My DAT Retake - 21AA / 22TS to 24AA / 24TS

Discussion in 'DAT Discussions' started by Dasaniii, Oct 11, 2017.

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  1. Dasaniii


    Mar 10, 2016
    Hello SDN!

    I wanted to post my breakdown shortly after I retook the DAT back in August 2017, but I've been busy taking care of some stuff lately.

    Anyway, I really want to help people that are considering to retake the DAT for the second or the third time because I know how stressful and frustrating it is to study for the DAT again. Feel free to PM me if any of you guys need more specific advice.

    First off, here are my DAT scores from 2016 and 2017

    AA = 21 --> 24 (+3)
    TS = 22 --> 24 (+2)
    Bio= 19 --> 21 (+2)
    GC = 23 --> 26 (+3)
    OC = 25 --> 26 (+1)
    PAT = 23 --> 23 (+0)
    RC = 18 --> 23 (+5)
    QR = 21 --> 24 (+3)

    As you can see, my scores went up in every section, except for the PAT. I know my first DAT score wasn't too bad, but I was confident that I could do better on my second attempt, so I decided to retake the DAT.

    What I used to study:

    Pretty much the same resources that everyone uses.

    Biology - DAT Destroyer, Feralis Notes, Cliff Notes, Alan's Notes, QVault, and DAT Bootcamp
    GC & OC - Chad's video, Mike's video, DAT Destroyer, DAT Bootcamp and QVault
    PAT - Only DAT Bootcamp
    RC - DAT Bootcamp and QVault
    QR - Math Destroyer, DAT Bootcamp, and QVault

    What I did differently for my second attempt

    Biology - 21 (Could have done better, but oh well)
    • Rather than trying to memorize all the random facts, really take the time to study the material and UNDERSTAND the concept behind each topic. When you understand the topic, memorization becomes 10 times easier. DO NOT force yourself to memorize random facts without having a solid understanding of the material.
    • Whenever you come across some of the materials that you absolutely HATE, don't think to yourself "Eh.. this topic isn't going to show up on the DAT, so I'm not gonna study this particular topic..." Trust me. It will show up on the actual DAT, and it will cost you a lot of points. When you can't learn the material by reading the explanation on Bootcamp or Destroyer, use YouTube to visually learn the concept and take your own notes. <-- This really helped.
    • The only source I used differently on my second attempt was the DAT QVault. Extra practice questions didn't hurt!
    GC & OC - 26 & 26
    • If you understand and know every material presented on Chad's videos, Destroyer and the Bootcamp, you won't have any problem getting a solid score on these sections.
    • I went through Destroyer 3 times, Bootcamp 2 times, and QVault once. And I wrote down all the questions that I got wrong, and practiced them daily.
    PAT - 23
    • DAT Bootcamp is all you need. Period.
    • Practice. Practice. Practice. The real DAT was easier than the Bootcamp.
    RC - 23 (Biggest improvement +5 points)
    • Alright... RC was the scariest section for me because I scored a 18 on my first DAT.
    • To be honest, I didn't prepare much for this section other than practicing RC problems on QVault. I enjoyed QVault RC more than the Bootcamp RC because it was easier haha.. I averaged 22~23 on QVault, but Bootcamp RC section demoralized me, and I felt like I was wasting 60 minutes on something that I can't really improve in a short period of time.
    • BUT... I did use a different RC method for my 2nd attempt.
    Here's what I did for RC.

    1. Read the title
    2. Check how many paragraphs are in the passage.
    3. Let's say it had 14 paragraphs.
    4. Start reading the passage from paragraph 1~ 7 (Halfway)
    5. While reading the first half, try really hard to UNDERSTAND what the passage is about, and ABSORB/ RETAIN as much information as possible, rather than trying to do search and destroy by going straight to the question. This made the reading much easier and interesting for me. Not only I could answer tone questions from this method, but I could easily locate paragraphs that required Search and Destroy.
    6. When you're halfway done, go to the questions and start answering them.
    7. When you start seeing questions that you can't answer, go back to the passage and read the other half of the passage (8~14).
    8. Finish the rest of the questions.
    9. Each passage should take about 20 minutes. (Usually, there are 2 short passages (around 11~13 paragraphs) and 1 long passage (around 14~17 paragraphs), but it depends on the version of the test. When you see passages that are 11~13 paragraphs long, try to aim for 17~18 minutes to finish the questions. When you see a passage that's 14~17 passages, try to aim for 20~22 minutes.

