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THE DAT BREAKDOWN YOU WANT TO READ 25AA

REAL DAT SCORES:

PAT: 21

BIO: 21

GEN CHEM: 23

ORGANIC CHEM: 30

READING COMPREHENSION: 24

QUANTITATIVE REASONING: 25

TOTAL SCIENCE: 23

ACADEMIC AVERAGE: 25


Time Spent Studying:
- ~70 days for ~8-10 hours per day
-First four weeks were simultaneous Kaplan In-Course Class and DAT BootCamp 10 week schedule
-Once my Kaplan Classes ended, it was strictly DAT BootCamp for the next six weeks
-Last week of studying that could apply to any schedule:
Day 1,2,3 study/review ALL AND EVERY note you take, Day 4,5 final test with the 2007 DAT and 2009 DAT, Day 6 casual review and mental preparation day to GET YOURSELF PUMPED, Day 7 TEST DAY.

Materials:
-
This is why I say that you want to read my DAT Breakdown. I went through two of the most popular programs for DAT Prep: Kaplan DAT Prep Course and DAT BootCamp Ari’s study schedule

-Some of you may not have the financial luxury to afford both. I had that flexibility, and I told myself I would do EVERYTHING I could to take this test ONCE.

-TLDR: FOLLOW DAT BOOTCAMP RELIGIOUSLY. KAPLAN IS NOT BAD BUT NOT WORTH THE $1500. IF YOU’VE TAKEN KAPLAN ALREADY STILL BUY DAT BOOTCAMP AND DO AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE.


-Materials in no particular order:
1. DAT BootCamp – Ari’s 10-week study schedule & Tests
2. DAT Destroyer
3. DAT Math Destroyer
4. Kaplan In-Class Course
5. Kaplan DAT Review Book
6. Kaplan DAT Lesson Book
7. Kaplan DAT Notecards (Biology, Chemistry, Organic Chemistry)
8. Cliff’s AP Biology Pdf (Made available by DAT Bootcamp)
9. Chad’s Videos (Ochem, Gchem, QR)
10. Ferali’s Notes

DAT BootCamp – Ari’s 10-week study schedule

- I genuinely think that this is the best DAT prep schedule available. I LOVED that it told me exactly what to do – what to read, how many problems to practice, which tests to take, etc. - every single day for 10-weeks. The schedule requires you to buy and practice with what I believe are the best DAT practice materials available as well (which will be further explained below). This 10-week schedule if followed religiously, will almost ensure an above average score. Also, if the way the schedule is structured is not possible for your circumstances (i.e. work schedule, you don’t learn this way, etc), you have the flexibility to move slower, faster, and in incorporate different materials/move in a different direction if needed. DO YOURSELF A FAVOR AND BUY THIS.

- The tests for all sections (Bio,G-chem,O-chem,RC,QR,PAT) are HIGHLY representative of what you will see on the REAL DAT. Of course, it cannot cover everything the DAT could throw at you, but the format in which the questions are presented and the depth of material included in DAT BootCamp tests is so close to the real DAT, you’ll feel like its just another Bootcamp test on test day.

- The PAT practice on DAT BootCamp is likely the best prep material for this section. It mirrors the real DAT in difficulty – (could be slightly easier on the real DAT but I doubt any harder). This is a skill based section, and the only way to master a skill is through constant practice and repetition. Practice at least a little bit EVERYDAY (I did not, hence my average score), but you do have all the tools to be successful.


DAT Destroyer

- SOOOOOO HARD. SOOOOO DISCOURAGING. BUT SOOOOOOOOOOO WORTH IT. Simple as that.

- Whenever I read about someone who says that DAT destroyer is overkill, I think “so? you will never regret studying too much, as much as you will regret studying too little.” This is a test for your DREAM CAREER, why wouldn’t you want to overkill??????

- Speaking on behalf of the General Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, and Biology Problems: Do every problem in the book TWICE as directed in Ari’s study schedule. When you’re getting so many problems wrong, you will learn so much and you won’t even know it, trust me.

- I did not practice with the QR tests in the back of this book.


DAT Math Destroyer

- I’ll say it again. SOOOOOO HARD. SOOOOO DISCOURAGING. BUT SOOOOOOOOOOO WORTH IT.

- This book presents nearly every TYPE of QR problem that you will encounter on the real DAT. If you know how to do each TYPE of problem in this book, you will do fine on the QR section.

