The Official Jueves's DAT Breakdown (21AA) *With Helpful Advice*

Jueves

#FreeJueves
2+ Year Member
Sep 22, 2015
232
216
First off, I want to thank Nancy and Dr. Romano from DAT DESTROYER for helpful DAT advice and great products. These are incredible people to talk to with many words of wisdom as they have been helping students get solid scores for years. How they find the time to balance it all is inspiring, and they are definitely a huge factor for helping me get these scores. I also want to thank Ari for DAT Bootcamp and for responding to my questions with helpful advice. Do not underestimate the work these guys have put in, they have tons of knowledge and have been incredibly helpful on this journey. Cannot express how grateful I am of you guys.

PAT- 19
QR-23
RC-21
BIO-19
GC-22
OC-22
TS-20
AA-21

Study Time: 10 weeks.

PAT-19
Materials I used: Bootcamp (10/10) Kaplan (2/10)
This section sucked. Hard. I found mine to be harder than any BC test I have taken and I thought I was going to get a 17, but thats just my version.. Needless to say I was relieved when I saw this score. I actually didn't practice this section as much as I should have. I only took 2 PAT tests on BC and did 15 min a day with DAT BC Generators, but stopped doing the generators during the last 2 weeks. If I had continued I might've done better. I started doing the generators 5 weeks out from my exam. DAT Bootcamp is hands down the best PAT prep you can get. Don't do Kaplan- their PAT is a joke.

QR-23
Materials I used: Math Destroyer (10/10)
Maybe I got an easy test, but this was the easiest QR I have ever taken. After doing 2 weeks of doing a Math Destroyer test every 2-3 days, this section felt like a joke. I would recommend doing Math Destroyer tests at least every 2-3 days and assessing your knowledge there. It doesn't have to be crazy, maybe 3-4 hours a week. I was scoring 28/40 on the first week but after that I was scoring 33/40s on them and then I felt like I had done enough to be prepared. This section is a huge toss up in terms of question variety so I think luck had a large role to play in this, and there were very simple probability questions (I hate probability).

RC-21
Materials I used: Kaplan (10/10)
This is one of the things Kaplan does incredibly well. I ended up doing 5 Kaplan RC passages during the first 5 weeks, and in every test I had 30 seconds left, but on the real test I had 8-9 minutes left over. The thing is that they purposefully make the practice tests harder in RC to get you prepped real well for the real thing. I studied for this the least and this was a breath of fresh air after that PAT. I actually think this section is the reason why I did so well in QR, as I went in with low stress.


BIO-19
Materials I used: Destroyer Bio (9/10) Cliffs(9/10) Feralis (9/10) Kaplan (8/10)
This was my weakest topic by far. Although Destroyer helped me with my overall Biology knowledge and prepared me for any version of the test- the version I had did not have many, if any Destroyer questions. This was a huge letdown as Destroyer was my studying tool the last week. However, ITS STILL A GREAT TOOL. Just because my version didn't have many Destroyer questions that doesn't mean yours won't either. As for Cliffs and Feralis, those are must haves and you have to use them first. I'll explain later on in this breakdown. Don't tackle Destroyer until afterwards.

GC-22
Materials I used: Chads (11/10) Destroyer (10/10) DAT Bootcamp (9/10)
CHAD IS THE MAN! Hahah I can't tell you how many DAT scores this man is saving. Watch his videos. Learn them. Love them. Breathe them. If you start with Chad's, then tackle Destroyer and Bootcamp- You're golden. I had a question that was straight out of Chad's quizzes, I didn't know the concept of it (Extraction) I just memorized the answer and got it right. I'm actually bummed out that I only got a 22, as I thought I got a 30 on this. Oh well. DAT Destroyer is perfect for nailing down those tricky calculation questions while Bootcamp is great for the conceptual ones. My version had a bit, if not all calculations, so in that regards Destroyer saved my butt on this section. I would recommend going over Bootcamp too as they cover tricky conceptual questions that could be found on the exam. Difficulty: Around Bootcamp

OC-22
Materials I used: Chads (11/10) Destroyer (10/10) DAT Bootcamp (9/10)
Did the same thing with GC. Overall difficulty was Chad's level and he really came in clutch with this section. Definitely saw some Destroyer problems so make sure you know the Destroyer. Same with Bootcamp.


