rsk24

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Sep 5, 2008
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First of all, I just want to say thanks soooo much for all of the helpful people on this forum! Although I didn't post many questions, I did like to look at other people's questions and especially liked to look at the posts by people who had taken the exam and were breaking it down. I really hope this post gives motivation for those who may have done poorly on the first time taking it and want to retake it, cause I did much better my 2nd time around!!

I took the DAT for the first time last summer and my scores were:

PAT:16
QR: 19
RC: 18
BIO: 19
GCHEM: 22
OCHEM: 17
AA: 19
TS: 19

I don't really remember what all of my scores from top score were, but I was VERY disappointed with my PAT and Ochem. Those were my two best subjects (I averaged a 21 on all 3 practice exams in both sections), and I ran out of time on the real thing and got flustered in both sections and did WAY worse than I thought I could have done, so I decided to retake the exam this summer.

My scores this time were:

PAT: 20
QR: 17 (Eh..oh well)
RC: 28
BIO: 22
GCHEM: 22
OCHEM: 21
AA: 22
TS: 22

Basically, I did a lot better in everything except for QR but oh well. Here goes the breakdown..


BIO: The first time I took the DAT last summer I felt like SO MUCH of the material was in the Destroyer. A huge number of questions felt familiar and almost exactly the same as the ones in Destroyer. So, this time I did the Bio section of destroyer and really made an effort to research any details about topics I came to that I didn't know about. Although that seems kind of an obvious to do, I was lazy the first time around and just tried to memorize stuff. You really have to go back and learn things you don't understand well. Doing that made a huge difference for me. I also went through Kaplan blue book and tried to combine and compare information about ALL topics (even ones I thought I understood well) so that I'd be exposed to any details that certain books might have left out (and I did find that many books differed on the details they provided). I think Kaplan blue book is a VERYY good source for learning Physio..my exam the 2nd time around had a LOT of physio and felt EXTREMELY random (whereas as I said, my first exam seemed almost exactly the same as destroyer and much more predictable). The questions were much more detailed this time around as well. Also, as far as taxonomy goes, Cliffs does a really good job of explaining taxonomy (especially for animals).

GCHEM: I did Destroyer Gchem many times and went back to old text books to look up concepts I didn't remember very well. I also got GChem Exam Crackers 1000 MCAT Questions, which I feel like helped a LOT for conceptual stuff. Everything in this section is pretty basic but you have to take the time to learn conceptual ideas and really understand how to apply them. Exam crackers 1000 mcat questions really helps with doing that. I HIGHLY recommend this book. I read through Kaplan Blue Book once but I dont think its AMAZING for this section, but it is good for the first exposure to the topics covered on the DAT.


OChem: Researching reactions you don't understand is KEY to this section. The first time around, I tried to just memorize road maps and questions in the destroyer and that's not reliable. You NEED to go back and look up in a text book or even on wikipedia (which I did a lot) ANY reactions you aren't familiar with. That meant almost 20 different reaction types for me but as soon as I went back and learned the mechanisms to every reaction in Destroyer I didn't understand, I felt a lot more confident and was able to better predict the answer to a MUCH larger range of Ochem questions. I think the Destroyer is probably the best source for exposure to rxn types, but I also did read through Kaplan blue book's Ochem section and it helped as a reference for when I needed a quick explanation for something I didn't understand in a destroyer explanation or something.


PAT: My first time around, I did crack DAT at the very beginning of my studying and was always getting 20-24s. I stopped practicing for it for a while and then closer to my DAT i started using the program and found that I had forgotten a lot...so the second time around I tried to more frequently practice PAT stuff. That is, I'd do a crack exam once a week every week of studying and closer to the exam (starting the week before) I was doing one every day so that I kept my perceptual skills intact. Also, the perceptual seemed similar to crack in everything...ESPECIALLY angle ranking. Actually, the real PAT almost seemed harder in angle ranking for me but that may have just been my exam. Either way, top score's angle ranking is WAYYY easier than the real thing so don't count on that as a good source for that part. For everything else, top score and perceptual were pretty close to the real thing. I found crack to be pretty similar in pattern folding to the real thing and hole punching was a lot easier than I expected as well.


RC: For this section, my 1st DAT had MANYYY tone questions. I barely studied for this section either time because I felt like "tone" questions were out of my control and I couldn't really prepare for them. I dont really have good advice for this section because I really feel like I just got lucky with the passages I got. The passages were sort of difficult to follow but the answers to the questions were straight out of the passage and the questions were not tricky.


QR: I studied WAY less for this section the second time because I felt like it was pretty easy the first time I took it. That being said, it probably wasn't the best decision! The first time I was preparing for the DAT i may have even done overkill because i spent a LOT of time on studying for it and tried to understand EVERY single question I came across. I used CRACK math and it was pretty helpful--it was A LOT harder than the questions on my first DAT. My crack program was on an old computer and I had to get a new license key and get a newer version of the program for my new computer to study this summer, and this version was A LOT easier than the version I used initially. I don't know if that's because they felt like the previous version was too much harder than the real thing (which it was) but the newer version was WAY easier. I also felt like my 2nd exam's QR was more difficult than the first but that may be because I prepared a lot less...I'm not sure. Either way, I'd still recommend crack math for this section because it's still pretty similar to the real thing. (BTW, I was testing 20-23s on crack Math both times studying for the DAT)


...ahh OK that took FOREVER! I hope this is helpful! If anyone has questions feel free to ask!!
 

r8 dds

10+ Year Member
Oct 11, 2008
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Dood awesome scores! I want those! :xf: I was wondering, this time around, did you take Topscore again?

I actually got the Examcrackers book, but I felt it was a little bit too much. Any particular questions or sections from that book you recommend?
 

prsndwg

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Apr 19, 2009
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very well done,
How did u improve ur RC with 10 points!!!
 

ZzZzSleepyhead

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Jan 7, 2009
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Great job!! Thanks for the breakdown:D
 
Aug 5, 2009
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19 is a solid score. Its not like all the 23s weve been seeing (no offense). Its definitely good enough to get into many schools but it depends where you want to go. Your scores did fluctuate very wildly, if you could focus on those areas, there is no reason why you cant bring your scores up to at least a 20-21 and then your golden everywhere you apply.
 

joonkimdds

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Your score makes me want to retake.
 
Jul 22, 2009
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19 is a solid score. Its not like all the 23s weve been seeing (no offense). Its definitely good enough to get into many schools but it depends where you want to go. Your scores did fluctuate very wildly, if you could focus on those areas, there is no reason why you cant bring your scores up to at least a 20-21 and then your golden everywhere you apply.
Do you even read the original post before you reply? btw, no offense.
if you don't get it just re read the post.
 
Jul 11, 2009
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Why didn't you get accepted last year with those original scores!? I just got an 18 AA the other day and I'm thinking my chances are pretty good. What went wrong? Did you interview bad or did you not have and shadowing hours, poor GPA?
 
May 15, 2009
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It's funny...
Last year I got AA19 TS20 PA19 (scores somewhat similar to your 1st try) and this year we have the same exact scores!
You did good!

Good luck:thumbup:
 

ZzZzSleepyhead

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Hey guys, OP said that KBB was a great source for physio. I was jw if anyone else felt the same way? If not, what would be a good source to study physio from?
 
Jun 19, 2009
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Dental Student
great improvement ;) seriouslyy!!

I'd like to ask what would you say are the top two-three things that you changed that allowed you to improve significantly in your scores?

I know you mentioned researching the stuff that you didn't understand before but any other tips that you felt that were more standout-ish? Thanks.