MGA100

2+ Year Member
May 22, 2018
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Hey there future dentists,

I thought I would share my experience with regards to the dat that I recently took, as well as give some insight into how I prepared. I will do my best to be brief and concise. Firstly, my scores:

PA: 20
QR: 23
RC: 24
Bio: 30
GC: 28
OC: 24
TS: 27
AA: 26

My Preparation for the Dat:

Resources: in order of priority and usefulness
1. Dat Destroyer
2. Ochem Odyssey
3. PAT Booster
4. Dat Bootcamp
5. Math Destroyer
6. Dat Qvault for reading comprehension

For PA: For the perceptual ability, I started off using Dat Bootcamp and their associated generators doing them 15 minutes per day and so on. That said, I wasn't performing as well as I would have liked to on the practice tests (getting 17's and 18's) and so I got really nervous as I was about 3 weeks away from my scheduled exam. I ultimately came across Pat booster and made the decision to try it out. This was an excellent decision as they had practice problems that were much more representative of the actual DAT exam. I also saw an increase in my overall PA score on practice exams (20's and even some 21's) and probably would have done better on the PA section of the actual DAT if I had utilized PAT booster earlier. The instructors of Pat booster provided great strategies such as compare and eliminate for the keyhole section. They also have video commentary for many of the practice problems instead of just a wall of text that you have to read through and still end up being confused about how to approach the problem. For the perceptual ability, it is absolutely critical to focus on your timing and you should be able to complete pattern folding, hole punching, cube counting, and angles in about 30-35 minutes. If you are going past that in terms of timing, you will find it difficult to sieve through the TFE and keyholes--these need more time I promise you. I personally found that the top-front-end on the actual DAT was much harder than any other section and I would have done much more poorly on this section if it were not for PAT booster. Again, if you're simply asking me, I would do PAT booster over Dat bootcamp, but students have found success using either one so do what works for you. The best advice here is to practice timing and make sure you get nearly nothing wrong with hole punching and cube counting as these are going to likely be the easiest sections. Just to add on, when taking the PAT section on the DAt, do not freak out--stay calm and trust in your preparation. I saw crazy keyholes and top-front end questions that could have easily discouraged me but do not let that happen to you. Trust in yourself and in your abilities.

For GC: I watched chad's videos and then did dat destroyer. I felt that the destroyer problems were right on par with the difficulty of the questions asked on the actual DAT and I knew the answers to the questions on the dat quickly from having completed the destroyer problems multiple times. Dat destroyer will drive you insane in the beginning and you will likely get many questions wrong but it covers essentially every possible topic you could face on GC. Do not worry about timing while doing the dat destroyer--simply, learn the material and go at a slow pace to absorb as much material as possible. Make sure you are comfortable with oxidation numbers, limiting reagents, percent yield, and ideal gas law. Also, be careful with units as in make sure you are in kelvins and not Celsius when you need to be. Again, be confident and trust in yourself.

For OC: Again, I watched Chads videos and then did destroyer problems. I also used Ochem Odyssey which is another resource made by the makers of Dat destroyer. I would attribute to my score on the Dat to ochem odyssey as it had questions with diffcullty that were much more on par with the actual dat. If you have the financial means to obtain the odyssey book, I highly recommend you get it. The actual ochem on the dat exam is very, very simple. That said, you still have to know a lot of material. Make sure you guys know NMR, basic reactions, and lab tests such as tollens and lucas, etc. I had three questions on NMR so it is not a topic you should neglect whatsoever.

For Biology: Biology is a monster but it can be conquered. I started off by using DAT bootcamps biology notes--I actually read the biology academy notes in its entirety. I believe its like a compilation of feralis, cliffs, etc. Feralis was a bit dry and not readable for me but it may work for you. Cliffs is too simple and does not cover everything you need to know. This was a lot of material but I found it to be very readable and after getting through all the materIal, I felt much more confident in tackling the biology part of the DAT. Then, I utilized DAT destroyers biology section. Woof. This is very tough to get through. You will get frustrated, you will likely get many wrong, and you will see things you have never learned about on this practice material. However, make sure you go through it thoroughly and learn from your mistakes. I went through the biology destroyer one time (~680 questions) but very, very thoroughly. I would look at the answer choices for each question and write out everything I knew about each answer choice for every single question. For example (this is not a question from dat destroyer), if a question were to ask: Which is most responsible for the separation of sister chromatids during cell division? A. telomeres B. microtubules C. gyrase D. synapsis-->The answer would be B here but I would not just answer the question and proceed. I would write out everything I knew about telomeres, gyrase, and the process of synapsis before moving on. This is an extremely rigorous approach to doing the dat destroyer but it will solidify your understanding of the material immensely. This was invaluable for learning about the various hormones which can get tricky to try to remember. I almost forgot, I used the biology academy notes for every chapter except for the taxonomy chapter. For that, I simply used the taxonomy excel cheat sheet and nothing else. Biology is very trying and hard to get through but you can do it. As always, believe in yourself and trust in your preparations.

