Dismiss Notice
Hey Texans—join us for a DFW meetup! Click here to learn more.

FINALLY FREE! DAT Breakdown ( AA 21| TS 21 | PA 22 ) Study materials vs real DAT, test day tips

Discussion in 'DAT Discussions' started by yihaej12, Aug 2, 2015.

  1. yihaej12

    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2014
    Messages:
    203
    Likes Received:
    245
    Status:
    Dental Student
    Hey guys,

    Just took my DAT today (8/2/15). Im not too crazy about my scores because I know they aren't up to par with some of the other breakdowns on here but I just wanted to contribute a comprehensive breakdown of everything from DAT study materials, practice exam scores, my test day experience, and also my opinion about the actual test. I just remember having to look through multiple posts for all this info so hopefully I can cover everything in one post.

    Total I spent about 2 months studying but in the beginning I wasn't taking my studies seriously. I feel like I got the most done during the few weeks leading up to my test than the entire first month combined. After this period of nonproductivity, spent 3-4 weeks reviewing and then the next 2 weeks doing practice problems/practice tests. During the 1 month review phase, I followed Ari's study schedule but once the second phase of his schedule kicked in (the part where it involved Destroyer problems) I had to ditch his schedule. Explanation of why i did this is below.

    Stats:
    Real DAT: TS 21/ AA 21/ PA 22/ BIO 22/ GCHEM 20/ OCHEM 21/ QR 20/ RC 22
    Screen Shot 2015-08-02 at 7.29.08 PM.png
    Gpa: 4.0
    Bootcamp practice tests:
    Bio/Gchem/Ochem/PAT/RC/QR
    Test 1: 19/21/19/18/21/X
    Test 2: 22/21/22/22/19/X
    Test 3: 21/29/21/19/21/X
    Test 4: 22/21/29/21/24/X
    Test 5: 22/20/23/20/22/X

    Ada exams:
    2007: 19/28/30/21/20/19 (Chems were obviously much easier on 2007 exam)
    2009: 22/20/21/23/21/21 (Most representative of my real test scores)


    PAT:

    -Bootcamp
    -http://woodgears.ca/eyeball/ (highest score I ever got was 2.3)


    BOOTCAMP all the way. THANK YOU ARI. Bootcamp was the major material I used for PAT.
    In the beginning of my studies I tried to do 15 pat problems from each of the generators. I didn't do this every day though because I would do most of my studying at night and by the time i got to practicing pat, it would be very late. But what I did do every day for sure was the woodgears eye game because even if I didn't practice any pat that day, it gave me reassurance that my perceptual ability skills were not deteriorating without use. I used the Bootcamp generators about 3-4 days a week for the first month.

    The generators are AMAZING. In the beginning it took me a very long time (especially TFE and Pattern folding). My weakest area was TFE in the beginning but it ended up being one of my strongest sections thanks to bootcamp. It was so bad that it took me over 1hr to go through 15 generator problems and even then I was barely getting any of them correct. I wanted to pull out all my hairs at this point. But its so important, for any pat section, to just keep working at it. I would say it took me a good 2 weeks to get comfortable with TFE. Also, the 3d image thing in the TFE generators were extremely helpful in helping me get the missing pieces to the image in my head I was trying to construct from the info given in the problem.

    Then during the 2 weeks leading up to my exam, I did a bootcamp practice PAT test everyday for the first week. Then during the week right before my exam the only PAT practice i got was from doing the 2007 and 2009 practice tests.

    I can't stress how amazing the solutions on bootcamp were. I contribute a large part of my improvement in PAT to the solutions. After I did each pat test, I would go through each and every solution and see where I made mistakes and just make mental notes. I didn't go through the solutions for the problems I got correct because as I mentioned, I did my pat towards the end of my daily schedule routine and it would be very late in the night. But I would go over the ones I got wrong, reading the solution, trying to follow the diagrams, etc. I didn't take notes or anything but I made mental notes as I went through them.

    Comparison to real DAT: I would say the level of bootcamp pat difficulty was definitely on par with the real dat if not harder. The keyholes were easier on real dat (less crazy shapes and slightly more obvious answer choices). TFE & pattern folding were on par. Angles and cube counting were easier on real dat (less cubes/less # of hidden squares/bigger angles between answer choices).

