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PAT is Killing Me!

Discussion in 'DAT Discussions' started by Dentistgirl1, Aug 16, 2015.

  1. Dentistgirl1

    2+ Year Member

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    SEND. HELP. PLEASE.
    Hello everyone, so I'm taking my DAT towards the end of September and I just took the full length PAT test on DAT bootcamp and it absolutely killed me. I'm talking about brutal murder here..
    Angle ranking: 7/15
    TFE: 4/15
    Hole punch: 6/15
    Cube: 6/15
    Key hole: 3/15
    Pattern folding: 4/15
    So in my defense, this was my absolute first exposure to these types of questions and I had no clue what I was doing, I tried though! :(
    Not surprisingly. less than 15 was my score :(
    The time was going wayyyyy to fast for me to even process what was going on!
    I feel like I need to practice each type of problem by itself (no time constraints) and then do practice exams maybe 2-3 times a week (I'll practice 2 hours a day every day, I promise!). Will bootcamp allow me to do this or should I buy CDP for this? (I don't really have the extra cash for both, but if I have to I'll just bite the bullet and buy cdp for pat)
    Is it possible to get to the 20 range in such a short time??
    At this point in my studies, in a week I'll be done with the DAT destroyer and chad's vids for the first time. My goal is to have gone through the DAT destroyer again + all the bootcamp tests (or as many as possible) by the time I take the test in September. I have like a month and 10 days.
    I also have classes starting in 10 days, but I'll only be going to classes for the first week (for attendance) and I'll be pretty much skipping class for a month -lab ofc, but I have friends in all my science classes so I should be okay.
    I guess what I need to know is..
    IS THIS DOABLE OR SHOULD I JUST TAKE THE DAT LATER?
    (Sorry if I sound like a nervous wreck but my stress levels are through the roof, it'll just be nice to hear somebody tell me if I have realistic plans.)
    Also one other thing:
    Would you recommend I just skip bootcamp all together and just focus on memorizing the DAT destroyer and math destroyer as well as CDP PAT?
     
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  3. changtw

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    Hey there!

    Considering this was your first time seeing any sort of PAT type problem, I think you're off to a great start! The end of September is still 5-6 weeks away, and I have no doubt you'll be fine.

    If I remember correctly, Bootcamp had 10 exams for PAT, and for me, I didn't even get a chance to finish them all. Keep in mind many SDN-ers seem to agree that Bootcamp PAT is generally harder than the actual DAT (minus a few problems here and there on the real thing that are just killer and potentially not worth putting extensive effort into).

    Prior to starting the first exam, did you read up on the directions to make sure you fully understood what was expected? How you were supposed to look at the figures/images? Etc. As you work more problems, you'll slowly but surely catch on and start to work through them faster.

    Before jumping the gun and investing more $$ into even more materials, try your best to relax, take a breather, and work through what you have first (in this case Bootcamp). I've had so many friends freak out and pour a significant amount of money into every resource they could get their hands on. If you had the time allowance to work through them, sure, that'd be great, but most of them found themselves in the position where they didn't even have time to use all of them.

    The best way to approach it is to study as efficiently as you can with the intention of taking the DAT as planned (September). Put all your effort into preparing for this date. IFF come September, you still don't feel >90% prepared and aren't scoring >18/19 for all sections on Bootcamp, perhaps then you should consider pushing back the date. When were you planning on applying? If it's this cycle, you probably wouldn't want to take it any later than September/October, but if you're applying next cycle, you've got plenty of time to think it over.

    For myself, I only used the week/week and a half leading up to exam day to look over PAT. On BC, I was consistently scoring 17/18, maybe one 19. On the actual, I scored 21, so it is most definitely possible.

    Sidenote: Memorizing Destroyer may be extremely helpful for Bio, but make sure you understand how to approach the problems for the chemistries and QR. I don't recommend skipping Bootcamp if you have it. It was a great resource to use to simulate a mock exam. If I were you, I'd continue practicing PAT and get through BC 1-5. Then as your exam date gets closer and you feel comfortable with the other topics, start doing full-length exams using Bootcamp.
     
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  4. Wyby45

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    Do not stress. If you went in blind for the PAT section, clearly you were gonna obtain the scores you did. If someone just randomly gave you a rubix cube and asks you to solve it on the spot when you have never seen a rubix cube before then you would clearly do poorly when compared to when you have practiced solving a rubix cube multiple times.

    There are many strategies given on SDN here that can help you tackle each section well within the allotted time. If you go on bootcamp and find Ari's 10 week schedule, he has listed several PAT tutorials on separate days that will have you understand and tackle these questions. An entire month is MORE than enough time to easily learn this section.

    I have only gone through DAT bootcamp and with only doing no more than about a week's worth of PAT, I was able to understand how to do each section. After that is just practice on practice exams. Utilize the bootcamp generators as they are insanely helpful. If you must then get CDP PAT in order to get an understanding, however I believe bootcamp is more than enough practice and it is usually harder than the actual will help prepare you better

    Just to let you know I have only done a total of 5 PAT exams and didn't even really focus on this section at all other than the angles during my studies and I still pulled a PAT 22 on the actual exam. In fact I would say it was one of my least focused sections as long as you know the strategy and just do some occasional practice you should be good to go.
     
