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DAT Retake

Discussion in 'DAT Discussions' started by spheresroad, Jun 4, 2008.

  1. spheresroad


    Jun 4, 2008
    Hi all,

    I took the DAT about a month go. And this is how I did:

    BIO - 18

    I used mostly kaplan for my studies. Toward the ends, I started using the Destroyer and Crack DAT PAT. I do have to say that BIO and PAT parts of the DAT were harder than Kaplan one.

    The only reason I want to take the DAT again to raise the PAT and RC part of the test. At the same time, I don't want to screw up the other parts that I already did OK on.

    I have the stuff pretty fresh in my head. But I don't know how I should approach it. What other material should I use for improving my PAT and RC (How are the Achiever and Topscore?)? In addition, are there other good practice material for BIO, GC, OC, QR (Is Princton Review any good, If yes which book?)?

    I am thinking just to do lots of questions for the next two months until I take the test.

    It would be greatly appreciate it if you could give me your feedback and inputs.

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  3. Danny289

    Danny289 Member 2+ Year Member

    Dec 2, 2006
    lol. I am waiting somebody responds to your questions. because they are my weakest points too. :)
  4. AndyK

    AndyK 7+ Year Member

    Sep 24, 2007
    Houston, TX
    If you want craploads of PAT practice, get Crack the PAT. It has 1000+ problems but it ain't cheap neither...
  5. PSU SHC 414

    PSU SHC 414 7+ Year Member

    Nov 26, 2007

    If I were you, I'd retake - like you said yourself, your PAT and RC scores are kind of low, and RC is arguably one of the most important questions while a few people (in other threads) have said that some schools weigh the PAT score heavily. Some might tell you that your QR score is fine, but I think it'd be good if you could raise that a few points too.

    Btw... great job on the OC section!! As far as how to prepare for the second time around. You mentioned that you started using Destroyer towards the end, which makes me think that you really didn't get to take full advantage of it. Go back through Destroyer and do all the problems and thoroughly read and UNDERSTAND the answers - I think I probably went through Destroyer (for Bio, GChem, and OChem) about 3 times over. Unless you have a photographic memory (unlike 99.9% of us), repetition is key. You're right - you should do a lot of problems (Destroyer will certainly help you out with that :D) in the next 2 months... this will definitely challenge your knowledge base. The key isn't just to do the problems - if you get something wrong and you don't understand why it's wrong, look it up... don't just move on and hope that you won't see it on the actual exam.

    I think Achiever is GREAT. It has 3 full-length practice exams that are broken down into each of the sections (TS, PAT, RC, QR) so you don't necessarily have to take a complete full-length in one sitting. Also, I thought the PAT software in Achiever was awesome... I had real trouble with TFE when I started studying for PAT, but the Achiever answers present the object in 3D, and it also allows you to rotate the object so that you can see what it looks like from all angles.

    For RC... unless you're a piss-poor reader (or if you're ESL), I think strategy is everything for this section. Once you find a strategy that works for you, it's all about timed practice. What was your approach for this section?
  6. spheresroad


    Jun 4, 2008
    I appreciate you guys responding.

    English is my second language and I have always had a hard time on RC section. Also, I did not focus on RC a lot either. I probably only practiced 4 passages. I used the Kaplan strategies. Although somewhat useful, I didn't help as much. What RC strategies did you use?

    This is what I am thinking of doing for the next 2 months. Finish all the Bio, GC, and OC, and Math sections of the Destroyer. Do as much as PAT using CRACK DAT PAT. Use the DAT Achiever.

    what practices should I use for QR and RC??

    Btw, I am going to apply anyway with these scores, but I will mention that I ll be taking the DAT again. I am thinking about taking in Mid-End of August, would that be too late??

  7. topdent1

    topdent1 2+ Year Member

    Aug 6, 2007
    I have almost identical scores except my rc was higher. I decided to retake but the only thing I am worried about is doing worse on the sections I did well on...similar to your concern. What is your GPA?
  8. spheresroad


    Jun 4, 2008

    I have a cumulative GPA of 3.56 and Science GPA of ~ 3.4. I am afraid of the same thing. I don't want to do bad on the second one. So I am kind of torn about it. I have to make up my mind soon though. What are you leaning towards??
  9. PSU SHC 414

    PSU SHC 414 7+ Year Member

    Nov 26, 2007

    I definitely give you a ton of credit since English is your second language - many people don't appreciate how difficult it is to learn the language when you're not born into it, so your RC score could be explained by that.

    At this point, you have a decision to make. Either emphasize (in your applications) that English is your second language and hope that adcoms will recognize and correlate that with your performance on the RC section, or really focus for the next 2 months or so on doing a lot of practice passages.

    I'm not sure which is the better option (maybe some other SDNers with more experience with adcoms can comment?), but my own opinion is that adcoms see so many applications that they may not be completely sympathetic to that fact that you're using ESL as an excuse for your RC score since the ability to read and assimilate a ton of information in an efficient manner during dental school is really crucial - and apparently the RC section is a "good" measure of your ability to do that.

    If you choose the latter option, practice practice practice is key. This is the strategy I used (which I learned from a post by another SDNer), and it worked pretty well for me. Here goes: Don't even bother reading the full passage on the first screen for each passage. By the time you get to the questions, I feel like you probably would've forgotten about 75% of what you just read (especially in a pressure-filled test-taking situation). Go straight to the first question and start skimming the passage (starting at the beginning) for the answer - once you find the answer, stop reading and move on to the next question. If the first question is a "tone" or "main idea" question, mark it (and make a mental note of it) and move on to the next question. After doing all the questions for a particular passage, you'll find that you've essentially read through the entire passage, and you should be able to answer any tone or main idea questions.

    Using this strategy will definitely take practice and it definitely depends upon your ability to read quickly, so it may not necessarily work for you since you're ESL. But, I think with plenty of practice, you should be good to go.

    Hope this helps, and best of luck!

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