SDN members see fewer ads and full resolution images. Join our non-profit community!

-=The Hill Technique for Angle Ranking=-

Discussion in 'DAT Discussions' started by ORLO, Jul 20, 2008.

  1. ORLO

    ORLO 7+ Year Member

    Jun 29, 2008
    Lately, I've been seeing a lot of posts regarding angle ranking and the various ways to improve this skill. To all those struggling with this section, I recommend trying a technique I invented. I'm dubbing it the Hill Technique.

    Pretend that one side of the angle is the ground.(This may require you to mentally rotate the angle slightly, or just tilt your head, depending on how the angle is rotated on the screen.) Next, imagine that the other side of the angle is a hill. Finally, imagine that you are looking at this hill and trying to decide if it would be safe to ride your bike down it. For all acute angles (less than 90 degrees), the safest hill to ride down would the smallest angle. This is because the slope is not as steep. However, a steep slope (larger angle) would be scarier to ride down. Make sure you are riding down the outside part of acute angles and not on the inside, which would require you to be upside down on your bike!

    For obtuse angles (greater than 90 degrees), ride down the hill on the inside of the angle. This time, the safest hill to ride down will correlate to the largest angle.This would be the closest to 180 degrees, or the closest to having no slope at all. The scariest hill to ride down would be the one with the steepest slope. For obtuse angles, the steepest hill correlates to the smallest angle. At worst (think of a 91 degree angle), this would be like riding your bike down a near-vertical slope.

    Looking at the angles this way, (IMO) it becomes much easier to differentiate between them. This method absolutely worked for me on the DAT. If this still seems abstract, draw out two acute angles and follow my instructions. Repeat for two obtuse angles. You'll get the hang of it very quickly. Feedback and questions are welcome. Good luck!

    -Remember to always wear a helmet when riding your bicycle.;)

    -Be sure to check out my other method for angle ranking, the Laptop Technique. (
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2008
  2. SDN Members don't see this ad. About the ads.
  3. rebma

    rebma 2+ Year Member

    Jul 3, 2008
    i just tried this technique and it is working for me!! my neck hurts a little though from moving it left and right haha... but after doing questions on crack pat for angle ranking i got above 80% thanks!! i will use this for my last two crack pat tests... how much time do u usually spend on angles during the test??

    thanks again i love the hill technique!! just be careful not to strain your neck! haha
  4. topdent1

    topdent1 2+ Year Member

    Aug 6, 2007
    I also have my own strategy. I was getting killed on crack dat angles so I came up with this: Your eyes don't lie. As soon as the problem appears on the screen, scan through the choices quickly (less than 5 seconds) and quickly remember the order which you perceived the angles. I know this method sounds a little far-fetched but i tried it today and instead of getting 8/15 on angles I got a 12. Seriously think about it. The more you stare at the angles, the more your eyes will adapt to the objects on the screen making the angles look more similar than ever. Plus you'll also save mad amounts of time.
  5. HoangDDS

    HoangDDS 2+ Year Member

    Apr 20, 2008
    San Jose
    hey great technique. I just got 11/15 using your technique!! That's a huge improvement over my normal 8s, 9s, and one 10. I'm doing well in everything else except this area. Thanks for posting this technique. Took a bit to get used to, had to think about it.

    Acute angles = steeper / more dangerous = bigger ; less steep /safer = smaller

    obtuse angles = steeper / more danger = smaller; safer = bigger

    I mt. bike and snowboards so, thinking about it this way makes it more fun...which one is steeper or more dangerous = bigger = more fun !
  6. HoangDDS

    HoangDDS 2+ Year Member

    Apr 20, 2008
    San Jose
    man, this just gets better and better. Just tried the technique again and got a 12/15 on angles in test 6! I don't use it all the time, but I use when I can't decide on two angles. Great technique!:thumbup:
  7. klutzy1987

    klutzy1987 StudyingSucks Letsgo Mets 5+ Year Member

    Jan 28, 2008
    New York
    Damn lol why couldnt i have known about this before i took my DAT lol. I am pretty sure that i got every section of PAT perfect or a 14 except for angles where i think i got like a 10. Had i been able to get angles like you, since you say its much easier now i coulda really killed the PAT.
  8. ORLO

