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PlaqueAgain

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I just got out of taking the DAT with a 21 AA and 24 PAT, and wanted to post some tips for what helped me. 1st huge shoutout to Bootcamp, as that was hands down the best tool out there for preparing. 2nd, I definitely struggled to study little by little over a long period time. After pushing my DAT back a couple times I decided to try a different, 3 week study plan which I will post below. I believe I could have scored higher if I had more time but I was getting severely burnt out at the end of it and am extremely happy with my scores.

The biggest tools for me to succeed we’re PAT - Bootcamp’s videos: their strategy definitely helped me save time with strategies as they mention several and you have plenty of practice to find what works best for you.

GC, ORG, and QR - Chad’s videos: I learned much better from his videos and I listened to all of them 1.5-1.75x speed along with his note outline. I didn’t quite get to the last few QR or ORG as I got behind studying with school and started focusing where I knew I was behind after taking practice tests. I definitely could have picked up a few more points if I did.

BIO - CliffsNotes AP Biology: reading this definitely taught me the most. Once again I was a bit short on time and didn’t fully read the last few chapters. I know I would have picked up more questions if I had on biology.

RC - Practice Tests: Reading for me is a hard one to study but the best prep is definitely practicing the bootcamp tests and reviewing WHY you missed a question AND why you get some right you weren’t totally sure on. Practice timing and what to highlight as that is the biggest key to successfully completing the section.

To prepare at the end I recommend just running through practice tests and then review what you’re behind in. I stopped taking the QR/RC and even PAT as I was doing well in those and just focused on all science. Reviewing WHY you got something right is just as helpful as reviewing why you got a question wrong. That definitely helped when it came down to the actual tests. Personally I think bootcamp is more challenging across the board, except the biology and reading were a bit more difficult on the actual test but that may vary.

TL:DR Try not to stress, find a study model that fits your style and go from there. I spent 3 1/2 weeks studying 10-12 hours a day (most days, had a test in the middle of it I had to study for) because I couldn’t study for 3-5 hours over several months.

Study plan I used as well as my score breakdown:

3 Week Study Schedule (upon requests)
 

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dds_2024

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Wow!! Congratulations :) You did so well in such a short amount of time!!

Just curious, did you use both Mike's and Chad's GC/OC videos? Or ONLY chad's?
Is there any reason you didn't use Bootcamp's Bio Notes instead of Cliff's?

Also, I've heard rumors that PAT & RC were harder in the 2019 DAT compared to previous years (& bootcamp) Is that true?
 
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PlaqueAgain

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Wow!! Congratulations :) You did so well in such a short amount of time!!

Just curious, did you use both Mike's and Chad's GC/OC videos? Or ONLY chad's?
Is there any reason you didn't use Bootcamp's Bio Notes instead of Cliff's?

Also, I've heard rumors that PAT & RC were harder in the 2019 DAT compared to previous years (& bootcamp) Is that true?

I personally only used Mike's videos before I started this plan (I only watched a handful) and struggled to focus/pay attention/retain anything. I don't know why completely but Chad's teaching style was just perfect for me. I think he was to the point which helped me, and also explained things very well. I loved his examples to teach concepts. I also watched the videos at 1.75x almost the whole time and I could still understand him very well. Could have been another part of it.

I had no reason for not using bootcamps notes, except the study plan I followed had AP bio listed and I just went off of his since it worked out so well for him.

The RC section was definitely more difficult to me than bootcamps, I had a bit of a panic after the first passage and had to pick up the pace. If you're acing it I wouldn't be worried, biggest takeaway would be to learn how to highlight/take notes whichever strategy you use to time manage finding question answers.

I thought the PAT was a breeze compared to bootcamps. It was quite a relief, that being said bootcamp was GREAT preparation for it. That definitely made it easier and I learned time management for it.
 

PlaqueAgain

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Congratulations! Those are amazing scores! Just curious, how did your bootcamp scores compare to your actual scores?

Here’s a breakdown of when I started practice tests and my scores/what I did to study after:

March 9th I took my first full practice test (I know it was late, I got behind because of school and wanted to cover all subjects before wasting tests)

March 9 Test 1 Full Length:
QR: 18
RC: 23
PAT: 22
Bio: 19
GC: 18
Org: 16

I spent March 10th reviewing everything I missed and was lacking on after the first test.

March 11th: Test 2 individual sections (I believe all the individual tests are the same as the full length, just split apart. It at least matched 1 and 2 I didn't check further)
Bio: 16
GC: 16
Org: 15

I then reviewed what I missed AND got correct, and reviewed the material again.

March 12: Reviewed in the morning then did individual Test 3
Bio: 19
GC: 19
Org:17

Reviewed what I was still struggling with and what I got wrong

March 13: Day before test, individual Test 4. I know everyone says take the day off but 1 I was already short on time and 2 I couldn't sit around all day not doing anything. I was stressed enough the way it was going.

Bio: 16
GC: 20
Org: 16

Reviewed material once more, then consulted some friends and did some praying lol. I had 2 friends who also got 21s and they said they scored higher on the science section of the DAT compared to bootcamp, so I took their word for it and decided not to push it back. I was feeling better about GC at least and I learned as much organic as I could, tried to get at least all the reactions in bootcamp that kept reoccurring and understanding common pathways/intermediates. Biology I just prayed the section would be bearable.

Before dinner I did the individual PAT test 2 just to make sure test 1 wasn't a fluke and I had timing down.
PAT - 23

Honestly I did not start there and I really struggled with timing on PAT at first. Keep watching bootcamp videos for those and find strategies that work best for you. Those quizzes and practice videos were all I did for it.

I do think that bootcamp is a bit more difficult than the DAT overall, key word being overall. You may get a hard section or two but if your deadline is coming up I think you should go ahead and take it if you feel you have done all you can studying and are at least close to the scores you wanted. Honestly I started shooting for a 23, by the end I came to an agreement with myself I'd settle for a 19-20 just to beat the average and I was close enough.

LAST words of advice: I would recommend taking at least 2 or 3 full length tests to make sure you didn't just get one easy one even though I didn't, but if you're constantly making your ideal score in one section or another I don't think your hindering yourself by just resorting to individual tests. The grind studying is long enough, no need to do more than you have to. I was confident in math and reading after the first practice test but I thought reading was more challenging on the real DAT (though I only have the 1st practice test to compare). The general consensus with friends was just that the bootcamp math is a bit trickier but it's great practice.
 
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