Weeks 1-4
Kaplan Blue Book
Although I used Kaplan in most of the sections, the reason why I didn't include it was because I stopped using Kaplan after 3-4 weeks. The KBB is a great book to start with and grab the basics, but after a few weeks you need something with more substance. I can tell you right now that Kaplan's Bio and PAT is underdeveloped. The KBB leaves out a lot in Biology. However, the other sections can hold their own during the initial stages of studying, and their RC is spot on. This initial stage is where you need to do 2-3 full length practice tests so you could get an idea of how the DAT is and really nail your timing. Before you do any studying I would do the free full length practice DAT on Kaplan and see what you're up against. It'll help you with your studying and it'll give you an idea on how to study. Although I don't recommend Kaplan for the final stages of studying, it was a phenomenal resource in the early stages. People trash Kaplan all the time but when you're starting out, the KBB and the practice tests are incredibly helpful. I would recommend you try KBB out for the first few weeks, it'll ease you into it.

Weeks 4-8
Cliffs, Chads, Bootcamp
This is where I found out about Cliffs, Chad's, and BC and started diversifying my sources and really taking advantage of the wealth of knowledge on SDN. If I hadn't done my research on SDN I would've never found out about Chad's, Cliffs or Bootcamp, 3 sources I couldn't see myself succeeding without. If I had known about this sources earlier, I could've probably scored a point higher, at least in Bio. Do all the practice exams and start doing the PAT generators on bootcamp. 15-30 minutes a day will do wonders to your PAT score. In all honesty the only reason why I got a 19 was because I stopped doing this the last 2 weeks,and because my PAT test version sucked. Hard. DAT Bootcamp was pretty representative on the overall difficulty and If I hadn't started doing Bootcamp as a testing resource I would've scored a lot lower. Chad's and Cliffs are the best foundation builders hands down. Good luck finding a good breakdown without these 2 resources, they're the best foundation you can get.

Weeks 8-10
Destroyer (x3)
This is your endgame material. This is where you really learn the concepts and nail it down. Props to Dr. Romano and Nancy for creating such an incredible product, as this will separate the 19s from the 20+ . The reason why you don't want to do this too early is because you'll 1) Demotivate yourself because you'll get like 30% right and 2) Not really understand the questions. The last 2 weeks I completely stopped doing any practice tests and I just used Destroyer. It doesn't matter how you score the first time around. Use it as a learning tool instead of a test book and you'll be golden. I scored around 40% the first time through, but 70-80% the second time. Although I can't say much as I got a 19 in Bio, what I did for the DAT Destroyer Bio was read the solutions like a textbook before I even attempted the questions. I felt like that not only boosted my confidence on the Bio but also helped me reinforce that information better. I didn't do that approach for GC and OC though, and I don't think you should either. The Destroyer is a must have if you're an average candidate who wants to nail the DAT. I have yet to see a 20+ breakdown that doesn't have Destroyer as one of their resources.


Final words of advice:

1) Don't be too focused on your practice test scores!! There are so many people on here that try to predict their scores and spend more time asking about other people's practice test scores than they do studying. The practice tests are there as a learning resource. Although its paramount that you use practice tests in the beginning to nail your timing in all of the sections, once you're done with that stop. I didn't really start learning until after I stopped doing practice tests. I actually never did a full practice test (Except the ADA 2007 & 2009) after the 5th week of studying. The only practice tests I would do the last 2-3 weeks would be the 2007 & 2009. Even then use them as a learning tool.

2) Swallow your ego. To be completely honest the reason why I didn't start doing the Destroyer until the last 2 weeks was because I couldn't handle getting 30-40% right. I felt like i knew the questions and the rest were unfair, but in all honesty I didn't fully know the material. After the first 30 OC and GC questions of Destroyer I put the book down and didn't pick it until the last 2 weeks. When I picked it back up I was prepared to score at least a 70% on it and I ended scoring maybe 50% on the first time. I then realized that its okay to score low on these books, its an opportunity for you to learn. Instead of focusing on getting as many right as I can I looked at the solutions and focused on WHY I got some questions wrong, and how I could avoid missing similar questions. If you go in with that mentality with DAT Bootcamp, Destroyer, etc, you're already doing better than most.

