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Nasem

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I am planning this wierd idea of taking the DAT after finishing my gen chemistries and orog chems.

Are the study guides (destoyer, kaplan, etc) enough to study the biology section alone ? or you REALLY need the courses ?
 

gogiantsss

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sure you can, but you'd be better off holding it off until you finish your biology series b/c bio covers the most amount of material. g-chem and o-chem can always be freshened up over the course of one week (thats what i'm doing).

hope that helped
 

dantheman2007

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I would highly suggest taking bio courses before taking the DAT.
Bio is 40% of the science section.
If you aren't going for a 21 or higher than don't take it
just take bio and you wouldn't have to worry about it
and, kaplan would help but there is nothing like a 2 semester course that will drill the info you need over a longer period of time.

Best of Luck
 

bruinpredent

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my suggestion would be don't do it...even those who have a strong background in biology are blown away by some of the obscure questions on the bio section of the exam. if you notice, most people score relatively high in gchem and orgo, but score much lower in bio.

also, word on the street is that schools look at your bio and rc scores above all else as an indication of your performance on the boards; makes sense considering you don't take any chemistry classes in dental school


wait it off and take the exam when you're ready

thats my $0.02
 
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markimark

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i wouldn't do it. as a biology major, i was still confused with some of the questions on the test. not only would i not recommend taking the test w/o any biology courses, but i would also suggest taking at least some upper level bio classes, because kaplan bio is just not enough for descent bio score (my test was loaded with physiology and developmental/genetics questions that i only knew how to answer because i took A&P and dev bio courses).
gl and don't rush it--bio isn't easy, especially conceptual questions which DAT is full of.
 

Nasem

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so, you guys are kind of answering my original question here.... which was basically saying "Is it possible to do well on the bio part of the DAT by ONLY studying the DAT preparation books like destroyer / kaplan / barrness / etcs"

And pretty much most of you said "no"

I only asked because I was under the impression that books like the Destroyer REALLY covered the science sections well (like the biology)


The real reason why I wanted to take the DAT before biology is because my schedule, as is, is loaded pretty hot. I work as a software developer (40-50 hrs per week), on top of that, I want to take Organic 1 this coming september, and organic 2 on january of 2008, which would make my life a living hell if i also took biology 1 and 2 with the organics (and the end result would be sh!tty grades).

I really want to be ready for 2009 cycle and I wanted to take the DAT by june of 2008.
 

dizzle23x

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i only took one general bio class in college before taking the DAT - bad idea in restrospect - but i ended up doing fine and got into dschool so yes it can be done, sorta
 

jfitzpat

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I only had one biology class and did fine (19). However, the biology class I had covered the molecular and cellular stuff, which would have been harder to self teach. The ecology and classification stuff you can learn on your own. I would suggest at least taking one class to get your feet wet in the subject.
 

skyisblue

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I think you can especially if you've had learned a lot of it in highschool. I wish I knew that I wanted to be a dentist when I was younger. I could've saved myself a lot of time and anxiety.
 

bruinpredent

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so, you guys are kind of answering my original question here.... which was basically saying "Is it possible to do well on the bio part of the DAT by ONLY studying the DAT preparation books like destroyer / kaplan / barrness / etcs"

And pretty much most of you said "no"

I only asked because I was under the impression that books like the Destroyer REALLY covered the science sections well (like the biology)


The real reason why I wanted to take the DAT before biology is because my schedule, as is, is loaded pretty hot. I work as a software developer (40-50 hrs per week), on top of that, I want to take Organic 1 this coming september, and organic 2 on january of 2008, which would make my life a living hell if i also took biology 1 and 2 with the organics (and the end result would be sh!tty grades).

