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My DAT Breakdown and TIPS!

Discussion in 'DAT Discussions' started by mastermind01, Jan 25, 2014.

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  1. mastermind01


    Jan 25, 2014
    Hello everyone,

    All of your DAT breakdowns encouraged me when I was studying for my DAT so I figured I would post my breakdown and maybe help some others! First of all, I am so grateful for the SDN network and everyone on it. Literally, ANY questions I have I can find on here due to all of our similar goals/ interests. This is my first time posting so bear with me.

    I took my DAT yesterday at 8 am, and did extremely well for what I was expecting. My roommate took it the same time as me and also scored an AA 21 :) We followed the same schedule for a total of 5 weeks (about 8 hours of studying a day)

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

    My goal for the DAT was 20+, because I want to have a good shot at getting into my state school (OSU). I am extremely happy with my score. On to the subjects:


    I took 5 CDP exams, which were all very good practice for the PAT. I consistently scored around a 22 on those exams. However, I felt that Keyholes was WAY harder for me on the real thing. The shapes were so awkward and I had to mark at least half of them. Another section I had trouble with was the pattern folding. I had very obscure objects and weird folds. I say the key to the PAT is practice, practice, practice. Once you get a hold of the methods you like the best and stick to them you should be just fine.

    I also ordered DAT Bootcamp, which includes 5 tests for each subject. I HIGHLY recommend this program. I believe that this program was a huge component to my success. Bootcamp's PAT is extremely hard, even harder than the real thing (in my opinion). I scored an average of around 18-19 on all of the Bootcamp PAT tests. This seemed to be the trend for most of Bootcamp for me, but it teaches you the things you NEED to know and makes the real thing feel much easier/ relaxed.

    Good news: Cube counting, TFE, and and hole punching were SIMPLE for me on my DAT. The angles sucked, but they always will. lol


    If you can watch this video a couple of times and understand it, I promise you that you will never miss another hole punching question. This technique helped me significantly on my practice tests (+1 to +2 points). IT EVEN WORKS FOR HALF HOLES :)

    I did not do as well as i hoped on the PAT, but I am happy with my 20. Just practice, practice, practice. Also, I took the Kaplan Course but honestly did not even use it at all. WAY too simple, especially their PAT. Just don't bother with it.

    With the time I had to study, this was the subject I studied the least for. I regret that now. lol I thought I had a pretty good grasp on general math concepts but should have worked on it more. I am not going to really comment on this section other than to say the concepts were pretty simple, I just did not prepare enough. DAT Bootcamp QR was significantly more difficult than the real thing. I would say that the difficulty of the real DAT lies in between the 2007 ADA and 2009 ADA practice tests (which I took both).

    I did not study much for the Reading Comprehension section either because I have always been a fairly strong reader. The passages on my DAT were not very hard. Most questions were simple and straight-forward. However, some of the questions (maybe 3 of 17 in each section) were application questions where you had to choose either "first statement true/ second statement false". Also, I had a few questions that the only way I could answer them is if I knew measurement conversions and/or geographical locations. Those sucked. But overall, it is not too bad. I used the mapping method and than skimmed the passage looking for answers using the keywords I had written down.

    Oh Biology. This was the section of the DAT that I was the MOST scared of. The vast amount of information that you can be asked on stressed me out, to say the least. I used the DAT Bootcamp, Kaplan Blue Book, Cliff's Bio, and Chad's Videos. I think that the Kaplan Blue Book is okay in getting a basis of the basic biology concepts. I read through the whole section, making notecards on all of the difficult concepts. This was actually pretty helpful. I also watched Chad's free biology videos. These are not complete but they do help aid in the understanding of some of the main points of biology. I also quickly read through Cliffs Bio. This book is also very helpful. I think that the main concepts of biology should be understood to do well on this exam. The majority (~27-28) of the BIO questions on my DAT were very straight-forward, main-concept questions (cell bio/ genetics, etc.). The rest I had to make educated guesses on.

    DAT Bootcamp is AWESOME for biology. The subject tests on Bootcamp were very similar to the real thing. TAKE THESE. However, the highest I scored on a Bootcamp biology practice test was a 21. I usually averaged around a 19-20. I got a 22 on the real thing. Again, Bootcamp is a little bit harder so do not be discouraged when you are getting 19's or 20's on the practice tests.