3) The DAT is 50% what you know, 50% attitude. I actually saw a post on here about a person who was prepared for the DAT, got 20s on the practice tests, and scored a 15AA. A little stress can do a lot to damage your score, and if it wasn't for the break right after the PAT, I would've bombed RC because I was stressed. Like I stated previously, a big reason why I got a 23 in QR was because I felt good and relaxed after taking the RC. Go in the DAT relaxed. You've done the work, and at the end of the day, YOU CAN ALWAYS RETAKE IT. Once I realized that I was okay with retaking this exam, it really relaxed me on test day.

4) Don't be upset if you get a 20. Being on SDN, its easy to get bogged down by 23+ scores and people nailing perfect 30s. The thing is is that the average score for ADMITTANCE is around a 19, so if you score a 20 you're doing pretty darn well. Once you get to the 20+ range its mostly luck, as 1 question is the difference between a 21AA and a 22AA (happened to me). Literally the difference between you and the 23+ is a few questions, so don't get bogged down if you get a 20 or even a 19. Those are solid scores and anyone who has taken the DAT understands how respectable those scores are.


That being said, and kind of going against what I previously stated, I'm actually considering on retaking the DAT. By the time I apply I'll have around a 3.35 sGPA and a 3.45 oGPA and I was literally 1 question away from a 22AA 21TS. I'm looking to get into competitive schools such as Indiana University, Louisville or even Washington- state schools. What do you guys think I should do?
 

Attachments

Last edited:

Charles_Darwin

2+ Year Member
Mar 28, 2016
828
831
Status
Pre-Dental
Congrats on getting such a good score! I have the exact same GPA but if I got that DAT score I don't think I'd retake. Assuming your ECs / PS / LOR are good, you should def. get a few interview calls
 
  • Like
Reactions: Jueves

LuckBloodandSweat

2+ Year Member
May 26, 2015
1,368
835
Status
Dental Student
Good work :). We tied on QR haha xD. Your grades are a bit better than mine; I got a 20 the first time and retook so if you really think there's nowhere to go but up then go for it!
 
  • Like
Reactions: Jueves

orgoman22

DAT DESTROYER
Lifetime Donor
Sponsor
Vendor
10+ Year Member
Mar 12, 2005
4,185
3,038
New York City
www.orgoman.com
Status
Non-Student
First off, I want to thank Nancy and Dr. Romano from DAT DESTROYER for helpful DAT advice and great products. These are incredible people to talk to with many words of wisdom as they have been helping students get solid scores for years. How they find the time to balance it all is inspiring, and they are definitely a huge factor for helping me get these scores. I also want to thank Ari for DAT Bootcamp and for responding to my questions with helpful advice. Do not underestimate the work these guys have put in, they have tons of knowledge and have been incredibly helpful on this journey. Cannot express how grateful I am of you guys.

PAT- 19
QR-23
RC-21
BIO-19
GC-22
OC-22
TS-20
AA-21

Study Time: 10 weeks.

PAT-19
Materials I used: Bootcamp (10/10) Kaplan (2/10)
This section sucked. Hard. I found mine to be harder than any BC test I have taken and I thought I was going to get a 17, but thats just my version.. Needless to say I was relieved when I saw this score. I actually didn't practice this section as much as I should have. I only took 2 PAT tests on BC and did 15 min a day with DAT BC Generators, but stopped doing the generators during the last 2 weeks. If I had continued I might've done better. I started doing the generators 5 weeks out from my exam. DAT Bootcamp is hands down the best PAT prep you can get. Don't do Kaplan- their PAT is a joke.

QR-23
Materials I used: Math Destroyer (10/10)
Maybe I got an easy test, but this was the easiest QR I have ever taken. After doing 2 weeks of doing a Math Destroyer test every 2-3 days, this section felt like a joke. I would recommend doing Math Destroyer tests at least every 2-3 days and assessing your knowledge there. It doesn't have to be crazy, maybe 3-4 hours a week. I was scoring 28/40 on the first week but after that I was scoring 33/40s on them and then I felt like I had done enough to be prepared. This section is a huge toss up in terms of question variety so I think luck had a large role to play in this, and there were very simple probability questions (I hate probability).

