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DAT RETAKE SUCCESS for average students

Discussion in 'DAT Discussions' started by skyguy1, Aug 3, 2015.

  1. skyguy1

    7+ Year Member

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    Ok first off, I'm an average student so anyone can do this!!!
    My scores compared to last year:
    Bio: 18 > 23
    Chem: 19 > 23
    Orgo: 17 > 24 !!!!!!
    TS: 18 > 23 !!
    Pat: 19 > 22
    RC: 21 > 20
    QR: 18 > 21 :)

    Original study time planned: 5 weeks
    However I felt that I wasn't ready so I postponed it for ~ 21 days later and spent a weekend at the cottage to get relax a bit.

    I studied about 3/4 hours (of actual studying) first 5 weeks then upped it to about 5/6 then about 7/8 last few days.

    THE ONLY DAT RESOURCES YOU NEED!

    Review: 2 weeks (and a bit everyday until the test)
    Chad's videos without a doubt (take amazing notes, I didn't even rewatch chemistry/qr because my notes were good enough from before, I only did orgo again)
    Feralis Notes: Thanks @FeralisExtremum! Amazing set of notes that has almost everything! I tried ap bio but it was way too boring and couldn't get passed the first chapter. I also watched craig savage and bozemann videos on youtube for concepts I was weak on, they're amazing for plants/animal diversity.

    Ok so the only reason why I increased my score this much was because I practiced. That's the way I learn and so I just kept practicing questions:

    Question bank:
    DAT DESTROYER: I can't thank @orgoman22 Nancy and Dr. Romano enough, they made me so comfortable for any question I encountered. You guys are amazing and I'll tell every single person out there about your resources. I went through this 3 x. First time I got owned, marked the questions. Second time I did a lot better, marked questions. Third time I just went through marked questions. I memorized most of it lol. At first you will get less than 50% right. The first time through ORGO I wanted to cry, but it was the section I was most scared for so I sucked it up. By the end I kind of started liking it, because when you become good at it then you start to like it!!!!! I utilized a few math destroyer tests, they are harder than the real thing, but good practice. My main focus for qr was the dat destroyer math at the end. This was very representative of the test (even though it still is harder). Can't thank you guys enough!

    DAT Bootcamp:
    Another amazing resource by @Ari Rezaei !! These tests were by far the most representative of the exam. So I did these in 3 different ways. When I first started I did 2 tests to gauge where I was and get familiar with the types of questions. 4 weeks in I did most of them to learn the material!!! Week before I did them all to get an indication of the score and timing (I knew my scores would be inflated a bit since I had seen the questions prior to). Their PAT tests are the only things I used for that section, its really all you need. No reason not to get this, its affordable and Ari is so helpful. He extended my subscription by a 2 days since I ran out of time before my test. Also, the first 3 pat tests are most representative, so the scores you get here will likely be similar to what you get after. The ones after test 5 are harder than what you will see, but still great practice! I did 1 pat test a week and then the last week I did the first 3 again.

    also used any tests I could find like 2007, 2009 ada, free dat genius (pretty good tests, I would've bought if I had more time).

    practice scores:
    Bootcamp (don't forget these are on my 2nd run through):
    bio: 23/22/23/24/21
    chem: 22/23/21/23/21
    orgo: 19/18/21/19/19
    Pat: 22/21/22/20/19------
    RC: 19
    QR: 20/20

    Actual test:
    Science: I flew through the first 15 questions, then I got some weirdly worded questions that I narrowed down and guessed on. I marked about 8-10. Quite simple section, nothing too out there other than 1/2 questions. When your studying look at high yield topics like cell resp, putting cell in hyper/hypotonic solution, pedigrees and master those. They will likely come up on your test. I felt most confident going in for chemistry, however it was hard!!! I barely had any calculation questions and I actually marked quite a few. There were some obvious gimmie ones but definitely hardest science section. The orgo wasn't too bad, pretty basic reactions. My test was filled with reactions, and destroyer actually saved me on like 2 questions! So even if it doesn't look like it will come up try and get a good idea of how it works anyways. The reason I did so well was because I flew on this test, I had 30 minutes left. I had time to go over every question and I actually changed about 3-5 that were wrong!

    When this section was over I thought I had scored about 19/20.

    Pat:
    I always read things about rocks, but I thought people were joking until I actually got 2 on my exam! The rest was quite easy. For me personally everything felt easier than bootcamp except hole punch. Bootcamp is all you need! I had about 15 minutes left and went back to my marked ones.

    RC: I only did one rc test to practice since im a fast reader. OKAY THIS SECTION WAS MESSED UP!!!! I wanted to quit halfway through. Sorry to say this but for all you search and destroyer people, you would've gotten less than 15! I swear I had no more than 10 S and D questions. My test was full of :
    first statement is correct second isn't etc
    and some weird questions ive never seen where they gave you a statement and you had to match it with one of 5 sentences they gave you that would make sense with the article. The articles were boring too. Compared to my test last year this was hell!!! I used the balanced approach on dat bootcamp that someone recently posted, sorry can't remember your username but thank you!

    So after this section I wanted to just leave the center that's how bad I thought I did, so further assurance that you should not let the previous sections affect your exam. I learned this the hard way last year when I thought I did so well on science (ended up with 18) and did so bad on RC (got 21).

    QR:
    So even though I thought I got owned by RC, I gave myself a quick pep talk before QR. This section was not bad at all and I was stressing so much over it. Learn the questions that constantly reappear like age ones, conversions, simple trig, interest problems. Once you've figured out these high yield questions you already have like 20 questions answered. On the test I had so many word problems, and thankfully im good at these. I completely skipped about 2/3 questions because I knew even if I spent time on them I would've gotten them wrong. OK SO FUNNY STORY! I finished the section, went over my marked questions and then went again through the test. I had gotten 3 of the first 4 questions wrong! thankfully I had a few minutes to put the correct answer.

    few days before test:
    2007: 20bio/21chem/23ochem/21qr
    2009: 23bio/23chem/20ochem/don't even try qr!

