Sep 5, 2016
3
2
Status
Pre-Dental
hey guys. i took my DAT about a week ago and i still cant get over how bad i did. when i saw that screen my jaw literally dropped. I dedicated my entire summer to this and i can honestly say that i did my best. there is nothing i would of changed..so why did i do so bad? I knew going in QR was going to be bad, but i was KILLING it on bootcamp for all sciences and knew all concepts on destroyer...

Biology was so incredibly hard on the DAT. like i couldn't even believe after all those difficult bootcamp/destroyer questions i thought it would of been a breeze but it was not. everything in my bio was so hypothetical and all about ppl doing experiments and what would happen. is this normal? did anyone else experience this.. a lot of my questions were like if someone got poked in the eye and just hypothetical scenarios that wanted me to apply real wold bio to.. it was so ODD, things i had never seen... But its done now. It sucks cuz bio was the starter and i lost all confidence and after that its like i just went down hill..

my scores:
BIO:17
OCHEM:19
GENCHEM:19
PAT:18
RC:18
QR:16
AA:18
TS:18

my GPA is also incredibly basic 3.4 and a science of 3.5


i have been crying for the past week like you don't understand the stuff i went thru for this test. my family was going through so much and i wasn't there in any way to help them. and they purposely tried to hide all their pain just so i could study. they made this summer so comfortable for me and literally supported me throughout everything. It hurts me so much to know i let them down. It sucks to know u put this much work and you don't get the results u thought u would


Basically my question is I'm applying next year to start in 2018. I don't see myself having another 2/3 months off where i can fully commit to this test like i did this summer. This summer i specifically didn't take any classes, took a leave of absence from work, and spent the entire summer doing Ari's 10 week guide plus more since i had extra time.. I went thru destroyer 2.5 times. After about 8 math destroyer tests I stopped, and just went on to bootcamp math. clearly doing problems isn't good for me, i never had a solid study material for math just chads, which isn't that good in math. BUT ANYWAYS my point is.. WHAT DO I DO NEXT? I need to apply next year and i have no other time to take this test with a 3 month gap to study. i feel like a test like this u need 90 days solid, no interruptions, and I'm never going to have that again before June 2017 when i apply. Im going to graduate 2017 which is why I'm trying to apply if you are wondering. Im taking like 16 units each semester that i have left and intense classes like biochem, micro, neuro, etc.... I cant imagine studying for dat while being in school...

What i was thinking was applying, and then in the meantime studying that summer after i graduate to retake it just in case no one takes me.. I don't care were i go, i just want to go somewhere. Im from california and would love to have been at USC or Loma Linda. i really don't wanna leave cali but if i have to i will. I don't know if this plan is such a great idea.. So please let me know your opinions? and be realistic.

thanks <3
 

Incis0r

I LOVE Dental School
5+ Year Member
Aug 10, 2014
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This does sound like a rough experience.

A few thoughts:
1) You are not starting from square 1. You already have some good background knowledge, and now you know how the test works. Also, while I know that you will do better than an 18 next time, know that an 18 is not a terrible score. It's OK.

2) With great respect to you, I humbly suggest taking a look at how you study the material. It is common advice here on SDN to go through the Destroyer multiple times (which you faithfully followed), but that is irrelevant if you don't retain the material. I went through my Biology destroyer exactly one time and I did very well. That's it. But I went through it in a slow process where I made flashcards on any questions that tripped me up, even if I got them right.

3) When you start studying again, start focusing on your strong points- you need "small wins" in order to re-establish your confidence and build up momentum. It looks like you have a good working knowledge base in the Chemistries. Build on that. Get Chad's videos, take the notes, do the quizzes, move on to destroyer, then onto Bootcamp. Make flashcards as necessary and set up a mechanism to consistently review the content as well as the problems you flagged. Do the same for OChem. Then move onto Bio.

4) Work on your RC & QR- they are some of the easiest ways to raise your AA. A little bit of practice each day. You said you went in knowing that QR was going to be bad. Make it so that you don't feel like that again.

5) Check out my breakdown (in signature) for more tips on how to study for each section- they served me well and I sincerely hope they help you out.

Good luck!
 
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Mrhyde

Becoming Dr. Jekyll
Apr 13, 2015
170
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Pre-Dental
Also to add on, perhaps you went through all the study materials (for example biology portion of destroyer and bootcamp biology etc.) but when you went through them you basically memorized the answers to the ones you got wrong? if that's the case, then the approach should have been reading up on every wrong answer and reading up on the right answers, since biology is so vast ..... memorization will lead to a bad score. The difficulty is being able to come to terms with yourself if you have either memorized something or have gone through the proper amount of resources and spent time to actually understand it instead of memorize answers as "facts". Because everything can be so easily reworded that a vast exam will lead to a low score on anyone's memorization approach.