I really want to be ready for 2009 cycle and I wanted to take the DAT by june of 2008.


don't be mistaken...kaplan and other resources do help you build a good foundation and will give you the general facts, but you're going to need some outside knowledge for those obscure questions.


as for DAT destroyer...it is without a doubt one of those best resources for studying for the exam, especially the bio section. However, its not a quick fix like dr. romano emphasizes...I had a really strong background in bio and had studied for 6 weeks before cracking open the destroyer (a week before my exam), and it ripped me a new one. you can't possibly hope to get anything out of the destroyer unless you already have a really strong background and have studied extensively, because its intent is not to teach you the basics for the first time, but to rather grill you on the nitty gritty details that will be way over your head if you're not ready to tackle them.


once again, my $0.02

don't rush the exam, take it once when you're ready and destroy it

best of luck
 

BirkChick

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so, you guys are kind of answering my original question here.... which was basically saying "Is it possible to do well on the bio part of the DAT by ONLY studying the DAT preparation books like destroyer / kaplan / barrness / etcs"

And pretty much most of you said "no"

I only asked because I was under the impression that books like the Destroyer REALLY covered the science sections well (like the biology)


The real reason why I wanted to take the DAT before biology is because my schedule, as is, is loaded pretty hot. I work as a software developer (40-50 hrs per week), on top of that, I want to take Organic 1 this coming september, and organic 2 on january of 2008, which would make my life a living hell if i also took biology 1 and 2 with the organics (and the end result would be sh!tty grades).

I really want to be ready for 2009 cycle and I wanted to take the DAT by june of 2008.

Hi Nasem,

I was in a very similar situation last year around this time (I'm even a software developer!)

When I started going through this application process, I knew that I wanted to take the DAT in May and get my application in before June first. Because of my work schedule and the course schedule at my local university, my only choice was to take the DAT without Bio.

Learning the massive amount of biology required by the DAT is an uphill battle, but can be done if you're dedicated, organized, and require little review for the other 5 sections of the DAT. (Other than taking practice tests and reviewing my incorrect answers, I didn't spend more than 10 hours total reviewing ochem, gen chem, QR, PAT and RC.)

I used Schraum's outline for Biology, the big Kaplan book, Examkrackers MCAT Audio Osmosis, TopScore and DatAchiever to study. I also purchased the biology textbook that would be used when I actually got around to taking the class.

First, I read through all of Schraum's, taking notes as I went. Once I finished Schraum's, I took my first TopScore test -- I think I got a 14 in bio :laugh:. I went through the explanations of all of the questions (even the ones that I got correct) and entered all information that I didn't know into a .doc file. I would then review the concepts I didn't understand, adding more information to my .doc file, which I would review before bed every night.

Also, when driving to work/school/home everyday, I would listen to the Examkrackers Audio Osmosis CDs -- they are a great way to maximize your study time.

Every two weeks, I would spend four hours taking another practice test, alternating between TopScore and DAT Achiever. After every test, I would add more information to my .doc file and and focus on all areas that I missed.

My bio score got progressively better over the three months that I studied. And I was extremely pleased with my scores:

Bio: 19
Chem: 23
oChem: 21
QR: 22
PAT: 22
RC: 23

Why don't you start studying Bio on your own and see how it goes? You can always push back your DAT date until after you've taken the classes...

Good Luck!
 
B

BodybldgDoc

Hi Nasem,

I was in a very similar situation last year around this time (I'm even a software developer!)

When I started going through this application process, I knew that I wanted to take the DAT in May and get my application in before June first. Because of my work schedule and the course schedule at my local university, my only choice was to take the DAT without Bio.

Learning the massive amount of biology required by the DAT is an uphill battle, but can be done if you're dedicated, organized, and require little review for the other 5 sections of the DAT. (Other than taking practice tests and reviewing my incorrect answers, I didn't spend more than 10 hours total reviewing ochem, gen chem, QR, PAT and RC.)

I used Schraum's outline for Biology, the big Kaplan book, Examkrackers MCAT Audio Osmosis, TopScore and DatAchiever to study. I also purchased the biology textbook that would be used when I actually got around to taking the class.

First, I read through all of Schraum's, taking notes as I went. Once I finished Schraum's, I took my first TopScore test -- I think I got a 14 in bio :laugh:. I went through the explanations of all of the questions (even the ones that I got correct) and entered all information that I didn't know into a .doc file. I would then review the concepts I didn't understand, adding more information to my .doc file, which I would review before bed every night.

Also, when driving to work/school/home everyday, I would listen to the Examkrackers Audio Osmosis CDs -- they are a great way to maximize your study time.

