Jun 25, 2019
16
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Pre-Dental
I posted here before about studying for the DAT a little over 2 months ago and I'm honestly incredibly embarrassed to say that things definitely didn't go as planned between then and now. I take my test on January 9th and so far I've only gone through all of the 2019 DAT Destroyer questions, did some review of GC and partial review of OC with Chad's videos all the way inJuly/August, and started Orgoman's Biology Notes but gave up just because it's so long. I know I went about studying completely the wrong way but my hope with finishing Destroyer first was to be able to take notes on the solutions and use those to study until the the start of my winter break, when I'd focus on going through it one more time and doing DAT Achiever the week before my exam for timing.

I tried to reschedule the test to at least the end of January but there are literally no other test centers in my state with exam dates after Jan 9. I'm much more of a crammer but I told myself I wouldn't do that for this but this semester was a lot harder than I expected. I'm starting to think I'll have to cram in the 2.5 weeks I have between the end of my finals (the week before Christmas) and the test date.

Is there any hope for me? I know all odds are against me but things are slowing down in school right now and I'll be pretty much free except for maybe 20 hours a week for those 2.5 weeks. That's betting a lot on those 2.5 weeks but that's essentially all I have.
 
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Jul 4, 2018
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I posted here before about studying for the DAT a little over 2 months ago and I'm honestly incredibly embarrassed to say that things definitely didn't go as planned between then and now. I take my test on January 9th and so far I've only gone through all of the 2019 DAT Destroyer questions, did some review of GC and partial review of OC with Chad's videos all the way inJuly/August, and started Orgoman's Biology Notes but gave up just because it's so long. I know I went about studying completely the wrong way but my hope with finishing Destroyer first was to be able to take notes on the solutions and use those to study until the the start of my winter break, when I'd focus on going through it one more time and doing DAT Achiever the week before my exam for timing.

I tried to reschedule the test to at least the end of January but there are literally no other test centers in my state with exam dates after Jan 9. I'm much more of a crammer but I told myself I wouldn't do that time but this semester was a lot harder than I expected. I'm starting to think I'll have to cram in the 2.5 weeks I have between the end of my finals (the week before Christmas) and the test date.

Is there any hope for me? I know all odds are against me but things are slowing down in school right now and I'll be pretty much free except for maybe 20 hours a week for those 2.5 weeks. That's betting a lot on those 2.5 weeks but that's essentially all I have.
If you don’t feel ready then definitely try again to reschedule. Hopefully another date will open soon, there might even be someone you can contact to figure out what’s going on with the dates. I’m pretty sure they have a phone number you can call to reschedule, maybe if you call them and talk to someone from prometric you can work it out.

chads videos are pretty awesome and they helped me do very well in both gen chem and ochem. I would suggest going through these videos if you have time, then go back through the destroyer and redo the gen chem and ochem questions you found to be difficult (skip the ones you found to be easy, doing the easy problems again will be a waste of time).

For bio I studied the old feralis notes packet (it’s about 70 pages long, but there’s a lot of info on those 70 pages). Using only the old feralis notes I got 99th percentile on bio when I took the DAT. I would take a look at these notes if you get a chance, you might like them better.

I think the most important thing for you to do right now is to hone in on the information that you’re weakest with and strongest with. Once you’ve done this you can really begin to address your weaknesses by spending les time reviewing subjects/concepts that you’re already strong with.

What other study material are you using besides chads videos and destroyer?
 
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TanMan

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2.5 weeks is a lot of time if you spend 12+ hours a day studying for the rest of the time. I was a crammer just like you, and you would know your study style the best. You can't force us crammers to study long term, because medium term retention is the worst for crammers. If you're a good crammer, spending every waking moment studying for the exam until the day before should be sufficient. Focus your energy from being scared towards victory.

I think you have plenty of hope. I was in your situation once, crammed for 13 days of 12-16+hour days of studying, sleeping, waking up and repeating the cycle without all these fancy study aids/programs. Good luck and don't be scared. Channel that energy from being scared towards dominating victory.

Get rid of all potential distractions: for food go make a 20lb roast beef (or lots of food so you don't need to distract yourself from cooking) before you start your cramming session so that you don't have to worry about leaving your premises/seat. Buy a few cases of monster and/or red bull, and study like your life depended on it. Bathroom breaks as needed (go take your book or laptop if you're going to be in the bathroom for a bit), cold showers for instant refreshment, and go sleep on your chair (avoid bed) for 2.5 weeks. You should have an imprint of your butt on your seat by the time you're done studying. Get a good night's rest before your exam.

