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Jan 20, 2020
15
1
Status
Pre-Dental
Hi guys, i want to take the DAT by the end of this year. I'm also working full time as a dental assistant. I was wondering how others managed their time/had a schedule to feel prepared for the test?

Thanks
 
Aug 17, 2019
11
10
Status
Pre-Dental
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.
 
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Jan 20, 2020
15
1
Status
Pre-Dental
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.


This is really helpful, thanks. What level of DAT bootcamp did you get? i'm trying to decide between the two options on the site.
 
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Aug 17, 2019
11
10
Status
Pre-Dental
I think it was the basic 90 day version. That was plenty for me.

Also, 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. I would religiously answer those every day, and the questions themselves taught me a lot and showed me which areas I needed to review.
 
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Nov 19, 2018
183
58
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.
 
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Nov 19, 2018
183
58
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.
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.

side note: Don't get hung up on practice tests. I took the 2009 test just to see the layout of the test but didn't even time myself as I just wanted to see the types of questions and the order of it all... other then that I didn't spend a second on practice tests. Know the material and you will have plenty of time. I finished the bio/chem sections with 30 min left and went through the entire test twice and some more difficult questions 3-4 times.. 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.
 
Aug 17, 2019
11
10
Status
Pre-Dental
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.

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.
 
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Nov 19, 2018
183
58
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.
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.
 

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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.
Agree with this. I studied for the longest amount of time taking a full set of college courses. If you make your way through the Destroyers slowly and carefully while working, I think you will be all set before taking the exam by the end of the year. I might suggest either sticking to morning or nights for studying though, and days off of course. That way you have it in your head that, "Okay, I'm going to study tonight so I can have a relaxing morning tomorrow." You'll be in a sort of routine then that should be more efficient and better for your mental health.

If you do think you're not ready to take the exam by the end of the year, don't panic! Don't take the exam until you are ready. It's expensive, and you'd rather do it once and done, especially to get in this cycle.

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.
+1 for the Facebook group

Don't get hung up on practice tests.
+1 for this, too. If you do happen to decide to get BC, make sure you're aware that the scores you get on there may not be an indication of how you will do on exam day. Each section could be wildly different from one of those practice tests, so a 26 OC score may end up looking more like a 20 or even a 30.

I personally think the timing claim is a bit overrated unless you have insanely bad test anxiety. If you know the material well enough, you should be able to make it through the sections without worrying about the time. The two exceptions to that, I'd argue, are PAT and QR. PATBooster did me well for that practice, because I really hated that section something fierce. Timing myself on the Math Destroyer exams the second time through worked excellently for me as well (see breakdown for more info).

Best of luck!
 
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