RC-21
Materials I used: Kaplan (10/10)
This is one of the things Kaplan does incredibly well. I ended up doing 5 Kaplan RC passages during the first 5 weeks, and in every test I had 30 seconds left, but on the real test I had 8-9 minutes left over. The thing is that they purposefully make the practice tests harder in RC to get you prepped real well for the real thing. I studied for this the least and this was a breath of fresh air after that PAT. I actually think this section is the reason why I did so well in QR, as I went in with low stress.


BIO-19
Materials I used: Destroyer Bio (9/10) Cliffs(9/10) Feralis (9/10) Kaplan (8/10)
This was my weakest topic by far. Although Destroyer helped me with my overall Biology knowledge and prepared me for any version of the test- the version I had did not have many, if any Destroyer questions. This was a huge letdown as Destroyer was my studying tool the last week. However, ITS STILL A GREAT TOOL. Just because my version didn't have many Destroyer questions that doesn't mean yours won't either. As for Cliffs and Feralis, those are must haves and you have to use them first. I'll explain later on in this breakdown. Don't tackle Destroyer until afterwards.

GC-22
Materials I used: Chads (11/10) Destroyer (10/10) DAT Bootcamp (9/10)
CHAD IS THE MAN! Hahah I can't tell you how many DAT scores this man is saving. Watch his videos. Learn them. Love them. Breathe them. If you start with Chad's, then tackle Destroyer and Bootcamp- You're golden. I had a question that was straight out of Chad's quizzes, I didn't know the concept of it (Extraction) I just memorized the answer and got it right. I'm actually bummed out that I only got a 22, as I thought I got a 30 on this. Oh well. DAT Destroyer is perfect for nailing down those tricky calculation questions while Bootcamp is great for the conceptual ones. My version had a bit, if not all calculations, so in that regards Destroyer saved my butt on this section. I would recommend going over Bootcamp too as they cover tricky conceptual questions that could be found on the exam. Difficulty: Around Bootcamp

OC-22
Materials I used: Chads (11/10) Destroyer (10/10) DAT Bootcamp (9/10)
Did the same thing with GC. Overall difficulty was Chad's level and he really came in clutch with this section. Definitely saw some Destroyer problems so make sure you know the Destroyer. Same with Bootcamp.


Weeks 1-4
Kaplan Blue Book
Although I used Kaplan in most of the sections, the reason why I didn't include it was because I stopped using Kaplan after 3-4 weeks. The KBB is a great book to start with and grab the basics, but after a few weeks you need something with more substance. I can tell you right now that Kaplan's Bio and PAT is underdeveloped. The KBB leaves out a lot in Biology. However, the other sections can hold their own during the initial stages of studying, and their RC is spot on. This initial stage is where you need to do 2-3 full length practice tests so you could get an idea of how the DAT is and really nail your timing. Before you do any studying I would do the free full length practice DAT on Kaplan and see what you're up against. It'll help you with your studying and it'll give you an idea on how to study. Although I don't recommend Kaplan for the final stages of studying, it was a phenomenal resource in the early stages. People trash Kaplan all the time but when you're starting out, the KBB and the practice tests are incredibly helpful. I would recommend you try KBB out for the first few weeks, it'll ease you into it.

Weeks 4-8
Cliffs, Chads, Bootcamp
This is where I found out about Cliffs, Chad's, and BC and started diversifying my sources and really taking advantage of the wealth of knowledge on SDN. If I hadn't done my research on SDN I would've never found out about Chad's, Cliffs or Bootcamp, 3 sources I couldn't see myself succeeding without. If I had known about this sources earlier, I could've probably scored a point higher, at least in Bio. Do all the practice exams and start doing the PAT generators on bootcamp. 15-30 minutes a day will do wonders to your PAT score. In all honesty the only reason why I got a 19 was because I stopped doing this the last 2 weeks,and because my PAT test version sucked. Hard. DAT Bootcamp was pretty representative on the overall difficulty and If I hadn't started doing Bootcamp as a testing resource I would've scored a lot lower. Chad's and Cliffs are the best foundation builders hands down. Good luck finding a good breakdown without these 2 resources, they're the best foundation you can get.