I did a cycle of assess, study, re-assess, study, and re-assess, one more time before finishing the cram session. Studying for these exams is a mindset, not necessarily mass memorization. Once you can dream the material you're studying, you're pretty much almost there (reaching the state of euphoria, slight disorientation from time/reality, only thinking about the exam material, and your frame of thought/reference is the subjects that you're studying). Admittedly, I didn't study for the PAT and only got an 18. but I got 23's on AA/TS. Good enough for me, good enough for schools, should be good enough for you. I just used the kaplan book, the old barron's book (full of errors back in the day), first aid for usmle, and 2 textbooks. Things have probably changed, but if the test content hasn't changed in a decade, what worked for me should work for you, all things equivalent.
 
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OP
K
Jun 25, 2019
16
4
Status
Pre-Dental
If you don’t feel ready then definitely try again to reschedule. Hopefully another date will open soon, there might even be someone you can contact to figure out what’s going on with the dates. I’m pretty sure they have a phone number you can call to reschedule, maybe if you call them and talk to someone from prometric you can work it out.

chads videos are pretty awesome and they helped me do very well in both gen chem and ochem. I would suggest going through these videos if you have time, then go back through the destroyer and redo the gen chem and ochem questions you found to be difficult (skip the ones you found to be easy, doing the easy problems again will be a waste of time).

For bio I studied the old feralis notes packet (it’s about 70 pages long, but there’s a lot of info on those 70 pages). Using only the old feralis notes I got 99th percentile on bio when I took the DAT. I would take a look at these notes if you get a chance, you might like them better.

I think the most important thing for you to do right now is to hone in on the information that you’re weakest with and strongest with. Once you’ve done this you can really begin to address your weaknesses by spending les time reviewing subjects/concepts that you’re already strong with.

What other study material are you using besides chads videos and destroyer?
First of all, thank you so much for taking the time to reply.

I've started to practice the PAT by doing about 20 minutes of PAT Booster generators every day. I know, that's not a lot considering how close my test date is and how hard the PAT is. For QR, I've completed all of the QR and quantitive comparison sections of Destroyer and did pretty well on those considering my last math class was biostats over a year ago. I plan on starting the Math Destroyer timed tests this weekend and will do 2 tests a week until the start of my winter break. For RC I haven't done much, but I have spent some time reading research papers for assignments in some of my classes, and I heard that doing that helps. I bought the Kaplan blue book as my very first study material but I didn't like how it taught the information so I stopped using it pretty early on, especially after I found Chad's videos. That's pretty much it in terms of my study material. I didn't want to overwhelm myself with dozens of programs or books so I tried to keep it to a few things that seemed to work for most people.
 
OP
K
Jun 25, 2019
16
4
Status
Pre-Dental
2.5 weeks is a lot of time if you spend 12+ hours a day studying for the rest of the time. I was a crammer just like you, and you would know your study style the best. You can't force us crammers to study long term, because medium term retention is the worst for crammers. If you're a good crammer, spending every waking moment studying for the exam until the day before should be sufficient. Focus your energy from being scared towards victory.

I think you have plenty of hope. I was in your situation once, crammed for 13 days of 12-16+hour days of studying, sleeping, waking up and repeating the cycle without all these fancy study aids/programs. Good luck and don't be scared. Channel that energy from being scared towards dominating victory.

Get rid of all potential distractions: for food go make a 20lb roast beef (or lots of food so you don't need to distract yourself from cooking) before you start your cramming session so that you don't have to worry about leaving your premises/seat. Buy a few cases of monster and/or red bull, and study like your life depended on it. Bathroom breaks as needed (go take your book or laptop if you're going to be in the bathroom for a bit), cold showers for instant refreshment, and go sleep on your chair (avoid bed) for 2.5 weeks. You should have an imprint of your butt on your seat by the time you're done studying. Get a good night's rest before your exam.

