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Done! 22TS 21AA Breakdown!

Discussion in 'DAT Discussions' started by Anselmian, Jun 9, 2014.

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  1. Anselmian

    Anselmian 2+ Year Member

    86
    39
    Oct 21, 2013
    There have been so many breakdowns lately by people who earned superhuman scores, I thought a thorough breakdown by a regular human being was in order ;)

    First my scores!

    QR 20
    RC 19
    Bio 22
    GC 21
    OC 25

    PAT 20
    TS 22
    AA 21

    How I studied:

    I began studying on April 10th (two months ago) and tried really hard for the first month to stick to a tight schedule. I would read and highlight a chapter of Cliffs AP Bio and then watch three of Chads Gen chem and Organic videos for each subject. I would intermittently take a CDP or CDM (yes math!) test. This was really difficult to do with a five class course load, plus the time commitment of being a Resident Assistant at my college.

    I took a break during finals week, and actually used the DAT destroyer to study for my Organic 2 final. This worked out nicely, and I would recommend doing it if the timing happens to work out for any of you.

    Beginning May 8th, four weeks before my exam, I started the hardcore studying. I did 75 problems from each section of the destroyer per day, and got extremely flustered at their difficulty. My one piece of advice for the destroyer is to really LEARN and UNDERSTAND the questions and explanations. Simply looking at the questions and answers won't do you much good! The knowledge cant just diffuse into your brain, you have to work for it! My first time through the destroyer, especially for the Gen chem section, I just cruised through, not taking the time to really understand the explanations. My second time through the destroyer was much more helpful, and is where I think the material really earned its value.

    May 12th I started to take Bootcamp practice tests. After three tests I decided that the anxiety from taking the practice tests was just too much, so I stopped. I stopped taking practice tests, but continually pounded myself with practice question after practice question.

    With only a week left until my exam, I realized that the only section (aside from math) that I didn't feel totally comfortable with was Bio, so I took four Qvault Bio exams to get a feel for where I stood. 18, 17, 17, 17. I posted a thread asking you SDN'rs for advice, and everyone encouraged me to delay my exam two or three weeks. Instead I went through EVERY SINGLE QUESTION on Qvault Bio using the subject reviews and made countless flashcards. This took four days, but paid off big time!

    The day before my exam I did the unthinkable, and studied! I just felt more comfortable reviewing casually, so as to keep myself fresh, and I don't regret it. Specifically I focused on Bootcamp Keyhole, TFE and Pattern folding. Then I took the test!


    Biology: 22
    Materials used: Cliffs AP Bio 3rd edition (10) DAT Qvault (11, must have) Destroyer (8) Bootcamp (8)

    I went into preparing for the Bio section with the mindset, "I'm a bio major, Ill be fine" and "It's so random, how could I really study for it anyway?" This was a HUGE MISTAKE. When I first read Cliffs, I figured that all of these specific details could never possibly be important. They are. As crazy as it might sound, you really do need to know most of those fun facts. That's what the bio section seems to be, just a bunch of fun facts.

    The questions on the Destroyer seemed to be slightly more in depth than the actual exam, but that's not a bad thing! My only gripe with the destroyer is that the questions weren't presented in a fashion that facilitated learning and understanding.

    Bootcamp was alright! The questions on the practice tests seemed to be in line with the real test, and compete with the questions on Qvault. I recommend it if you want to take practice tests that will give you an idea of what your score will be, but again, not if you want an organized review.

    Qvault was what saved my Bio score. The questions were laid out VERY similar to the actual test, and they covered all of the important sections thoroughly, in a way that allowed me to learn and understand in only four days.

    The real test was random, but in my opinion, very fair.

    Gen Chem: 21
    Materials used: Chads (10) Bootcamp (10) Destroyer (8)

    I started by watching Chads videos, which like everybody says, is an absolute MUST. This guy knows what he is talking about. Watch them, take notes, take the quizzes, then re-watch trouble spots.

    I found Bootcamp Genchem to be EXACTLY in line with the real test. If you showed me a Bootcamp Genchem question next to a DAT Genchem question, I couldn't begin to distinguish one from the other. Bravo Ari.

    Destroyer genchem was MUCH too difficult and was actually extremely discouraging. Despite being a confidence killer, the book does what it is designed to do. It makes you think hard and apply concepts to gain a full understanding of the material. If you can do Destroyer Genchem wtih ~75 or 80 percent accuracy, the DAT will feel like a Breeze. My advice is to not work out all of the math and equations, but rather think about the steps in your head, and see if you had the steps correct. This saves lots of time.

    The real test was pretty simple, I had a little bit of trouble with a few concentration and pH problems. Very similar to Bootcamp.


    Ochem: 25 :soexcited:
    Materials used: Chads (8) Bootcamp (10) Destroyer (10) Freelanceteach youtube (9)

    Chads was great review for Organic, but I didn't get much out of it because I just finished my Organic prereqs. Everything I saw on Chads was helpful, but already stuff I knew. I recommend it to anyone who is rusty in organic, but if you just finished the class and earned high marks (not just because of scaling) then you can probably just jump to destroyer.

