Dentalgloss

2+ Year Member
Aug 23, 2017
84
102
Hello everyone,I just took the DATs today and unfortunately didn't do well. I just spent the whole second half of the the day crying my eyes out and trying to convince myself that it's not the end of the world, and I can move past this. It's been a rough day for me, all signs seem to be pointing for me to give up. After a lot of thinking I am hoping to get some advice for my second try..

I am a non-traditional applicant, I graduated with a <3.0 GPA, (around 2.98) and I decided to peruse dentistry after I worked at a dental office. Ever since then I started taking pre reqs for the past 2 years and worked the hardest I've ever worked in my life, my pre reqs are all straight A's with 1 B-. This brought my Ogpa up to around 3.1 .. I applied this cycle, basically banking that I will do well on my DATs, because with such low GPA I knew DATs was my only ticket. I didn't want to waste anymore time since I worked a year after graduation before taking pre reqs. After my spring semester, I started studying for the DATs, I used destroyer, bootcamp, cliffs, and chads videos as most people have recommended.

I did the whole destroyer genchem and ochem 2.5 times, math 2x and Bio 1x took notes on all the chad videos and read cliffs 2 times. I admit the first month I studied wasn't very intense. It was about 7-8 weeks before the exam when I started getting serious. (12-16 hours a day) While I studied, I still worked 2 days a week, until two weeks prior I completely stopped working.

I focused majority of my time on the sciences, because i know that is the bulk of my grade. I struggled with biology the most and my score definitely reflected that.. and that's because it is purely memorization topic, and it is so difficult for me to just read something and memorize facts. Atleast in chemistry I can somewhat solve.

On bootcamp: I scored:
Genchem 20/19/18/19/19/17/22/18
OChem/ 22/19/20/18/19/19/19/20
Bio 19/18/18/16/17/16
Pat 16 all the way
QR: 17 all the way
RC: 16/17/18/19/20/20/19

I ended up with
PAT:18
RC:18
QR: 17
BIO:15
GC: 21
OC: 19
TS: 18
AA:18

As you can see these scores are completely terrible. I knew bio was going to be my downfall but not to that degree. I know it is completely my fault, since I left that to study last, because it is pure memorization and doesn't require any "skills". I very much regret that decision right now. I was guilty of also avoiding some topics because it was too confusing (like photosynthesis) and being the unlucky person I am, I got atleast 6 plant questions, and 4 photosynthesis.

I am hoping to retake in november since I have to wait 3 months. I will also be taking the last pre req (biochem) and back to working full time.. do you guys have any suggestions or tips in regards to improving my score? I know I need to bring Bio up by a lot! Even after reading cliffs twice, destroyer once, wasn't enough for me.. as for PAT and math I think my biggest struggle is timing.

Do you guys recommend for me to subscribe to bootcamp again? The testing formats and materials are good, but I feel like I've taken those tests so many times (sciences) that I pretty much have every single answer "memorized" so I'm not sure if it's good for me to practice timed exams on there.

Any help is appreciated. Thank you! And I apologize for the emo tone, it's just sucks that I've invested so much time (and money) to do this only to fail at the end.
 

Ayyyds

2+ Year Member
Feb 17, 2017
141
169
21
Houston, TX
Status
Pre-Dental
Glad to see you have your head up and are actively looking for ways to improve.

I would subscribe again, make sure you go through the explanations on every question even if it seems like a no-brainer...

In my breakdown under the "General Chemistry" sections I have a sort-of-strategy when it comes to QR, GC and OC problems involving small stacks of notecards which may seem too simple or not worth your time but it really helped me to keep track of things, and to keep me working through problems. If you have any questions about this let me know. I would rework all of the destroyer and BC problems (and if you have any money left, maybe take a look at DATQvault)

For bio I would recommend you to go through the DAT destroyer and DAT Bootcamp (all the explanations) and make your own notes in a notebook. Once you've finished that, just keep going through your notes with a highlighter or a pen and underline things. Alan's notes or Feralis' notes are also good supplements to go through.

For PAT you should definitely be practicing a little every day with the generators as well, I started off scoring in the 16, <15 range so anyone can build up those skills with practice.

These are all just suggestions and there are many different paths you can take to study and destroy this test on your second time through, many people have done it.

Best of luck, feel free to message me if you have any questions!
 
OP
D

Dentalgloss

2+ Year Member
Aug 23, 2017
84
102
Glad to see you have your head up and are actively looking for ways to improve.

I would subscribe again, make sure you go through the explanations on every question even if it seems like a no-brainer...

In my breakdown under the "General Chemistry" sections I have a sort-of-strategy when it comes to QR, GC and OC problems involving small stacks of notecards which may seem too simple or not worth your time but it really helped me to keep track of things, and to keep me working through problems. If you have any questions about this let me know. I would rework all of the destroyer and BC problems (and if you have any money left, maybe take a look at DATQvault)

For bio I would recommend you to go through the DAT destroyer and DAT Bootcamp (all the explanations) and make your own notes in a notebook. Once you've finished that, just keep going through your notes with a highlighter or a pen and underline things. Alan's notes or Feralis' notes are also good supplements to go through.

