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Just took my dat... what are my chances? QR super low

Discussion in 'DAT Discussions' started by IWFAW26, Mar 25, 2014.

  1. IWFAW26


    Feb 27, 2014
    Hi everyone,

    First of all, I would like to thank everyone on here that has posted about their journeys and test preparations for the Dat. I have found inspiration and strength in all your journeys I wouldn't have been able to make it to this point without it so thank you all.

    I just took my dat today and I cried for 20 minutes once I got into my car... and here is why...:
    AA: 20
    TS: 22
    OC: 20
    GC: 22
    Bio: 23
    RC: 20
    QR: 13
    PA: 20

    I have been out of school for 4 years and over the last 3 months, I have been battling to regain all the knowledge I forgot over time. I was a chemistry major (3.4 total GPA, 3.3 science GPA) and I worked on the biology section ALOT! I even had to relearn OC all over even though I got an A in that class...

    A couple of weeks ago, I took a practice test and scored a 15 on the RC section... I was devastated... English isn't my first language and I am a slow reader and with the time limit... I usually got into panic mode half way through a practice exam because it took me forever to read a passage ...I began reading science articles and worked my breathing while reading... for some reason I would just panic 10 minutes into a passage because of how slow I was reading. In the end the strategy that worked for me was to read the entire passage and try to remember as much as I could. One thing that really helped me was a tip I received from a brilliant professor I was listening to a few weeks ago on a podcast: Dr. Gerald Cizadlo. I listened to his entire anatomy/physiology podcast for biology and during a class, he said that the key to understand anatomy was to make a picture in your mind. Picture what you read in your mind.... I applied it... and it worked! To Dr. Cizadlo, you are the man! I will cherish your podcast forever and ever! I still wasn't expecting a 20 but I really enjoyed 2 of my passage so I'm sure that helped.

    I did relatively well in all the other sections but I can't believe what I got on my QR... I am still shell shocked at how poorly I did. I have always been good in math and I even did all the problems on destroyer. But it wasn't enough, I ran out of time.... the problems were so involved and I panicked.... I was tired and wow... 13.... My advice to everyone, don't overlook this section... the problems I got were as hard a Achiever... I should have relied on that more... I decided to only use destroyer for that section, it wasn't enough, and it's the only bad thing I can say about destroyer. Dr. Romano will kick your but in the bio/gen chem and orgo sections but you will learn alot especially bio... i mean all i had in college was gen bio from 2005 so yeah...

    I put so much into it but I'm not sure if it was enough... 13 is unbelievably low...
    I am currently shadowing a few dentists, i don't have 100+ hours yet but I'm working on it...

    I need your help and advice as to how to proceed from here... I had to relearn everything, especially OC and Bio, my GPA isn't top notch but I took an insane amounts of science classes my last 2 years of college and considering I had a 2.9 GPA my first semester of college, I did relatively ok... some school won't even look at my application... its tough... what do you guys think? thank you for any advice.
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  3. hongbinbaneben

    hongbinbaneben 2+ Year Member

    Mar 16, 2013
    I would retake it if I were you. I'm pretty sure every school has a cutoff for each section of the DAT. o_O
    Great job on bio though :clap:
  4. IWFAW26


    Feb 27, 2014
    It kills me to hear that... I'm hurting so much right now...
  5. BabyShades

    BabyShades 2+ Year Member

    Feb 22, 2014
    Sorry man, I would retake it if I were you. If it was a 17, then I wouldn't tell you to retake it. Use math destroyer this time, and bootcamp QR. I used that, and studied for only less than 8 hours for QR. I also did pretty well on it.
  6. Futuredentguy2015


    Dec 27, 2013
    I wouldn't retake. contact the schools you want to go to and ask them
  7. IWFAW26


    Feb 27, 2014
    i will certainly do that! i can't thank you enough for your advice! i will find out asap
  8. Danielle B