    GCHEM/OCHEM:

    -Part of Destroyer
    -Chads Videos/quizzes
    -Bootcamp

    I used CHAD to review. I went through each video, printed out the outlines, and took my own notes on the outlines. After each video I did the associated quizzes. I reviewed gchem first then ochem. After reviewing gchem, I went back to all the notes I took and then rewrote/reorganized my notes into a single collective packet of stapled regular printer paper. For me, I learn best when I have all the info collected in one area so it was important for me to make a personalized genchem packet of notes that I could conveniently pull out and refer to if I needed to. I also left a few empty pages of this packet in the back so I could add additional notes if needed. I did the same for ochem after I went through all of chads ochem videos and quizzes as well.

    After I review with chads, I started DAT Destroyer gchem and ochem problems. I stuck to this for about a week or so but I was getting so discouraged I had to stop. I know getting obliterated on the destroyer is normal the first round through but I just couldn't handle it. I tried my best to stick to it but I had to stop after doing about 150 dat destroyer ochem and gchem questions. I wasn't able to do a lot of the destroyer problems and it gave me a lot of anxiety. Im definitely not trying to put down the destroyer but if you're not mentally strong enough to keep plowing through despite the horrendous results, I would say your time is better spent elsewhere. However, I did see 1 or 2 questions on my actual DAT that were quite similar to a problem I had encountered in the destroyer. Because I only did part of the Destroyer, its hard to say whether or not it contributed to my overall score.

    After my massive panic attacks, I had to stop doing Ari's schedule because they involved doing destroyer ochem and gchem nearly every day for the rest of the study schedule. Instead I just went back to chads quizzes and did every single one of the questions again and made note of which sections I should go over again/redo quiz. Also, I wouldn't redo the quizzes immediately after realizing I needed to work on those sections. Instead, after I noticed i needed work in a section, I would go over my notes again and then attempt to retake the quiz for that section a few days later so I knew I wouldn't just be recalling from immediate memory.

    After I calmed myself down and felt more confident from chads chem problems, I did a each of the gchem/ochem bootcamp tests during the two weeks before my test. After I did each test, I went through all of the solutions and added notes onto the back of my Gchem and Ocher packets/notes I mentioned earlier. I found the video solutions to be extremely helpful in understanding the meso/diasteromer/nmr type problems of ochem because because I think written explanations for these types of problems don't suffice. Then 2 days before my test, I redid all of chads ochem/gchem Q's.

    Comparison to real DAT: Definitely easier than Destroyer, but in between chads quizzes and bootcamp.

    On the gchem section though, I encountered about 3-4 types of questions that I never saw on bootcamp or chads. I didn't do all of the destroyer so it might have been in there somewhere but its hard to say.

    BIOLOGY:

    -AP Cliff
    -Bootcamp
    -Destroyer

    I reviewed with AP cliff during the first month. I spent the first day just reading the chapter and then the next day I would reread the same chapter while taking notes this time and then taking the chapter quiz. I took my note in a regular composition book and by the end I had highlighted tabs for every chapter so it was sort of like a mini version of the entire book but only consisting of the parts where I felt like I needed to take notes. I referred to this notebook as I needed once I began doing practice problems with destroyer. The AP Cliff book is really great for everything other than physiology. After reviewing with Cliff and starting practice problems, I noticed I was getting a lot of the physio questions wrong but this wasn't surprising considering the fact that I haven't taken physio yet and that Cliff was too general for physio. I obtained all the physio I needed to know from studying the solutions to the bootcamp bio practice tests. Their solutions were once again amazing and very detailed!

    The few days leading up to my test, I did both of Cliffs ap bio practice exams and redid all of the end of chapter quizzes.

    I also did about 200 destroyer bio questions. I made a note of the bio question I got wrong, took notes on the subject from either google/youtube and then compiled flashcards of everything I needed to memorize. I also made flashcards for general memorization stuff. By the end I had about 300 bio flashcards. The reason I did not finish the destroyer was because of the panic stage of my studying which lasted about a week and a half. During this period I was super unproductive and really discouraged so I ended up not having enough time to do the ~30 destroyer bio problems I wanted to get done each day. But Im soooo glad I did at least some of the destroyer because I would not have known about 4-5 questions on the real dat if i hadn't done so. The Destroyer bio had a lot of good random questions/important facts you should know. If I had enough time I would definitely do all of the destroyer for bio.

    Comparison to real DAT: The real dat bio was a lot simpler than the questions you would encounter on bootcamp or destroyer. There were some random bio questions on the real dat that I wasn't really prepared for. They were mostly application type problems and for these, I don't feel like anyone can be prepared. Its more about taking what you know and then taking the best guess.