For PAT you should definitely be practicing a little every day with the generators as well, I started off scoring in the 16, <15 range so anyone can build up those skills with practice.

These are all just suggestions and there are many different paths you can take to study and destroy this test on your second time through, many people have done it.

Best of luck, feel free to message me if you have any questions!
Thank you so much for your reply! I will definitely try to make flash cards! I will buy bootcamp again to take notes. When I was doing destroyer for the first time, I took a lot of notes, it felt like I was basically copying and pasting the solutions section into my notebook. I took notes with cliffs as well. I did not take any notes from BC though, so I will try that. Out of everything I had the most notes for bio. Over 40 pages from cliffs and about 60 from destroyer! I guess I just wasn't retaining the information well enough. I will take a look at your breakdown. Thank you!
 
About the Ads

artist2022

yes, I'm a girl
Moderator
2+ Year Member
Dec 25, 2016
2,162
2,880
Status
Dental Student
Don't worry!!! Your AA is right around average, but yes you do need a lot of work to support your GPA. But don't worry, if dentistry is truly your passion then nothing, not even a test, should stop you!

Bio: I used Kaplan, and surprisingly it helped me build an excellent base that I just supplemented with information from Destroyer and BC. I have a notebook, took detailed notes from Kaplan, highlighted underlined everything I didn't know, and then left spots after each chapter for additional info I found in Des/BC. This time around, maybe look into buying the "Strategies, Practice, & Review" book and use it only for bio. Get BC again, and use it only after you've taken all your notes AND completed bio destroyer. If you don't have the newest version of des, buy it online or find a used one on Amazon. I know you're regretting how you studied, but take it as a lesson for next time. Don't skip the hard topics, find ways to make them easier (for me, I drew pics of photosynthesis, cell res, mitosis chromosome #s, etc). I started to make flashcards lol, I stopped at 20. I think if you use Quizlet and type them all up, it really helps and then you can take them anywhere you go!

GC/OC: You scored decently here. If you used Chad's before, then use Mike's this time, and vice versa. Take clear, concise notes, and be sure to do the practice problems Mike's posted. They are soooo helpful. Here, watch the videos first, do Destroyer, then BC. Learn from your mistakes.

PAT: This is just practice, practice, practice. There is no easy way out here :/ just keep working on the BC generators, practice visualizing everyday objects, and you will get better.

RC: Find a method that works for you. I didn't like S&D too much, and I thought mapping only a couple words was too little, so I kind of just made my own method, and it worked really well for me. Also, if you don't get interesting articles you have to really pretend you are in love with them, and I think that makes it a little bit easier.

QR: Buy the Math Destroyer, get through the tests (except for 11 & 12). Do them once untimed if it's been a while since you've taken math, otherwise do them timed. Learn from your mistakes, and take notes. Then, hop on BC to get the QC problems down. These two resources should pretty much cover everything on the DAT.

Hope this helps! If you need anything else, don't hesitate to message. I'm sure you will crush it next time! :)
 
  • Like
Reactions: Dentalgloss

Ayyyds

2+ Year Member
Feb 17, 2017
141
169
21
Houston, TX
Status
Pre-Dental
Thank you so much for your reply! I will definitely try to make flash cards! I will buy bootcamp again to take notes. When I was doing destroyer for the first time, I took a lot of notes, it felt like I was basically copying and pasting the solutions section into my notebook. I took notes with cliffs as well. I did not take any notes from BC though, so I will try that. Out of everything I had the most notes for bio. Over 40 pages from cliffs and about 60 from destroyer! I guess I just wasn't retaining the information well enough. I will take a look at your breakdown. Thank you!
That's exactly what I did for destroyer, just try to get through all of the BC explanations as well, they are just as helpful. Best of luck!
 
May 17, 2008
2,922
3,217
Status
Dental Student
Regarding the bio section, as you can see, memorization is absolutely unavoidable. It's a huge pain to do but you need to put the time in, and you can't avoid topics you dislike - anything can show up on the test. No area should be glossed over or neglected out of anticipation it won't show up for you. Your notes at this point should be pretty thorough so it's a matter of making the material stick in your memory with regular repetition. How often were you reviewing the notes you took? I think forced recall is the best way to make things stay with you long term. Personally, I can read something over several times but the only way to make sure it stays in my memory is if I put the notes away and force myself to recite back what's on them. At first you won't be able to recall all of it, but little by little your retention improves. Once you've managed to commit all of the information to memory, revisiting it every so often (no more than a few days in my opinion) is necessary to keep it there.

I would shoot for substantial improvements across the board though - with your lower GPA, you really want an above average DAT score to balance it out. There's room for improvement in almost all the sections, but the good news is that it's completely doable if you put the effort in. Since you're going back to work full time, how do you plan on balancing studying for the retake with work?
 