Also A quote I really like that you may find useful to put yourself in a more positive state of mind : "I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work." - Thomas A. Edison
 

LuckBloodandSweat

2+ Year Member
May 26, 2015
1,368
835
Status
Dental Student
This does sound like a rough experience.

A few thoughts:
1) You are not starting from square 1. You already have some good background knowledge, and now you know how the test works. Also, while I know that you will do better than an 18 next time, know that an 18 is not a terrible score. It's OK.

2) With great respect to you, I humbly suggest taking a look at how you study the material. It is common advice here on SDN to go through the Destroyer multiple times (which you faithfully followed), but that is irrelevant if you don't retain the material. I went through my Biology destroyer exactly one time and I did very well. That's it. But I went through it in a slow process where I made flashcards on any questions that tripped me up, even if I got them right.

3) When you start studying again, start focusing on your strong points- you need "small wins" in order to re-establish your confidence and build up momentum. It looks like you have a good working knowledge base in the Chemistries. Build on that. Get Chad's videos, take the notes, do the quizzes, move on to destroyer, then onto Bootcamp. Make flashcards as necessary and set up a mechanism to consistently review the content as well as the problems you flagged. Do the same for OChem. Then move onto Bio.

4) Work on your RC & QR- they are some of the easiest ways to raise your AA. A little bit of practice each day. You said you went in knowing that QR was going to be bad. Make it so that you don't feel like that again.

5) Check out my breakdown (in signature) for more tips on how to study for each section- they served me well and I sincerely hope they help you out.

Good luck!
Good insight! I still don't know your score though bro ;).
 

LuckBloodandSweat

2+ Year Member
May 26, 2015
1,368
835
Status
Dental Student
hey guys. i took my DAT about a week ago and i still cant get over how bad i did. when i saw that screen my jaw literally dropped. I dedicated my entire summer to this and i can honestly say that i did my best. there is nothing i would of changed..so why did i do so bad? I knew going in QR was going to be bad, but i was KILLING it on bootcamp for all sciences and knew all concepts on destroyer...

Biology was so incredibly hard on the DAT. like i couldn't even believe after all those difficult bootcamp/destroyer questions i thought it would of been a breeze but it was not. everything in my bio was so hypothetical and all about ppl doing experiments and what would happen. is this normal? did anyone else experience this.. a lot of my questions were like if someone got poked in the eye and just hypothetical scenarios that wanted me to apply real wold bio to.. it was so ODD, things i had never seen... But its done now. It sucks cuz bio was the starter and i lost all confidence and after that its like i just went down hill..

my scores:
BIO:17
OCHEM:19
GENCHEM:19
PAT:18
RC:18
QR:16
AA:18
TS:18

my GPA is also incredibly basic 3.4 and a science of 3.5


i have been crying for the past week like you don't understand the stuff i went thru for this test. my family was going through so much and i wasn't there in any way to help them. and they purposely tried to hide all their pain just so i could study. they made this summer so comfortable for me and literally supported me throughout everything. It hurts me so much to know i let them down. It sucks to know u put this much work and you don't get the results u thought u would


Basically my question is I'm applying next year to start in 2018. I don't see myself having another 2/3 months off where i can fully commit to this test like i did this summer. This summer i specifically didn't take any classes, took a leave of absence from work, and spent the entire summer doing Ari's 10 week guide plus more since i had extra time.. I went thru destroyer 2.5 times. After about 8 math destroyer tests I stopped, and just went on to bootcamp math. clearly doing problems isn't good for me, i never had a solid study material for math just chads, which isn't that good in math. BUT ANYWAYS my point is.. WHAT DO I DO NEXT? I need to apply next year and i have no other time to take this test with a 3 month gap to study. i feel like a test like this u need 90 days solid, no interruptions, and I'm never going to have that again before June 2017 when i apply. Im going to graduate 2017 which is why I'm trying to apply if you are wondering. Im taking like 16 units each semester that i have left and intense classes like biochem, micro, neuro, etc.... I cant imagine studying for dat while being in school...

What i was thinking was applying, and then in the meantime studying that summer after i graduate to retake it just in case no one takes me.. I don't care were i go, i just want to go somewhere. Im from california and would love to have been at USC or Loma Linda. i really don't wanna leave cali but if i have to i will. I don't know if this plan is such a great idea.. So please let me know your opinions? and be realistic.

thanks <3
Your GPAs are already better than mine! Do you think your mentality hurt you more than your preparation? I know you must've felt guilty with everything going on in your personal life. You can't let yourself give up at all during the test as it will influence you the rest of the way through. I have the same mentality as you I guess; I just really want to get in somewhere. Although, I wouldn't mind leaving NY too much I'd be ok with staying here as well. If you got a good DAT would UCSF be a realistic option ?
 