Every two weeks, I would spend four hours taking another practice test, alternating between TopScore and DAT Achiever. After every test, I would add more information to my .doc file and and focus on all areas that I missed.

My bio score got progressively better over the three months that I studied. And I was extremely pleased with my scores:

Bio: 19
Chem: 23
oChem: 21
QR: 22
PAT: 22
RC: 23

Why don't you start studying Bio on your own and see how it goes? You can always push back your DAT date until after you've taken the classes...

Good Luck!


wow its really impressive that you were that strong in all the other sections other than bio. spending only 10 hours and getting those scores is simply amazing. props
 

Nasem

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Hi Nasem,

I was in a very similar situation last year around this time (I'm even a software developer!)

When I started going through this application process, I knew that I wanted to take the DAT in May and get my application in before June first. Because of my work schedule and the course schedule at my local university, my only choice was to take the DAT without Bio.

Learning the massive amount of biology required by the DAT is an uphill battle, but can be done if you're dedicated, organized, and require little review for the other 5 sections of the DAT. (Other than taking practice tests and reviewing my incorrect answers, I didn't spend more than 10 hours total reviewing ochem, gen chem, QR, PAT and RC.)

I used Schraum's outline for Biology, the big Kaplan book, Examkrackers MCAT Audio Osmosis, TopScore and DatAchiever to study. I also purchased the biology textbook that would be used when I actually got around to taking the class.

First, I read through all of Schraum's, taking notes as I went. Once I finished Schraum's, I took my first TopScore test -- I think I got a 14 in bio :laugh:. I went through the explanations of all of the questions (even the ones that I got correct) and entered all information that I didn't know into a .doc file. I would then review the concepts I didn't understand, adding more information to my .doc file, which I would review before bed every night.

Also, when driving to work/school/home everyday, I would listen to the Examkrackers Audio Osmosis CDs -- they are a great way to maximize your study time.

Every two weeks, I would spend four hours taking another practice test, alternating between TopScore and DAT Achiever. After every test, I would add more information to my .doc file and and focus on all areas that I missed.

My bio score got progressively better over the three months that I studied. And I was extremely pleased with my scores:

Bio: 19
Chem: 23
oChem: 21
QR: 22
PAT: 22
RC: 23

Why don't you start studying Bio on your own and see how it goes? You can always push back your DAT date until after you've taken the classes...

Good Luck!

Wow, it feels good to see someone whos in a similar situation as I am. Umm, I spoke to a few guys / and my pre-professional advisor.... they all say that taking Orgo I + biology + full time job is pretty doable, but you'll REALLY need to work your butt off…… and I think Im going to take that route.... Im pretty dedicated and I wouldn't mind studying for 3 hrs a day (20+ hrs a week just studying) to keep my grades up....

I have a question for you, I know the DAT doesn't allow calculators, how did you manage to rock on the chemistries? Is your arithmetic off the charts or something?..... My problem is, I understand chemistry and I find it as a pretty cool topic to study, but man, I am not used to not working with calculators, it really throws off my answers.

In the past week or so, I have been doing alot of chemistry problems, the path I take is always correct (even my algebra)... but my arithmetic is ALWAYS off lol.
 

BirkChick

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Wow, it feels good to see someone whos in a similar situation as I am. Umm, I spoke to a few guys / and my pre-professional advisor.... they all say that taking Orgo I + biology + full time job is pretty doable, but you'll REALLY need to work your butt off…… and I think Im going to take that route.... Im pretty dedicated and I wouldn't mind studying for 3 hrs a day (20+ hrs a week just studying) to keep my grades up....

I have a question for you, I know the DAT doesn't allow calculators, how did you manage to rock on the chemistries? Is your arithmetic off the charts or something?..... My problem is, I understand chemistry and I find it as a pretty cool topic to study, but man, I am not used to not working with calculators, it really throws off my answers.

In the past week or so, I have been doing alot of chemistry problems, the path I take is always correct (even my algebra)... but my arithmetic is ALWAYS off lol.

Yeah -- I hate when I add 2 + 2 and end up with 3.

I use math quite a bit at my current job, so in order to get ready for the big day, I just stopped using a calculator for simple arithmetic. It's amazing how fast you get at something when you force yourself to do it everyday.