LuckBloodandSweat

2+ Year Member
May 26, 2015
1,368
835
Status
Dental Student
Do you have severe test anxiety? It's not always bc you don't know things that you mess up
 
OP
D

Dentalgloss

2+ Year Member
Aug 23, 2017
84
102
Don't worry!!! Your AA is right around average, but yes you do need a lot of work to support your GPA. But don't worry, if dentistry is truly your passion then nothing, not even a test, should stop you!

Bio: I used Kaplan, and surprisingly it helped me build an excellent base that I just supplemented with information from Destroyer and BC. I have a notebook, took detailed notes from Kaplan, highlighted underlined everything I didn't know, and then left spots after each chapter for additional info I found in Des/BC. This time around, maybe look into buying the "Strategies, Practice, & Review" book and use it only for bio. Get BC again, and use it only after you've taken all your notes AND completed bio destroyer. If you don't have the newest version of des, buy it online or find a used one on Amazon. I know you're regretting how you studied, but take it as a lesson for next time. Don't skip the hard topics, find ways to make them easier (for me, I drew pics of photosynthesis, cell res, mitosis chromosome #s, etc). I started to make flashcards lol, I stopped at 20. I think if you use Quizlet and type them all up, it really helps and then you can take them anywhere you go!

GC/OC: You scored decently here. If you used Chad's before, then use Mike's this time, and vice versa. Take clear, concise notes, and be sure to do the practice problems Mike's posted. They are soooo helpful. Here, watch the videos first, do Destroyer, then BC. Learn from your mistakes.

PAT: This is just practice, practice, practice. There is no easy way out here :/ just keep working on the BC generators, practice visualizing everyday objects, and you will get better.

RC: Find a method that works for you. I didn't like S&D too much, and I thought mapping only a couple words was too little, so I kind of just made my own method, and it worked really well for me. Also, if you don't get interesting articles you have to really pretend you are in love with them, and I think that makes it a little bit easier.

QR: Buy the Math Destroyer, get through the tests (except for 11 & 12). Do them once untimed if it's been a while since you've taken math, otherwise do them timed. Learn from your mistakes, and take notes. Then, hop on BC to get the QC problems down. These two resources should pretty much cover everything on the DAT.

Hope this helps! If you need anything else, don't hesitate to message. I'm sure you will crush it next time! :)
Thank you so much for the detailed response. I will get the math destroyer. Although I think it's timing that I don't have down. I can solve problems, I just take a long time. I guess I just need practice! S&D does not work for me at all, I use the mapping, on the test, I thought I was doing well, but my score says otherwise. I actually enjoyed 2 out of the 3 passages. PAT I felt like I definitely winged because it wasn't calculated in my AA, but I still practiced everyday atleast 20 mins for each section. I will watch mikes videos, since I've already watched chads. Thank you so much!
 
  • Like
Reactions: artist2022

ThirdMolarz

2+ Year Member
Apr 22, 2017
188
293
Studying got harder for me when I went from watching stuff to actually applying it to problems. I think getting through this more difficult phase of the grind is what you're missing. Like everyone is saying, you can definitely do it and score well. One thing I'm seeing work for others in recent breakdowns (especially the highest scorers) is to approach bootcamp with zero emphasis on the scores; like make an excel file for your scores and name it "Bootcamp scores for fun"; and use Bootcamp to find areas to drill rather. Chad's quizzes can also help you efficiently attack those areas as well (they are separated by question type). Destroyer helps as well, but make sure not to get too caught up in the nitty gritty. The DAT is like a game, too. Learn the stuff, then get quick at it. Good luck! Don't give up, you know you can do it
 
OP
D

Dentalgloss

2+ Year Member
Aug 23, 2017
84
102
Regarding the bio section, as you can see, memorization is absolutely unavoidable. It's a huge pain to do but you need to put the time in, and you can't avoid topics you dislike - anything can show up on the test. No area should be glossed over or neglected out of anticipation it won't show up for you. Your notes at this point should be pretty thorough so it's a matter of making the material stick in your memory with regular repetition. How often were you reviewing the notes you took? I think forced recall is the best way to make things stay with you long term. Personally, I can read something over several times but the only way to make sure it stays in my memory is if I put the notes away and force myself to recite back what's on them. At first you won't be able to recall all of it, but little by little your retention improves. Once you've managed to commit all of the information to memory, revisiting it every so often (no more than a few days in my opinion) is necessary to keep it there.

I would shoot for substantial improvements across the board though - with your lower GPA, you really want an above average DAT score to balance it out. There's room for improvement in almost all the sections, but the good news is that it's completely doable if you put the effort in. Since you're going back to work full time, how do you plan on balancing studying for the retake with work?
Thank you for your reply. I took a lot a lot a lot of notes! I will try to use your method of memorization, at one point I even recorded myself reading these notes out loud, so I can listen to them to sleep, on the train, in the shower.. etc.