I did a cycle of assess, study, re-assess, study, and re-assess, one more time before finishing the cram session. Studying for these exams is a mindset, not necessarily mass memorization. Once you can dream the material you're studying, you're pretty much almost there (reaching the state of euphoria, slight disorientation from time/reality, only thinking about the exam material, and your frame of thought/reference is the subjects that you're studying). Admittedly, I didn't study for the PAT and only got an 18. but I got 23's on AA/TS. Good enough for me, good enough for schools, should be good enough for you. I just used the kaplan book, the old barron's book (full of errors back in the day), first aid for usmle, and 2 textbooks. Things have probably changed, but if the test content hasn't changed in a decade, what worked for me should work for you, all things equivalent.
Your advice on how to cram is absolutely amazing, thank you for giving me the most strategic approach to cramming I've ever seen. It definitely is the absolute fear that comes when an exam is suddenly only a few days away that gets me motivated to even start studying.

Dumb question, but when you say assess and re-assess, do you mean taking a practice exam/doing practice questions? I guess in a way I've kind of already done the assess part since I've just completed all 1701 questions in the Destroyer. Would you suggest now going through the questions I've missed and specifically studying that subject, then redoing the same questions for re-assessment?
 

TanMan

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Your advice on how to cram is absolutely amazing, thank you for giving me the most strategic approach to cramming I've ever seen. It definitely is the absolute fear that comes when an exam is suddenly only a few days away that gets me motivated to even start studying.

Dumb question, but when you say assess and re-assess, do you mean taking a practice exam/doing practice questions? I guess in a way I've kind of already done the assess part since I've just completed all 1701 questions in the Destroyer. Would you suggest now going through the questions I've missed and specifically studying that subject, then redoing the same questions for re-assessment?
Yes, practice exams. I don't remember what program I used for assessment, it just told me what specific subjects I needed to focus on. If you have good memory, then reassessing with the same questions will not help you because you're using the same bank of questions. You need new questions with more variety to make sure that you are really deficient in an area. Reusing the same questions may result in an incorrect assessment of what your deficiencies are.

At this point, if you're good at memorizing questions, just memorize the questions and answers. This is most effective for random fact/trivia questions. Not as effective if it requires you to derive/calculate an answer. If you notice a consistent trend on an area of study (i.e Sn2 substitution or something like that), go study that subject topic.

The best motivator(s) to make sure you succeed is to acknowledge the following:
1. If you fail this exam, you lose a year of your life. That's a year of your prime life (you have about 10-20 years of prime life), and 1-2% of your total life
2. If you fail this exam, you will have to subject yourself to the torture of having to relearn all this crap all over again just to take the exam.
3. Getting in is harder the second time around. No guarantees the second time around. If you fail a second time, you have wasted a significant chunk of your life.

You're in it to win it. Make it count and there are no second chances. Think of this as your practice for dental school cramming. There are some moments where you have to study for 23 hours, sleep for an hour, run to test, study between tests, keep studying, repeat the entire week, then crash for 16-18 hours.

After the test, none of this material matters. It only matters that you did well, and can you imagine having to re-study for a test that doesn't count for anything besides entry? That is the scariest thought for me in every exam I took, starting from the DAT, all the way to dental school exams. Oddly enough, dental boards were easy compared to all the crap we went through.
 
OP
K
Jun 25, 2019
16
4
Status
Pre-Dental
Yes, practice exams. I don't remember what program I used for assessment, it just told me what specific subjects I needed to focus on. If you have good memory, then reassessing with the same questions will not help you because you're using the same bank of questions. You need new questions with more variety to make sure that you are really deficient in an area. Reusing the same questions may result in an incorrect assessment of what your deficiencies are.

At this point, if you're good at memorizing questions, just memorize the questions and answers. This is most effective for random fact/trivia questions. Not as effective if it requires you to derive/calculate an answer. If you notice a consistent trend on an area of study (i.e Sn2 substitution or something like that), go study that subject topic.

The best motivator(s) to make sure you succeed is to acknowledge the following:
1. If you fail this exam, you lose a year of your life. That's a year of your prime life (you have about 10-20 years of prime life), and 1-2% of your total life
2. If you fail this exam, you will have to subject yourself to the torture of having to relearn all this crap all over again just to take the exam.
3. Getting in is harder the second time around. No guarantees the second time around. If you fail a second time, you have wasted a significant chunk of your life.

You're in it to win it. Make it count and there are no second chances. Think of this as your practice for dental school cramming. There are some moments where you have to study for 23 hours, sleep for an hour, run to test, study between tests, keep studying, repeat the entire week, then crash for 16-18 hours.

