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Mickey's DAT Breakdown 7/14/17

Discussion in 'DAT Discussions' started by MickeyMug, Jul 17, 2017.

  1. MickeyMug


    Mar 11, 2017
    Birmingham, MI
    Hi everyone! So I finally took my DAT 3 days ago on July 14 :soexcited: FREEDOM

    I didn't do as well as I was hoping to but I'm still happy with my scores. At first I wasn't going to post a breakdown because my scores are not as good as everyone else but I thought it might be helpful to some people out there to share my thoughts.

    Before I get started I would like to give special shoutouts to @Ari Rezaei and all the BC staff, Dr. Romano and Nancy @orgoman22, @FeralisExtremum, Chad the chemistry god, and of course all the SDNers, I can't thank you guys enough :biglove:

    My scores:
    AA: 22
    TS: 22
    Bio: 20
    GC: 24
    OC: 23
    PAT: 21
    RC: 17 :bang:
    QR: 24

    Okay so I'm gonna try to give as much details as I can so please bare with me.
    For every section, I will talk about:
    • My background for the section before I started studying for the test
    • Which materials I used
    • How I prepared
    • Test Day
    • What I would do differently if I had to do it again
    • And lastly, I will share my final thoughts

    BIO - 20

    • Background: Even though I'm a BIO major, the only subject that was review for me was Genetics. I had to learn everything else from scratch (shame on me lol) :wacky:
    • Materials: Cliffs AP 3rd Edition, Feralis notes, DAT Destroyer, BC, YouTube (AK Lectures, Bozeman, Craig Savage, KhanAcademy)
    • How I Prepared: For some reason, BIO was the last section that I started studying for (mistake). I first went through Cliffs AP, read the whole thing without taking notes. After that I started doing Destroyer and I was devastated because of how challenging Destroyer was, I looked up any word that wasn't too familiar to me and wrote down the definition on a separate piece of paper. 2 weeks before my test, I started watching YouTube videos on sections that weren't making sense to me. Then a day before my test, I started reading Feralis, I was seeing things that I haven't seen before which was a little frustrating. The mistake that I made was I was trying to understand the material rather than memorizing which you should do both.
    • Test Day: Oh boy were the questions random! I expected the questions to be much more detailed, most of the questions were simple and factual, I only got 2-3 funky ones, everything else looked pretty familiar. I literally marked 25 of the questions because I wasn't too comfortable with the material. This new feature where you can cross out answers is really helpful because for most of the questions it came down to two options so I went with my gut and picked an answer then I marked it and moved on. I ran out of time at the end so I didn't get a chance to look at all the ones that I marked. I know a 20 is not that good, but I expected a way worse score, I even texted my sister during break and said "I think I just bombed the BIO section" lol but when I saw my score I really could not believe it!
    • If I Had To Do It Again: I would definitely start studying for BIO as soon as I can. Start out with Cliffs to expose myself to the info then start dig into Feralis and Destroyer at the same time, the Destroyer shouldn't really be used as a practice tests but rather a learning tool. I would memorize everything in Feralis and Destroyer, while watching YouTube videos to help visualize the material better. The questions are super random so the more info you're exposed to, the better off you'll be. And last but not least, I would get on BC! This is by far the most representative of the real DAT. Same style of questions. I would go through all the questions that I got wrong or the ones that I wasn't too sure about, and if there's a section that I really messed up on (i.e. Taxonomy, it would be marked in red) I would look back at Feralis and watch more YouTube videos to make sure that I have that section down.
    • Final Thoughts: Overall, I don't think it was too bad. I would've definitely done better if I utilized the materials that I had, but oh well! Don't get nervous, I marked 25 questions and I kept my cool which was good because BIO is the first section of the test so if I panicked it would've only gone downhill from there.