This time no more avoiding hard topics. It was definitely my fault, I took a gamble and lost horribly. I have considered many times to quit my job so I can study, something I wish I did last time I studied. But unfortunately, if I don't work I cannot pay for all these apps and for the exam, so I have to. My manager was nice enough to be flexible with my hours. I am not sure if she is going to give it to me again. I am debating if I should quit my job.. I also have to take biochemistry as it is my last pre req. do you think I should take that next semester instead and focus on the DATs? Is it necessary for me to quit my job as well?? If my manager permits I can probably work 3-4 days a week and have the rest of the week purely studying and also study after work.

Also, I am aware that my gpa is low, That's why I knew I had to score high on the DAT. 18 is definitely far below average, and definitely far from the score that I need. Going in, I honestly didn't think I'd get an 18. I've only heard of people getting BETTER scores from BC, but I'm the complete opposite. Maybe I'm doing something wrong.

Thank you again for all your help!
 
OP
D

Dentalgloss

2+ Year Member
Aug 23, 2017
84
102
Do you have severe test anxiety? It's not always bc you don't know things that you mess up
I do! The whole week leading to the exam.. I couldn't eat/sleep right..The two nights before the exam I actually couldn't feel my fingers because they were numb from being so nervous. The pressure financially and from my family really got to me. Unfortunately there isn't a special grade for anxiety, so I'll have to suck it up next exam.
 
OP
D

Dentalgloss

2+ Year Member
Aug 23, 2017
84
102
Studying got harder for me when I went from watching stuff to actually applying it to problems. I think getting through this more difficult phase of the grind is what you're missing. Like everyone is saying, you can definitely do it and score well. One thing I'm seeing work for others in recent breakdowns (especially the highest scorers) is to approach bootcamp with zero emphasis on the scores; like make an excel file for your scores and name it "Bootcamp scores for fun"; and use Bootcamp to find areas to drill rather. Chad's quizzes can also help you efficiently attack those areas as well (they are separated by question type). Destroyer helps as well, but make sure not to get too caught up in the nitty gritty. The DAT is like a game, too. Learn the stuff, then get quick at it. Good luck! Don't give up, you know you can do it
Thank you for the tip. The problem with bootcamp is I tend to "memorize" the answers. So if I take it more than twice my grade will be 30 because I know which answer is the correct one. And I can't tell if it's because I actually know why, or it's because I memorized it. I was going to use mikes videos, since I used chads last time, but it looks like coursesaver auto renewed so I will be able to use those quizzes again. Thanks for the motivation!
 
About the Ads
OP
D

Dentalgloss

2+ Year Member
Aug 23, 2017
84
102
No problem!! Yes definitely get Math Destroyer, it will help sooooo much for timing, and I think Mike's videos are excellent preparation.
Here was my strategy for RC: sorry it's so long!


Anyways, feel free to use any of the tips I have in my breakdown! You will definitely destroy it!
Since you already applied this cycle, you can let the schools know you will be retaking, and be sure to devote as much time as you can to the DAT. Also maybe try to look into graduate programs (SMP) to raise your GPA a little, and if this cycle ends up not being favorable, at least next cycle you will be ready with a killer DAT Score and a higher GPA! :)
Thank you for this, your method is very similar to what I do. It works great, but I am slow at reading so I have to read it a million times before I understand. I know it just takes practice. I don't think I would be able to afford a graduate program, are there programs that only last a year? Iwill look into it.. thank you again
 

8_man

Achievement Unlocked: Dental School
2+ Year Member
Jul 22, 2016
934
1,639
Status
Dental Student
I didn't specify matriculated students or not, and don't be afraid of calling me out Feralis :)
I was going based off of this diagram, it's the first I saw and it stuck with me. Maybe you should find an updated graph and let 8_man know this one is no longer valid.
This graph represents the distribution of scores for ALL test takers. I mentioned further that the average score for a matriculant is a 20. Sorry for the confusion!
 
  • Like
Reactions: LuckBloodandSweat
May 17, 2008
2,922
3,217
Status
Dental Student
I didn't specify matriculated students or not, and don't be afraid of calling me out Feralis :)
I was going based off of this diagram, it's the first I saw and it stuck with me. ~18 is the average of all people taking the test. Maybe you should find an updated graph and let 8_man know this one is no longer valid.
I'm not sure what you think the value is in stating the DAT average of all test takers - it's misleading, especially in a situation like the OP's. For a realistic shot at admissions an applicant is measured against the matriculant average, not everyone that happened to take the test that year. No need to turn it into personal drama, I'm just correcting the misinformation for OP's benefit.

Reference: Tableau Public

Thank you for your reply. I took a lot a lot a lot of notes! I will try to use your method of memorization, at one point I even recorded myself reading these notes out loud, so I can listen to them to sleep, on the train, in the shower.. etc.

This time no more avoiding hard topics. It was definitely my fault, I took a gamble and lost horribly. I have considered many times to quit my job so I can study, something I wish I did last time I studied. But unfortunately, if I don't work I cannot pay for all these apps and for the exam, so I have to. My manager was nice enough to be flexible with my hours. I am not sure if she is going to give it to me again. I am debating if I should quit my job.. I also have to take biochemistry as it is my last pre req. do you think I should take that next semester instead and focus on the DATs? Is it necessary for me to quit my job as well?? If my manager permits I can probably work 3-4 days a week and have the rest of the week purely studying and also study after work.