    ORLO 7+ Year Member

    Jun 29, 2008
    I usually spent ~12 minutes on angles. This may be too much time for some people, but I really tried to get the majority of them right. By the way, I'm glad people are finding my technique helpful!:D
  9. sleepinxlionhar

    sleepinxlionhar 5+ Year Member

    Feb 28, 2009
    I love it too!!
  10. Contach

    Contach 7+ Year Member

    Jun 5, 2008
    I don't know if a lot of you do this or not (by some people's marks it doesn't seem like they do).. so....

    on the PAT, it's also important to determine which angles you are most sure about, and eliminate all the other choices..

    like say from smallest to largest the choices are:
    a) 1-2-3-4
    b) 1-2-4-3
    c) 2-3-1-4
    d) 2-3-4-1

    and you aren't sure about which is smaller out of 1, 3, and 4, but you ARE sure that 2 is smaller then all of 1, 3 and 4. Then you can immediately eliminate options (a) and (b). Now you are left with (c) and (d) and since in both these options 3 is smaller than 1 and 4, all you need to guess between (or reanalyze) are angles 1 and 4.

    Typing it out makes it sound like a long process, but it is very quick (or atleast when I did it). Sometimes this strategy will make it so you only need to compare one angle (and coincidentally that may be the angle comparison you are most sure about), and BAM you are done. The Hill technique, which may work for you, is great, but doing any technique in a vacuum without considering the choices in front of you is only going to make it harder.
  11. brightsmiles9

    brightsmiles9 2+ Year Member

    Mar 8, 2009
    GREAT technique, thanks for sharing.. any ideas for tfe?
  12. HowAboutDAT

    HowAboutDAT 7+ Year Member

    Jul 24, 2008
    New York, New York
    visit the my wicked sick PAT tutorial for some great TFE advice, also is it just me or can the hill method be applied in only select situations, especially on CDP?
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2009
  13. ORLO

    ORLO 7+ Year Member

    Jun 29, 2008
    It can be applied to any group of angles in any situation.

    Glad to see my thread was raised from the dead:thumbup:
  14. Penguin1

    Penguin1 5+ Year Member

    Apr 30, 2010
    how do you decide which side of the angle to use as the ground? does that matter?
  15. tinman831

    tinman831 ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Administrator Dentist Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 10+ Year Member

    Dec 11, 2004
    Doesn't matter. You'll get the same result either way. This "technique" is the same way you use a protractor to measure an angle.
  16. smiley00

    smiley00 2+ Year Member

    Dec 31, 2010
    i dont get what you mean by this would require you to be upside down on the bicycle? b/c if i m on the outside of the angle, and riding down i'm right side up...not upside down. am i missing something? thanks for your help!
  17. recyrb


    Dec 28, 2010
    you missed when he said make sure you are on the outside of the angle, not on the inside.. if you are on the inside you would be riding upside down.. just for kicks
  18. RCLEE


    Apr 11, 2011
    San Jose, CA
    I just took the Topscore 1st PAT and got a 14/15. Normally, my methods on angle ranking work pretty well. So, I want to share them with you guys.

    1 - Look for the biggest and smallest.
    2 - One the two angles that look very similar in size. proceed to the next question and then go back right away and pick the one that you first think is the smallest. You inner perceptual ability (at least mine, but you should try, too) would get the angle ranking right.
    3 - compare the length of the whole piece to others. I notice this in the ADA practice PAT.

    Anyway, good luck you guys!
  19. woox

    woox 2+ Year Member

    Oct 2, 2008
    I know this is a massive bump, but I just went to getting 6/15 right on my angle PAT to 15/15 with the hill technique. You rock.
  20. tristaw


    Jul 7, 2011
    I was getting 6's on the angle ranking and I tried it the first time on CRACKDAT and I got an 11/15!!! This technique has really helped me. Thanks
  21. ORLO

    ORLO 7+ Year Member

    Jun 29, 2008
    I'm glad people are finding my trick helpful :) I think it works because it takes something somewhat abstract and places it in a much more familiar visual context. Good luck to all those who haven't taken the DAT yet!
  22. Joedahoe

    Joedahoe 2+ Year Member

    May 17, 2011
    hey could u post a youtube video or draw a picture with the bicyclist location on the hill. im not really understanding your explanation for determining the acute angles. I do understand the obtuse angle illustration however, just need helping visualizing the "hill" technique for the acute angle determination. thanks again brother.
  23. quand


