Nov 6, 2016
17
17
Status
Pre-Dental
Hello Everyone. I am a long time lurker here and I would first like to thank a lot of you for raising questions and answering them over the years. A lot of the questions asked/answered helped me in not only preparing for the DAT but also the application so thank you.

I took my DAT today and am elated about my scores, my GPA isn’t as high as I would’ve liked it to be at the time of my application and that really hurt my confidence. I thought of the DAT as my final chance to make up for the mistakes I made during my first year of College so I did the following to get the scores that I have attached to this post.



PAT:

For the PAT I used Crack the PAT. I bought the version with 10 tests and did them twice each. I also used all of the free trials from websites like DAT Genius and DAT Bootcamp to compare scores. The Bootcamp Angle Ranking generator questions were a lot more difficult than the DAT, right before my exam I quickly went through the generator in the car just to get my mind right. I personally thought the PAT was fairly similar to Crack the PAT. The keyholes were a little harder on the real DAT, but DAT Genius has a nice little rock keyhole tutorial that helped a lot for the test. I personally really liked the DAT Genius generators and if money wasn’t an issue I would’ve likely bought their service as well. I also liked their explanations on the free PAT exam so for people who are preparing, check it out and decide whether to pay for it. I averaged 20-21 on Crack the PAT tests, 20 on the free DAT Bootcamp and DAT Genius tests. I felt that the pattern folding section on the DAT was a lot easier than any of the practice tests that I have done because you were easily able to eliminate choices right away. I do suggest learning how to see the shapes lengths/proportions. When I first started I constantly got the keyhole questions wrong because I chose a shape that looked right but it wasn't the correct size.



Reading:

I am genuinely surprised I did well here. I didn’t do search and destroy, I just wrote some key words for each paragraph which made the answers to the questions pretty easy to find. To study for this, I mostly read random Scientific American articles that ranged a variety of topics Bootcamp has the link that refreshed 5 articles daily here. I definitely suggest reading a bunch of different topics, Bio/Chem/Physics this will help you get some background in so many fields that can make reading the DAT passages a lighter read. Right before bed, I also read a random book that I had which I think helped with my speed. The book that I read the most for this was “Philosophy an Introduction through literature” which was a required reading for one of my classes last semester. The passages were really thick and forced me to really try to analyze while reading.



Math:

I considered myself good at math but I was worried about Trig being on the test. I used the Math Destroyer for this section and while I was worried because of the news about the new questions I felt that the book prepared me pretty well for the different kinds of questions. At first, I did this timed and I was never able to finish it, I then just decided to slowly go through all the questions of all 18 tests. Once I went through them all, I felt like I had a few strategies for certain questions and only began timing myself again a week before my test. The new questions weren’t as bad as I expected. The graphical analysis questions were pretty straight forward but for the “Which quantity is greater”, I pretty much did 3 trial runs for the question. I tried a positive number, a negative number and a fraction to see if A will always be bigger/smaller. It may be slightly time-consuming but I think it guarantees a correct answer. Due to time constraints, I pretty much just marked these questions and only went back to them after I finished the other math problems. That reminds me, LEARN HOW TO MARK. If you don’t feel comfortable in math, don’t waste your time. I gave myself a 10-second interval after reading the question to see if I can think of an attack strategy. If I couldn’t, I put a random answer, marked the question and moved on. The key thing is just learning the different kinds of problems and how to solve them.



Gen Chem:

For the Sciences, I mostly used the DAT Destroyer. The book became like my bible as I neared the exam. To begin preparation for G.Chem, I went through the Raymond Chang G.Chem text book. I tried to read about 2 chapters a day from this book and make a little list of all the formulas I should learn. The book really helped with preparing for the conceptual questions. About a month before my test, I really delved into the Destroyer. I tried to do 75-100 questions a day in each section, I did horrible in G.Chem during college (C+ in Chem 1, B- in Bio 1) so I really wanted to do well here. The first 2 trials through the Destroyer were extremely hard but I mostly focused on seeing if I can even think of the right formula to use. Once I became adept at understanding the problem, my next few runs felt a lot easier. By the time my DAT rolled around, I felt like I saw everything there was. The Destroyer’s questions were much harder and had way more steps so I was actually able to go through the G.chem fast on the real thing. The key thing here is learning to target what to use and when to use it, if you get that down you’ll get a majority of questions right.



O.Chem:

I used the destroyer and the Orgo Odyssey book that was sold as a package deal on the Orgoman website. I went through about 2-3 chapters every day from the Odyssey and while they were extremely difficult I think the explanations in the book helped me a lot. Similar to G.chem, I just did those problems over and over again until I was able to associate a type of reaction or molecule with certain characteristics. It then became like second nature when I got to the destroyer. The destroyer also has some Road maps in the middle of the organic chemistry section which I did before I did the actual questions. This was a pretty good review of all the reactions and it covered everything that I saw on the DAT. I liked that the questions in this book really put a lot of stress on stereochem and things like steric factors. On my DAT there were a lot of questions that required you to really understand the stereoselectivity of certain reactions and I felt I was prepared for that. If you do these problems multiple times you will be totally fine in the Organic Chem section, I think I was able to finish that section in around 13 minutes or so.



Bio:

This was the most difficult to study. I essentially did 3 things for this. First, I went through the Cliffs Bio book about 2 times, I put a lot of stress on the physiology and the body systems section because I felt that it was my biggest weakness. I also played random biology videos in the car while I was driving places just so I can have some terms being repeated as background noise so I can at least think that I’ve seen the terms before. You can choose anything here from Khan Academy to Course Saver or whatever you really used while taking bio. I even took my old notes/review sheets from classes like Neurobio and made the phone read them out while I drove. I then started the Bio section of the destroyer. My biggest mistake was doing it as a test at first, just because it says which of these are false and A happens to be false, don’t move on to the next question. Read everything in full detail and then read the explanations in the back. I immediately checked my answer after doing one question. If there was a term I did not know I put them in a separate notebook to look over at another time. By the end of the 600 or so questions though, I think all of the words I was unsure of ended up having a designated question. If there was one thing I can change about studying for the Bio section though it would have been trying to form my own questions which would force me to think critically about the topic. I did that near the end of my studies but if I did it earlier I think I could’ve gotten another question right.



It is definitely doable for you all to do well. No matter what your GPA is, if you put in the work and just push through you can conquer this test. Don’t worry about timing, the questions and information get so seared into your brain that you will immediately be able to recognize what you need when the DAT rolls around. Good luck people, my scores are attached to the bottom of the thread.
 
Last edited:

JDent99

2+ Year Member
Jul 12, 2017
35
35
Status
Pre-Dental
Congrats on killing the DAT! Those scores are perhaps the best way to prove to dental schools that you are committed to your studies. Thanks for the detailed breakdown and good luck with your applications!
 
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OP
J
Nov 6, 2016
17
17
Status
Pre-Dental
Congrats on killing the DAT! Those scores are perhaps the best way to prove to dental schools that you are committed to your studies. Thanks for the detailed breakdown and good luck with your applications!
Thank you so much. Just wanted to try to help others, SDN really helped me over the last year and a half and just wanted to add another anecdote.
 
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Pearl E. White

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May 20, 2014
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Way to go! :highfive:
 

orgoman22

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Sorry. Forgot to attach the scores. Here they are.
Wow, you did it!!! DAT Beast Destroyed! Your hard work paid off! Your high DAT scores will definitely help with a lower GPA. These scores prove you are not afraid of hard work and you can easily keep up the demands of dental school.

Thanks for the shout out

Dr. Jim Romano and Nancy
 
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