Also, I am aware that my gpa is low, That's why I knew I had to score high on the DAT. 18 is definitely far below average, and definitely far from the score that I need. Going in, I honestly didn't think I'd get an 18. I've only heard of people getting BETTER scores from BC, but I'm the complete opposite. Maybe I'm doing something wrong.

Thank you again for all your help!
If you really need the money then I think getting the 3-4 day work week compromise from your manager would be ideal, as it would give you a significant amount of time in the rest of the week - just make sure that time is managed well and you're fully focused when studying. I don't think quitting your job is necessary if you're able to dedicate the sufficient amount of hours each week to the test - but working full time makes that extremely difficult, so again, try to compromise on the hours if you can.

I think you're pretty determined to do well and that will definitely pay off, you just need to fully apply yourself and maybe be a bit more thorough in your review. If you'd like, feel free to get more specific in how you studied so we can give more feedback. Were there any major issues in how you studied that you're able to identify in retrospect?
 

orgoman22

DAT DESTROYER... Dr. Romano and Nancy
Lifetime Donor
Sponsor
Vendor
10+ Year Member
Mar 12, 2005
4,206
3,046
New York City
www.orgoman.com
Status
Non-Student
Hello everyone,I just took the DATs today and unfortunately didn't do well. I just spent the whole second half of the the day crying my eyes out and trying to convince myself that it's not the end of the world, and I can move past this. It's been a rough day for me, all signs seem to be pointing for me to give up. After a lot of thinking I am hoping to get some advice for my second try..

I am a non-traditional applicant, I graduated with a <3.0 GPA, (around 2.98) and I decided to peruse dentistry after I worked at a dental office. Ever since then I started taking pre reqs for the past 2 years and worked the hardest I've ever worked in my life, my pre reqs are all straight A's with 1 B-. This brought my Ogpa up to around 3.1 .. I applied this cycle, basically banking that I will do well on my DATs, because with such low GPA I knew DATs was my only ticket. I didn't want to waste anymore time since I worked a year after graduation before taking pre reqs. After my spring semester, I started studying for the DATs, I used destroyer, bootcamp, cliffs, and chads videos as most people have recommended.

I did the whole destroyer genchem and ochem 2.5 times, math 2x and Bio 1x took notes on all the chad videos and read cliffs 2 times. I admit the first month I studied wasn't very intense. It was about 7-8 weeks before the exam when I started getting serious. (12-16 hours a day) While I studied, I still worked 2 days a week, until two weeks prior I completely stopped working.

I focused majority of my time on the sciences, because i know that is the bulk of my grade. I struggled with biology the most and my score definitely reflected that.. and that's because it is purely memorization topic, and it is so difficult for me to just read something and memorize facts. Atleast in chemistry I can somewhat solve.

On bootcamp: I scored:
Genchem 20/19/18/19/19/17/22/18
OChem/ 22/19/20/18/19/19/19/20
Bio 19/18/18/16/17/16
Pat 16 all the way
QR: 17 all the way
RC: 16/17/18/19/20/20/19

I ended up with
PAT:18
RC:18
QR: 17
BIO:15
GC: 21
OC: 19
TS: 18
AA:18

As you can see these scores are completely terrible. I knew bio was going to be my downfall but not to that degree. I know it is completely my fault, since I left that to study last, because it is pure memorization and doesn't require any "skills". I very much regret that decision right now. I was guilty of also avoiding some topics because it was too confusing (like photosynthesis) and being the unlucky person I am, I got atleast 6 plant questions, and 4 photosynthesis.

I am hoping to retake in november since I have to wait 3 months. I will also be taking the last pre req (biochem) and back to working full time.. do you guys have any suggestions or tips in regards to improving my score? I know I need to bring Bio up by a lot! Even after reading cliffs twice, destroyer once, wasn't enough for me.. as for PAT and math I think my biggest struggle is timing.

Do you guys recommend for me to subscribe to bootcamp again? The testing formats and materials are good, but I feel like I've taken those tests so many times (sciences) that I pretty much have every single answer "memorized" so I'm not sure if it's good for me to practice timed exams on there.

Any help is appreciated. Thank you! And I apologize for the emo tone, it's just sucks that I've invested so much time (and money) to do this only to fail at the end.
Feel free to pm and I will be happy to offer some advice on your retake. We work with hundreds of students a year and with a good study plan, you should be able to bring your scores up. BioChem is a tough course so make you strive for an A in that class. Let's Destroy the DAT Beast in round 2

Nancy
 
  • Like
Reactions: Pearl E. White
OP
D

Dentalgloss

2+ Year Member
Aug 23, 2017
84
102
I'm not sure what you think the value is in stating the DAT average of all test takers - it's misleading, especially in a situation like the OP's. For a realistic shot at admissions an applicant is measured against the matriculant average, not everyone that happened to take the test that year. No need to turn it into personal drama, I'm just correcting the misinformation for OP's benefit.