    GC - 24

    • Background: I took GC 1 & 2 more than three years ago and I basically had forgotten all the information.
    • Materials: Chad's videos (I'm convinced that Chad is a slang for "Chemistry God" lol) Destroyer, and BC. (That's really all you need for this section)
    • How I prepared: I started out by watching Chad's, I then jumped to BC and did the practice tests and watched Mike's videos for every question I got wrong. I didn't feel too comfortable with the material so one week before my test I gave Chad's another go and boy did I pick up all the information. I started taking notes as I was watching the videos for the second time and did all the quizzes. Then 3 days before my test I went through all of Destroyer GC.
    • Test Day: I was more confident on this section because when I went through the Destroyer for the first time after watching Chad's x2 and going through BC, I was getting 85-90/100 questions correct (which is good comparing to how challenging the Destroyer is). I did not get any problems on my test where I had to find the actual number of a calculation problem, all I had to do for the 4 calculation problems that I got was set up the equation which was kinda nice! Even though I was well prepared for this section, I was shocked at how easy the questions were (I know! I was expecting a 30, must've made some silly mistakes). The GC section was way easier than BC and Destroyer.
    • If I Had To Do It Again: I would start out by actively watching Chad's videos, taking thorough notes and all the quizzes for the respective video. After that I would start going through the Destroyer and try to go through it twice. Then I would do BC 2 weeks before my test so I would have time to go through Mike's explanation videos for the questions that I got wrong. And then I would skim through my notes from Chad's videos to refresh my memory.
    • Final Thoughts: This is one of the sections where you can master and get a 30 on, so I would focus on this section. Chad's + Destroyer + BC is really all you need to conquer this section.
    OC - 23 (Very similar to GC)
    • Background: Took OC 3 years ago and I literally did not learn anything from that class because all you needed to do to get a good grade on the tests was master the study guide lol.
    • Materials: Chad's videos, Destroyer, and BC.
    • How I Prepared: For some reason I studied the least for this section (aside from QR) even though I was not good at it. I started by watching Chad's, then I took a break from OC. 3 weeks before my test I started doing BC OG practice tests and did not do too well so I decided to watch Chad's videos a second time 2 weeks before the test, like GC, I started taking notes and took all the quizzes from each video. Then 2 days before my test I started OC Destroyer and didn't do too well but I didn't have time to go through the answer key (do not try this at home lol). The morning of the test I realized that I did not memorize any of the important reactions or the HNMR/IR values :slap: so I decided to stuff in my head as many reactions from Destroyer as I could.
    • Test Day: This section also shocked me because of how easy it was. I got about 3-4 super simple reactions and 1 HNMR question which I was so happy about. The rest were conceptual questions which Chad does a tremendous job on covering.
    • If I Had To Do It Again: Very similar to GC, start out by watching Chad's videos while taking thorough notes and doing all the quizzes. After that I would jump to Destroyer and try to go through it twice. I would also try to memorize the "road-maps" and the top 25 most important reactions from Destroyer, they will come in handy. Then I would do BC two weeks before my test and go through Mike's explanation videos for the questions that I got wrong.
    • Final Thoughts: You can also master this section by using Chad's, Destroyer and BC.

    PAT - 21

    • Background: I took a practice test 6 months ago when my friend had a subscription with BC and I got a 15 :whistle:
    • Materials: BC and the generators, YouTube videos.
    • How I Prepared: This section was my second favorite so practicing for it was sorta fun. I started out by watching YouTube videos to pick up some strategies and I also picked up other strategies from SDN breakdowns. Then I started doing the generators, I worked on two sections of the PAT a day, 30 minutes each. After a week of practice I took a BC practice test and got an 18 :brb:. But then I only got better from there and started getting 23-25's consistently with 6-9 minutes to spare.
    • Test Day: The ladies that worked at Prometric told me that I wasn't allowed to write anything on my papers before I started my test so I had to set up the grids during my test.
      • Keyhole: OMGGG was this section hard!!! I literally had like 9-10 rock questions, and the shapes were super irregular. This section took a huge chunk of my time because I was able to eliminate all the answer choices for 6 questions it literally drove me crazy but somehow I kept my cool. This section was definitely harder than BC and DATGenius.
      • TFE: There was only one funky question where I used the line counting strategy for it and I was able to eliminate all the answer choices, but aside from that it was on par maybe slightly easier than BC, not the generators but the practice tests.
      • Angle Ranking: There's really no strategy for this section, you just need to practice it a lot, the BC generator is your friend. Similar to BC as far as difficulty.
      • Hole Punching: Same difficulty as BC. This is the section where you want to pick up as much time as you can. I used the grid and axis of symmetry method which should work for 99.9% of the questions.
      • Cube Counting: Easier than BC. There are about 14-16 cubes for each figure. The tally strategy works very well for this section, and it also helps you pick up a lot of time.
      • Pattern Folding: Very similar to BC. Practicing with the generator and the practice tests will help you master this section.
    Not sure if they put the most time consuming sections of the PAT first on purpose but I fell for that trap :mad:. I've never been exposed to keyhole questions like the ones that I got on my real test and it really shocked me and wasted most of my time. ​
    • If I Had To Do It Again: I would do the same thing to prepare for this section, on test day I would try to manage my time more efficiently and not waste as much time on keyhole but rather mark the questions that I don't get and come back to them if I have extra time remaining.
    • Final Thoughts: I think if BC added rock questions, it would be the only tool that you'd need to master this section.