    QR:
    -Chad
    -Math Destroyer (Tests 1-7)

    I reviewed the basics with chad and then went straight to the math destroyer.
    Math destroyer was the only source I used for practicing this section. I didn't use any of the QR tests on bootcamp because I thought they were ridiculously hard (a lot harder than math destroyer).
    Math has always been my weakest point so I studied for this section with a "screw it" attitude. By this, i don't mean that i didn't care about it completely but I mean that I went into this knowing math was my weakest (always was) and that I would try my best but it was definitely the least of my priorities in my studying.

    The first time i went through math destroyer I was annihilated. I would say I only got about 10/40 questions correct if even that. Second time through I did it times and did much better 35-38/40 correct with a few minutes left over sometimes.

    Comparison to real DAT: Math destroyer was definitely harder than the real dat but the question types were very similar. The real DAT had a lot more basic conversions and rate problems than the more complicated problems you would see in destroyer. On the real DAT I ran out of time and had to guess the last ~7 or so questions. The most important advice i can give for the QR on the real dat is to SKIP any problem you don't think you can do quickly. This seems like a no brainer but I wasted a lot of time trying to figure out a problem because I vaguely thought I knew how to do it. And once began trying to do it, i didn't want to ditch it because I already invested time in it. I would highly recommend that you skip literally every problem that you can't do instantly. If you're going to attempt a problem only do it if you know how to approach it. But don't skip it without putting in a random answer first though in case you run out of time. So basically for each question you don't know off the top of your head, pick a random answer, mark and move on. Your time is better spent on problems you actually know how to do, thus maximizing the pts you can get. I strongly believe if I followed this method, i would have gotten at least 1 or 2 pts higher on my qr score.

    RC:

    -Bootcamp
    -Scientific American articles

    Everyday I would read an article I thought was interesting from scientific american.
    In terms of practice, the only practice I got was from doing the bootcamp RC tests and the 2007/2009 ada practice exams. Strategy wise: Before reading the passage, take a peak at the first 5 or so questions, take a mental note, and then read the passage. Once I came across a part in the passage that answered one of the questions i peaked at, I would stop and answer that questions. Throughout the entire passage i would repeat this process of looking at the questions ahead of time and then going back to reading. By doing this, I would end up reading the entire passage which was important for those "authors tone" type questions, while simultaneously answering the rc questions. There were some times where I couldn't find the answer to a question but I always had enough time to go back and figure it out. I allowed myself 20 mins per passage.

    Comparison to real DAT: The passages were a lot less dense/scientific than some of the articles on bootcamp. The difficulty of the passage was more on par with the articles on scientific american. Also, on the real test, there were a lot less "tone/inference/which statement is true" type questions than bootcamp.
    --------------------------------------------------

    DAY BEFORE/ DAY OF TEST:


    I know people recommend to not study anything the day before the test but Im the kind of person that needs to constantly reassure myself that I know the material by constantly reviewing. So the day before my test, I went through all of my flashcards, notes, missed problems, and also redid some of chads quizzes. My exam was scheduled for 8:45am so I tried to review quickly but it took a lot longer than I thought. After I finished reviewing and convinced myself I was ok and I ended up going to bed at around 11pm. But I couldn't sleep so I was just laying there until 1am. 1am I got up took a sleeping pill, and made multiple alarms for fear that I would be too drowsy to get up. It took a while for the pill to kick in so i ended up actually sleeping at 2am. I got up at 5:45 am, took a shower, reviewed more material while air drying my hair, and then I had a cup of orange juice and a toast for breakfast. On my drive to the testing center I blasted my music as loud as my human ears could handle because at that point I could literally hear my heart beating out my chest and needed to cover it up with music lol. I got there early so I sat in my car and did even more reviewing until about 10 mins before my appt time.

    Extra info about the actual test/testing center:

    After checking in (fingerprint, pocket check/ ID etc) they gave me 2 laminated papers and 2 fine tip markers and showed me to my desk. The computers in the testing center was set up cubicle style and each table had noise canceling headphone which I thought were extremely useful. I then went ahead with the tutorial but I already went through the tutorial before hand. I just wanted to use this time to set up my hole punching grid and cube counting tally chart. I had a lot of time left over so I also wrote down some gchem trends and stuff. I didn't ask if I could do this because I didn't want to risk asking and then being denied so I just went ahead and did it because they never mentioned to me anything about writing during the tutorial. One down side to this location was that if I needed more scratch paper, they told me I would have to come outside and grab them myself. I thought this was ridiculous since it would be crazily cutting into my exam time but thankfully I didn't need much scratch paper. So if you know you use a lot of scratch paper, I would call your testing center and ask about their policies. After the sciences and PAT, i swapped out my laminated sheets for new ones during my break and wrote some math formulas on them.