- HOWEVER, each individual practice test in this book is likely, way harder than a set of QR questions you would see on the real DAT. For example, each DAT destroyer practice test includes maybe 15-20 “hard” questions and the other 20 are average difficulty (easy-medium). In my opinion, on the real DAT you might get 5-10 “hard” questions and the other 30 are in the easy-medium (mostly medium) range, but the content is the same.

- Math destroyer will for sure, help you with timing and efficiency which is INCREDIBLY important ESPECIALLY for QR.


Kaplan In-Class Course

- Disclaimer: I think I did not get as much out of this course as I could have, because I simply did not have faith in it. Not only did reviews on SDN lead me to believe it sucked, but my instructor was a student who did not score as high as the goal I had set for myself. Let me say that there is ABSOLUTELY nothing wrong with that, and he is going to a great dental school, but I was expecting an old, seasoned, trained, instructor/guru that would lead me to the promised land.

- I took this course concurrently while following the DAT BootCamp schedule. And after hearing all of the negative/neutral reviews for Kaplan, I made DAT BootCamp my first priority. Therefore, I never did any of the pre-class, post-class work assigned from Kaplan. Simply did not have time.

- However, when attending class, I recognized that nearly all of the points that were taught in the classroom setting, matched with what I had watched or read in Chad’s or Cliff’s AP Bio book. Therefore, I was almost getting a double reinforcement of the material. This may have contributed to my long-term memory and comprehension of the material simply because of the exposure. But it is hard to tell.

- I believe the full-length tests of this course were overly difficult. I would have still taken them, because practice is practice, but I just did not have time. I took 3/5 full-lengths

- Overall, I think there were few mnemonics, tricks, and tips that I would not have gotten somewhere else, but I do not explicitly remember anything from Kaplan that directly helped on a question on the real DAT.


Kaplan DAT Review Book

- I could have used this book much more, but I do not think it was necessary.

- The Anatomy and Physiology sections (The hardest topics of the bio section) in this book, are superior to Cliff’s AP Bio Anatomy and Physiology sections.

- I did read all of Cliff’s, but I also read the Anatomy and Physiology (i.e. Circulatory system, excretory system, etc.) in this book as a better reinforcement of the material.

- Did not touch anything else


Kaplan DAT Lesson Book

- This is the book that is used in class, and it is basically a workbook during class lecture.

- I did not touch this book outside of the classroom.

- It definitely hits the highest yield questions of each section for the sciences, but too basic of material to get you an above average score.

- There was reading comprehension practice that was done in class from this book. I think this was helpful for early exposure to the Reading comprehension section because in DAT BootCamp you do not touch Reading comprehension until the very end.


Kaplan DAT Notecards (Bio, Gchem, Ochem)

- I only took advantage of the Biology notecards, and did not touch the Gchem, and Ochem notecards.

- I think these notecards were very useful for mobile reviewing. I brought these in the car, to restaurants, etc.

- Rather than just killing time, every chance I had I at least read a couple notecards. Review is review. simple as that.

- However, I would also recommend making your own notecard set which I talk about in my TIPS/REGRETS/THINGS I WOULD DO DIFFERENTLY section of this breakdown.



Cliff’s AP Bio Book

- This is the biology book used in Ari’s study schedule and I think it is great in exposing you to all of the topics/information that could be asked on the real DAT.

- Very general and concise, which is exactly what you want when reviewing for biology.

- However, I would not rely on this book beyond what is prescribed on the DAT Bootcamp schedule. You want to keep exposing yourself to new/unknown bio material after understanding the concepts in this book. Read my TIPS/REGRETS/THINGS I WOULD DO DIFFERENTLY section to see what to do after Cliff’s.


Chad’s Videos (Ochem,Gchem,QR)

- The only source of CONTENT review that you need for organic chemistry, general chemistry, and quantitative reasoning. You need better PRACTICE in these sections than what chad’s provides, and you get that with DAT Destroyer.

- Organic Chemistry Videos: GREAT. His reaction packet and all of the lessons included in his o-chem videos cover all of the CONTENT that you should learn for the o-chem section of the DAT. DAT Destroyer Organic Chemistry is a MUST in order to be proficient in answering questions.