    Danielle B

    Jan 9, 2014
    Great scores! If you retake it, I guess you could run into the possibility of doing worse than you did the first time, even if you increase your QR score. It's a gamble. Are you willing to take it? I think you should apply with those scores and if the interviewer brings it up in an interview, you can discuss why the anomaly. In my case, I have to retake it because I also got a poor QR score, though my other scores aren't as amazing as yours. I should have practiced more with my time management. Good luck in whatever decision you make!
  9. IWFAW26


    Feb 27, 2014
    thank you for your post... my problem now is that I am currently a seasonal worker and with spring coming, I will be working 10 hours + outdoors 7 days a week... and i'm usually spent by the time i get home... so I really don't know if i want to retake... i will call a few schools tmr and find out... this is crazy! but hey, i have to try...
  10. BeyonceFan1226

    BeyonceFan1226 2+ Year Member

    Mar 4, 2014
    I would definitely still apply. Call schools and see what their cut off points are first so you don't waste application money.
  11. customx

    customx 7+ Year Member

    Oct 20, 2009
    You've got solid scores across each section, but a 13 is just way too low IMO. I would retake if I were you
  12. LaughingGas

    LaughingGas 7+ Year Member

    May 17, 2010
    it will be hit or miss for QR. 13 is low but it is also the least important section in DAT.
  13. NMC2010

    NMC2010 τετέλεσται 2+ Year Member

    Jun 5, 2013
    on the sidewalk
    I know someone with 13 QR that got accepted to 2 different schools this cycle, so it's not the end of the world. You'll want to call and ask schools you plan on applying to, like someone else mentioned.
  14. Futuredentguy2015


    Dec 27, 2013
    can you post a breakdown of what you studied and how long and practice tests etc? :D
  15. biomolecmed

    biomolecmed 2+ Year Member

    Apr 7, 2012
    I am not sure what you are complaining about? Your scores are awesome. Time to celebrate and have fun. Who cares about one little section. Congratulations. You earned yourself a spot in Dental school.
  16. melmu001

    melmu001 2+ Year Member

    Dec 15, 2013
    What was the RC like? Did you have many search and destroy questions?
  17. customx

    customx 7+ Year Member

    Oct 20, 2009
    You're giving congratulations when schools have cutoffs that automatically rule him/her out of being accepted? With a 13 the chance of being accepted is greatly diminished.
  18. Silent Cool

    Silent Cool Member Banned 10+ Year Member

    Jan 30, 2005
    A 13 is a terrible score, but it's not one of the scores that schools routinely publish. Honestly, I don't think it will hold you back all that much. You will never know if you don't apply. So, apply. Schools always publish AA, TS, and PAT scores. Typically they do not publish other subsections. Your AA, TS, and PAT scores are all good and in many cases above the average at a number of schools.

    If it really bugs you, re-study for the test and re-take it.

    good luck.
  19. kingenamel

    kingenamel 2+ Year Member

    Aug 31, 2013
    Its so unfortunate because all of the other sections look really really strong. I agree with some of the other posters in that some schools do have cut offs for certain sections and the best thing to do is to contact the schools you are interested in or look on their websites to see if they have a QR cut off. If you do decide to take the test again Im not sure if you used just the regular destroyer for math but I found it to be too easy compared to the Math destroyer which was more similar to the real test.
  20. Ari Rezaei

    Ari Rezaei Senior Member Lifetime Donor Gold Donor Classifieds Approved 5+ Year Member

    Mar 14, 2012
    New York, NY
    First, congratulations on all of your other scores! You have really strong science scores too. Your best bet is to speak with your pre-health advisor on what to do. You can also try to reach out to the schools you want to apply to and ask them.

