Always confused
Aug 31, 2011
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Hi yall,

I'm about 2 weeks out from my DAT and I'm struggling with the PAT section. I've got the 10-test edition of CDP and I've done 4. I was improving and then the last test I took I bombed again. It's probably because I took like a week off from it.

Instead of taking the whole test again, I want to go back at that test and look at it section by section. Maybe time myself still and follow Kaplan's strategy of:

Keyholes: 10 min
TFE: 15 min
Angles: 5 min
Hole Punching: 5 min
Cube Counting: 10 min
Pattern Folding: 15 min

I think doing the hole punching section in 5 minutes is a bit ridiculous. What do yall think? I've gone over the "Wicked PAT tutorial" thread as well and it helped immensely. What are some things yall did with CDP besides just taking each test with the allotted time? I have some Kaplan PAT quizzes as well. I'm confident I can pull myself out of this PAT hole I'm in lol, I just need some ideas of how to practice more effectively. I'm not getting very much practice by running through each test because on my bad ones I don't get to a lot of the questions. Also, how does the "randomize test" work? Does it pull sections from each of the tests or does it take a few questions from each test?


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Feb 1, 2008
Okinawa, Japan
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I felt much the same when I started using CDP. People reassured me that this was normal, that you would run out of time and feel like it was impossible to do it in the amount of time given. But, with practice, repeating those tests over and over and over and over (maybe not every day yeah?), your speed will pick up very fast and suddenly you'll be finishing tests with 5-10 minutes to spare easily.

You then wonder if you haven't just memorized the questions by now. This is when you turn to other resources: Topscore, and most most most importantly, you need to take the paid version of the ADA test, make sure it's the test (PAT wise) that you take last, don't go back to CDP again right before the actual DAT. Taking these tests will demonstrate that you have actually gotten good at answering the questions in general, not just recalling patterns you saw over and over on CDP.

Again, I cannot emphasize this enough, you MUST take the paid ADA practice test last for the PAT section before the actual test, it is a near perfect simulacrum.

As for the random functionality, I honestly cannot remember how it worked, and I have since removed the program from my computer, my apologies. Edit: I wanna say, after browsing the forum for "randomize" that it randomly takes questions from all the tests for each section, e.g. hole punch ends up with questions from test 1, 4, 9, and 10., etc. People described it as a way to continue using CDP without feeling like the sections on each test were too familiar.
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