Apr 8, 2010
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Ok guys,
I have 2 months to study for the test. just let me know how long and for how many hours day you studied for DAT? ( and if you say 10 hours, please specify, if you REALLY studied for 10 hours, or spent 5 hours out of 10 on facebook :p .

did you take any days of the week off?

and since you guys got above 20. WHAT IS YOUR SECRET!!?
thanks :)
 
M

Mte123

I took it twice. First time I took the kaplan course, thought it taught me everything, ran through the kaplan book and got a 17.

I found out I had to take it again so I took my 5 week spring break. I retook the kaplan course but realized it didn't cover to much. The main thing was the kaplan book.

I didn't have a set number of hours but I made sure to do 3 sections at least a day. Some days I was into it or had enjoyable sections and went all out all day. Sometimes I did what I had to.

I went through the book twice. I literally sat there and highlighted almost every word. Twice. I am a psych major and took ap bio 5 years ago. I got a 20 on bio, just from the book. I took chem 4 years ago, got a 22 on the chem. It just shows you how its all in that book. I took orgo over this past summer, got a 23.

Ended up with a 22/22/21

To bump your score on the bio you really need to take some advanced bios because the kaplan book doesn't have everything for this section. However, for chem if you want a 20, that book is your friend. Everything you need to know about chemistry is in that book. Everything. Don't even waste your time with your text book or anything else. Know how to do all the examples in the kaplan chem section. Orgo too.

Another key thing was TopScore Pro. The kaplan study questions are really much harder than the test. Thats their strategy for some reason. But I usually just got frustrated and gave up. TopScore is mmuuccchhh closer to the dats so you really put the effort in to only make one or two mistakes and it gives you your score so it gives you motivation or confidence.
 
Last edited by a moderator:
Aug 21, 2009
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I also studied for about 2 months from the end of June to mid August. I sat at my desk from around 10am to 10pm...I had perhaps about five 15 minute breaks in between, and of course I had lunch too. During my breaks I'd go outside or just away from my studying material just to empty my brain for a while. Also, definitely when you are studying do not study in front of a computer. If you need internet access to look something up you don't know, go use it in another room or something, since you will be on fb or sdn or whatever.

I didn't take any days off in the week, but I studied less on the weekends, woke up a little later :sleep:
 

THINKOFMYFUTURE

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First of all **** facebook. I see all these ugly losers with 500+ "friends" posting ****** comments like "Oh join this group, party, get drunk, and get laid thurhurhur". The real sad thing is these guys seep into dental school groups like mice through a hole in the wall. Posers finally found an outlet. You don't wanna be them. The coolest, hottest people I've met use that hunk of virtual trash minimally.
O.K. /rant off

On to the DAT's.
I had a 19/19/17 pat first attempt. No excuses, that was my score. I love how people try to back any poor set of scores by inserting lame excuses after it. =)
I think the key is to review the material daily. MOST people, HATE to do this. They would rather spend 5 hrs learning a topic, then just move on to the next the next day and let it wane. THAT is what I did differently. Just don't be an idiot while memorizing the stuff and I don't think most applying will have problems understanding sciences on the first or second pass.

1. 3 months before the test I stated this was war: me versus the damn test and strategized. This is also key. You must start with a goal and a plan. This helps your brain recognize the seriousness of the thing. Here I devised a plan of attack against all my weak spots in the test. I actually wrote it out what I need to achieve and how, just to help my brain get it.

2. I started doing 1 science subject and also practiced PAT.For the sciences I used some old examkrackers books, but any review book will do, since, I used books from the library and ONLINE resources to nail every single subject listed on the ADEA guide no matter how much I hated some of them. As I read through I visualized the concepts and memorized as much detail presented in the review books. It takes more effort and is more rewarding to not lift a pen but to visualize and understand, rather than autopilot mode underlining entire books! Save the ink, not your braincells. Force yourself. This is gonna be hard and going to hurt your brain at first. I honestly think why some are B and some are A students comes down to studying smarter like this.

For PAT I knew there was a "key" to doing each PAT problem well, and the faster I got to know what that was, I could use it more while studying, essentially automatically studying (via practice tests). Important: So you never waste any precious PAT practice problem, take ONE or TWO practice PAT tests and GO OVER IT. DONOT take any more NEW practice tests until you can REDO the first or second test you took having figured out the strategies for each type of PAT problem in these tests only. Spend as much time with as few tests as possible to find your master strategies. Then, you'll have plenty of new practice tests remaining to REINFORCE you for test day. Yes, there is a key to doing each type of PAT problem - discover it.

3. Every study session and every practice test on every topic including PAT I made it a policy to REWRITE anything that I got wrong or was not clear in my OWN words. Then, I kept pages of these in a separate notebook. I finally reviewed the whole notebook when I woke up and before bed. At first this took me a while, but as long-term memory kicked in (first time in my life I realized the power of this) by the day of the test I could do it 20x as fast. :D

4. Reading - search and destroy enough said.
5. QR- HIGH SCHOOL MATH books from the library. You'd be shocked how stupid you'll feel (for the non-math majors, I hope!). Try to do these as much as you can.