Reference: Tableau Public



If you really need the money then I think getting the 3-4 day work week compromise from your manager would be ideal, as it would give you a significant amount of time in the rest of the week - just make sure that time is managed well and you're fully focused when studying. I don't think quitting your job is necessary if you're able to dedicate the sufficient amount of hours each week to the test - but working full time makes that extremely difficult, so again, try to compromise on the hours if you can.

I think you're pretty determined to do well and that will definitely pay off, you just need to fully apply yourself and maybe be a bit more thorough in your review. If you'd like, feel free to get more specific in how you studied so we can give more feedback. Were there any major issues in how you studied that you're able to identify in retrospect?
I am determined! But then again, I was determined before too.

First month I didn't study as hard, I fell out the ari schedule because of work(full time) so I somewhat try to stay on it but at my own pace. I watched chads videos for GC and OC, did all the quizzes along the way. I printed his worksheets and took notes on them. For math, I didn't watch any KhanA. I just went straight to BC and practiced questions, like I said I didn't have any problems solving anything, it was just taking a really long time. I sit there trying to recall how to approach the problem. I didn't study this as much as I should've. Definitely underestimated it. I only did 5-10 random problems a day.

After the chad videos I went straight to Destroyer and did all the ochem and gchem , the second month I started working less, 2-3 days a week, and started studying 6-8 hours a day , and I took a day break every week. I practiced as much PAT as much as possible, sometimes sneaking at work to do random ones. I even do it with some of my coworkers, like a game. When they think out loud, it helped me understand.

The last 4 weeks I panicked because my scores were still in the 17/18s it went up and down, I think the first five exams on BC were significantly easier which kind of made me Falsley believe that I was ready. This is when I started studying 14-16 hours. I usually slept at 3-4am and woke up at 9-10 and some days I woke up at 11. I spent a lot of time studying GC and OC because I knew I needed to practice doing problems.

I only started studying bio the last 4 weeks. I read cliff once, did not take notes. Realized I didn't retain anything.. read it a second time and typed notes along the way. Printed it. Read it over and over again. After that I did destroyer biology. I went through it once. It was really tough and detailed. I also typed notes for that too. Read through it once.

2 weeks left: took my very first full exam - scored 18/19s besides PAT <15 T.T .

Panicked even more... at this point I stopped destroyer.. I just kept doing exams on BC. Last few exams I scored between 18-20 for GC and OC and 16-18 for BIO. PAT had no improvement I was consistently a 16 lol, shocked that I even pulled a 18 on the real thing. I did not read an article a day as ari suggested. But I totally should've to improve my reading skills and comprehension. I tried to do all the exams, but didn't get to.. I went from 16-20 consistently improving one point ..

Two days before the exam: redid the exams I scored poorly in- improved about 2-3 points for each, but again- might be because I remember the answer and not actually "know" it.

Day before the exam- read all bio notes once. Tried to relax, and it did not work. Hands felt numb from nerves. Did one test for each subject.. scored 18-19s across (except PAT). Considered rescheduling but, saw many people who were in the same boat as I was- who was doing 18/19 on BC and came out with 20+. Unfortunately that didn't happen to me.

Usually when I am doing destroyer.. I look down for what feels like 10 minutes..is actually like 10 hours! It's usually dark and I don't even realize it.. I often ask my sister what year it is at the end of the day. Haha. The past weeks, I've lost a lot of sleep, and appetite, so I ate probably one meal a day, because I didn't even want to waste the time to eat.

Well, so that basically summed up my studying this past three months. As I'm typing this, I realized how staggered and unorganized it is. I definitely need a new plan. I want to immediately jump back into studying so I don't forget anything.. but I think I need a break.. since I kind of feel like my body is making weird noises and I can't seem to get rid of this headache I've been having since the test. Not sure if a one week break is too long..T.T

As of right now I am unable to register for a new exam.. do you know how long I must wait before I can register for the exam? I know I have to wait 90 days to take it.. but I can't register/schedule it?
 
OP
D

Dentalgloss

2+ Year Member
Aug 23, 2017
84
102
Feel free to pm and I will be happy to offer some advice on your retake. We work with hundreds of students a year and with a good study plan, you should be able to bring your scores up. BioChem is a tough course so make you strive for an A in that class. Let's Destroy the DAT Beast in round 2

Nancy
Thank you! I will PM you soon.
 

MendiT13

UT Health San Antonio School of Dentistry c/o 2022
May 13, 2017
172
117
San Antonio, TX
Status
Dental Student
You have to wait until your score has been verified by the ADA and posted to your account (it will say "closed"), then you can reapply as soon as 90 days from your last test date.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Dentalgloss
OP
D

Dentalgloss

2+ Year Member
Aug 23, 2017
84
102
You have to wait until your score has been verified by the ADA and posted to your account (it will say "closed"), then you can reapply as soon as 90 days from your last test date.
Thank you for the information!
 

Illumident

2+ Year Member
Jan 26, 2016
514
446
Status
Dental Student
I am determined! But then again, I was determined before too.