Also, a lot of times the DAT doesn't ask you to completely solve a chemistry question, it just asks you for the setup. And if it does ask you for the final solution, the arithmetic is usually pretty simple (i.e. dividing by 10).

My advice to you is: do all of the TopScore and DAT Achiever practice tests in an controlled environment. Get accustomed to the length of the exam and try to pace yourself so that you have 10+ minutes at the end of the science section to go back and check your answers. Use that time to check your arithmetic (for example, plug your answer back into the initial expression and see if it works out). I remember catching a handful of mistakes by doing this. :)

Do you currently have a solid foundation in either ochem or bio? If not, it may be a good idea to use your free time now to start learning bio so that you won't be so overwhelmed when the semester starts. The Schraum's outline for Biology will give you great overview of the subject -- and it's cheap!
 

Nasem

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Right now, I am taking Gen Chem I along with its lab until first week of may. Then I'll take Gen Chem II (6 week summer course).

You are right about me having "some" free time available until september hits (world war III as I call it). right now, I have 1 text book for Organic Chemistry ,not very old, published 1999 with its solution manual, along with a general biology text book. About 2 weeks ago, I started self-teaching Orgo and Biology lol.... Its crazy dude, I have no time for friends, even my girlfriend got tired of me and I think she dumped me last week (I dunno we havn't talked since then).

I am litterally using up ALL my free time to prepare my self for whats coming, and as far as calculators are conserned, they are no longer next to me when I do a problem, I'll keep trying my arithmetic until I get it right.
 

leedizzal

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Right now, I am taking Gen Chem I along with its lab until first week of may. Then I'll take Gen Chem II (6 week summer course).

You are right about me having "some" free time available until september hits (world war III as I call it). right now, I have 1 text book for Organic Chemistry ,not very old, published 1999 with its solution manual, along with a general biology text book. About 2 weeks ago, I started self-teaching Orgo and Biology lol.... Its crazy dude, I have no time for friends, even my girlfriend got tired of me and I think she dumped me last week (I dunno we havn't talked since then).

I am litterally using up ALL my free time to prepare my self for whats coming, and as far as calculators are conserned, they are no longer next to me when I do a problem, I'll keep trying my arithmetic until I get it right.


yeah my relationship ended over dent school too :D But it was worth it I got in so... Dont let it get ya down mate...


And all they said bout the calculator its not your freind stop using it now and do all math in your head or on paper, I dident even know my times tables and had to learn those...


But if you force yourself every day to do it just like when you get gas figure your gas milage in your head, add up your totals at the store when buuying stuff thats what id do...


I also bought this book called "MathMagic" its a great book teachs you how to do mental math really fast and a lot of techniques we are never taught in school or at least I wasent, like adding from left to right instead of right to left...


Its cheap worth a read, whatever helps you do the math quicker is worth its weight in gold in my opinion...

Time is what kills you on the math, none of it is super hard just takes a lot of time if you dont know how to hack operations out fast or havent ever really had to do operations by hand since middle school... Such as myself and im not stupid Ive had all the way through Ordinary Differential Equations in college just always had a TI 89 handy to do the operations...
 

smarbut

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I thought you have to have taken bio class before signing up for the DAT, no?

Nah, when I took the DAT for the first time I hadn't had BIO since 9th grade (at the time, that was 9 years!).

Plus, I was a good 2 years out of undergraduate school. My major was Chemical Engineering so I didn't have to have BIO but had (years before) had the chemistry. I took the test to get a baseline and now I'm doing bio prereqs at night.

First time around:
AA 19, TS 17 (Bio 16:eek: , GChem 18, OChem 17), QR 19, RC 26, PAT 21

Needless to say, I've rescheduled for May 07 to retake for the '08 application cycle.

So yes, you can take the DAT without biology but I expect much improvement in my sciences now that I've had classroom experience with the material and had time to brush up on the chemistry. One thing that surprised me on the DAT was the detail missing in the biology questions. I've seen a few threads lately that suggest that might be changing. I would have been better off if I had known more about the classification system and less about endocrin. that was a shocker... the broad, lower level biology classes would have made a big difference (but that was a november 05 DAT, maybe things are really changing)
 
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