By doin the above on my second and last attempt, which was the fairer representation of my skills, my scores were 22-23 on all sciences, 23 on reading, 19qr, and 24 on pat for a 22/22/24.

I studied maybe 4 hrs a day tops, and reviewed/revised for about an hour a day on average. Make sure your spirits are high and chillax each day. On the day before the test if you have done everything well for a 95%+ score you should feel true confidence because by then you know you have no weak-spots. Just review your written out notes and go to bed early, have a nice breakfast, yadda yadda.

Materials I used:

Examkrackers 5th edition subject books,
Kaplan DAT blue book - nice quick review, funneled topics, easy to read diagrams
Wikipedia, On-line resources, funny how the more "kid" oriented websites and flash tools helped me much more. Simplicity rocks.
DAT destroyer 2009 edition - made me curse the author for the extremely tricky problems, but I think it paid off learning from mistakes and going that extra step conceptually. This really solidified my science concepts.
Topscore
CRACKDATPAT
 
Last edited:
Nov 5, 2009
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I studied for 3 months (June-September) along with summer school, work, research (not all 3 at the same time tho :p)
I studied around 3-4 hrs a day (I studied more on weekends ~5-6 hrs, I skipped some days due to tests/papers/work)
I didn't take any course. Kaplan blue book, Topscore, Achiever, Destroyer, and AP Bio book are enough.
 

TerpDentist

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"The secret is there that there is no secret." I spent a month reading through all my college textbooks for chem, bio, and especially orgo to review and make sure I had a full understanding of everything. During that time I was reading and reviewing for a full 11-12 hours per day.

During the last 2 months before taking the exam I was studying using review books and doing practice problems/full length tests. On days where I did not have a practice test, I was studying for 8 hours and on days where I had a practice test it was a total of 10 hours (however long it took to take the test, review it, and then do study the subjects I missed the most questions from).

I'm a big believer in getting my hands on as many materials as possible and that is exactly what I did. Textbooks, software, review books, etc

Good luck!
 

pinetar321

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studied for a month 6 hours a day and got a 21. I attribute it to having very tough classes (thanks uva) and having a gameplan. If you want a more detailed breakdown, check out my blog in the July 2009 section.
 

HASassin

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Sep 8, 2008
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i have not taken the dat yet

but my strategy has been so far to take the kaplan course, do all online work and such - but i just cant stand that big blue book. everytime i open it i fall asleep - i hate text books in general (would it be ok if i learned the material online)?

the main way i have been Learning is taking tests and problems, and simply going over the answers, making flashcards and studying my wrong answers

i also have crackdat royal flush so i have an abundance of problems. is the approach worth it? i feel that my progress has been incredibly slow
my test is in 1.5 months and ive already put in 200+ hours but im not where i want to be. is it because of my problems first style? because im thinking it just because im a slow studier.

i started out on the kaplan diagnostic with an abysmal score of around 15. then after taking and finishing kaplan course (without reading) im up to around an 18/19. (at least on practice tests) but in order to counteract my GPA i need to get AT least a 20+, but this last leg of the journey is killing me becuase little progress is being made and afraid of burning out (without any signs of progress)

advice?
 
M

Mte123

Advice: Don't use Kaplan's practice tests or kaplan's online "sections." I'm not kidding, the big blue book has it all, except the QR which dental schools don't care about. You need to use the book, go over every single page of that book twice. It is all there.

I did the same thing you did for my first dat. I took the course and knew all the answers. I did the kaplan practice tests and was still guessing but I was so proud that I did better than my diagnostic. Ended up with a 17/17. Its sad. The kaplan tests aren't even close. That blue book is the place to be. AND DO THE TOPSCORE tests. You'll see that the topscore is much easier than kaplan but its exactly like the dat. Ended up with 22/22.
 

uclaDDS101

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Feb 27, 2009
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Advice: Don't use Kaplan's practice tests or kaplan's online "sections." I'm not kidding, the big blue book has it all, except the QR which dental schools don't care about. You need to use the book, go over every single page of that book twice. It is all there.

I did the same thing you did for my first dat. I took the course and knew all the answers. I did the kaplan practice tests and was still guessing but I was so proud that I did better than my diagnostic. Ended up with a 17/17. Its sad. The kaplan tests aren't even close. That blue book is the place to be. AND DO THE TOPSCORE tests. You'll see that the topscore is much easier than kaplan but its exactly like the dat. Ended up with 22/22.
I couldn't disagree more. I thought the Kaplan online practice material was essential. I got a 19/19/25 on my diagnostic and followed an upward trend to my last kaplan test score of 26/27/25. When I took the real dat, it felt like just another kaplan test. I ended up with 27/30/25. In my opinion, kaplan had the perfect difficulty level for practice, not too easy or too difficult.