    Chad's Videos. That's all I have to say. Watch them. Take notes on them. Rewatch them. You will do just fine on the DAT if you understand Chad and his quizzes. He is a great teacher, very funny and easy to understand. I learned more from his videos than in my undergrad gen chem class.

    DAT Bootcamp is also a great resource for practicing the General Chemistry you learn from Chad. All of the main concepts that you will be asked on are on Bootcamp. The real DAT Gen Chem was very simple for me (easier than Bootcamp).

    Also, to memorize some of the polyatomic ions:

    You can make other pneumonics like this to help you memorize the rest of them.


    Once again, Chad's videos. Chad is key for the chemistries. Trust me, he will teach you the material. I can not stress this enough. I knew very little Organic Chemistry before using Chad. After completing his videos and quizzes, I understood the majority of it. I recommend making notecards for all of the reactions and going over them once every couple nights. THEY ARE NOT THAT BAD. I took one day to really understand them all and made tricks to help me memorize them. For example, BH3/THF ("Bad Habit"- Anti-Markovnikov/ Syn (sin) addition). Stupid tricks like that will surprisingly help you out immensely on this exam. Pneumonics will help you through the DAT.

    The O Chem section was pretty straightforward. A couple weird reactions that I had to guess on but no multi-step reactions. DAT Bootcamp is also a great tool in mastering O chem.


    The day before the exam was extremely stressful for me. I tried to review everything and it was not a great idea. On the day before your exam, just relax and maybe look through some notecards, but do not cram. It psyched me out!!! lol However, when you start testing, you will be in the zone and the real DAT is not that bad. I was scoring 18s and 19s on DAT Bootcamp in all my practice tests. I got a 21 on the real thing. So do not let your practice tests discourage you. On that note, if you are scoring 20s on Bootcamp, you are ready to KILL the test!!! Good luck to you all, and hopefully you can use some of my advice. Thanks to everyone on SDN for helping me on my journey and MAJOR SHOUTOUT TO CHAD FROM CHAD'S VIDEOS and ARI FROM DAT BOOTCAMP!! WOOHOO!!!!

    If you have any questions, feel free to ask!
    dl2501, socal6 and CRDental87 like this.
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  3. Daneosaurus

    Daneosaurus D3 5+ Year Member

    Mar 13, 2012
    Thanks for the fantastic breakdown. I use these to help guide my studying. Congrats on a great score, by the way!
    mastermind01 likes this.
  4. mastermind01


    Jan 25, 2014
    not a problem! good luck to you as well! and thanks :)
  5. customx

    customx 7+ Year Member

    Oct 20, 2009
    Great scores! Now it's time to relax a little. Get the rest of your app started in the next couple of months and apply early
    mastermind01 likes this.
  6. mastermind01


    Jan 25, 2014
    thanks customx! and that is the plan, your scores are great as well!
  7. Ari Rezaei

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

    Mar 14, 2012
    New York, NY
    Congratulations on your success and thanks for writing a detailed breakdown!
  8. mastermind01


    Jan 25, 2014
    no problem, your the man ari! thanks again
  9. DrRoyal Pains

    DrRoyal Pains 7+ Year Member

    Jul 29, 2010
    Smooth moves. Nice job!
    mastermind01 likes this.
  10. Glimmer1991

    Glimmer1991 5+ Year Member

    May 5, 2012
    Fantastic breakdown, and fantastic scores! Congratulations--I know it is the best feeling in the world!

    I just gotta say this one thing, though, since I see so many people do it: it's mnemonics, not pneumonics. :) Pneumonic means "of, affecting, or relating to the lungs." Haha!
    BWA1991 likes this.
  11. mastermind01


    Jan 25, 2014
    haha! thanks for the correction, i had no clue! but thank you Glimmer1991 , it really is the best feeling! your scores are insanely awesome!
  12. BrotherAli

    BrotherAli 2+ Year Member

    Jun 14, 2012
    Anyone know which hole punching video the OP is referring to?
  13. kingseven


    Dec 19, 2013
    Hi, The hole punching video doesn't seem to be working. Could you repost it Please. Thanks
  14. jwan14


    Jun 23, 2014
    Do you mind sharing your bootcamp scores?
  15. emminent


    Jan 25, 2014
    These two videos explain it similarly:

    BrotherAli likes this.
  16. kingseven


    Dec 19, 2013
    I am good with most of the hole punching problems. Can someone do the half-hole punching problems? Those are the most complicated.
    BrotherAli likes this.

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