OP
N
Sep 5, 2016
3
2
Status
Pre-Dental
Your GPAs are already better than mine! Do you think your mentality hurt you more than your preparation? I know you must've felt guilty with everything going on in your personal life. You can't let yourself give up at all during the test as it will influence you the rest of the way through. I have the same mentality as you I guess; I just really want to get in somewhere. Although, I wouldn't mind leaving NY too much I'd be ok with staying here as well. If you got a good DAT would UCSF be a realistic option ?
USCF would be great but its not like IM DYING to go there. USC, Loma linda, and western YEA i am dying to go there, but everywhere else would just be whatever. at this point id go anywhere. All i know is i need to apply in July and I'm never going to have the luxury of a free 90 days to study again. I don't know when i would be able to retake unless i graduate than take that year off.. which would mean i don't apply till 2018 which would kill me. I cant go 2 years with no school. As for my personal life, i Don't know if that effected it. I hope it didn't. my parents did everything in their power to keep stress as far away from me as possible but i couldn't help but think about it sometimes.. Regardless. I don't even know what i would do different.. I was killing science on bootcamp why tf did i do so bad...

My experience was overall terrible. Even during the test. Nothing went right.. I ran out of scratch paper during the test.. and was waving my paper in the air.. and there was NO employees around.. I literally got out of my seat (TIME STILL COUNTING DOWN) ran to the window and was banging on it for a good 40 seconds for someone to come. Everyone was looking at me like i was crazy. I had to spit and make room to write. it was gross. then for PAT, i thought there would of been some type of tutorial thing before it for me to draw my little boxes for hole punching but there wasn't so that sucked.. Then my idiot self thought it would be smart to skip to whole punching since I'm good at that and that took me a good 40 seconds.. like i messed up.
 

asdf99

2+ Year Member
Aug 1, 2014
299
224
Status
Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
Sounds like you had a tough version of the exam, s*** happens. My biology was nothing like what you described.

However, I wouldn't say your scores are terrible (probably around average?) but a rewrite would certainly be useful to make you more competitive.

A concern of yours seems to be when you will be able to rewrite, as you won't have a full 3 months to dedicate to the DAT. However, if you did indeed study full time for 3 months, you probably developed a pretty strong background (kuddos to you!). During your rewrite, you won't need to learn from scratch, you just have to reinforce weakpoints.

Truth be told, I don't think you will necessarily need to study 24/7 for your rewrite. You can probably work/take classes, while reinforcing your weak points. QR seems to be a weak point for you, but luckily that is the section with the least content!

Depending on the type of job you have, it may be better to take the exam while working as opposed to taking classes. My job is a shift work/customer service job where work doesn't really come home with you the way school work does, so I was able to work part time during my DAT. I also know a bunch of people who worked full time during their MCATs/DATs. Not fun, but doable.

If anything I said doesn't apply to your situation, let me know! That way we can try to tailor our advice to suit your needs :)
 
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OP
N
Sep 5, 2016
3
2
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Pre-Dental
Sounds like you had a tough version of the exam, s*** happens. My biology was nothing like what you described.

However, I wouldn't say your scores are terrible (probably around average?) but a rewrite would certainly be useful to make you more competitive.

A concern of yours seems to be when you will be able to rewrite, as you won't have a full 3 months to dedicate to the DAT. However, if you did indeed study full time for 3 months, you probably developed a pretty strong background (kuddos to you!). During your rewrite, you won't need to learn from scratch, you just have to reinforce weakpoints.

Truth be told, I don't think you will necessarily need to study 24/7 for your rewrite. You can probably work/take classes, while reinforcing your weak points. QR seems to be a weak point for you, but luckily that is the section with the least content!

Depending on the type of job you have, it may be better to take the exam while working as opposed to taking classes. My job is a shift work/customer service job where work doesn't really come home with you the way school work does, so I was able to work part time during my DAT. I also know a bunch of people who worked full time during their MCATs/DATs. Not fun, but doable.

If anything I said doesn't apply to your situation, let me know! That way we can try to tailor our advice to suit your needs :)
my work is BS. i tutor at an after school program.. its fun and games. but thats not the problem.. its school. How do i find time to study for the DAT while taking intense courses like biochem, nueuro and micro.. it just doesn't happen. my problem is having that opportunity and time to retake by july
 

asdf99

2+ Year Member
Aug 1, 2014
299
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my work is BS. i tutor at an after school program.. its fun and games. but thats not the problem.. its school. How do i find time to study for the DAT while taking intense courses like biochem, nueuro and micro.. it just doesn't happen. my problem is having that opportunity and time to retake by july
Hm ok I see your concern. Yeah I wouldn't take the DAT during biochem and such.