Achiever, on the other hand, was much harder than the actual dat, but it was great practice nonetheless. I was getting around 19-20 on achiever. I didn't use topscore because someone told me that it was too easy.
 

HASassin

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Sep 8, 2008
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Advice: Don't use Kaplan's practice tests or kaplan's online "sections." I'm not kidding, the big blue book has it all, except the QR which dental schools don't care about. You need to use the book, go over every single page of that book twice. It is all there.

I did the same thing you did for my first dat. I took the course and knew all the answers. I did the kaplan practice tests and was still guessing but I was so proud that I did better than my diagnostic. Ended up with a 17/17. Its sad. The kaplan tests aren't even close. That blue book is the place to be. AND DO THE TOPSCORE tests. You'll see that the topscore is much easier than kaplan but its exactly like the dat. Ended up with 22/22.
so your saying just read kbb, and dont worry too much about leraning from practice tests?
 
May 13, 2009
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deactivate fb, enough said
couldn't agree more...
along with what THINKOFMYFUTURE said.

sigh...if i only converted my fb hours to real-time studying...oh how different EVERYTHING would be...:rolleyes:

study hard!! make it ur best and only shot!!

if u need any help lemme know :)

i also studied for 2 months and ended up with 21s & above in all sections! :D
 
G

gorrillaunit18

I couldn't disagree more. I thought the Kaplan online practice material was essential. I got a 19/19/25 on my diagnostic and followed an upward trend to my last kaplan test score of 26/27/25. When I took the real dat, it felt like just another kaplan test. I ended up with 27/30/25. In my opinion, kaplan had the perfect difficulty level for practice, not too easy or too difficult.

Achiever, on the other hand, was much harder than the actual dat, but it was great practice nonetheless. I was getting around 19-20 on achiever. I didn't use topscore because someone told me that it was too easy.

I'm in Kaplan now and plan on taking the test on June 3rd. So what exactly did you study w/ the Kaplan materials? Just the big book they gave you along w/ the small lesson manual? Thanks. :)
 
M

Mte123

I'm in Kaplan now and plan on taking the test on June 3rd. So what exactly did you study w/ the Kaplan materials? Just the big book they gave you along w/ the small lesson manual? Thanks. :)
I guess if you're expecting a 27/30 then go with his advice...

However, the dat was exactly like topscore. I talked to some of the kaplan teachers and they said they always get the complaint that the kaplan practice tests are too hard and they agree. Kaplan prepares you for the less common, really hard questions on the assumption that if you get those you'll get the easier ones. If you're shooting for the 27/30 and have the background of the "easier" stuff, go with that. From your diagnostic, which was not a 19/19/25, you might want to spend more time focusing on the more common questions, like the ones on topscore.

But for the Perceptual ability questions, go with KAPLAN.
 
M

Mte123

so your saying just read kbb, and dont worry too much about leraning from practice tests?
No, I did the three topscore practice tests. Not a whole test at once though, it lets you do them in sections, like biology of total science. They really are perfect examples of the dat questions and you'll learn what to focus on while reading the kbb. Don't do the kaplan practice tests other than for the Perceptual stuff.
 
G

gorrillaunit18

I guess if you're expecting a 27/30 then go with his advice...

However, the dat was exactly like topscore. I talked to some of the kaplan teachers and they said they always get the complaint that the kaplan practice tests are too hard and they agree. Kaplan prepares you for the less common, really hard questions on the assumption that if you get those you'll get the easier ones. If you're shooting for the 27/30 and have the background of the "easier" stuff, go with that. From your diagnostic, which was not a 19/19/25, you might want to spend more time focusing on the more common questions, like the ones on topscore.

But for the Perceptual ability questions, go with KAPLAN.

I see, well thank you for your advice. I think i'll try topscore as well. :)
 
M

Mte123

I couldn't disagree more. I thought the Kaplan online practice material was essential. I got a 19/19/25 on my diagnostic and followed an upward trend to my last kaplan test score of 26/27/25. When I took the real dat, it felt like just another kaplan test. I ended up with 27/30/25. In my opinion, kaplan had the perfect difficulty level for practice, not too easy or too difficult.

Achiever, on the other hand, was much harder than the actual dat, but it was great practice nonetheless. I was getting around 19-20 on achiever. I didn't use topscore because someone told me that it was too easy.
why do you even answer "normal people's" questions?
 

2PacClone23

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Studied two months. My biggest advice would probably be to study efficiently (this is up to you to figure out). I got 19AA but I'll be retaking it. Except this, time, I'll only be studying for about 1 month. I plan on studying baout 8 hours per day with a break in the middle


Another HUGE HUGE aspect, if you wanna rape o-chem and g-chem, WATCH CHAD'S VIDEOS!!!!