    Bootcamp once again, was extremely representative of the DAT. In fact, I might even go so far as to say it was slightly harder. Once again, bravo Ari. :bow:

    The Destroyer for Ochem was fantastic. The first run through is a confidence killer again, but if you understand the explanations, it is absolutely worth every penny. Like I mentioned before, I used this to study for my Organic 2 final, which was the standardized ADA organic chem test, and I aced it! They cover all of their bases!

    Here's a new one for ya! Freelanceteach on youtube helped me SO much when it came down to learning two of the more difficult OChem reactions: Claisens and Aldols! This wierdo is hilarious and is in my opinion, a fantastic educator.


    The real test was EXTREMELY BASIC. I actually didn't have a single aldol or claisen. All of the reactions were only one or two steps, and instead of testing my electron pushing skills, focused more on testing my overall understanding of OChem at a very basic level. This score is very high, and I was actually expecting something in the 20's here because I just feel comfortable with organic chem.


    PAT: 20
    Materials used: Crack the Dat (7) Bootcamp (10)

    I was DISAPPOINTED in the Crack the DAT software. Their tutorial videos were very helpful when getting acquainted to the questions, but aside from that I actually don't have much good to say. The keyhole questions are FAR TOO EASY, TFE are fine, Angles are insane, hole punches are accurate, cube counting has illusions that you will NEVER see on your actual exam, and pattern folding is slightly too easy also. I spent WAY too much money on what is now in my opinion an outdated study material. End rant.

    Bootcamp is the new gold standard in terms of PAT in my personal opinion. I think that the keyhole questions are slightly too difficult, but that's much better than being under prepared, and the explanations for each and every question are second to none. TFE is spot on, angles are accurate, hole punching good, cube counting good, and pattern folding is spot on. I wish that I had started using Bootcamp to study PAT sooner.

    The real test was similar to a Bootcamp test. I had one strange hole punching problem, but aside from that seemed fair.


    RC: 19
    Materials used: Bootcamp (6)

    I took three bootcamp tests and that was all I did to prepare for this section. Admittedly I probably should have practiced more, and developed a better strategy, but I was focusing on my weak points in Bio and Math.

    My strategy was pretty strange, but to each his own. I would glance over all of the questions and look for key words, or specifics like "who did this" or "what is the order of this". I would then spend ten minutes reading the passage thoroughly, marking paragraphs with significant information pertaining to keywords that I remembered.

    The reason I gave Bootcamp such a low rating for RC was because there were so many questions asking how a statement and a reason related, but not a single one on the actual test. Ari, if you happen to read this, my advice is to use slightly longer passages, and steer away from those statement and reason questions. :nod:

    I honestly expected a slightly higher score! My third passage was refreshingly easy compared to the first two, and although its not a 20, I am still satisfied with the 19 here considering I did such little preparation. My first two passages were 20 and 21 paragraphs respectively, and the last passage was 15. I didn't expect them to be so long, which threw off my timing!


    QR: 20 :eyebrow:
    Materials used: Crack Dat Math (9) Destroyer (9) Bootcamp (6)

    Yes, you're seeing that correctly, I used Crack Dat Math. My father went ahead and purchased the massive $400 combo package for me as a generous gift, and I figured I'd give it a shot. I RECOMMEND IT. Their algebra practice problems are in depth and fantastic practice. Their word problems mimicked what I saw on the actual DAT PERFECTLY and their conversions are spot on. The one section that did not help to prepare me was their trig problems. Much too in depth.

    Not many people use this to prepare for the QR and I don't understand why. Even though their camera sucks and the guy explaining them has no personality and the driest sense of humor I've ever seen, it is VERY helpful in my opinion to watch somebody do the problems out, rather than just reading them. In all, the problems were more difficult than the actual test, but this is a good thing! Their word problems are amazing practice.

    Destroyer questions were probably the most representative to the real thing, but there weren't enough long word problems.

    Bootcamp actually really disappointed me here. I understand that before the test we are warned that the questions are more difficult, so as to prepare us for the exam, but it is just too much in my opinion. These questions were MUCH harder than the actual exam, almost to the point of not being representative. Everything else on Bootcamp is so representative of the actual test, why did we have to stray from that for the QR? Unfortunately Bootcamp didn't help me in the slightest for the QR section of the test, but that's only one man's opinion. *Shouldn't stop you from buying the product*

    The actual exam was DISGUSTINGLY EASY. I finished with 13 minutes to spare! I consider myself to be VERY bad at math, and I honestly would have been happy with a 16 or 17. The word problems mimicked those seen in CDM, but were much simpler. The algebra was rudimentary. Trig functions were basic, and conversions were straightforward. I honestly feel like CDM prepared me for this section better than anything else, and the only reason for my lack of confidence, was the fact that there are no practice tests quite as easy as the actual DAT QR. Maybe I just got lucky! :shrug:


    Well that was a mouthful!