Weeks 8-10
Destroyer (x3)
This is your endgame material. This is where you really learn the concepts and nail it down. Props to Dr. Romano and Nancy for creating such an incredible product, as this will separate the 19s from the 20+ . The reason why you don't want to do this too early is because you'll 1) Demotivate yourself because you'll get like 30% right and 2) Not really understand the questions. The last 2 weeks I completely stopped doing any practice tests and I just used Destroyer. It doesn't matter how you score the first time around. Use it as a learning tool instead of a test book and you'll be golden. I scored around 40% the first time through, but 70-80% the second time. Although I can't say much as I got a 19 in Bio, what I did for the DAT Destroyer Bio was read the solutions like a textbook before I even attempted the questions. I felt like that not only boosted my confidence on the Bio but also helped me reinforce that information better. I didn't do that approach for GC and OC though, and I don't think you should either. The Destroyer is a must have if you're an average candidate who wants to nail the DAT. I have yet to see a 20+ breakdown that doesn't have Destroyer as one of their resources.


Final words of advice:

1) Don't be too focused on your practice test scores!! There are so many people on here that try to predict their scores and spend more time asking about other people's practice test scores than they do studying. The practice tests are there as a learning resource. Although its paramount that you use practice tests in the beginning to nail your timing in all of the sections, once you're done with that stop. I didn't really start learning until after I stopped doing practice tests. I actually never did a full practice test (Except the ADA 2007 & 2009) after the 5th week of studying. The only practice tests I would do the last 2-3 weeks would be the 2007 & 2009. Even then use them as a learning tool.

2) Swallow your ego. To be completely honest the reason why I didn't start doing the Destroyer until the last 2 weeks was because I couldn't handle getting 30-40% right. I felt like i knew the questions and the rest were unfair, but in all honesty I didn't fully know the material. After the first 30 OC and GC questions of Destroyer I put the book down and didn't pick it until the last 2 weeks. When I picked it back up I was prepared to score at least a 70% on it and I ended scoring maybe 50% on the first time. I then realized that its okay to score low on these books, its an opportunity for you to learn. Instead of focusing on getting as many right as I can I looked at the solutions and focused on WHY I got some questions wrong, and how I could avoid missing similar questions. If you go in with that mentality with DAT Bootcamp, Destroyer, etc, you're already doing better than most.

3) The DAT is 50% what you know, 50% attitude. I actually saw a post on here about a person who was prepared for the DAT, got 20s on the practice tests, and scored a 15AA. A little stress can do a lot to damage your score, and if it wasn't for the break right after the PAT, I would've bombed RC because I was stressed. Like I stated previously, a big reason why I got a 23 in QR was because I felt good and relaxed after taking the RC. Go in the DAT relaxed. You've done the work, and at the end of the day, YOU CAN ALWAYS RETAKE IT. Once I realized that I was okay with retaking this exam, it really relaxed me on test day.

4) Don't be upset if you get a 20. Being on SDN, its easy to get bogged down by 23+ scores and people nailing perfect 30s. The thing is is that the average score for ADMITTANCE is around a 19, so if you score a 20 you're doing pretty darn well. Once you get to the 20+ range its mostly luck, as 1 question is the difference between a 21AA and a 22AA (happened to me). Literally the difference between you and the 23+ is a few questions, so don't get bogged down if you get a 20 or even a 19. Those are solid scores and anyone who has taken the DAT understands how respectable those scores are.


That being said, and kind of going against what I previously stated, I'm actually considering on retaking the DAT. By the time I apply I'll have around a 3.35 sGPA and a 3.45 oGPA and I was literally 1 question away from a 22AA 21TS. I'm looking to get into competitive schools such as Indiana University, Louisville or even Washington- state schools. What do you guys think I should do?
Congratulations my friend!

