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Discussion in 'Pre-Dental' started by oldman, Feb 20, 2002.

  1. oldman

    oldman Senior Citizen
    Gold Donor

    Feb 3, 2002
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    Attending Physician
    Does anyone know how the DAT compares to the MCAT in terms of stamina, difficulty of questions, difficulty of getting a good score?
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  3. Yah-E

    Yah-E Toof Sniper

    Dec 12, 2001
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    In my opinion, I believe that the MCAT is more difficult and challenging than the DAT! Point of clarification, I AM not saying the DAT is a cake walk!!

    I never took the MCAT, but when I was studying for the DAT, I used the Princeton's Science Review books for the MCAT and OH MY was I glad that I wasn't taking the MCAT!

    Why I feel that MCAT is a tougher test:

    1) the questions are all based on passages in the science sections and the answer may not be direct (the DAT questions are all direct and the answers you either know it or you don't). On the MCAT, you have to correlate, evaluate, and hypothesize what the answers are!

    2) MCAT has Physics (one more science section than the DAT)

    3) MCAT is a all day event (8 hours, I believe) and the DAT is only 5 hours

    By all means, I'm not an expert on MCAT topics or format, but just from looking at the Princeton's Science Review books, it test looked more chanllenging than the DAT.

    Are you considering taking the MCAT and DAT? :cool:
  4. MsPurtell

    MsPurtell Guest

    Jun 14, 2001
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    Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
    I've taken both. The MCAT makes the DAT look like a Sunday picnic. I got a 31 on the MCAT (killed myself for it...........maybe that's 80somethingish percentile) vs. 23/23 on the DAT (>99th percentile).

  5. TAL444

    TAL444 Junior Member

    Jan 21, 2002
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    Yah ZZZ is pretty much right on the money. I took both and the MCAT is harder. The one good thing about the MCAT is that you don't have to memorize as much as you do for the DAT since the MCAT has a lot of info in the passages. It's how you assimilate the info that gets kind of tricky in the MCAT.

    It sounds like you're having a hard time deciding between med and dental school. I know what you're going through. I decided on dental schools for many reasons, most of which are personal. My advice is to list out your values and see how they match up between med and dental school. By values, I mean balance, intellectual challenge, work, money, family, etc...

    For example, one of the things I value most in life is balance. I have many interests and felt like I could lead a more balanced life with dentistry. Listing out your top values and then looking at what profession can most fulfill them can be a great way for you to ultimately decide what you want to do with your life. It may also save you a lot of time and money. Hope this helps and good luck.

  6. waiting

    waiting Senior Member

    Jul 9, 2001
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    I've taken both exams and have to say that neither can be called 'harder' than the other, it just depends on your strengths/weaknesses.

    Sciences: w/regards to orgo, g.chem, and bio, both exams require the same level of mastery of the material; there are some differences, no doubt (e.g., in bio the DAT has more emphasis on taxonomy and MCAT on physiology), but the the 'level' of difficulty is the same; However, a particular question requiring mastery of the same material can be harder on the MCAT b/c it requires a more 'conceptual' understanding, an ability to integrate the cold facts with other bodies of knowledge.

    Yes, the MCAT has physics but then, the DAT has math and the PAT. The latter, especially, could be much harder for some than a regular subject such as physics. It's a very visually demanding subject where you can't rely on memorizing formuals and crunching numbers.

    The reading/verbal sections are pretty similar. The DAT stresses more how much you can recall specific details from the passages while the MCAT is more concerned with themes. The DAT passages are also mainly medical in nature, while the MCAT ones can just as easily be from the humanities. The MCAT has writing to boot, but then your score on that section is more of a side note for schools than anything else.

    If you can get a science avg. above 21 on the DAT that should easily translate into a 10 and above for the MCAT (and vice versa)...I've known a few people who've taken both and this scale has always been true (assuming equal study effort has been put into both).

    Good luck whatever road you take! :cool:
  7. godfather

    godfather Member

    Oct 13, 2001
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    i took both and the mcat is much harder for a few reasons. 1 the science subjects are tested in much greater depth than the dat. 2 The nature of the questioning is much more difficult 3 time and fatigue play a much bigger role on the mcat then the dat, by the time your on the last section of the mcat your into your 7th or 8th hour of testing and fatigue sets in ways that it really doesn't on the dat. Also Verbal reasoning questions are much more difficult due to the passages and time restraints on the mcat. lastly the math tested on the dat doesn't really compare to the physics on the mcat because to be honest with you physics is probably the hardest subject matter on the mcat for most people. for the mcat your also scored against other people taking the mcat meaning that your competing against a much harder cohort than for the people taking the dat. Having said all of this this i feel the dat is a much better exam then the mcat simply because it does a much better job of doing what it's suppose to do than the mcat which is pick future dentists. The mcat is more of weeder tool specifically given not to select the best future physicians but to see who's best at taking tough standardized exams.(they do this because they want to make sure the people they pick can clear the usmle board exams, which is another series of grueling standardized exams)
  8. Beagle

    Beagle Meet BEAGLE

    Jul 16, 2001
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    Is there an MCAT book that is recommended to help study for the DATS?

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