After the test, none of this material matters. It only matters that you did well, and can you imagine having to re-study for a test that doesn't count for anything besides entry? That is the scariest thought for me in every exam I took, starting from the DAT, all the way to dental school exams. Oddly enough, dental boards were easy compared to all the crap we went through.
I cannot thank you enough for your words. You’re the first person who’s made it past the DAT to give me such honest advice like that and I’m extremely grateful for it.

There’s a reputable program called DAT Bootcamp that has lots of practice exams for each section and gives solutions to wrong answers. It’s pretty expensive ($500-600 I think) which is why I avoided it but I might get it to get exposed to new questions for re-assessment like you said. Again, thank you for your help.

edit: (I hope you see this in time) Another dumb question but did you only focus on one subject a day or did you do all 5 sections you studied every day?
 
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TanMan

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I cannot thank you enough for your words. You’re the first person who’s made it past the DAT to give me such honest advice like that and I’m extremely grateful for it.

There’s a reputable program called DAT Bootcamp that has lots of practice exams for each section and gives solutions to wrong answers. It’s pretty expensive ($500-600 I think) which is why I avoided it but I might get it to get exposed to new questions for re-assessment like you said. Again, thank you for your help.

edit: (I hope you see this in time) Another dumb question but did you only focus on one subject a day or did you do all 5 sections you studied every day?
Early on, one subject a day (max 2) unless you can find a way to mesh all subjects together as one universal subject (I found it hard to do so). The reason I would recommend one subject is because you want it so deeply imprinted in your head after your long study session that when you take a nap or sleep, you're dreaming about all the information on that one specific subject. If you do too many subjects all at once, you lose that cohesive universal thought process for that subject. That's my take on it. Now, if your brain gets a little bored, you can choose to split it among two subjects. You might not have the same results. Again, I believe that it depends on the individual and how they study. For me, I found that it was best to just live breathe and sleep a subject just so I'm traumatizing my brain to have that focus and recall. It's exhausting, but you're training your brain to focus on one specific section during the exam until you're ready to dump all that knowledge for the next subject.

I'm not really sure how to describe it. At the end of the day of single subject studying, it's like you want to take an ice pick to the back of your head. It's that tiring when you're studying like your life depended on it. However, sleep is your reset button. It will be a little different in dental school in that you have a bunch of subjects and need to pick your battles. (i.e some subjects, you might study for an hour right before the exam, some you might allocated 1-2 full days).
 
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OP
K
Jun 25, 2019
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Pre-Dental
Early on, one subject a day (max 2) unless you can find a way to mesh all subjects together as one universal subject (I found it hard to do so). The reason I would recommend one subject is because you want it so deeply imprinted in your head after your long study session that when you take a nap or sleep, you're dreaming about all the information on that one specific subject. If you do too many subjects all at once, you lose that cohesive universal thought process for that subject. That's my take on it. Now, if your brain gets a little bored, you can choose to split it among two subjects. You might not have the same results. Again, I believe that it depends on the individual and how they study. For me, I found that it was best to just live breathe and sleep a subject just so I'm traumatizing my brain to have that focus and recall. It's exhausting, but you're training your brain to focus on one specific section during the exam until you're ready to dump all that knowledge for the next subject.

I'm not really sure how to describe it. At the end of the day of single subject studying, it's like you want to take an ice pick to the back of your head. It's that tiring when you're studying like your life depended on it. However, sleep is your reset button. It will be a little different in dental school in that you have a bunch of subjects and need to pick your battles. (i.e some subjects, you might study for an hour right before the exam, some you might allocated 1-2 full days).
That all makes complete sense. You’ve given me a lot more hope for the future, thank you again for your time and help.
 
Jul 4, 2018
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Pre-Dental
First of all, thank you so much for taking the time to reply.

I've started to practice the PAT by doing about 20 minutes of PAT Booster generators every day. I know, that's not a lot considering how close my test date is and how hard the PAT is. For QR, I've completed all of the QR and quantitive comparison sections of Destroyer and did pretty well on those considering my last math class was biostats over a year ago. I plan on starting the Math Destroyer timed tests this weekend and will do 2 tests a week until the start of my winter break. For RC I haven't done much, but I have spent some time reading research papers for assignments in some of my classes, and I heard that doing that helps. I bought the Kaplan blue book as my very first study material but I didn't like how it taught the information so I stopped using it pretty early on, especially after I found Chad's videos. That's pretty much it in terms of my study material. I didn't want to overwhelm myself with dozens of programs or books so I tried to keep it to a few things that seemed to work for most people.
sounds like you have a good plan. If PAT booster has practice tests that are structured like the PAT section of the DAT I would suggest doing those practice tests 1-2 times. When doing the PAT section I found it to be very helpful to identify the sections that I was weakest and strongest in. When doing the PAT I then skipped to and completed the sections I was best/fastest in first (so I could as many points as possible). I then completed the hardest problems last. This really helped me, I hope it helps you too.

for RC you can do some practice tests from DATqvault to get a feel for the test. DAT math destroyer was awesome, so you’re on the right path there.