Your hard work paid off and happy some of my last minute suggestions helped! Your scores are fantastic and I see no reason you would not be candidate for the 3 schools you mentioned and more. Make sure sure your personal statement shines, that helps opening the door to dental school interviews.

Wishing you the best and keep in touch..

Nancy
 
  • Like
Reactions: Jueves
OP
Jueves

Jueves

#FreeJueves
2+ Year Member
Sep 22, 2015
232
216
Thanks everyone for the replies! I think I'm going to wait it out 5 more months and see where I stand with my GPA. If I keep climbing closer to the 3.3/3.4 sGPA mark (I'm at a 3.25 rn) I'll probably stay with these. If not I have all the materials I need and I could pump it up a little more. I saw your breakdown Luckbloodandsweat.. nice scores!!!
 

Rand627

5+ Year Member
May 7, 2014
382
363
Status
Pre-Dental
Congratz on being done! While people on SDN are not adcoms for sure, a lot of people talk about how the difference between a 22/21 is pretty negligible, and 23/24/25 are also pretty similar. Unless you're dang confident you can do significantly better, I wouldn't worry about a retake. Plus it's almost 500 dollars and the whole process just sucks.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Jueves
OP
Jueves

Jueves

#FreeJueves
2+ Year Member
Sep 22, 2015
232
216
Congratz on being done! While people on SDN are not adcoms for sure, a lot of people talk about how the difference between a 22/21 is pretty negligible, and 23/24/25 are also pretty similar. Unless you're dang confident you can do significantly better, I wouldn't worry about a retake. Plus it's almost 500 dollars and the whole process just sucks.
Very true. In all honesty I kind of liked studying for the DAT. Finishing it is bittersweet and I could have at least gotten a better PAT score. To anyone who has had an interview: Do you think Adcoms will look at my score and be like "The only reason why he got a 21AA instead of a 22 was because of Bio" or will they consider the actual AA score more?
 

LuckBloodandSweat

2+ Year Member
May 26, 2015
1,368
835
Status
Dental Student
I think AA is probably most important. Lol yeah I thought i had nowhere to go but up in my honest opinion. If you don't want to go through the stress again don't retake it. You did a solid job :)
 
  • Like
Reactions: Jueves

Ari Rezaei

Senior Member
Lifetime Donor
7+ Year Member
Mar 14, 2012
699
529
New York, NY
Status
Dental Student
You'd be crazy to retake. Those are great scores and above average for acceptance into dental school. I'd focus on other parts of your application at this point. Some very wise words of wisdom at the end of your breakdown too, thanks for the thorough breakdown. Congrats again! Good luck on your application! Let me know if I can help.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Jueves

orgoman22

DAT DESTROYER
Lifetime Donor
Sponsor
Vendor
10+ Year Member
Mar 12, 2005
4,185
3,038
New York City
www.orgoman.com
Status
Non-Student
Very true. In all honesty I kind of liked studying for the DAT. Finishing it is bittersweet and I could have at least gotten a better PAT score. To anyone who has had an interview: Do you think Adcoms will look at my score and be like "The only reason why he got a 21AA instead of a 22 was because of Bio" or will they consider the actual AA score more?
They look at the total package, GPA, Scores, Personal Statement,etc. It's all important.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Jueves
OP
Jueves

Jueves

#FreeJueves
2+ Year Member
Sep 22, 2015
232
216
You'd be crazy to retake. Those are great scores and above average for acceptance into dental school. I'd focus on other parts of your application at this point. Some very wise words of wisdom at the end of your breakdown too, thanks for the thorough breakdown. Congrats again! Good luck on your application! Let me know if I can help.
Thanks again Ari, that makes me feel a bit better. You've definitely made a positive influence on my scores. I'll be sure to keep in touch and let you know if I have questions regarding the admission process. In the meantime I'll probably try my best to help out the people that have yet to take the DAT while the experience is still fresh.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Ari Rezaei
OP
Jueves

Jueves

#FreeJueves
2+ Year Member
Sep 22, 2015
232
216
They look at the total package, GPA, Scores, Personal Statement,etc. It's all important.
That makes me feel quite a bit better, now time to buckle down and nail the rest of my app