May 26, 2019
4
1
1
Status
Pre-Dental
I’ve taken the DAT twice now! Both times were so bad, embarrassing bad. I’ll share my scores below.
However, I really want to do this and now it feels impossible. I feel so lost and depressed rn. I’ve literally finished the application for this cycle, everything except my DAT scores are in. But now I feel like it’s going to be a waste of money to even send my application in. My only study tool was DAT bootcamp (I’m not rich, so I couldn’t really sacrifice a lot of money), and I studied for 3 months ( followed Ari guide)
What should I do?
-Would taking the DAT (for the third time) again in time for this cycle be favorable?
- should i take a course, what are good resources (decent price range) ?
- or just give up the dream all together :(

Background-
I’m a pretty good student. So, it was a literal knife through my chest when I saw my scores. I don’t know what happened!! Time management was definitely factor while taking the test.

3.5 gpa, bs in biology with a business minor, only two C in undergrad (biochemistry and neurology) did 2 dental mission trips, 200+ volunteers hrs and 100+ clinical hrs. Work as a DA currently. Not a US citizen ( from Haiti) Active church goer. I’m 23 years old

Now for the sad part-
First attempt-
PAT- 17
QR- 13
RC- 19
bio- 16
Gc-15
oc-13
Ts- 15
Aa- 15

Second-
Pat- 16
QR- 14
RC- 21
Bio-18
Gc- 15
Oc- 12
Ts - 15
Aa- 16

Please be kind and respectful. If dentistry isn’t for me, Please can you recommend other dental/ medical related jobs, etc.
 
Last edited:
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Jul 4, 2018
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I’m not the most knowledge person on this kind of stuff, but academics aren’t everything. It’s extremely clear that you really want to be a dentist, and in my eyes that says a lot. You have a lot of really great experiences which will help you out.

I think you should take the DAT again, but it doesn’t look like DAT bootcamp was a good resource for you. You should try to make your own schedule, don’t follow a different persons schedule. Make a schedule that will work for you.

For ochem and gen chem you should look into getting chads videos through coursesaver.com. These videos are great for the chemistry sections (it’s $10 per section per month). I would recommend taking notes while watching the videos, then reviewing the notes until you understand everything.

For biology I would recommend reading over the original feralis notes a few times and understanding everything in the notes. These notes are free and you can find them online. (I did not like bootcamp version of feralis notes, I preferred the original version, but you should decide which one to use).

For QR you can also watch the QR videos by chad on course saver, or watch DAT Bootcamp’s playlist. But I would recommend getting Math destroyer (by the same people that made DAT destroyer).

Dat destroyer is really good for ochem and gen chem practice (I would highly recommend dat destroyer for ochem and gen chem). But I didn’t think the biology section was much help for me personally.

For PAT you could use PATbooster. I didn’t use PATbooster but you can find a ton of people on SDN that think it’s better than bootcamp, but definitely look into it.

Don’t give up, I believe that you can do it! Just try to learn from your previous experiences taking the DAT. If you can learn from your previous attempts then I know you can do well!

You said your time management was a problem, did you just not feel like studying? Lack of motivation?
 
Last edited:
OP
J
May 26, 2019
4
1
1
Status
Pre-Dental
I’m not the most knowledge person on this kind of stuff, but academics aren’t everything. It’s extremely clear that you really want to be a dentist, and in my eyes that says a lot. You have a lot of really great experiences which will help you out.

I think you should take the DAT again, but it doesn’t look like DAT bootcamp was a good resource for you. You should try to make your own schedule, don’t follow a different persons schedule. Make a schedule that will work for you.

For ochem and gen chem you should look into getting chads videos through coursesaver.com. These videos are great for the chemistry sections (it’s $10 per section per month). I would recommend taking notes while watching the videos, then reviewing the notes until you understand everything.

For biology I would recommend reading over the original feralis notes a few times and understanding everything in the notes. These notes are free and you can find them online.

For QR you can also watch the QR videos by chad on course saver, or watch DAT Bootcamp’s playlist. But I would recommend getting Math destroyer (by the same people that made DAT destroyer).

Dat destroyer is really good for ochem and gen chem practice (I would highly recommend dat destroyer for ochem and gen chem). But I didn’t think the biology section was much help for me personally.

For PAT you could use PATbooster. I didn’t use PATbooster but you can find a ton of people on SDN that think it’s better than bootcamp, but definitely look into it.

Don’t give up, I believe that you can do it!

You said your time management was a problem, did you just not feel like studying? Lack of motivation?
When I say time management, on the actual test I find that I was running out of time and that made me very stressed while doing the test.