    RC - 17 (took an L on this one)
    • Background: Most of you probably won't believe me when I say that I've made it this far in life without ever going through an actual reading book and read the whole thing. I don't mind reading science, but I just can't stand reading a story or what not.
    • Materials: Scientific American and BC.
    • How I Prepared: I first took a BC practice test to see where I was at and I got a 19 on it. Then I started reading 1-3 Scientific American articles every other day, I would look for articles that have around 1500-2000 words, copy/paste the whole article in to see how many words are in the article and how fast I should read them. After I picked up some speed, I started looking for strategies like the S&D and used that in BC practice tests, my scores went up immediately to 22-23 so I made S&D my primary strategy.
    • Test Day: I was pretty confident that I was going to do well in this section. The S&D strategy worked nicely with every BC test I took. So the first passage that I got was super short and interesting, S&D worked nicely on this one so I was taking my sweet time because I thought they were all going to be as short as the first one. I was basically reading the passage and highlighting as I was going through while flipping back and forth between questions and answering them in random order. Everything was going smoothly until I got to the second passage! For the second passage, I read the first two paragraphs and kept clicking "next" to see which questions I could answer from the first two paragraphs, after that I read the next two paragraphs and I was trying to go back to the questions that I skipped over but the "previous" button was not there!!! +pissed+ I've never heard this happen to anyone, I literally did not know what to do, I kept clicking around (wasted so much time) until I found the "review" button and that gave me the option to go to any question that I want but it was going to be time consuming plus all the time that I wasted so I switched to the traditional "reading the whole passage and then answering the questions" method which is not my cup of tea because I'm not a fast reader and then ended up rushing through the last 12 questions because I had 3 minutes left!!! Yikes!!
    • If I Had To Do It Again: I would still read Scientific American articles timed daily while tracking my speed progress. Then I would try to adapt to more than one strategy in case something like that happens again where the "previous" button disappears.
    • Final Thoughts: The passages weren't bad at all, the 2 out of the 3 were S&D friendly but make sure that you develop a backup strategy in case something like that happens to you.

    QR - 24
    • Background: I haven't taken a math class in 4+ years but I'm a math tutor so I guess that evens it out lol.
    • Materials: Chad's, BC and Destroyer.
    • How I Prepared: I really didn't study much for this section except for doing some QC problems from BC and Destroyer. I also watched some of Chad's QR videos, he gives some nice tips to solve certain problems faster.
    • Test Day: I was expecting nothing less than a 30 on this section but oh well! The questions that I got were doable but most of them were time consuming, I got about 20-22 QC questions which are super annoying because they take more than a minute to solve and the rest of the questions were pretty much word problems. I did not manage my time right and ended up rushing through the last 2 questions and did not get a chance to look back at the ones that I marked.
    • If I Had To Do It Again: I would work more on my time management.
    • Final Thoughts: I think that this section is very doable, the clock is your enemy here so make sure you get comfortable with managing the clock.

    I know a lot of you would say that I need to retake the test because of my RC score but I need to apply this cycle which means I don't really have time for a retake.

    Overall, it wasn't really a bad experience. Motivation is your best friend. Make sure to schedule your test early and not wait till a week before like how I did. I kept pushing the test day back because I was slacking off, going out, watching the NBA Finals, etc. Get your hands on the Destroyer earlier and don't let the challenging questions kill your motivation because you will feel defeated, you just have to remember that you're only gonna get better from there. Don't look at how far away you are from your goal, but rather look at your progress and look at how far you've gotten and how much you're improving each day. Make sure you get enough sleep the night of the test. On test day, don't think about how important this test is, just think of it as another BC practice test to keep your cool.

    This turned out to be way longer than I expected haha but I hope I covered everything and I hope you guys find this helpful!
    Good luck to everyone that's still studying and cheers to the ones that already took the DAT :highfive:

    (Don't mind my shirtless, mustached Bitmoji holding up an L)

    Attached Files:

    xp1, ThirdMolarz, jya5ab and 10 others like this.
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  3. averageasian

    averageasian SDN Gold Donor Gold Donor Classifieds Approved

    Aug 12, 2016
    Thorough breakdown! AWESOME SCORES!!!! congrats go out and celebrate
    MickeyMug likes this.
  4. MickeyMug


    Mar 11, 2017
    Birmingham, MI
    Thank you! Your scores were awesome too!! Haha I've slept my way through the past 3 days :sleep: but I'll definitely start celebrating soon
    wezleesun` likes this.
  5. orgoman22

    orgoman22 DAT DESTROYER Lifetime Donor Exhibitor Classifieds Approved 10+ Year Member

    Mar 12, 2005
    New York City
    SDN Exhibitor
    Congratulations! You did it! Gonna miss seeing you around SDN, but it's time to celebrate and get your application completed. Thanks for the shout out and the detailed breakdown, I like that you mentioned get to the Destroyer, sooner than later.

