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Retake Done 6/16/08, wow SDN people are smart...

Discussion in 'DAT Discussions' started by uesider, Jun 16, 2008.

  1. uesider

    uesider Junior Member

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    WOW, first off, the SDN community is S-M-A-R-T!!!!! It is so impressive to see so many people scoring 20+, when I studied like CRAZY for the past 3months and do not really have the scores to prove that... but anyway, I am happy and relieved and did the best I possibly could. I am a non-trad who studied communications in college and took my pre-reqs after college. I took the exam last September with awful results... I applied anyway (b/c I had already paid all the fees) and obviously did not get in. I quit my job in March to study full-time for this test while finishing up Physics 2. I put in about 6 hours a day mid-March to mid-May, then 8-10 hours a day mid-May until yesterday. I would wake up, go to the public library open - close... Starbucks on weekends to mix it up. Plus I studied a TON last summer for the first time I took the test. So here are the scores:

    Last Year (Sept 07) -----> this year (June 08)
    BIO 16 -----> 19
    GC 15 ------> 16 (oops)
    OC 16 ------> 18
    PAT 16 ------> 18
    RC 19 ------> 19
    QR 16 -----> 18
    TS 16 ------> 18
    AA 16 ------> 18

    It is amazing that SO MUCH studying only increased my score 2 points... but I feel a LOT better about these scores and I know I did the best I possibly could. Reading about the test on SDN helped me a LOT, although some things I read were misleading, so please keep in mind every test is very different. Anyway, I'll give a little review while the info is still fresh in my mind... first of all, the entire experience was pleasant, which really put me in a good mood! It was a beautiful day in NYC, the proctors were very nice, I had flat screens and real pencil and paper... it helped a lot. In NYC, the 1 Penn Plaza testing center is great. The 42nd St is much worse in comparison. Anyway...

    BIO - my heart was racing going into this section, but I calmed down after plowing through the first 10 or so questions with no problem. Out of the 40 questions, I would say I saw 30 in one of my 3 major study aids... Destroyer, Achiever, or TopScore. I wouldn't say 1 is better than the other - but I do think all 3 together helped out tremendously. I had no crazy questions at all! (or maybe I didn't think they were that crazy b/c I had seen them in Destroyer?!) I really did not think this section was as tough as people have said... I think the things I got wrong were things I should have known and just got mixed up.

    GC - wow, I hate chemistry. I guess this section was more "conceptual" like people say, but it seemed very strange to me to be asked "conceptual" chemistry questions that I have NEVER seen on any type of practice test. I was really confused and knew I was doing terribly as I went along, which was not a good feeling. I also had 3 acid/base questions, which is my worst subject. Ugh!

    OC - I was soo nervous going into this section... I have always done poorly on practice tests and could never get my score up! I even got a 14 on Achiever on Friday. Well, I guess the stuff I knew well covered the majority of this section... I am relieved with an 18. I'd say Destroyer is extreme overkill... there was not ONE crazy reaction! Much more similar to TopScore and Kaplan Q's.

    PAT - I thought I did better on this... I was dreading hole-punches and looking forward to paper-folding (my fave)... however hole-punches were fine and paper-folding was harder than anything I've seen. I was getting 18s and 19s on CrackDAT so I would say that program is a fair indication of how you will do, however in a different way... (cube-counting and hole-punch was much harder on CrackDAT, but paper folding was much harder on real DAT...) The angles were OK, I didn't think they were as bad as people have said.

    RC - last time I had the ethics passage.. this time the 3 passages were much more interesting... I actually enjoyed reading them. However, I have only scored 23+ on practice exams, and now two 19s on the real test, ugh! I know the ones I got wrong had to do with author's "tone"... I don't even know how to suggest preparing for those Q's! I was a communications major so I really wanted a 23+ on this section... but I really don't know how I would have prepared differently.

    QR - not that bad at all... if I did not even know how to begin solving a problem, I picked an answer and moved on. There are plenty of doable questions.

    Overall, I think the key to this exam is EXPOSURE... expose yourself to as many DAT questions as humanly possible. I also used OAT, PCAT, and some MCAT materials from Kaplan. I took each TopScore and Achiever test at least 6x each (the science sections). I went through the Bio and GC section of Destroyer 3 or 4x.

    You might not want to hear advice from a sub-20-scorer... but ask me any questions you'd like, I'm always willing to help! And to all those who have studied like maniacs and gotten below a 20... you are not alone! :)
     
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  3. Simiam

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    What was GC and OC like>

    Was the GC concepts like Bohrs model or >>? How bad were the calculations?

    OC Did you get a lot of Spec or sythesis problems? Or is it mostly concept mixed with Sn1/2E1/2 rxns?
     
  4. topdent1

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    Great Job. You have solid solid scores all around (except gc). I hope you get into the school of your liking. GL!
     
  5. uesider

    uesider Junior Member

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    GC was just plain weird, in my opinion. I have taken every TopScore and Achiever test, and half of my real exam was nothing like practice materials. A lot of acid/base chemistry, some definitions, about 7 calculations... I was getting to the point where I was hoping for a calculation question b/c at least that has a definitive answer! There were definitely some freebies, but overall I was confused. I would suggest studying from a chemistry tutorial book of sorts to make sure you actually know what is going on when everything happens in chemistry, rather than just memorizing equations.