    In summary, my advice is to make a schedule and stick to it until you find your weak spots (mine was bio) and then focus on your weak points.

    When going through the Destroyer, understand that the questions are designed to be tasking and require a deep understanding of the material. Going through the Destroyer at least twice is crucial.

    STAY OFF SDN. Seriously. You see people posting their superhuman scores and lose your mind!

    Bootcamp is wonderful for chemistry and PAT, great for bio, but not fantastic for QR or RC. Still a must have for gauging your progress.

    Qvault is the go-to for biology in my opinion.


    I wanted to give a quick shout out to @DogeDDS and @LabCoatAndPearls because your breakdowns were what I based my study habits off of. @pinkster for pointing me in the direction of Qvault, and @Ari Rezaei for giving back to the community!
     
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  3. DrillSoHard

    DrillSoHard 2+ Year Member

    40
    13
    Jul 8, 2013
    I'm in a similar situation as you were in for BIO and I just happened to take qVault's practice test for BIO. This must be a sign! My test is in almost 3 weeks so I think I'm going to go ahead and purchase qVault Bio. Thank you for the detailed breakdown you did well!
     
  4. BrazilianRider

    BrazilianRider 2+ Year Member

    755
    865
    Oct 28, 2013
    @DogeDDS breakdown = best breakdown.

    Congrats on the scores! I'm glad you avoided the QR bug that's been going around! Now take some time off and relax! You deserve it!
     
    DogeDDS likes this.
  5. Anselmian

    Anselmian 2+ Year Member

    86
    39
    Oct 21, 2013
    You're welcome! Reading it now I'm afraid its so long that most people wont bother to read it! and Drill, I recommend using Qvault not for the practice tests, but instead for the practice questions that they break up into very specific subject areas. It allows you to focus on weak spots, and really gain an understanding of the material, so that you're not just learning fun facts! good luck to you, you have plenty of time!
     
    DrillSoHard likes this.
  6. Anselmian

    Anselmian 2+ Year Member

    86
    39
    Oct 21, 2013
    Thank you Brazilian! Its a great feeling to finally have my life back!
     
  7. Daneosaurus

    Daneosaurus D2 5+ Year Member

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    Mar 13, 2012
    Hell yes! That's what I'm talking about. Great job!
     
  8. CoFe2

    CoFe2

    161
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    Dec 11, 2013
    awesome job! You give me so much hope, I'm so worried about bio but the fact that you were able to get it together in those last few days is amazing!! awesome job:)
     
  9. nevergetupss

    nevergetupss

    2
    0
    Jun 10, 2014
    MDApps:
    MDApps:
    Right,really gain an understanding of the material, so that you're not just learning fun facts! good luck to you, you have plenty of time!thanks[​IMG]
     
  10. clutchfans

    clutchfans 2+ Year Member

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    169
    Feb 28, 2014
    Awesome scores!
     
  11. Anselmian

    Anselmian 2+ Year Member

    86
    39
    Oct 21, 2013
    Thank you so much! Its a fantastic feeling! Congrats to you, we have similar scores!
     
  12. DogeDDS

    DogeDDS Wow 2+ Year Member

    212
    132
    Mar 8, 2014
    Great scores!! Now go relax and enjoy the summer. Also, I appreciate the shoutout! Glad I could be of help :)
     
    Anselmian likes this.
  13. Anselmian

    Anselmian 2+ Year Member

    86
    39
    Oct 21, 2013
    Thank you! I slept in for the first time all summer today and it was glorious haha!
     
    DogeDDS likes this.
  14. Ari Rezaei

    Ari Rezaei Senior Member Lifetime Donor Gold Donor 5+ Year Member

    693
    467
    Mar 14, 2012
    New York, NY
    Congratulations, you have awesome scores across the board! I'll check out the RC stuff more, consider yourself lucky not getting any statement/reason questions, they were the bane of my existence and quite hot last year :)

    Also, I see a lot of people post that they had only 8 paragraphs or 22 paragraphs, but a paragraph isn't an accurate unit to measure how long a passage is. The actual length of the passage is determined by the word count, and the ADA specifies the RC test "consists of three reading passages of approximately 1,500 words each", and this is how we come up with our passage length (page 4: http://www.ada.org/~/media/ADA/Education and Careers/Files/dat_users_manual.ashx).

    Congrats again man, you killed it! Enjoy your summer.
     
  15. biomolecmed

    biomolecmed 2+ Year Member

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    Apr 7, 2012
    Nicely done. Well deserved scores.
     
  16. Anselmian

    Anselmian 2+ Year Member

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    Oct 21, 2013
    Thank you for the clarification Ari!! Maybe consider adding to your website, just one QR test that is in line with the actual exam? Your chemistry tests are absolutely spot on!
     
  17. Ari Rezaei

    Ari Rezaei Senior Member Lifetime Donor Gold Donor 5+ Year Member

    693
    467
    Mar 14, 2012
    New York, NY
    For sure, we have big plans for the QR section coming up.
     

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