    Glad you made it through Bio, it can be very challenging, you didn't let it shake you and were able to complete the rest of the test with great scores.

    Wishing you the best..

    Dr. Jim Romano and Nancy
    MickeyMug likes this.
  6. artist2022


    Dec 25, 2016
    Yayayayayay!!! I'm so happy you posted one haha you deserve a HUGE congratulations!! I'm sure you'll get plenty of interviews and acceptances this cycle!! Thank you for all your help :) Good luck!!
    MickeyMug likes this.
  7. FeralisExtremum

    FeralisExtremum SDN Gold Donor Gold Donor Classifieds Approved 7+ Year Member

    May 17, 2008
    Great scores! Loved the organization of your breakdown by subject. Let me know if you have any questions about applying!
    MickeyMug likes this.
  8. MickeyMug


    Mar 11, 2017
    Birmingham, MI
    Thank you so much! You guys are truly amazing. I love your products and I love how active you are on these forums and how you're always helping people and answering questions.
    orgoman22 likes this.
  9. MickeyMug


    Mar 11, 2017
    Birmingham, MI
    Thank you!! Hahaha you motivated me to do one!!
    artist2022 likes this.
  10. MickeyMug


    Mar 11, 2017
    Birmingham, MI
    Thank you I really appreciate that!! Your notes were really outstanding and I love how active you are on these forums, you're truly an inspiration!!
    FeralisExtremum likes this.
  11. Akmmoo2


    Apr 2, 2017
    Thank you for this! :) I need to keep my motivation and kill it like you on aug 8!
    MickeyMug likes this.
  12. MickeyMug


    Mar 11, 2017
    Birmingham, MI
    I'm glad you found this helpful!! Good luck, I'm sure you're gonna kill it if you keep up your hard work!!
    Akmmoo2 likes this.
  13. caffeine jitters

    caffeine jitters

    Apr 1, 2017
    Great break down and awesome scores! The advice you gave about backup strategies will definitely help some people out. Best of luck this cycle!
  14. MickeyMug


    Mar 11, 2017
    Birmingham, MI
    Thank you! I know you're applying this cycle too, best of luck to you too!!
  15. Ari Rezaei

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

    Mar 14, 2012
    New York, NY
    Congratulations! Super well organized breakdown, I can imagine this is how you organized your notes too and contributed to your high score. You did phenomenal, I'm sure you'll be a great dentist. Get your apps in and wait for the interviews to come, I'm sure you'll get some good news Dec 1st. Congrats again!
    MickeyMug likes this.
  16. toothguy1


    Dec 30, 2016
    How did the QC questions compare to the ones on bootcamp/ the ones posted by destroyer?

    Sent from my iPhone using SDN mobile
  17. joshthebear


    Jul 14, 2017
    Congrats on the awesome scores! Glad to see your hard work paid off. Math is also a strong-suit of mine, but I have been struggling the most on Bootcamp's QC questions. Was HALF of your QR section really QC?? If so that is crazy.... Also what was the level of difficulty of the QC on your DAT in comparison to Bootcamp's?
  18. MickeyMug


    Mar 11, 2017
    Birmingham, MI
    Thank you for the kind words! Your study guide is really what helped me get started, it's super organized and effective. I always recommend it to friends who are starting out with their DAT prep.
    Getting into dental school would be a life-long dream coming to reality :D
    Ari Rezaei likes this.
  19. MickeyMug


    Mar 11, 2017
    Birmingham, MI
    The QC questions that I got were closer to Destroyer difficulty, a little bit easier than BC.
    toothguy1 likes this.
  20. MickeyMug


    Mar 11, 2017
    Birmingham, MI
    Thank you so much! I remember that only the first question was a "solve for x" type of question, and the rest were all QC and word problems, the QC questions that I got were slightly easier than BC, almost the same difficulty as Destroyer's QC. The word problems were mostly probability, I also got some of those "if Johnny paints a wall in 3 hours and Tom paints the same wall in 5 hours" type of questions. I didn't get any trig questions but I got a couple of geometry ones.
    If you've always been good in math, you shouldn't worry too much. The math on the DAT is doable, it's just the time is super tight.
    joshthebear and artist2022 like this.

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