Status
Pre-Dental
Since a few of you want to know techniques I used for PAT:

Practice is the key. I am naturally good with this type of stuff because I love art, sewing, etc. I thought Kaplan gave a LOT of practice and homework for it and they give you a good timeline you should follow when you're doing the PAT. So I allotted 10 minutes for key holes, which were not bad at all. What I like to do with them is pretend I am actually flattening them from the front, back, and sides. Sometimes looking briefly at the answers gives you an idea of what angle you're supposed to be examining the object from. This is the case for many complicated ones where its obvious from the answers that they want you to pass it from one specific direction. In that situation, I would just trace the object and each answer's outline with my eyes and see which one matched exactly. Otherwise, the flattening method worked for me.
For top-front-end (15 minutes), I rarely do the line-counting method kaplan teaches. I imagine the object in my head. If they give you the front and top, I can imagine what the side looks like. I think this method is best for this section because it gives you a better grasp of the object, rather than relying on invisible/visible lines.
For angle counting (5 minutes), I imagine that the angles are hills and I have to ride a bike up them. So I rank the acute angles from most rideable to least rideable and for obtuse angles, just the opposite.
For hole punching (5 min), I don't really have a method but to just follow the folding and see where the hole is. I never looked at the answer choices but always formulated the answer in my head, and then if i saw it in the answer choices, I was pretty sure that would be correct.
For cube counting (10 min), I first counted how many cubes I had, and then tallied them up.
For pattern folding, which can be extremely difficult because some patterns involve a lot of folding and its hard to imagine the whole product in your head. For this, I focused on each answer choice and saw if I could eliminate it. Look for colored parts in relation to one another. Many times an answer choice will be an obvious no-no because it'll, for example, have two white colors next to it when, from the unfolded pattern, it is clear that you can't have that in the product.
I know a lot of this stuff is basic technique, but my main point is that practice makes perfect. Timing is key and I actually finished the first two sections earlier than I planned, so that gave me more time for angles and hole punching, I the times I listed above were the times I gave myself during practices and cutoff times if I were to take too long in any one section. Good luck!
 

sw1sschez

7+ Year Member
Jun 23, 2009
83
0
Status
Congratulations. That is a killer PAT score. How long did you study? Weeks, hours. And I'll take my answer off the air please. :)
 

orangutan777

New Member
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Jun 7, 2006
243
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CA
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Pre-Dental
great job!

would you say that the bio section was pretty in depth as in detailed questions?
did you like the destroyer for your chem sections?
 
OP
H
Jul 8, 2009
10
0
Status
Pre-Dental
great job!

would you say that the bio section was pretty in depth as in detailed questions?
did you like the destroyer for your chem sections?
Destroyer for chem was too much. I think Kaplan did a good job in teaching you the basics and fundamentals. Bio is kind of a tough one to talk about because not everyone is on the same page when it comes to having previous knowledge before studying for the DAT. I am pretty thoroughly read in bio so for me, studying for bio was more of a review rather than learning everything over again. Yes, there was detail, but that is expected for any grad school entrance exam. Broad concepts were tested, but you definitely should know details.