    Quick tips:
    -figure out the high yield questions for each section.
    -In ochem if you get a multi step question and don't know the first reactants but know what the 2nd ones do, just look for the product of that ex. oso4 adds oh syn (I can't even remember if this is right anymore but you get my point).
    -answering questions super fast helped me gain about a point or 2 on each section since I was able to catch wrong answers

    ALSO: do the grids, number the paragraphs for rc if you can.... and I actually wrote equations for all the sections during the tutorial and break too! It's a lot easier when its right in front of you. So for example. qr I wrote the trig identities, orgo I wrote the general guideline of hnmr, cnmr and ir spec.


    I'm still in shock a week later. Even though my scores aren't crazy high, I never thought I could do this. I barely passed gen chem and orgo 5 years ago so I literally learned them from nothing! I literally was about to cry (haven't cried in like 10 years) when I saw my scores and I realized that I should get the print out and run before they could change it. IM AN AVERAGE STUDENT so anyone can do it. Also go out to free your mind. I increased my bench from 135 to 225 so I was happy about that.

    now I need help, I've already sent my app out my gpa is quite low ~3.2/3.3 (but my 4th year and informal post bacc are essentially 4.0). Been on an upward trend since first year. Do I have a chance with these stats. I have great ec's: multiple mission trips, predental club founder/president of university etc. Lots of shadowing. However, I'm Canadian so it might make it harder.

    Any help would be great and please ask me questions I would love to help since SDN has helped me a lot!
     
    #1 skyguy1, Aug 3, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2015
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  3. skyguy1

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    Oh and quick note that @tyjacobs notes are great if you have time, I definitely would've used them if I had more time!
     
  4. RuffDay

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    Great job on your new DAT scores. I know the struggle of retaking the DAT exam!
    Now just sit back and wait for the interviews. :)
     
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  5. alexis2010

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    Amazing improvement ! Congrats on the amazing scores and thanks for the detailed breakdown :)
     
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  6. stag123

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    Good job! I'm also in the process of retaking!

    question on how you studied for bio: Did you just read Feralis notes? You didn't have a problem with trying to remember everything? Thanks!
     
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  7. RuffDay

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    I wouldn't focus on the details. Just know the general picture of everything!

    I got real unlucky on my biology exam this time around though. First time I had 3-4 developmental questions, but they were easy. Second time, I had 3-4 taxonomy questions and they were more application-type of questions rather than recalling. I probably guessed on 2 of the taxonomy questions.
     
  8. skyguy1

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    @RuffDay do you really think ill get interviews with my gpa? thanks for the encouragement! thanks @alexis2010 :D

    @stag123 .... I honestly didn't even feel that comfortable going in, but I knew I had almost memorized destroyer, and read feralis like 2/3 times quickly. I guess that was enough. I still didn't know every question and had to make quite a few educated guesses. Like ruffday mentioned, don't focus too much on crazy details!
     
  9. stag123

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    Thanks! I'm an active learner so I basically have memorized bio destroyer also (and I googled the wrong answers too and learned those) :laugh:

    but I have trouble just reading long material, I usually get bored and feel like I'm not grasping much. I will definitely focus on taxonomy, thanks @RuffDay
     
  10. orgoman22

    orgoman22 DAT DESTROYER
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    Wow!!! Congratulations! Simply Amazing!:clap::clap::clap:

    You did not let let your first DAT experience get in the way, you dusted yourself off and got back in the DAT Prep saddle. You hard work paid off HUGE! I am soooo happy you stuck with the DAT Destroyer, we know it is very challenging but it is what is needed if you want to score high on the DAT.

    You will be an inspiration to students that are facing the DAT for the 2nd time.

    Thanks again for the shout out and taking the time to share your experience with the SDN community.

    Wishing you the best.

    Dr. Jim Romano and Nancy
     
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  11. RuffDay

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    I know that Canadian students will need a higher GPA, but you said that you have an upward trend. The last 2-3 years of your academics are important because these will reflect how well you will do in dental school. If your last 2-3 years are above a 3.6 as you mentioned, then maybe they can overlook your overall GPA.

    Without a doubt, you are able to handle the curriculum of dental school. Your experiences are decent too, where it shows that you are more than a student.

    If you apply broadly and to canadian friendly schools, then you should get in at least somewhere.
     
    #10 RuffDay, Aug 3, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2015
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  12. skyguy1

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    @RuffDay im hoping that they will overlook my first 2 years! thanks so much for the encouragement!!!
     
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  13. SyracuseOrange92

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    Nice job, nice scores and congrats on your massive improvement :)
     
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  14. Dwight Beet Farm

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    Thanks Skyguy1 for posting. You are simply an inspiration to me. I have taken the DAT before in which I got pretty much like your old scores. My second attempt with the DAT is soon. I am asking the omnipotent to ease my experience as I am wrestling with the beast the (DAT)!
     
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  15. skyguy1

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  16. SahB

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    Nice job on the new score :)

    I'm taking my DAT next week. I was wondering how you managed your time and studying for the last week. Should do more practicing or more reviewing?
     
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  17. skyguy1

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    @SahB What I did was wake up and do questions like crazy until about 4... then reviewed from then till bed time...
     
  18. orgoman22

    orgoman22 DAT DESTROYER
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    You can do it!!!! You have a lot of people on your team including the omnipotent!



    Nancy
     
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  19. SyracuseOrange92

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    You're welcome :)
     
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