I can definitely speak to this as I studied with a full time 8-5 job and a pregnant wife. You have to dedicate consistent time in the evening once you get off of work.
I would come home from work, pick up my study materials, and study from 6ish-9ish almost every night for 90 days. You need to stay focused and force yourself to study. I found just getting started (especially as the test grew closer) was the hardest part, but once you begin going through problems, your mind gets in the necessary groove to truck through.
I also had the unfortunate bonus of only having completed Biology I and OChem I before I signed up for the DAT, so I had a lot of extra material that I had to self-teach, but my consistent schedule proved invaluable.
As for materials, I'd recommend three main things:
- Chad's Videos - These will teach you everything you need to know about Gen Chem and O Chem (if you need a refresher) and they're what taught me all of OChem II in a week.
- DAT Bootcamp - Provides a ton of useful material, lots of great practice and techniques for the PAT, and complete practice tests which are invaluable to get your timing down.
- DAT Destroyer - In my opinion, you absolutely need this book. As part of my studying, I would do 30 problems in Ochem, 30 in GChem, and 40-50 in Bio every day, and I was able to work through the book 4 times before my test date. I learned so much in each topic, and when test day came, I felt extremely confident in my science section and finished it with 25 minutes to spare.
TLDR: Put in consistent work, watch videos of topics you don't fully understand, and utilize prep materials. As a FT, nontraditional, married student, I was able to walk away with a 23 by doing these things. I hope this helps. Please feel free to ask me any more questions or shoot me a private DM if you want to know more.
I don't want to hate on bootcamp as I did not get a subscription but I don't thin it is a necessary to purchase. It is really expensive and chads along with DAT destroyer and math destroyer do a fine job of over-preparing you for those sections. Reviewing dynamite bio and the free bootcamp notes 2-3 times (if you have time) each will surely help you dominate that section. I enjoyed pat booster but I think there is another option (maybe crack that pat) that works well too.. I think that's what it is called.Late nights and early mornings I used DAT and Math destroyer along with Dynamite Biology with free bootcamp biology notes, and Chads. I then used PAT booster too. For me I found studying biology in the morning and chem/math in the evening after work was best. That way morning is pretty much just concepts and memorization where as after work (when you've full woken up) you work on the problems that require more brain power. My job is 8-5 as well so I would wake up at 5:30 and study biology for about an hour and half before going to work and then I'd come home at 5 eat some supper and do chem and math.. How much time you dedicate to gen, orgo and math is up to you and your weakness. On weekends I'd do the biology in the morning and transition into chemistry during the later morning and finish the chem around 5ish on then onto math and a little bit of PAT booster. It's all about repetition.
Only section I was short on was QR which is because I didn't utilize the skip button and I sat there trying to figure out each question.
Yea although my timing was off, it was because I have never been quick with math and I was afraid to skip to the next question due to the fear I wouldn't know that one and the next and so on... But anywho right, the OP needs to decide what to do.This is the exact reason I advocate for practice tests. You catch bad habits and figure out how to correct them before judgement day. Having the practice tests in BC were invaluable and helped me to have lots of extra time in EVERY section. I was never rushed and had enough time to go through each question twice to double check my answers.
But different people work differently, so ultimately the OP should do what he thinks will best prepare him. If he's concerned about timing, then I think the extra practice along side the practice tests are a reasonable investment. $500 now is a lot cheaper than having to take the DAT again the following year.
I don't want to hate on bootcamp as I did not get a subscription but I don't thin it is a necessary to purchase. It is really expensive and chads along with DAT destroyer and math destroyer do a fine job of over-preparing you for those sections.
I'd join the DAT Destroy facebook group. Dr. Romano asks 4-5 questions on there everyday that are super helpful knowledge checks for you.
Don't get hung up on practice tests.