When does school end for you?

In canada, school usually ends during end of april. What if you dedicated may+june to DAT studying for your July retake? How many hours a week is your tutoring job during the summer?

Edit: I'm sorry to hear about your family situation, but your family seems to be very supportive of your goals! Don't feel guilty about anything, you worked hard at this attempt, and I'm sure your parents are proud of you for giving it what you have. Use whatever sadness you had, and translate that into success in your retake. You clearly have a great mindset when it comes to moving forward/progress. You got this
 
Last edited:

LuckBloodandSweat

2+ Year Member
May 26, 2015
1,368
835
Status
Dental Student
my work is BS. i tutor at an after school program.. its fun and games. but thats not the problem.. its school. How do i find time to study for the DAT while taking intense courses like biochem, nueuro and micro.. it just doesn't happen. my problem is having that opportunity and time to retake by july
Well, start studying the moment your semester ends! (maybe take 2-3 days off as you will deserve it). GPA is king as everyone says and I'm disappointed mine is what it is. Then go all out on it! If you have time during the semester, review very lightly but personally I didn't really study outside of the breaks I had.
 

Alemmy

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Jan 5, 2015
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Marietta, GA
Status
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Have you taken previous biology courses? I have a very similar GPA to yours and I would consider myself a pretty average student (by no means am I a genius). I took the DAT today and I had biology questions almost identical to yours and I could apply some of the bio I learned in previous courses. For the biology portion in general, I read through AP Cliffs and made sure I understood the basics and then read through DAT Destroyer once and got a 22 on bio. I took notes on each subject/topic as I went through the destroyer and read through them two days before. I can send you my notes if you want? Not sure how helpful they would be to you! I also made note cards for all the problems I missed in destroyer the second time around and reviewed them 2 nights before. Maybe you had too much time to study! Sometimes I think that can be detrimental because you can only memorize so much information for so long. Naturally, you are going to forget it unless you constantly review it. Thats why two days before I only focused on the material I constantly made mistakes on and I reviewed it the morning of because of course I was too anxious to sleep :/ Also, if you do decide to retake, make sure you are relaxed and focused during the exam. I think how you feel plays into it as well. It sounds stupid but I kept telling myself I was going to get a good score and I pictured all my scores appearing on that paper and I swear I got them (except my 16QR lol)! I would probably retake it. Can you do it over winter break? You already know the material. If you just did 15 minutes of PAT everyday and 15-20 minutes of QR during the semester you wouldn't really need to focus on those sections. Since you've already studied you could just focus on what you don't know for sciences and it wouldn't take as long to study. Good luck!
 
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Mrhyde

Becoming Dr. Jekyll
Apr 13, 2015
170
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Pre-Dental
is there somewhere i can see one of these bio questions you guys are talking about that are hypothetical experiment type ?
 
Mar 6, 2013
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Fhloston Paradise
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You deserved to do better. I really think you should shoot me a PM so I can add you to the GroupMe chat. I think you will benefit a tremendous amount. I already have a somewhat "game plan" that you can follow for success next year ! :)
 

ChewyDrop

2+ Year Member
Jun 30, 2015
238
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You deserved to do better. I really think you should shoot me a PM so I can add you to the GroupMe chat. I think you will benefit a tremendous amount. I already have a somewhat "game plan" that you can follow for success next year ! :)
What is this GroupMe chat?! I want in!:shy:
 

flossit

2+ Year Member
Jan 30, 2015
221
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You deserved to do better. I really think you should shoot me a PM so I can add you to the GroupMe chat. I think you will benefit a tremendous amount. I already have a somewhat "game plan" that you can follow for success next year ! :)
Please add me to the GroupMe chat!
 

Npanto01

2+ Year Member
Jan 4, 2016
13
0
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Status
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really it just depends what school you want to go to. I got into WVU with VERY similar scores on my DAT with a 3.6 GPA. Have a lot of community service, shadowing hours and kill the interview. If you really want to retake the DAT you can still submit your app with the current score and mark the "planning to retake" section. I sent my app in and got an interview and was able to retake my DAT a week before the interview and drastically improved which made me stand out. Be confident in yourself and show the committee you're dedicated. Be yourself and show you have the personality to work with people, make them laugh if you can, just dont be robotic or tell them what you think they want to hear, they see right through that kind of stuff. Best of luck
 
Jul 30, 2016
11
2
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You deserved to do better. I really think you should shoot me a PM so I can add you to the GroupMe chat. I think you will benefit a tremendous amount. I already have a somewhat "game plan" that you can follow for success next year ! :)
How do I get on this group chat