    *My Advice for RC*
    1. Try not to waste time when you're doing RC. Focus. Focus. Focus on the passage.
    2. You can't afford to re-read sentences because you weren't concentrating the first time.
    3. Every SECOND matters in RC.
    4. Your brain is probably going to be fried after you complete RC with my method, but it's worth it.

    QR - 24
    • I had a strong math background, so QR wasn't a hard section for me.
    • I used the DAT destroyer, DAT Bootcamp and QVault.
    • Keep practicing questions that you missed, and try to conquer the concept behind the question as efficient as possible.
    • New QR questions were something that I didn't have in my first DAT, so I had to study for that by using the Bootcamp and Orgoman's materials.
    • The actual test wasn't hard at all. I kind of ran out of time to answer 2 questions, but I think it was partially because I was exhausted from the test.


    Alright. The most important advice I would give to those that are retaking the DAT is to devote all of your energy into studying for the DAT. Give your 110%. You gotta make some sacrifice to achieve a high score, and you really don't want take this test for the 3rd or 4th time. Before I started studying for my retake, I knew that there was a chance of scoring lower on my 2nd attempt because 21AA/22TS wasn't a low score. So, I spent more time and energy into studying for the DAT again because I really didn't want to score lower than 21. Anyway, if I did it, you guys can do it too. Feel free to PM for any question!! :)

    Attached Files:

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    Last edited: Oct 16, 2017 at 9:24 PM
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  3. Faefly


    Jun 21, 2016
    Awesome scores! Great improvement. Your scores were very good, to begin with, but now they are really impressive.
    Your hard work paid off. Thank you so much for this helpful breakdown.

    Best of luck :)
    stormingorman17 and Dasaniii like this.
  4. Ayyyds


    Feb 17, 2017
    Houston, TX
    Great improvements across the board, love to see stories like this. Congrats
    Pearl E. White and Dasaniii like this.
  5. FeralisExtremum

    FeralisExtremum SDN Gold Donor Gold Donor 7+ Year Member

    May 17, 2008
    You did great the first time and you still managed to improve everything - congratulations again. I hope the interviews are rolling in!
    stormingorman17 and Dasaniii like this.
  6. orgoman22

    orgoman22 DAT DESTROYER Lifetime Donor Exhibitor 10+ Year Member

    Mar 12, 2005
    New York City
    SDN Exhibitor
    Congratulations! Great advice, "Give your 100%", no magic to high DAT scores, it takes hard work.

    Dr. Romano
    Dasaniii likes this.
  7. FLMermaid


    Aug 17, 2017
    Good Job! I think that's the key, you have to use every resource out there. :thumbup:
    mariobrosdoctor and Dasaniii like this.
  8. Carlsaganlvr10


    Feb 21, 2016
    Great scores! Nice improvement.
    Dasaniii likes this.
  9. acemason

    acemason 5+ Year Member

    Aug 14, 2011
    Wow great scores, excellent improvement!
    Dasaniii likes this.
  10. Dasaniii


    Mar 10, 2016
    Thanks bud! I've seen you many times on SDN. Good luck on your DAT!
    Thank you!!
    Faefly likes this.
  11. Dasaniii


    Mar 10, 2016
    Thanks Feralis!! I've gotten 4 interviews so far! Waiting to hear back from more! (You know my top choice :p)
    Thank you Dr. Romano! Couldn't have gotten this score this without Nancy and your help!
    orgoman22 likes this.
  12. Dasaniii


    Mar 10, 2016
    Thank you!
    Thank you!!
  13. Pearl E. White

    Pearl E. White 2+ Year Member

    May 20, 2014
    Norman, OK
    Congratulations! So happy for you and it was all worth it! Best of luck!
    Dasaniii and orgoman22 like this.
  14. LuckBloodandSweat

    LuckBloodandSweat 2+ Year Member

    May 26, 2015
    Were you that dude with a 3.6+ that didn't apply last yr because of his DAT? Dang man... Nice DAT both times haha gl getting in!
  15. Dasaniii


    Mar 10, 2016
    I applied last year, but I didn't apply broadly haha. Ended up getting 2 waitlists, so I decided to retake my DAT for this cycle! I'm loving my gap year so far! I'm kind of glad that I didn't get in the first time :)
    LuckBloodandSweat and orgoman22 like this.
  16. LuckBloodandSweat

    LuckBloodandSweat 2+ Year Member

    May 26, 2015
    Lol enjoy it while you can man. Enjoy it while you can. 6+ months off was enough for me... I think.
    Dasaniii likes this.
  17. Dasaniii


    Mar 10, 2016
    Yeah haha. I hope you're doing well at NYU! :D

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