    Also, DO NOT immediately click "ok" when the box pops up telling you that you have finished each section. Once you do, the next section will start immediately. Thankfully I knew this beforehand so when this box appeared after each section, i didn't click "ok" so I had a few minutes of unscheduled break before beginning the next section. During this time i calmed myself down and mentally prepared myself for the section to come.

    My personal experience/encouragement:

    I know this is a long post but I just wanted to end by stating that mentality is very important. Im a bit of a worrier so for about a week and a half I had really bad anxiety, couldn't eat or sleep and I was constantly nervous throughout the entire day. This hindered me from studying so much to the point I almost scheduled a doctors appointment to get anti anxiety meds. So what I want to tell you is that I know its hard to stay calm when you're studying for the "biggest exam of your life" but you really have to let that go and really trust yourself. Everything you studied is filed away in your brain and even though you can't recall every single one of them instantaneously, I can guarantee that you WILL be able to recall that little detail you read a few weeks ago when you're faced with the question on the real dat. Even IF you can't, you can eliminate answer choices. Basically, trust yourself. You have every right to. You've given it your all and enter the testing center with confidence. People would tell me this all the time but I wouldn't listen and drove myself insane with ridiculous thoughts ranging from changing my career choice to thinking about what I would have to go through again if I had to retake it. Don't think about what happens after the exam. There is no after the exam, there is just the test. If I listened to my own advice I really think I would have scored at least a few points higher in my scores. But at the end of the day, it is what it is. Trust yourself. If you've given it your all, its unreasonable for you to think that you will flat out fail. Every day I would be in a self induced state of panic because even if I got one question wrong I would imagine the entire test just being made of these questions. Just remember this, not everything you don't know will be on the exam.

    Because of my inability to trust myself I ended up postponing my exam a whopping 3 times. I spent about $200 in just rescheduling fees, but thank god I got the FAP discount or else I would have spent a total of ~600 on this exam. Lots of money down the drain. Also, try to study hard from the beginning. In the beginning I wasn't taking my studying too seriously so I fell behind schedule a lot and this just added to my stress/anxiety. So try to stay on top of it form the very beginning.

    Lastly if any of you have any questions regarding anything, let me know, I mean it. I know the struggles burden of this entire experience and I would be more than willing to help.
     
    #1 yihaej12, Aug 2, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2016
  2. Note: SDN Members do not see this ad.

  3. Futuredentista62

    Joined:
    May 30, 2015
    Messages:
    67
    Likes Received:
    73
    Status:
    Pre-Dental
    Congratulations!
    Your hard work definitely paid off.
    I was beginning to think I was the only one who thought about changing my career path during my studying.
     
    rbg2015 and fayevalentine like this.
  4. yihaej12

    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2014
    Messages:
    203
    Likes Received:
    245
    Status:
    Dental Student
    Thank you! And lol, you definitely were not the only one. In retrospect it seems silly but at the time it was a legit consideration. haha
     
    Futuredentista62 likes this.
  5. BeaverLover

    BeaverLover SDN Gold Donor
    Gold Donor Classifieds Approved 2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2014
    Messages:
    855
    Likes Received:
    532
    Status:
    Dental Student
    I read someone's breakdown that person got rejected when asked, I would have done the same thing as you ;)

    Good to know, thanks and enjoy the rest of your free time
     
  6. yihaej12

    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2014
    Messages:
    203
    Likes Received:
    245
    Status:
    Dental Student
    Thanks! And good luck studying :)
     
  7. vdgamrero

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2015
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    MDApps:
    MDApps:
    Status:
    Pre-Pharmacy
    well,i think so,And good luck studying ,thanks[​IMG]
     
  8. SahB

    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2015
    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    9
    Status:
    Pre-Dental
    Good job on the hard work!!

    I'm taking mine next week and literally I've been freaking out and can't sleep cuz I have really bad anxiety thinking I can't make it. After reading this I feel a lot better knowing I'm not the only one.
    Thank you for your great feedback and tips.
     
  9. yihaej12

    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2014
    Messages:
    203
    Likes Received:
    245
    Status:
    Dental Student
    Thanks! Don't worry about it the real DAT will be simpler than the material you've been studying with. You got this!!
     