  5. Dentistgirl1

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    First of all, Thank you for taking the time to reply! I'm applying for this cycle, so I definitely don't want to take it any later than September (I'm submitting my application this week just waiting for letters of rec to show up from interfolio, or should I wait on taking the DAT before I submit?) I hadn't really read into detail what was expected, I only had a slight idea of what I had to do, so that probably hurt me a lot. I'll do just that, I'm just so nervous! D: And congrats on your scores, they're great!
     
  6. Dentistgirl1

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    Really? That's awesome! Yeah I was pretty blind going in, I've started looking at those as soon as I saw your reply, thanks! Congrats on your score, it's wonderful! Thank you for taking the time to reply, I really appreciate it! Bootcamp+destroyer+chad's videos+ and hours and hours should equal success then huh?
    I'll take your advice, I won't worry about getting CDP unless I'm still clueless 2 weeks from now. I love sdn, you guys are so helpful! <3
    There are like zero predental people at my university, everybody is premed. So this is where I get all my advice haha.
     
  7. Dentistgirl1

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    I also have one other question, I had a dentist write me a letter of recommendation, and he sent it in on 07/30/2015, it's been about 17 days and it still says "In progress". Is this normal, should I be concerned?
     
  8. changtw

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    That's odd...did the dentist submit electronically or by mail?

    All of my LORs were submitted electronically, and as soon as it was submitted, I got an email and the status was updated to "completed" with submission date on AADSAS. It was pretty immediate.

    It'd probably be best for you to call AADSAS first thing Monday and ask.
     
  9. Dentistgirl1

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    Electronically! They'll be hearing from me Monday morning for sure, lol. :)
     
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  10. redmau5

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    This is fantastic advice. Just to pile on the anecdotal evidence, I didn't rigorously start prepping for the PAT until probably 2-3 weeks before my exam, and I ended up with a 24 PAT on the real deal. The point is, don't stress out, you have plenty of time! :)

    In my experience, Bootcamp is definitely more difficult than the actual DAT, but I still think it's the absolute best PAT prep out there. In other words, I definitely wouldn't drop any more cash on CDP, it's just not necessary. Instead, I would spend a lot of time practicing with the Bootcamp generators for the next few weeks, particularly for TFE, hole punching, cube counting, and pattern folding. Really learn how to approach these problems—perfect the grid method for hole punching, decide on a consistent strategy for cube counting, etc. I promise, even TFE gets easier with practice! Only after you feel more comfortable with the material should you start going through the full-length practice tests, IMO. Otherwise, it will simply lower your confidence. Also, don't worry if you can't fit them all in. I only had time to go through the first 7-8, and honestly, I think 5 is plenty.

    Overall, just try to keep your head up! The PAT material is very foreign and quite frustrating at first, but it can be learned! Best of luck with your studying!
     
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  11. zammyd

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    Yes it's doable. I went from being pretty crappy to being decently good in about 2 weeks. First learn the strategy for each section (Videos on youtube, or from Ari on bootcamp). Then once you learn the strategy just keep practising using the bootcamp generators. You will find your mind will start to pick up how to solve them more efficiently.
     
  12. BetaHelix

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    Pat seems nuts but it's learnable with hours of diligent practice. Youtube tips some are helpful. I did pat a few hours a day for a few months.
     
  13. nicnic221

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    Hi, So how did you end up doing on the PAT section?
    I'm struggling in PAT and I just wanted to know if you improved enough in a month :(
     
  14. Dentistgirl1

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    Hey! I'm going to be completely honest with you here, I started out with an 11, and with not much practice at all, maybe twice a week for the month, (I thought my time was spent better going hard at the sciences), I ended up getting a 17. It's terrible, I know. BUT, in April I got in at my second choice and three weeks later in May I managed to get in at my top choice university. So all in all, I wouldn't stress PAT that much? Take this with a grain of salt though because when I was dying about getting in to any dental school the dean told me that my PAT score wasn't competitive enough. Good luck!
     
  15. nicnic221

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    Thank you for the honesty! I have a some hope now. I got a 12 on my practice and i have a month left until my test, so i'm veryyy nervous. It's just that the time goes by so fast :( I really don't how people do so well on this section. But wow! That's great!! How did you do on your sciences?? I'm guessing very well!
     
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  16. Dentistgirl1

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    I spent a lot of time just trying to mentally put the figures into my head and seeing where they go from there. It's difficult though, but I'm sure you'll be fine! I was pretty average 22 RC 21 BIO 19 GC 18OC 17QR AA19 TS 20, in the end I think it was my science GPA that accounted for the difference (3.82). Best of luck to you!
     
  17. Neil Smoove

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    Hey you've got time. Don't worry too much and just be consistent with this. Maybe stay away from practice tests and just work on realizing the different figures and tricks to become quicker. I swear its a lot simpler once you get the hang of it.
     
  18. dentist_dude

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    What were your PAT scores on BC
     
  19. Dentistgirl1

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    pretty similar, I didn't really study too much but my average on BC was 17. I got an 18 once, but BC is so spot on with all their tests.
     

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