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For those who took the DAT before..

Discussion in 'DAT Discussions' started by bigbutrealdreams, Aug 24, 2015.

  1. bigbutrealdreams

    2+ Year Member

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    Hi guys,

    So for those of you who already had the real DAT experience:

    1) How is the timing for each section? Did you feel like you had enough time to think through your answers or did you have to "fly" through? [I have the knowledge, but I always feel like I take too long to think uggh, What to do? I have 6 days!]

    2) Is it easy to skip around each section? Specifically, I am wondering if it is OK to start wit Orgo, then Bio, then Gen Chem, or if you think it complicates things.

    Thanks yo!
     
  2. changtw

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    Hey!

    Prior to taking the DAT, the areas where I struggled to finish in a timely manner were PAT, RC, and QR (using Bootcamp). The sciences were never much of an issue.

    On testing day, I finished the sciences with about 10 minutes to spare. But it wasn't as though there was plenty of time. I went into it knowing that timing could potentially be an issue and that I needed to finish problems accordingly. From other breakdowns, those on SDN generally seem to finish with anywhere from a few minutes on the lower end to even 45 minutes (?!) on the higher end.

    PAT: Cube counting and hole punching are two of the easier sections to do. So don't make the mistake of spending too much time figuring out the overly complicated keyholes/TFE/angle rankings. It'll be hard to correctly answer some of the more difficult ones, so you might as well guess and allow yourself enough time to first double check cube counting and then hole punching. It might be helpful to give yourself a strict time limit. Like a....if I don't finish this problem in 15-20 seconds, I'm guessing and moving on.

    RC: I nearly ran out of time for RC, but found the passages to be much easier to read than other resources (BC and 2009 ADA). This is also one of those cases where you need to consciously remind yourself not to spend too much time reading through the passage. While I was practicing, I found myself focusing too hard and/or freaking out about not understanding the content of a single sentence. I'd read certain things over and over, cutting down on valuable time. On the real thing, I breezed through the passages as quickly as I could just to orient myself, then once I began tackling the questions, I'd go back to look for the answers.

    QR: Probably the section where you could very easily run out of time. If you don't immediately know how to answer a question within the first 10 seconds or so, mark it and move on. Go through the entirety of the exam first to finish all the problems you know how to do, THEN go back and try to work out the ones you didn't know right off the bat. If I hadn't skipped problems, I wouldn't have finished the section. But then again, QR was a weak section of mine, and this may not be the case for you.

    Skipping around:
    As you're working through the problems by section, it is not easy to skip around. You can only go back and forth to the preceding and succeeding questions, so if you wanted to go from #20 back to #5, you'd have to keep clicking backwards until you got down to #5. At the end of the section though, you can pick and choose, jumping to whichever question. It's probably not a good idea to skip around. You'd be wasting a whole lot of time clicking through each question just to get to Orgo. The test setting + nerves + unfamiliarity paired with skipping around might make it very hard to keep track. Just go through section by section, question by question, and skip around once you get the end of each portion.
     
  3. asfasdfasdferwerw

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    How does the review button work on the actual test? Like when you finish a section and finally reach that review screen and choose to review say #1, can you go instantly back from #1 to the review screen like bootcamp at that point? Or do you have to click back through again?
     
  4. changtw

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    After you finish, let's say, the TS section, you'll reach a page with a box that vertically lists all the problems.

    Problem 1
    Problem 2
    Problem 3
    Etc..

    To the right of the list, there will be a column that labels something like "no response" indicating there wasn't an answer recorded and another column that says something like "marked". "Marked" would be the ones you choose to mark because you weren't sure of the answer and wanted to go back.

    Each of the problems in the list are hyperlinked so you can click it and it'll automatically direct you to that specific problem.

    At the bottom of the list, there's also a button with the option to scroll through ONLY the problems that were marked/unanswered. So instead of going to just one problem, or scrolling through one by one, if within problems 1-10, you marked 2, 5, 7. You click the "review marked problems" button and it'll direct you to #2, click next, goes to #5, click next, then goes to #7, etc.
     
  5. bigbutrealdreams

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    Wow! Thanks so much for the detail! It is so helpful to know the things you've mentioned!
     
  6. changtw

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    No problem :) feel free to ask if you have additional questions
     

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