First month I didn't study as hard, I fell out the ari schedule because of work(full time) so I somewhat try to stay on it but at my own pace. I watched chads videos for GC and OC, did all the quizzes along the way. I printed his worksheets and took notes on them. For math, I didn't watch any KhanA. I just went straight to BC and practiced questions, like I said I didn't have any problems solving anything, it was just taking a really long time. I sit there trying to recall how to approach the problem. I didn't study this as much as I should've. Definitely underestimated it. I only did 5-10 random problems a day.

After the chad videos I went straight to Destroyer and did all the ochem and gchem , the second month I started working less, 2-3 days a week, and started studying 6-8 hours a day , and I took a day break every week. I practiced as much PAT as much as possible, sometimes sneaking at work to do random ones. I even do it with some of my coworkers, like a game. When they think out loud, it helped me understand.

The last 4 weeks I panicked because my scores were still in the 17/18s it went up and down, I think the first five exams on BC were significantly easier which kind of made me Falsley believe that I was ready. This is when I started studying 14-16 hours. I usually slept at 3-4am and woke up at 9-10 and some days I woke up at 11. I spent a lot of time studying GC and OC because I knew I needed to practice doing problems.

I only started studying bio the last 4 weeks. I read cliff once, did not take notes. Realized I didn't retain anything.. read it a second time and typed notes along the way. Printed it. Read it over and over again. After that I did destroyer biology. I went through it once. It was really tough and detailed. I also typed notes for that too. Read through it once.

2 weeks left: took my very first full exam - scored 18/19s besides PAT <15 T.T .

Panicked even more... at this point I stopped destroyer.. I just kept doing exams on BC. Last few exams I scored between 18-20 for GC and OC and 16-18 for BIO. PAT had no improvement I was consistently a 16 lol, shocked that I even pulled a 18 on the real thing. I did not read an article a day as ari suggested. But I totally should've to improve my reading skills and comprehension. I tried to do all the exams, but didn't get to.. I went from 16-20 consistently improving one point ..

Two days before the exam: redid the exams I scored poorly in- improved about 2-3 points for each, but again- might be because I remember the answer and not actually "know" it.

Day before the exam- read all bio notes once. Tried to relax, and it did not work. Hands felt numb from nerves. Did one test for each subject.. scored 18-19s across (except PAT). Considered rescheduling but, saw many people who were in the same boat as I was- who was doing 18/19 on BC and came out with 20+. Unfortunately that didn't happen to me.

Usually when I am doing destroyer.. I look down for what feels like 10 minutes..is actually like 10 hours! It's usually dark and I don't even realize it.. I often ask my sister what year it is at the end of the day. Haha. The past weeks, I've lost a lot of sleep, and appetite, so I ate probably one meal a day, because I didn't even want to waste the time to eat.

Well, so that basically summed up my studying this past three months. As I'm typing this, I realized how staggered and unorganized it is. I definitely need a new plan. I want to immediately jump back into studying so I don't forget anything.. but I think I need a break.. since I kind of feel like my body is making weird noises and I can't seem to get rid of this headache I've been having since the test. Not sure if a one week break is too long..T.T

As of right now I am unable to register for a new exam.. do you know how long I must wait before I can register for the exam? I know I have to wait 90 days to take it.. but I can't register/schedule it?
From what you've stated, it seems like you spent a lot of time focusing on using practice exams as a foundational source of information when they should really be used to gauge your knowledge after extensive review of the foundation.

I would recommend starting with all of Chad's videos, Cliffs AP Bio (+ additional physiology notes out there that you find helpful), Destroyer, Math Destroyer and the new QR resources recommended by recent test takers to establish your base knowledge. Read/watch/solve all of the problems and take your own notes on the information presented as well as concepts you're unclear on. Review those notes continually. Only when you're confident you have understood the foundation should you move on to practice programs like Bootcamp to help you with timing, RC, PAT generators, etc.

The DAT has many versions, and you may get an exam that covers your weak spots, which consequently will lower your score. Because of its unpredictability, you need to review and understand everything. The resources you used are more than adequate to help you achieve at least a 20. It's how you approach using them that makes a difference. As of now, I would not recommend thinking about a reschedule as you won't be applying until at least next summer. Take a couple weeks off. Eat, sleep, recharge your batteries. Then re-organize and re-focus.
 
  • Like
Reactions: orgoman22
May 17, 2008
2,922
3,217
Status
Dental Student
I am determined! But then again, I was determined before too.

First month I didn't study as hard, I fell out the ari schedule because of work(full time) so I somewhat try to stay on it but at my own pace. I watched chads videos for GC and OC, did all the quizzes along the way. I printed his worksheets and took notes on them. For math, I didn't watch any KhanA. I just went straight to BC and practiced questions, like I said I didn't have any problems solving anything, it was just taking a really long time. I sit there trying to recall how to approach the problem. I didn't study this as much as I should've. Definitely underestimated it. I only did 5-10 random problems a day.