But thank you! I’ll definitely take your advice. I really want this, and my scores are definitely holding me back.
I have to wait 3 months to do the test again. So , do you think I still have a shot for this cycle? Or Is it too late?
 

Mcat__cat!!!

2+ Year Member
Sep 4, 2016
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You’re still have a shot in this cycle. I know students who took the DAT 3 times and got in.
The real issue here is your study method. You have to figure out what work for you. Ari’s bootcamp schedule is great, but it’s not for everyone. If time management is the problem then work on it. Practice a tons, do as many practice exams as possible with the timer on. If you lack in knowledges then buckle down and study. No tip and trick to find an easy way out.

I said go ahead and apply this upcoming cycle but tell the schools that you will be taking the DAT again. If you truly want to become a dentist then don’t let a DAT stop you. Best of luck
 
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Jul 4, 2018
25
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When I say time management, on the actual test I find that I was running out of time and that made me very stressed while doing the test.

But thank you! I’ll definitely take your advice. I really want this, and my scores are definitely holding me back.
I have to wait 3 months to do the test again. So , do you think I still have a shot for this cycle? Or Is it too late?
Look at the requirements of the schools you want to apply to. Some schools have DAT cutoff values, and if you’re below these values then you won’t be able to apply to those schools.

If you’re above their cutoff values or they don’t have cutoff values then it might be worth a shot (I’m not the best person to ask about this). But definitely look at the DAT cutoff values of the schools!

@Mcat_cat seems like they might know more about this than I do.
 
OP
J
May 26, 2019
4
1
1
Status
Pre-Dental
Look at the requirements of the schools you want to apply to. Some schools have DAT cutoff values, and if you’re below these values then you won’t be able to apply to those schools.

If you’re above their cutoff values or they don’t have cutoff values then it might be worth a shot (I’m not the best person to ask about this). But definitely look at the DAT cutoff values of the schools!
Okay will do, thank you for helping me

I’m very grateful
 
Jul 4, 2018
25
4
1
Status
Pre-Dental
Okay will do, thank you for helping me

I’m very grateful
Happy I could help, good luck! And don’t lose sight of your dream! Schools will see how persistent you are, and how you don’t give up when you face adversity. That alone is going to give you an edge over many applicants.
 
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OP
J
May 26, 2019
4
1
1
Status
Pre-Dental
You’re still have a shot in this cycle. I know students who took the DAT 3 times and got in.
The real issue here is your study method. You have to figure out what work for you. Ari’s bootcamp schedule is great, but it’s not for everyone. If time management is the problem then work on it. Practice a tons, do as many practice exams as possible with the timer on. If you lack in knowledges then buckle down and study. No tip and trick to find an easy way out.

I said go ahead and apply this upcoming cycle but tell the schools that you will be taking the DAT again. If you truly want to become a dentist then don’t let a DAT stop you. Best of luck
Okay, I’ll contact them. I plan on applying to 12 schools.
I’m definitely going to change my study habits. I’ll take it again in September, however like you said. I’ll check with the schools
 

orgoman22

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I’ve taken the DAT twice now! Both times were so bad, embarrassing bad. I’ll share my scores below.
However, I really want to do this and now it feels impossible. I feel so lost and depressed rn. I’ve literally finished the application for this cycle, everything except my DAT scores are in. But now I feel like it’s going to be a waste of money to even send my application in. My only study tool was DAT bootcamp (I’m not rich, so I couldn’t really sacrifice a lot of money), and I studied for 3 months ( followed Ari guide)
What should I do?
-Would taking the DAT (for the third time) again in time for this cycle be favorable?
- should i take a course, what are good resources (decent price range) ?
- or just give up the dream all together :(

Background-
I’m a pretty good student. So, it was a literal knife through my chest when I saw my scores. I don’t know what happened!! Time management was definitely factor while taking the test.

3.5 gpa, bs in biology with a business minor, only two C in undergrad (biochemistry and neurology) did 2 dental mission trips, 200+ volunteers hrs and 100+ clinical hrs. Work as a DA currently. Not a US citizen ( from Haiti) Active church goer. I’m 23 years old

Now for the sad part-
First attempt-
PAT- 17
QR- 13
RC- 19
bio- 16
Gc-15
oc-13
Ts- 15
Aa- 15

Second-
Pat- 16
QR- 14
RC- 21
Bio-18
Gc- 15
Oc- 12
Ts - 15
Aa- 16

Please be kind and respectful. If dentistry isn’t for me, Please can you recommend other dental/ medical related jobs, etc.
If you really want to be a dentist you have no other choice but to take it again. You MUST change your strategy. You have a good GPA so it shows you are a good student. You need to start a new study plan. Your Orgo score is very low and GC is just a little better, You will have to make those weaknesses, strengths, Bio is just memorization so you need to find something else that is more effective, Dr. Romano has written his Dynamite Bio Review which is free and I am sure other students will chime in with some more options. I do not think you will be ready to take the DAT in September, I do believe you should build a much better foundation In GC and Orgo, there are plenty of free videos for math, etc.

