Improving 17 to a 21 AA

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Alexa Hromiak

New Member
Nov 15, 2022
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Hello! For background I went to Penn State and earned my degree in kinesiology. I accomplished this degree in 3 years but the timing did not work out for me to apply last cycle. I found Temple University’s post bacc program and it has given me so many opportunities in dentistry. Temple’s program has a condition, the students have to score a 20 or above on the dat to be considered for their DMD program. Because of this, achieving a specific dat score was super important. I took the dat for the first time in March of this year and got a 17 AA. (15 bio, 17 gen chem, 15 ochem, 18 QR, 20 RC, 22 PAT, 16 total science). I severely underestimated the amount I needed to study the first time. I used boot camp and was so overwhelmed with how much information I needed to learn and how it was presented to me. The second time around I used Booster and studied every chance I could get. The second time I got a 21 AA (19 bio, 21 gen chem, 19 ochem, 23 QR, 21 RC, 20 PAT, 20 total science). I started studying 2 months and a week prior and used boosters 8 week study schedule and followed it to a T.

To start out in bio, I improve greatly. I owe this to to boosters high yield notes, videos and ANKI! I was such a quizlet girl but having the boosters anki deck made it so easy for me to study all the information. The practice tests were the best way to judge how you were learning the information. The last 3 practice tests were really telling when seeing how well you knew the material. I attended the booster’s anatomy crash course and it was amazing in highlighting the important parts of the body systems sections (the hardest one for me). Another thing I did differently this time was that I set forth at least 15 minutes everyday to review bio, regardless of what the study calendar planned out for me.

For gen chem, this was an important section for me to succeed in because I knew I could do well. I improved my scores by really reviewing the questions I got wrong on the practice tests in depth and made post it notes of the equations and placed them all around my apartment so I could review them everyday. I would further review topics by randomly looking up videos on YouTube, but the notes I took from the gen chem videos on booster was what I mainly used to study.

For ochem, I used boosters extra practice questions to review the reactions whenever I had down time. I would review them during lunch and right before I went to bed. I found the questions let me actively test if I knew the reactions rather than just reviewing them on paper. They started to click after a while. I feel like booster highlights on the high yield reactions that show up on the test rather than boot camp which aims to teach you every single reaction. I used the anki deck that booster created for this as well.

My first QR score was the biggest shock for me. My mom is an algebra teacher so I have grown up excelling in math and just ran out of time the first attempt. While taking full length practice tests, I learned the most important part of this section is time management. I feel there are easier questions placed at the end of this section because a lot of takers run out of time and end up missing these easy questions. I took the approach to skip, mark, and go back to it later. This helped me immensely. I almost always had enough time to go back and review these questions. The videos on booster were very good at filling in knowledge I forgot from math classes throughout schooling. The practice tests on booster were great representation of what I experienced on the actual exam.

My Reading section only improved by 1 point the second time but I felt I had a pretty difficult test the second time around so I can understand why. The first time I took the test I read through the passage and answered the questions in order, no skipping, completely in order. The second time around I made notes on each paragraph on the white board provided to help me easily refer to what each paragraph was about to go back if I needed. I went through the questions and answered everything I could that didn’t require me to going back in the story and I marked the ones I needed to go back and skipped them the first time around. Then I would go back to the questions I marked after I completed that stories section and did a deep dive in the story to find the details. The main thing I did this time on RC that I didn’t the first time is that I practiced for it! I did all reading comp practice tests on booster to perfect my timing, which is super important on this section.

As you could see by my scores, my PAT decreased the second time. The 1 thing I could account to this is that I placed less emphasis on practicing this time around because it wasn’t going to count towards my AA and I really needed to get my sciences up. I still completed all 10 practice tests for PAT, but that’s the only time I would practice for it. I recommend reading the explanations for how to do these sections on booster if it’s your first time taking the test. I would also suggest looking up YouTube videos on strategies because there’s so many and you just need to find what works for you.

Overall, I account this score increase to studying my absolute butt off and also the amazing accuracy of Booster’s resources. Booster was so condensed and focused on the high yield information. When I used boot camp, the schedule took me 8 hours a day to complete and by the time I was finished, I was exhausted with how much information was presented to me. Booster’s activities on the schedule took me about 4-5 hours to complete which left me time to review notes and flashcards after. I was also able to do this while taking classes in. my post-bacc program. Booster is more manageable when studying while in school than bootcamp was. I completed all 10 practice exams on booster and I made sure I did them in full DAT atmosphere (phone off, full time, no breaks). Booster’s practice tests were super representative of the real DAT and give you the best set up to succeed.

Overall, you guys can do it!!!! If you just buckle down and focus 2 months of your life to studying and you choose the right resource, you will be successful! Believe me, if I can do it, then so can you!!

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