  10. Holymolar14

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2015
    Messages:
    23
    Likes Received:
    25
    Status:
    Dental Student
    Great job!!! I remember commenting on your post a little while ago and it's so good to see you did great. I think its so funny how you opened with like "I know my scores aren't up to par with the other breakdowns" because that's exactly how I feel right now. But you seriously did a fantastic job. People on here can be insane, so don't take them so seriously and be confident! You have every right to :)
     
  11. yihaej12

    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2014
    Messages:
    203
    Likes Received:
    245
    Status:
    Dental Student
    Ahhh thanks! Yeah I remember you! haha and what the hell are you talking?! your TS score thoooo :claps:.
    But yeah, its hard to think I have a chance this cycle when I see so many crazy scores on here. I will just pray to the lawwwd my application won't be compared to any of theirs.. haha yours included
     
    Holymolar14 likes this.
  12. orgoman22

    orgoman22 DAT DESTROYER
    Lifetime Donor Sponsor Exhibitor Classifieds Approved 10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2005
    Messages:
    3,994
    Likes Received:
    2,939
    Status:
    Non-Student
    :clap:Congratulations..:).Ho'omaika'i 'ana!!!

    Excellent scores and very consistent. You put in the hard work and postponed the test when you didn't feel prepared, smart move, Dental schools will take notice of your consistent scores and interviews will be coming your way.

    Thanks for taking the time to share your DAT experience, a lot of students are still preparing and I know they will find this helpful.

    Enjoy the rest of your summer...

    Dr. Jim Romano and Nancy
     
    yihaej12 likes this.
  13. yihaej12

    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2014
    Messages:
    203
    Likes Received:
    245
    Status:
    Dental Student
    Thank you so much! And nice hawaiian :) haha
    I wish I stuck to the destroyers though cause I feel like it would have helped my chem scores a bit, but I'm so glad I did most of the destroyer for bio and math destroyer. I attribute a large part of my scores on these sections to your books! And I also want to say that I think its amazing you take the time to even reply to everyone on this website. Its a true testament to your dedication and genuine care for students.
     
    orgoman22 and ywcywc like this.
  14. vvgp1216

    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2014
    Messages:
    43
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thank you for your honest and humbling DAT journey. It's very encouraging and inspiring. I've studied and stopped altogether due to high stress and anxiety. However, I am now just getting back into considering studying for the DAT. This definitely gives me a lot of motivation! So thank you!
     
  15. yihaej12

    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2014
    Messages:
    203
    Likes Received:
    245
    Status:
    Dental Student
    Don't worry, you got this! Break it down into manageable chunks and if you don't understand anything, just work through it one step at a time! You'll eventually get there. As long as you give it your all, theres no reason for you to think you will do badly! This online community of wonderful people is here to help/support you in any way!
     
  16. BeaverLover

    BeaverLover SDN Gold Donor
    Gold Donor Classifieds Approved 2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2014
    Messages:
    855
    Likes Received:
    532
    Status:
    Dental Student
    I took your advice about not clicking the OK button right after, Procter came in 10 seconds later and told me to click it LOL. Was also informed at the beginning can't prepare during tutorial but it was no biggie
     
    yihaej12 likes this.
  17. yihaej12

    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2014
    Messages:
    203
    Likes Received:
    245
    Status:
    Dental Student
    I'm so sorry! Haha I didn't click for like a good 2-3 mins and nothing happened. Sorry to hear that!

    I guess it's a good heads up though. Do this at your own risk everyone? Haha
     
  18. austinpatton

    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2012
    Messages:
    45
    Likes Received:
    17
    Status:
    Pre-Dental
    only pre-dents are perfectionists enough to think scoring in the 9x% percentile isn't good enough lol. You did so well!
     
  19. yihaej12

    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2014
    Messages:
    203
    Likes Received:
    245
    Status:
    Dental Student
    didn't realize a 21 was in the 9xth percentile. haha but thank you!!

    I know what you mean though. people on here are crazy/
     
  20. SyracuseOrange92

    SyracuseOrange92 Membership Revoked
    Removed Account on Hold

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2014
    Messages:
    149
    Likes Received:
    33
    Status:
    Pre-Dental
    You should be crazy about your scores, you did really well! Congrats :)
     
  21. austinpatton

    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2012
    Messages:
    45
    Likes Received:
    17
    Status:
    Pre-Dental
    I got a 21AA and my percentile was 97.2
     
  22. PlasmaMembrane

    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2009
    Messages:
    317
    Likes Received:
    330
    It's not. Especially not anymore.
     
  23. matardug

    matardug Membership Revoked
    Removed Account on Hold 2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2013
    Messages:
    411
    Likes Received:
    196
    Status:
    Dental Student
    Nice breakdown and congrats on those scores :)
     
  24. alasra

    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2015
    Messages:
    130
    Likes Received:
    36
    Status:
    Pre-Dental
    Great job!!!! Thanks for the informative breakdown.!
     
    yihaej12 likes this.

Share This Page