Before attempting the DAT again you need to feel very confident and know you can do it. Pick yourself back up, do not be depressed, rise to the occasion, this is your dream, don't stop. I have a past student of mine and good friend from Haiti, he is now a dentist. He had a family and other obligations, he was also a little older and not a traditional student. But he did it. He graduated from Columbia University College of Dental Medicine and his dream was to give back to his people in Haiti, and he has.

You need to use your old Orgo text books and GC to build that foundation. Of if you don't have them perhaps you can borrow it from a library of a friend.

I do wish you the best, remember after the 3rd time you have to wait a year to take it again. Be prepared before facing the DAT Beast again.

Always #think30

Nancy
 
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Faefly

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I would recommend that you do not apply now with these scores. Save the money for retaking the DAT.

You need to use other resources for the DAT for your next retake, if you scored high and I mean above 21, then apply to dental schools.
Take a year off or 6 months to study for the DAT. Obviously, 3 months did not work for you, there is no shame in that.

"Insanity is repeating the same mistakes and expecting different results." I rephrased this from Albert's famous quote. Edit: Not Albert, but someone else.

Before you start studying again for the DAT, take a month off everything, enjoy your life a little and then get back to studying again after you have relaxed and calmed down.
 
Last edited:

Eririna

2+ Year Member
Oct 21, 2014
1
0
51
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Before taking the DAT (both times), how were you doing on practice exams/with practice questions? If time management seemed to be an issue for you during the exam, I highly recommend using anki (or any other similar program where you can make flashcards for bio/QR/GC/OC) and flipping through those during any free time. Basically any sort of practice technique that results in faster recall of a wider variety of information will do.

I know that using practice problems to study doesn't work for everyone, but if you think it might be helpful, I recommend the DAT Destroyer/Math destroyer books -- when I first started on the math destroyer a few months before my exam, I kept getting more than half of the problems wrong. However, there is a pretty clear pattern when it comes to the QR questions on the DAT, so once you go through enough problems and get better at identifying the types of questions that will pop up, it becomes pretty easy to go through the questions quickly (in the end, I got a 27 for QR). The most important part, especially when using resources like the Destroyer books or DAT Bootcamp, is to spend plenty of time to review ALL of the questions -- including ones you got correct! And don't just rely off of the explanation given for the answer, if there are additional details that you don't feel like you fully understand, go and research them and take notes (and/or make anki cards for review).

Good luck!

edit: also, this is just my personal opinion, but it is not necessary to study for the DAT for more than 3 months -- in fact, it may be detrimental as you may burn out/lose motivation/tend to forget stuff you covered in the beginning if you study for so long. Up to you, though. If you feel like you'd do well studying for longer, go for it!
 

orgoman22

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Before taking the DAT (both times), how were you doing on practice exams/with practice questions? If time management seemed to be an issue for you during the exam, I highly recommend using anki (or any other similar program where you can make flashcards for bio/QR/GC/OC) and flipping through those during any free time. Basically any sort of practice technique that results in faster recall of a wider variety of information will do.

I know that using practice problems to study doesn't work for everyone, but if you think it might be helpful, I recommend the DAT Destroyer/Math destroyer books -- when I first started on the math destroyer a few months before my exam, I kept getting more than half of the problems wrong. However, there is a pretty clear pattern when it comes to the QR questions on the DAT, so once you go through enough problems and get better at identifying the types of questions that will pop up, it becomes pretty easy to go through the questions quickly (in the end, I got a 27 for QR). The most important part, especially when using resources like the Destroyer books or DAT Bootcamp, is to spend plenty of time to review ALL of the questions -- including ones you got correct! And don't just rely off of the explanation given for the answer, if there are additional details that you don't feel like you fully understand, go and research them and take notes (and/or make anki cards for review).

Good luck!

edit: also, this is just my personal opinion, but it is not necessary to study for the DAT for more than 3 months -- in fact, it may be detrimental as you may burn out/lose motivation/tend to forget stuff you covered in the beginning if you study for so long. Up to you, though. If you feel like you'd do well studying for longer, go for it!
I agree with what you stated and great advice , but because this student apparently needs to work a lot on weak areas, 3 months just might not be enough time. For most students it is more than enough, just depends. But a 12 in Orgo IMO shows some serious weakness and must be remediated. Just my 2 cents..and Thanks for taking the time to give some well thought out advice.