- General Chemistry Videos: GREAT. All of the lessons and material included in his general chemistry videos cover all of the CONTENT that you should learn for the general chemistry section of the DAT. DAT Destroyer General Chemistry is a MUST in order to be proficient in answering questions

- Quantitative Reasoning Videos: OK. Nothing exceptional, but worth a run through at least once to cover all your bases. Practice with Math Destroyer.


Ferali’s Notes

- BIGGEST REGRET. I DID NOT TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THIS EARLY ENOUGH IN THE STUDY PROCESS.

- Biology is the hardest section to prepare for simply because of the depth/amount of questions that could be asked.

- Ferali’s notes is soooooooooo comprehensive, and while it may be an excruciating experience to read, you won’t regret it when you remember a tiny detail that helps you get a bio question right.


Experience on TEST DAY

- Got there early. Prometric is pretty cold. They were actually pushing me to start as soon as I got there lol. I had to ask for a bit of time to mentally prepare.

- Bio Section (21): I thought this was going to be my highest score. I love bio, and I was confident. Turned out to be my lowest score which I am not happy with. This just goes to show that biology is so broad, and it simply depends on the set of questions that you get that day. The set of questions I got hit my weaknesses, and a lot were application based to my surprise.

- General Chemistry Section (23): Everything I expected it to be, and I got what I expected to score. Very similar to DAT Bootcamp Practice Tests, 2007 DAT, 2009 DAT. DAT Destroyer is the best practice to prepare for this section.

- Organic Chemistry Section (30): This is an example where I think I just got lucky and got a set of questions that did not hit my weaknesses. Opposite to my biology section experience. I scored much higher than I expected and I think it saved my Total Science score. Similar to DAT Bootcamp Practice Tests, 2007 DAT, and 2009 DAT. DAT Destroyer is the best practice to prepare for this section.

- PAT (21): PAT was everything I expected it to be. Bootcamp is the best tool for this one. Basically mirrored a “hard” Bootcamp PAT test. Harder than 2007 and 2009 PAT.

- TEST BREAK. I got a 30 minute break? I thought we got 15 minutes, but I took the whole time. I ate nothing that morning so my stomach would not be upset during the test. Ate a granola bar during break and drank a tiny bit of Gatorade. After eating, I got up and walked around the waiting room doing exercises lol – stretching my legs, high knees, back stretches. I wanted to get my blood flowing, and get my body and mind ready. I completely forgot about the first part of the test, and in the last 10 minutes reviewed QR formulas. (You can only review notes during the scheduled break). After that, I said a quick prayer and went in to finish this thing.

- Reading Comprehension (24): I expected it to be easier. Which is off-putting because I scored way higher than I thought I would, and higher than what my practice scores would suggest. 2007 RC was only one passage, but was similar in difficulty to one of the passages that I got on the real test. The 2009 RC was 3 ridiculously difficult passages, but also matched one of the passages I got on the real test. I got one passage that matched the difficulty of a BootCamp reading test. So reading comprehension is pretty variable.

- Quantitative Reasoning (25): This section was a blur. However, I remember it being very similar to BootCamp QR tests. When I finished I thought I scored much lower on this section than what I really got. 2007 QR and DAT Bootcamp QR were similar to the real DAT. 2009 QR I think I got like a 16 or something lol I didn’t even review it. DAT Math Destroyer is the best practice content wise though.


DAT Bootcamp Scores:

Practice Test Scores Taken During the first 8-weeks of schedule:

PAT Tests #6-10
18/Skip/17/18/Skip
-I fell behind in my study schedule and had to omit some PAT practice tests

General Chemistry
19/18/22/20/16

Biology
18/15/19/19/19

Organic Chemistry
22/20/18/22/20

Quantitative Reasoning Tests #6-10
21/21/20/19/20


Scores on BC Full Length Exams

-Keep in mind for the science scores, this will be your second time taking these tests so you will subconsciously remember the answers to some questions (especially for biology)

-However, for the Quantitative Reasoning and PAT, these scores will be for tests #1-5 which are new, and it will be your first time doing the 5 available Reading Comprehension tests

Full Length #1
Bio: 23
Gen Chem: 23
O-Chem: 21
Reading Comp: 19
QR: 19
PAT: 20
Academic Average: 21

Full Length #2
Bio: 21
Gen Chem: 23
O-Chem: 24
Reading Comp: 18
QR: 20
PAT: 21
Academic Average: 21

Full Length #3
Bio: 19
Gen Chem: 24
O-Chem: 24
Reading Comp: 22
QR: 30
PAT: 20
Academic Average: 24 (23.8 round up)