    As for OC, it was very basic. I'd say 60% concepts and 40% reactions on my particular test... reactions were the ones I had seen over and over in practice materials. I had no IR questions on this test, but I specifically remember having one on my last exam in 2007, so tests do vary. I have never gotten an 18 on practice tests... the highest was a 16. Just know your basics well, and you should be fine. Kaplan/TopScore were the best prep for this in my opinion. Over the weekend I did those Kaplan class notecards, which I had forgotten I even owned, and they really helped a LOT! So dig those up if you have them :)
     
  6. Shunwei

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    Very significant improvements. With your new scores, I can see you being a very solid candidate. Good luck.
     
  7. jigabodo

    Dentist

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    With a decent GPA, I'd say you got good chances. Good luck on the rest! :)
     
  8. Mstoothlady2012

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    Nice scores, you improved 2 points that is something. Congrats :thumbup: You sound so much like me....i was the same way last year, studied for about 3 months 7-8 hours a day and still ended up with low score :rolleyes: People are freaking smart on SDN or may be really good test-takes. Did you buy kaplan course this year?
     
  9. snake3

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    Great job!

    are there any half holes on the hole punch section of the DAT??

    Thanks and good luck!!!
     
  10. uesider

    uesider Junior Member

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    Thank you guys for your kind words - I really appreciate it!

    MsToothLady- I totally remember you from last year and thought we sounded similar! When are you re-taking? I took the Kaplan class last summer, and the DAT immediately after. I think I rushed into it too quickly, without really absorbing the material last summer. For this round, I had a tutor who told me Bio and PAT are the easiest areas to improve... whereas GC and OC are a bit more difficult to improve upon, so I did focus on Bio and PAT. I brought Bio stuff with me everywhere I went... subway, the gym, I had notecards posted all over my apt. Seeing this stuff over and over was the only way I was able to learn it, since I was not a bio major or anything near that. I was Wikipedia'ing on my iPhone in the cab to the testing center! I also drew pictures of EVERYTHING since I am more of a visual learner. I used all different colored markers, and as stupid as that sounds, while taking the test and coming across a germ layer question, I remembered what color marker I had written it in. Haha.

    I just found some study materials from the weekend and realized I took that optometry exam that someone else had posted... the Bio section was great. Thanks to whoever posted the link! (and here it is again...)

    https://www.ada.org/oat/index.html

    Snake3 - I did not have any half-hole-punches. I did find some of the hole-punches difficult, but not as crazy as CrackPAT.
     
  11. Mstoothlady2012

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    I am re-taking at the end of July. I bought the Kaplan online course this time, its looking good so far. I am very weak in GC, so that is the section that I need to improve in the most. Thanks for the input! Good luck with everything.
     
  12. Shunwei

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    Not to hijack the thread or anything, but if you are having trouble with the GC I'd suggest going through very thoroughly the sections in the Kaplan blue book. The material in there on GC is actually very well presented in my opinion and covers the DAT well.
     
  13. happyana

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    so would you say that the destroyer for o chem over prepared you? or was it a waste of time?
     
  14. petra23

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    Thank you for your post (OP). I took the DAT today and was totally blindsided. Let me start off by saying that I think I got very lucky by scoring a 22 on RC. Needless to say that is my highest score of all the sections. As for the rest...I ran out of time on QR, and didn't finish...I got a score that will put any human to shame. +pity+
    Biology and Organic: 17
    AA:17
    PAT:miserable:thumbdown:
    The rest you can figure out, but here's the rest. Non-traditional, graduated college 10yrs ago (don't laugh, but degree in chem with 3.6 GPA). Did two years of grad research -in chem- before I realized that I absolutely hate chemistry! Have been working in Pharma Industry for 7 yrs.

    I have been studying for about two months, about 15hrs/week, and took 1 week off from work to study 10hrs/day.

    I have about 40-50 hours shadowing (family member, is it acceptable?). Can't really say I have any community/extracurricular activities.

    Do I have time to retake? ADA says I have to wait 90 days...that means I have to wait until September 15.
    Any advice will help, and I can answer any questions about what type of Q's are on DAT.
     
  15. Mstoothlady2012

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    Thank you! Yes, I agree with your suggestion. I am going through the gchem chapters in kaplan book again.
     
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  17. hoss19

    hoss19 half iron, half man

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    you improved all around, that speaks volumes. good job.
     
  18. uesider

    uesider Junior Member

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    happyana - as for OC - I am sure Destroyer OC is awesome for those who have the background to realistically get a perfect score on OC on the DAT. I knew I didn't have that background so going through Destroyer OC just confused me... after a while I gave up with it and knew I had to start more basic, and for that, Kaplan was perfect. I am looking at Destroyer right now, and there are a ton of reagents that I am positive were not on my test. That being said, I am sure practicing with Destroyer would help nail down the concepts. I'd say if you have the time, use it, but realistically, Destroyer was much more helpful for Bio (it was awesome) which is harder to do well on, IMO.

    Thanks for everyone's kind words on my sub-20 score... haha... and to those still studying, the feeling of it all being OVER is worth the angst... so stick with it!
     

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