I now feel as if I should say it too. I assume no liability for anything that happens if you follow my advice. It worked for me but it won’t work for everyone.

that being said, I’m sure you’ll do great! Just keep your eyes on the prize, good luck.
 
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orgoman22

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I posted here before about studying for the DAT a little over 2 months ago and I'm honestly incredibly embarrassed to say that things definitely didn't go as planned between then and now. I take my test on January 9th and so far I've only gone through all of the 2019 DAT Destroyer questions, did some review of GC and partial review of OC with Chad's videos all the way inJuly/August, and started Orgoman's Biology Notes but gave up just because it's so long. I know I went about studying completely the wrong way but my hope with finishing Destroyer first was to be able to take notes on the solutions and use those to study until the the start of my winter break, when I'd focus on going through it one more time and doing DAT Achiever the week before my exam for timing.

I tried to reschedule the test to at least the end of January but there are literally no other test centers in my state with exam dates after Jan 9. I'm much more of a crammer but I told myself I wouldn't do that for this but this semester was a lot harder than I expected. I'm starting to think I'll have to cram in the 2.5 weeks I have between the end of my finals (the week before Christmas) and the test date.

Is there any hope for me? I know all odds are against me but things are slowing down in school right now and I'll be pretty much free except for maybe 20 hours a week for those 2.5 weeks. That's betting a lot on those 2.5 weeks but that's essentially all I have.
Don't be scared, no damage is done yet. The best advice I can give you or any other students is, "Do not take the DAT until you are fully preprared", taking the DAT when not prepared often leads to a retake. If you can not reschedule your test, and are not prepared by January 9th ,you are better off not showing up and losing the money than taking the test and scoring poorly.

No way for me or anyone else to determine how long it will take or when you will be prepared, only you know the answer to that question.

I truly wish you the best and I give this advice after many, many years of helping students prepare for the DAT.

Always #think30 and be prepared to face the DAT Beast.

Nancy, - co/owner, DAT Destroyer, Orgoman, LLC
 
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OP
K
Jun 25, 2019
16
4
Status
Pre-Dental
Don't be scared, no damage is done yet. The best advice I can give you or any other students is, "Do not take the DAT until you are fully preprared", taking the DAT when not prepared often leads to a retake. If you can not reschedule your test, and are not prepared by January 9th ,you are better off not showing up and losing the money than taking the test and scoring poorly.

No way for me or anyone else to determine how long it will take or when you will be prepared, only you know the answer to that question.

I truly wish you the best and I give this advice after many, many years of helping students prepare for the DAT.

Always #think30 and be prepared to face the DAT Beast.

Nancy, - co/owner, DAT Destroyer, Orgoman, LLC
Thank you for the words of encouragement!
 
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OP
K
Jun 25, 2019
16
4
Status
Pre-Dental
sounds like you have a good plan. If PAT booster has practice tests that are structured like the PAT section of the DAT I would suggest doing those practice tests 1-2 times. When doing the PAT section I found it to be very helpful to identify the sections that I was weakest and strongest in. When doing the PAT I then skipped to and completed the sections I was best/fastest in first (so I could as many points as possible). I then completed the hardest problems last. This really helped me, I hope it helps you too.

for RC you can do some practice tests from DATqvault to get a feel for the test. DAT math destroyer was awesome, so you’re on the right path there.

I now feel as if I should say it too. I assume no liability for anything that happens if you follow my advice. It worked for me but it won’t work for everyone.

that being said, I’m sure you’ll do great! Just keep your eyes on the prize, good luck.
Thank you!
 
OP
K
Jun 25, 2019
16
4
Status
Pre-Dental
Np, keep us posted and good luck.

Edit: I always say this irl, but here it goes... I assume no liability if anything happens. That being said, I'd like to know if my system works for you.
I'll be sure to update this thread after the exam after the test, good or bad.
 
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