Nancy
 
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Jul 19, 2017
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In contrast to some other comments, I would argue that it's pretty well known that Bootcamp is a significant contributor to good scores, why would you throw out a proven useful tool from your box of resources? I wouldn't tell you to abandon Bootcamp, but the implication from your scores is that you're doing something wrong. I'd definitely at least supplement it with Destroyer if you weren't already using it, but those are pretty much the gold standard resources and your GPA shows that you should be reasonably capable in everything the DAT tests. You need to identify what's keeping you from integrating the benefits, which are definitely present in the resources, into your own performance.

Running out of time is killer, so you should be acutely aware of that as you prepare for your next try.
 
Jul 19, 2017
186
266
41
Virginia
Status
Dental Student
I would recommend that you do not apply now with these scores. Save the money for retaking the DAT.

You need to use other resources for the DAT for your next retake, if you scored high and I mean above 21, then apply to dental schools.
Take a year off or 6 months to study for the DAT. Obviously, 3 months did not work for you, there is no shame in that.

"Insanity is repeating the same mistakes and expecting different results." I rephrased this from Albert's famous quote.

Before you start studying again for the DAT, take a month off everything, enjoy your life a little and then get back to studying again after you have relaxed and calmed down.
Not personally calling you out cause I know it's super widespread, this misquote just drives me crazy!

 
Apr 23, 2019
5
4
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Status
Dental Student
Hey there!

Obviously I’m biased in what I did to study for this test. These are just my opinions on what you should do! You can do what you like but I just wanted to give you advice! I hope that my post will not come off as cocky, but will cheer you up and give you hope.

I just want to say that Dentistry IS for you! You obviously have the desire but the tools you are using just aren’t working for you. I commend you for seeking help! It takes a lot of humility to do that. I agree with everything that Nancy said but I would like to add on a few things.

First, I want to give you my story a little bit to give you some hope! I was studying using DAT bootcamp last year for about 12 weeks. I wanted to gauge where I was at afterward and so I took a Kaplan diagnostic test. I received scores VERY similar to yours. I was crushed. I’m not saying Bootcamp doesn’t work for some people, but like you, it didn’t work for me. However, I picked up some tools that really helped me out. I studied my backside off for 3 months at ~60 hours/week (kinda insane but anxiety of the DAT drove me everyday). I was able to get competitive DAT score and multiple acceptances. There is hope!

Now, you obviously have some serious knowledge lapses with GC and OC. Please buy the General Chemistry Destroyer! It will go over ALL of the General chemistry concepts in a very easy to understand way! It took me a week and I boosted my score from a 15 (diagnostic) to a 21 official score. I also recommend that you purchase the O-chem odyssey (also written by Dr Romano). Same gig as the gen chem destroyer. My diagnostic score was a 14 and my real score after using this text ended up being a 26!

As for Biology you can download Dr. Romano’s Biology review from his Facebook group for free. I used this exclusively. It was an easy read with a lot of helpful pictures. I ended up with a 22 in BIO.

Definitely purchase the Math Destroyer and the newest DAT Destroyer text. After you get a thorough review from Gen chem Destroyer, o-chem odyssey, and Dr. Romanos Bio review, I’d jump into the DAT Destroyer. Seriously, if you don’t review your stuff first the DAT Destroyer will make you feel a bit depressed and you’ll want to slam your head through a wall. It’s tough. Go through ALL the problems multiple times in the DAT Destroyer. Read the explanations for the answers for all the questions. Focus on the concepts! Due to time constraints I only completed that book about 1.5 times but thankfully got a competitive score. If I wouldn’t have wasted 3 months (still depressed about that haha) then I could’ve gotten an even better score (21 TS 21 AA official).

Lastly, I just don’t think it’s worth keeping a subscription to DAT Bootcamp. If it doesn’t work for you then save some money and find something that does. I didn’t need to work on my timing for the test. I was able to finish every section early (except QR which I neglected in my studying) because I knew the material pretty well. Personally, I’m not a believer in timed tests too much.

Again, I’m not trying to come off as cocky, I’m just passionate about this. I was crushed when I received a poor diagnostic score. I reached out to Dr. Romano through Facebook for advice. In the end he told me to push back my test date because I was clearly not ready. I felt crushed again! However, that was a great decision in the end (despite my wife wanting to strangle me haha). My knowledge was boosted significantly and my official scores reflected that. There is no reason you can’t do the same!

You got this! Don’t hesitate to send me a PM if you have any questions. Best wishes!