    Unfortunately, you're going to be below the cutoff for some schools and they may not even look at your application. However, I know of one student at UF who was accepted with a QR score less than 15, and he was accepted on the condition that he retake the DAT and score at least a 15 in all sections, so it IS possible. Getting into dental school is never easy, and you can't change the cards you're dealt. So if this score has got you feeling down, I'd take a little bit of time to regroup, and then go back out there and do whatever it takes to get that acceptance letter. Other people have done it, and there is no reason why you can't also.
  21. clutchfans

    clutchfans 2+ Year Member

    Feb 28, 2014
    Like everyone else pointed out, some schools have cutoff scores on the DAT section. Some schools at 15 some at 17, and some at 18. I would do some research on which schools have these requirments particularly you state schools. All in all thought, congrats on your overall DAT score!
  22. shulk

    shulk 5+ Year Member

    Jun 17, 2012
    That's rough. Personally I'd retake it, it is way way too risky to apply with a 13. But, as people have indicated, there is a tiny sliver of chance that you might be accepted with that.... somewhere if you apply extremely broadly (assuming the rest of your application is golden). You'll have to weigh the options and make a decision, preferably after calling several schools about it.
  23. IWFAW26


    Feb 27, 2014
    Thank you all so much for your replies, it has given me a sense of where I stand in the application process.

    I have gone through a few dental school websites to look for cut off points for DAT scores. All I have been able to find were the minimum scores for the AA, TS and PA sections.

    I contacted a couple of schools and I forwarded my scores to them. I'm waiting on what they will say. Looking back I would have gotten the math destroyer. I'm still unsure if I want to retake the test, I heard for a while the bio section was going to change at some point this year... and I would like to gmecet an idea on what that section will look like. Also, I read somewhere you had to wait 3 months to retake the test and that's bad new for me... I'm going to restart my job again and it's 6 days a week and I plan and keeping shadowing dentists on my days of so I'm not 100% on retaking the test for this cycle.

    That being said, I love dentistry and I feel strongly this is where I belong. I will probably go ahead and apply to the schools where they will at least look at my application. I'm more than the number 13 and I hope dental schools will see that. I know I'm heading in the right direction and I now know that I'm not too far. I took cal I, II, III and applied math in college so I know I can destroy that section next time if it comes to that. If I don't get in, I will just apply for the following cycle. It will only be a temporary defeat, I will come back stronger and wiser.

    Now for the DAT breakdown, I will only do a brief one since I really believe in this key principle that I got from Brian Tracy, a motivational speaker. And it is this:
    "To be successful, find out what other successful people in your field are doing and emulate it." Do it now preparing for dental school, do it in dental school and do it beyond. So last December while I was searching for ways of studying for the DAT, I stumbled on this website and started reading any topic that would catch my eye. I read some incredible stories of triumph and really started paying attention as to how they did it and I tried to replicate it as best as I could. I gave myself 3 months to study, since I don't work during the winter and jumped into the frey. However I studied on average 5-6 hours and watched or listened to biology lectures.

    I bought a DAT destroyer book and let me tell you, it's hard but it's worth it. I got Chad's videos, after 4 years out of college, I was glad I had his videos because you wouldn't believe how fast you forget the material if you don't use it. I also got the kaplan dat book. My major concern at the beginning was biology, I had gen bio in college but that was ages ago and as I soon find out, the dat covers lots of material. So my first attempts at studying the bio section was with the kaplan book, once I got the chapter on neurons and couldn't figure out what was going on with mechanism of action potential and all that stuff, I knew that wasn't going to work. I would also do destroyer questions a couple of pages at a time and felt like there was a disparity between the kaplan book and destroyer. I would read about digestion and then get a question like what is the junction between the small and large intestine? What? Where was that in the book? So what I did was come back on this forum and I discovered a wonderful resource: the AP bio cliffs book. I ordered the book and while waiting for the book I watched videos on youtube on biology. I discovered a channel by Professor Fink on anatomy and I loved it! I also search for biology lectures on itunes and discovery Dr. Cizaldo. Two incredible professors that really expanded my knowledge of biology. I would listen to lectures about nervous system, the brain, muscle and it was very helpful. I started reading the CliffAP bio book once I had it as well. It was perfect for the dat because it gives you the details you need to answer destroyer questions. Notice how I spent lots of time studying bio, I wouldn't recommend doing that, but I had to since I felt that was a weakness of mine.