    Jun 16, 2011
    Houston, Texas
    awesome strat
  24. jwnichols21

    jwnichols21 5+ Year Member

    Aug 11, 2010
    I have had some success with this..but do you have any advice for when the angles are proposed at a direction that you can't employ this technique?! Thanks
  25. willdrill4food

    willdrill4food 2+ Year Member

    Apr 15, 2011
    Hey I made this explanation of your method and posted it on my breakdown but I thought it might reach more eyes here, if it is helpful. All the credit goes to ORLO for the idea. Your method really helped my scores. I was getting below 7-8 correct when I started PAT, and ended up getting 13-15 at the end. Not sure how many I missed on the real DAT but I got a 25 on PAT.

    Anyways, here's my explanation with some visual aid... even though it sounds simple, it took me a little time use it properly. At first I thought I had it and my scores raised slightly, but when I really visualized looking down the hill in my head, thats when I started to barely miss any angles. The angles I did miss, when I looked at them with slightly fresher eyes, they weren't any harder than the others. It's really simple once you get it and extremely effective. Hopefully someone finds this useful. It really is about visualizing looking down the slope, like the eye in the explanation, regardless if it makes a perfect hill or not (like the upside down hill in angle 2).


    Sidenote - I would suggest taking 10-15 seconds right before the angles (specifically) to close your eyes and clear your mind. Count the seconds in your head and imagine it as a mini-vacation from your test. Rub your eyes a little to relieve some stress. It will feel much longer than 15 seconds. Really don't think of anything else, just use your highly educated mind doing an extremely simple task. I started to do this during my practice tests and it really helped. I know some people may disagree and say every second counts, but mid-test meditation has helped me remember answers when I drew a blank and knew it was somewhere up there. It has saved me some crucial points, even during tests that aren't as long as the DAT. It can also be helpful during the science section, but I would wait until the end if you have time to review. And when you review (as long as you don't mark every question) remember the area of the test when you marked something you actually think you can fix if you have extra time, instead of starting from the beginning and reread certain biology questions you don't know. This may be an obvious statement. Who knows. But remember to practice anything new before test day with a practice test. I don't want to be blamed for someone running out of time, lol. Maybe I'll make a entire post about mid-test meditation....
    uhds, Alikhan9 and mOlar1! like this.
  26. rak173

    rak173 2+ Year Member

    May 14, 2014
    This is some great technique! Thanks!
  27. mOlar1!


    Jun 24, 2016
    OMG I AM SO GLAD I FOUND THIS MIDNIGHT lmfao i read this twice and my neck hurts but i legit got 4/5 right on bc. This is great. Thank you so much.
    orgoman22 likes this.
  28. paulchambers


    Jun 3, 2016
    I used to score 50% in angle ranking when a technique dawned on me. Instead of focusing on the lines themselves, I started to focus on the space between the lines. At first I imagined that the lines formed one of those conical paper cups, and would imagine each filling with water, the cup with the most water is the biggest. When deciphering between two, I would imagine one of the triangles formed between the two lines trying to slide into the other, if it didn't fit, it's larger. For acute angles, I have a different technique that's kind of violent but works... I imagine each triangle formed between the lines is a knife that I'm getting stabbed with. The one that hurts the most is the largest... It's a little morbid but after I started doing this and focusing on the space between the lines, I was getting 14/15 and 15/15 on angle ranking on almost every test.
    Alikhan9 likes this.
  29. futDDS2018


    Jul 24, 2016
    it is my first post on here. Thankyouuuuuu so much!!
    i didnt get any of them right until i used your method and got all of them right! thank you <3
  30. j_reidie95

    j_reidie95 2+ Year Member

    Mar 5, 2015
    Bootcamp DIFENETLY accounted for this strategy in the positioning of their questions. I literally haven't come across one where the positioning of at least 1 out of 3 is so far off that you can't turn your head without one facing the wrong direction your perception wants to ground to be -___-
  31. mycotoxo


    Sep 4, 2016
    Great explanation, thank you
  32. NHFields


    Apr 17, 2017
    Awesome technique. I was getting so many angle ranking questions wrong but this strategy has been a huge help!
  33. beeepbooop


    Aug 12, 2017
    This is so helpful! I was skeptical but it's been great--thank you.

Share This Page