Dec 22, 2015
8
6
Status
Pre-Dental
Hello friends, just took the DAT (7/28/16) and wanted to give some help and advice back to this fantastic community.

Scores:
PAT:21
QR: 19
RC: 21
BIO: 20
GC: 20
OC: 22
TS: 21
AA: 20

These aren't the best scores, and I am slightly disappointed at how average I did since I do consider myself a pretty strong science student (sGPA: 3.89), but it is what it is. Here is my process and how I think you can improve upon what I did:

Resources:
  • DAT Bootcamp - invaluable for PAT and mock exams. UX is very similar to the real DAT
  • DAT Destroyer + Math Destroyer - a very hard workbook to test your knowledge/concepts
  • AP Bio CliffNotes/Feralis Notes - everything you need for biology
  • YouTube - Leah4Sci, Professor Dave Explains, and CrashCourse for supplement material
  • Chad's Videos - everything you need for gen chem and organic chemistry
As you can see, I didn't use a lot of resources at all, but really focused on each resource extensively. I started with a Kaplan book, but the Kaplan book is useless (don't buy). Most people rank their study material, I will not. Everything I used was essential, and I strongly suggest you use everything above.

Study Workflow

I studied 7 days a week (6/7 hours a day) for 2 months. Originally, I scheduled my DAT to where I had 1 full month to study, but pushed it back an additional month for PAT. Most of my studying for science were completed in 1 month (I could've taken the DAT after 1 month of studying and would probably score the same score). I do not regret pushing back my DAT, it was worth it. I only did 2 full length practice tests on DAT Bootcamp, did not do the old 2007/2009 exams (though I should've), but did do all the subject tests on DAT Bootcamp.

Study Tips
  • Start your day with 15-30min of PAT generators, and switch them around each day. End with PAT generators as well.
  • Spend a good 1-2 weeks and watch all of Chad's Videos on GC and OC. Take lots of notes, and do his quizzes. Use this period to refresh your memory and master the concepts. Don't worry too much about practice yet, just try to learn/relearn the material. Print all his handouts and review them.
  • Read AP Bio CliffNotes once, then constantly go over Feralis notes. It gets faster and easier the more times you run through them since most of it should be review anyways. Start studying for biology EARLY, you cannot cram this stuff in the last few weeks like GC/OC.
  • Don't blow off the QR, spend a few days studying/reviewing from Chad's videos or YouTube
  • Once you think you've learned all the materials, it's time to start DAT Destroyer. Finish all of it, understand the answer, and why answer choices are wrong. DAT Destroyer is hard, but it's the only way you're going to master problem solving. You're going to get most of the questions wrong the first time, it's normal.
  • After lots of practice, start doing all the DAT Subject tests, review and understand the answers, then start the full length practice exams to gauge your timing.
  • Try to study multiple subjects per day, instead of blocking your subjects in chunks. You'll retain things better if you are constantly exposed to it.

DAT Experience
  • The DAT is a lot easier than I thought it was going to be. Like many have said, it covers a lot of topics at surface level, you don't need to memorize all the enzymes involved in the Calvin cycle. Get the general idea of processes, know key enzymes and hormones, products, but don't memorize small details. Almost everything bold in Feralis' notes are important.
  • How do you know you're ready? When you're happy with your full length practice test scores. DAT Bootcamp is pretty accurate, though you may make 1-3 pts higher on the real thing.
  • The RC was a lot easier on the real DAT compared to DAT Bootcamp. QR, and BIO were roughly the same. I usually scored 27-30's on DAT Bootcamp's OC and GC because they are mostly reactions and calculations. The real DAT was more conceptual compared to calculations and reactions.
  • I never felt so much anxiety in my life the night prior to the exam

Conclusion

Take my advice as you will, as I know my DAT scores aren't the most impressive thing ever. Stay confident and optimistic, study thoroughly and keep practicing. The key is to stay organized and focused on your studies. I believe hard work always pays off. Good luck!
 

orgoman22

DAT DESTROYER... Dr. Romano and Nancy
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There is absolutely zero reason to be disappointed with your scores. You worked hard and it paid off with great scores. Congrats!
I agree 100 percent, these scores are something you should be proud of!

Congratulations! Very consistent scores and 20 plus in the areas that count most, Science and Reading...

Relax and celebrate your victory over the DAT Beast!

Wishing you the best...

Nancy
 
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LuckBloodandSweat

2+ Year Member
May 26, 2015
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You sound just like I did after my first attempt. Thing is your GPA is killer!! : D
 
OP
T
Dec 22, 2015
8
6
Status
Pre-Dental
There is absolutely zero reason to be disappointed with your scores. You worked hard and it paid off with great scores. Congrats!
Thanks for the support!

I agree 100 percent, these scores are something you should be proud of!

Congratulations! Very consistent scores and 20 plus in the areas that count most, Science and Reading...

Relax and celebrate your victory over the DAT Beast!

Wishing you the best...

Nancy
Thanks for your amazing study materials and active support in the community!
 
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LuckBloodandSweat

2+ Year Member
May 26, 2015
1,368
835
Status
Dental Student
Thanks! I see you went from 20AA to 23AA. Was it worth the retake?
Heck yeah! I feel so much better about myself after hahahaha! My GPA is 3.4 so I felt like I could use the boost to compensate for my bad grades lol.