    Gen chem and orgo was a smoother experience all thanks to Chad, he really refreshed my memory and I would highly recommend him especially since he has quizzes. My advice for watching Chad or any other lecture (khan academy etc), treat it like a lecture, take notes and you will suprise yourself. For organic chemistry destroyer was good, it gives you more than you will see on the test but it will get you prepared. I went through all the road maps, they were great. They key for orgo, bio and chem is to do as many questions as you can and make notes on everything you don't understand. And after 1.5 months I figured all the questions I could ever need are in destroyer, what's the big deal? Wrong, I ran out of questions so I thought I would look for new questions, I read about achiever and topscore so I bought both programs. I started with achiever and after doing a bio section on that thing, I so discouraged... I got a 15 and though wow... what have I been doing all this time... I ran back on this forum and did some snooping around and discovered it wasn't the end of the world if you got 15 on achiever, and that is when I realized that the prep questions were harder than the actual test but I would still make note cards on questions I got wrong and made sure I got a better understanding of that topic. Bio diversity was the worst but it studied it, I think I had 5 or 6 questions on that section.

    For the PAT I didn't use as many resources than most but I would have if I had the means. Anyway I used Kaplan, Achiever, Topscore and youtube. On this section, I really believe the more problems you do the better you will get. Achiever was the key for me, it was very hard but it really forced you to look at figures in a different light and I'm happy I had achiever because my hole punching section was intense. Angle ranking... what can I say, it's just hit or miss because I'm pretty sure on some of the problems, the angles were only off by a few degrees, maybe 1. Topscore was very similar to the real test except for the hole punching, the real test was more like achiever on my test.

    RC, I kind of talked about it on my first post, like I said English is not my first language and I had to work hard at it to get somewhat ready. I realized this could be a major issue when I took the kaplan RC test in the book and couldn't finish in the time limit. I tired every method for this, search and destroy was terrible for me, instead I worked on making a picture of what I read more proactively after getting a tip from one of the podcast I was reading in anatomy. I really helped, I also had to relax myself and work on breathing and god, it worked! I love reading, but under pressure, that's no fun. The passage were not as long as any of the practice tests I took so I was able to read the passages in around 10 minutes, and I would take notes but only like this: 2- (big word) and move on. 2 for paragraph, and which ever term I saw it just in case I would need it and it worked.

    That's all for now, for QR my mistake was going through destroyer once and thinking it was enough and focus on other things... big mistake. But now I know, and you do as well, 40 questions in 45 minutes, you better have a plan or else you will run out of time... My questions were too involved and demanded lots of time, and I was shocked at that.

    I hope it helps, let me know if you want to know more, I will keep you posted on what happens to me... just never give up and keep going forward. Don't give up on your dream and look for help. I nicknamed this website the "pre-dental mastermind" because that is exactly what it is, a great tool to come back to when you are down or frustrated and find something positive to move you forward.
    larrylu likes this.
  24. SmileDesignersDDS


    Mar 22, 2014
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2014
  25. ladaystars

    ladaystars 2+ Year Member

    Jan 25, 2014
    Hi I also just took my DAT last week and got:
    RC: 20

    I am getting my score audited, I did not find anything unreasonable on the QR. I actually found everything fine, while I did have some questions but I not to the point where I would get a 12. This is actually the second time I took the test and the first time I did not receive any score lower than 17. So I know how you feel, I was extremely shocked and upset. Don't lose hope though.
  26. kerfufle

    kerfufle 2+ Year Member

    Apr 5, 2014
    Don't retake contact your schools and see what they say and only apply to schools that say they don't care. There are way too many people that get in with extremely low QR scores to retake. Some schools will instantly throw out your app because of those low scores so find out who they are and don't apply there it's pretty simple. Dental schools care about 1 thing, perception, if they only publish AA, TS, and PAT on their website etc. they wont care.

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