Full Length #4
Bio: 25
Gen Chem: 23
O-Chem: 26
Reading Comp: 23
QR: 19
PAT: 19
Academic Average: 23

Full Length #5
Bio: 22
Gen Chem: 20
O-Chem: 20
Reading Comp: 20
QR: 24
PAT: 19
Academic Average: 21


DAT Bootcamp Averages by Subject:

Biology: 23/21/19/25/22 = 22

Chemistry: 23/23/24/23/20 = 22

Organic Chemistry: 21/24/24/26/20 = 23

Reading Comprehension: 19/20/22/23/20 = 20

Quantitative Reasoning: 19/20/30/19/24 = 22

PAT: 20/21/20/19/19 = 20

Academic Average: 21/21/24/23/21 = 22


2007 DAT Practice Test:

Bio: 20
Gen Chem: 21
O-Chem: 30
Reading Comp: 23
QR: 22
PAT: 22
Academic Average: 23

2009 DAT Practice Test:

Bio: 24
Gen Chem: 23
O-Chem: 20
Reading Comp: 19
QR: 16
PAT: 24
Academic Average: 20

TIPS/REGRETS/THINGS I WOULD DO DIFFERENTLY:

1. MY MOST IMPORTANT TIP:
**DO NOT FREAK OUT ABOUT PRACTICE SCORES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!** Trust me, I was so stressed that I could never reach my goal on my practice exams, and especially on the 2007 and 2009 DAT, which are supposed to highly resemble your score (25 – P.S. I never thought that I could achieve this score. I just believe that you should never ever aim low so I shot for the stars). People say that you should be scoring above and below your goal in order to expect that score – not necessarily. From my experience, once you are getting 22 and above in a section, there is no way to accurately predict your score. The scoring curve is sooooo drastic at this point that one question could bring you from a 30 to a 25, 25 to 24, 24 to 23, and so on. As unfair as it sounds, I believe once you are averaging 22+, it really comes down to luck on the day of the test – you can get a version of the test that hits of your strengths and luckily score a 25 like I did, or you can get a version of the test that hits a bit too many of your weaknesses and score lower than what you have been getting on practice tests.

2. While Ari’s is a 10-week schedule, give yourself more like 11-12 weeks (incorporate maybe a 5-8 days extra) to compensate for falling behind and unexpected interruptions. This also gives you extra days after finishing BootCamp to exhaust ALL your resources. For me, I went over EVERY SINGLE ONE of my notes, took more practice tests that I got from Kaplan, friends, etc., and after all of that, I was able to ask myself “is there even anything more I could do?” Which is good for your confidence, and it will let you know if you’re ready to take the test.

3. Adjustments to Ari’s Schedule that I wish I did/would suggest:
  • Go through all of Chad’s videos, and don’t worry too much about reviewing the notes you took. This is just for exposure, and practice is more important. If you finish one day of Chad’s videos and have extra time, start on a couple more. Don’t end the day until you are just too tired.
    • Try to get to DAT Destroyer practice as soon as possible. As you get problems wrong in DAT Destroyer, you will eventually be looking back on your notes to understand why and thus be reviewing (more effectively) that way. Also, the extra days I suggest give you time to review these once more right before the test.
  • BE CAREFUL with rest days. I started taking complete rest days every Sunday just like BootCamp has scheduled. I regretted not reviewing my notes on these days. They don’t have to be intense review/study days, but at least some light review. Some days you really just need a total break and that’s ok. I took some, but keep pushing as hard as you can otherwise!
  • **DON’T WORRY ABOUT HOW MANY YOU’RE GETTING WRONG ON DAT DESTROYER, SERIOUSLY. I literally was getting <45% correct on my first run through the book, and MAYBE 65% on the second run through. USE DAT AS A LEARNING TOOL, NOT A SCORE PREDICTOR, AND YOU WILL GET THE MOST OUT OF IT.
  • On the second run through of DAT Destroyer, make a notecard for EVERY single problem you got wrong again, or luckily guessed right. This includes new formulas for gen-chem, new reactions for o-chem, new facts for bio, that you have never seen before. This way, you wont have to go through the entire DAT Destroyer a third time, which may not be worth it, but you can review the hardest problems for a third time. (Go through it a third time if you have time)
  • Do DAT Biology destroyer twice. Ari’s schedule incorporates it only once, but do 50 problems per day instead of the suggested amount on the schedule. The second time should be pretty quick. On the second attempt, only review what you get wrong, and make notecards.
  • Once you finish reading through Cliff’s AP Bio book, Ari doesn’t have much biology review explicitly labeled in the schedule. Don’t leave off biology like I did. READ AT LEAST A LITTLE BIT OF FERALI’S NOTES EVERYDAY. I would say you should have read through Ferali’s fully 2-3 times by the end of studying.
  • DAT DESTROYER ORGANIC CHEMISTRY REACTION ROAD MAPS: this is a GREAT way of reviewing a few days before the test to see if you can recognize the o-chem reactions. Reviewing Chad’s reaction packet is good too.
  • If you were able to incorporate the extra 5-8 days into the schedule, do a HARD biology review these days. Short term memory will be your best friend for the biology section and there’s not much more to it.
4. GENUINELY GIVE IT YOUR ALL WHEN STUDYING. Don’t just go through the motions or just skim through the readings. ACTIVELY read and review the material. UNDERSTAND what you’re reading and why you are getting problems wrong. TEST yourself afterwards.