For math: I used Math destroyer and went through the book 2x. The second time I went through it I only answered the questions that I found to be tricky or I got wrong during my first run through. Do not invest heavy time into the math section, but also make sure not to neglect it. The math was right on par with math destroyer questions. The quantitative comparison(QC) questions I got were very straightforward and simple and much easier than the QC questions on the dat bootcamp practice tests. I was getting 19's on the practice exams on dat bootcamp and so I was not expecting to get a 23 on the actual DAT.

For reading comprehension: I did not really practice RC much at all. I did two tests on Datqvault and that was it. This is not a section you can prepare for like biology or chemistry so do not waste precious time trying to master something that can't be mastered. You have no idea what they will throw at you. That said, go into the exam with a strategy and you will be ok. My strategy was to read half the article, and then answer as many of the questions as possible. I think this was BYUforU strategy. I would not read the entire article first and then start answering questions. For my first article on my test, about 17/20 of the questions came from the first half of my article and so I was able to fly through these questions and saved precious time that I really needed on my next two articles. If i had read the entire article first without reading the questions, I would have wasted time as most of my questions came from the beginning of the article and I would have likely forgotten most of what I read.

I would like to thank orgoman for making such a critical preparation material for dat takers. I would not have achieved these scores in my sciences without the destroyer materials. I also want to thank dat bootcamp for the biology academy notes. These notes were invaluable for covering the breadth of biology. At the end of the day, do your best and chase your dreams. Do not let anything get in the way of your desire of becoming a dentist. The DAT is an obstacle that can be conquered. You must be disciplined and study consistently as this is what dental school will require anyways. Never lose confidence and always give it maximal effort as this is not a test you will want to take multiple times--it is a grueling thing to go through and so give it your all on the first time around. IMG-7014530b45a379a1366e8cfda6e0a416-V.jpg
 
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Dr. Smile

2+ Year Member
Mar 3, 2018
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WOW... congrats for being done and did really well! Would you mind sharing what you did several days before your test that you thought were helpful? I am taking mine in a couple days and currently a bit worried since I no longer have DAT bootcamp for timed test practices. So now I am re-doing DAT destroyer questions for practice. Also would you say the bio questions on the real DAT were somewhat similar to destroyer questions? (random and broad). Thank you!
 

MGA100

2+ Year Member
May 22, 2018
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Status (Visible)
  1. Dental Student
WOW... congrats for being done and did really well! Would you mind sharing what you did several days before your test that you thought were helpful? I am taking mine in a couple days and currently a bit worried since I no longer have DAT bootcamp for timed test practices. So now I am re-doing DAT destroyer questions for practice. Also would you say the bio questions on the real DAT were somewhat similar to destroyer questions? (random and broad). Thank you!
Firstly, just know you will never feel truly prepared--I was on the cusp of trying to reschedule my exam but the prometric center did not let me and so I was stuck with the current test date. I would stick with doing dat destroyer as you are currently doing as that is exactly what I did. I also did the generators from my PAT booster subscription but just try and keep your mind sharp on the PAT section. Some kids decide not to study the day before the exam but not studying before the exam would have just freaked me out more, this all depends on the person. I honestly did not utilize dat bootcamp tests heavily--i did like two practice exams and saw that it was not going to be the best use of my time. I would focus more on solving problems as if you can solve problems quickly, you will not have an issue with timing on the dat. The few days before I did the problems that I struggled with instead of trying to complete every single question over again as there is no time for that if you are a few days removed from your test date. The only section where you should be practice timing should be the perceptual ability and if you can do this quickly, you should be ok. The questions for biology are very, very basic. The destroyer questions for biology are much harder than what you will see on the actual dat. They are very simple but yes they are very random. Only about two questions were stretch questions where you had to apply knowledge instead of pure regurgitation. If you utilized a bunch of biology resources that spanned a lot of material, you should be able to recall the answer/narrow down the answer choices. Lmk if you have any further questions and best of luck to you!! You can do this!
 
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deleted898849

Congrats on your scores. Hopefully i will have as much success as you. I take the DAT tomorrow . Went through All of PAT booster tests and still having trouble with time management and getting 19-20 on each exam. (I literally purchased PATBooster last week and wish I’d found out about it sooner) Kind of freaking out about it. I see you said TFE was much harder. Would you say the other sections are comparable? I know it’s kind of too late. Just would like to know what to expect.
 
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