5. BE FREAKING CONFIDENT!!!!! (Ok this might be my most important tip) Attitude is absolutely vital on the day of the test. A lack of confidence can mess with your mind, and interfere with your ability to get questions right. You’ll be thinking about how bad you’re going to do instead of recalling the information that you just spent 11 weeks learning. It can REALLY mess you up, and you only have one chance at this (ok, you COULD re-take it in 90 days, but approach it with the mindset as if this is your only shot) After almost three months of studying, have the faith and confidence in yourself to say “I gave it my all these past 11 weeks, and all I can do now is give it my all one more time.” If you’ve genuinely given it your VERY BEST, despite what the score says, what more could you ask of yourself?


I feel like I got pretty lucky. I was expecting a 22-23 at best. I jumped from an average AA of 22 on practice tests, to a 25 AA on the real thing. If I could do it, you can DEFINITELY do it. I am not a genius. My standardized testing skills are not amazing (1250 math and reading on SAT??? something like that if you want to compare that way). I just had the discipline, and work ethic to devote honest time and effort to this exam. It’s a simple matter of putting the work in. Now go put your whole heart and soul into studying for this test, and you will not have any regrets once it’s over!
 

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LuckBloodandSweat

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May 26, 2015
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Imma need some evidence here ;). Also 1250 isn't that horrid for the SAT (I got a 1420 but whatever lol I was a high school bum on cruise control and expected a 1520+ on those two so I never meet expectations xD). I believe you for now though, 70 days is a lot of work!! Grats :)
 
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V
Jul 25, 2016
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Imma need some evidence here ;). Also 1250 isn't that horrid for the SAT (I got a 1420 but whatever lol I was a high school bum on cruise control and expected a 1520+ on those two so I never meet expectations xD). I believe you for now though, 70 days is a lot of work!! Grats :)
k
 

LuckBloodandSweat

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V
Jul 25, 2016
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hey how did you approach the dat destroyer the first time
No notes. Untimed. 25-30 problems a day. You may only get 12/25 right and that's ok. Remember it's a learning tool. When you go back to check your answers, UNDERSTAND why an answer is such. Find it in your notes & review it. If it's not in your notes, write the concepts down.
 
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LuckBloodandSweat

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LuckBloodandSweat

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carpe_diem

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Holy crap, thanks so much for this! My test is tomorrow and I royally screwed up on my part and definitely did not study seriously this time around (I think I'll be lucky if I score 15 AA :'()....but when I plan to retake in maybe 4-6 months, I'll definitely be referencing your threat.
 

LuckBloodandSweat

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May 26, 2015
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Holy crap, thanks so much for this! My test is tomorrow and I royally screwed up on my part and definitely did not study seriously this time around (I think I'll be lucky if I score 15 AA :'()....but when I plan to retake in maybe 4-6 months, I'll definitely be referencing your threat.
reschedule then. you really shouldn't take it if you think you'll get a 15... i'm probably too late though.
 

Faefly

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Jun 21, 2016
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Thank you for all these tips and information. I am so happy for you.
This thread helped me a lot!
 
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smile matters

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Did you have any geometry and trig?? Do you think it's worth learning and memorizing all the area/volume/perimeter formulas?