After the chad videos I went straight to Destroyer and did all the ochem and gchem , the second month I started working less, 2-3 days a week, and started studying 6-8 hours a day , and I took a day break every week. I practiced as much PAT as much as possible, sometimes sneaking at work to do random ones. I even do it with some of my coworkers, like a game. When they think out loud, it helped me understand.

The last 4 weeks I panicked because my scores were still in the 17/18s it went up and down, I think the first five exams on BC were significantly easier which kind of made me Falsley believe that I was ready. This is when I started studying 14-16 hours. I usually slept at 3-4am and woke up at 9-10 and some days I woke up at 11. I spent a lot of time studying GC and OC because I knew I needed to practice doing problems.

I only started studying bio the last 4 weeks. I read cliff once, did not take notes. Realized I didn't retain anything.. read it a second time and typed notes along the way. Printed it. Read it over and over again. After that I did destroyer biology. I went through it once. It was really tough and detailed. I also typed notes for that too. Read through it once.

2 weeks left: took my very first full exam - scored 18/19s besides PAT <15 T.T .

Panicked even more... at this point I stopped destroyer.. I just kept doing exams on BC. Last few exams I scored between 18-20 for GC and OC and 16-18 for BIO. PAT had no improvement I was consistently a 16 lol, shocked that I even pulled a 18 on the real thing. I did not read an article a day as ari suggested. But I totally should've to improve my reading skills and comprehension. I tried to do all the exams, but didn't get to.. I went from 16-20 consistently improving one point ..

Two days before the exam: redid the exams I scored poorly in- improved about 2-3 points for each, but again- might be because I remember the answer and not actually "know" it.

Day before the exam- read all bio notes once. Tried to relax, and it did not work. Hands felt numb from nerves. Did one test for each subject.. scored 18-19s across (except PAT). Considered rescheduling but, saw many people who were in the same boat as I was- who was doing 18/19 on BC and came out with 20+. Unfortunately that didn't happen to me.

Usually when I am doing destroyer.. I look down for what feels like 10 minutes..is actually like 10 hours! It's usually dark and I don't even realize it.. I often ask my sister what year it is at the end of the day. Haha. The past weeks, I've lost a lot of sleep, and appetite, so I ate probably one meal a day, because I didn't even want to waste the time to eat.

Well, so that basically summed up my studying this past three months. As I'm typing this, I realized how staggered and unorganized it is. I definitely need a new plan. I want to immediately jump back into studying so I don't forget anything.. but I think I need a break.. since I kind of feel like my body is making weird noises and I can't seem to get rid of this headache I've been having since the test. Not sure if a one week break is too long..T.T

As of right now I am unable to register for a new exam.. do you know how long I must wait before I can register for the exam? I know I have to wait 90 days to take it.. but I can't register/schedule it?
The biggest issue I can see is, as you mentioned, how unorganized it seemed to be. There was a lot of jumping from one resource to another before completion, and in terms of content review some subjects were either neglected or pushed off until the end. I would first try to make a study schedule that you can realistically stick to. Ideally - and I realize some people prefer not to do this - try to cover a bit of every subject each day even if it's a small amount of time (e.g. 20 minutes of PAT practice) so that no area gets too neglected for too long. When you start studying for the DAT again (a break is fine and probably a good idea at this point), I'd begin by doing content review from the very beginning and reviewing/refining the notes you've already taken. When you eventually move on to practice questions and get stuff wrong, make sure you're spending time after to analyze these mistakes, figure out what knowledge or concept was your weak point, and then integrate that back into your notes so when you review them, you're placing emphasis on the more difficult concepts.

These are just general tips for now - feel free to ask me more specific questions as you start to put your approach for the retake together.
 

orgoman22

DAT DESTROYER... Dr. Romano and Nancy
Lifetime Donor
Sponsor
Vendor
10+ Year Member
Mar 12, 2005
4,206
3,046
New York City
www.orgoman.com
Status
Non-Student
From what you've stated, it seems like you spent a lot of time focusing on using practice exams as a foundational source of information when they should really be used to gauge your knowledge after extensive review of the foundation.

I would recommend starting with all of Chad's videos, Cliffs AP Bio (+ additional physiology notes out there that you find helpful), Destroyer, Math Destroyer and the new QR resources recommended by recent test takers to establish your base knowledge. Read/watch/solve all of the problems and take your own notes on the information presented as well as concepts you're unclear on. Review those notes continually. Only when you're confident you have understood the foundation should you move on to practice programs like Bootcamp to help you with timing, RC, PAT generators, etc.

The DAT has many versions, and you may get an exam that covers your weak spots, which consequently will lower your score. Because of its unpredictability, you need to review and understand everything. The resources you used are more than adequate to help you achieve at least a 20. It's how you approach using them that makes a difference. As of now, I would not recommend thinking about a reschedule as you won't be applying until at least next summer. Take a couple weeks off. Eat, sleep, recharge your batteries. Then re-organize and re-focus.
Excellent advice!
 

MendiT13

UT Health San Antonio School of Dentistry c/o 2022
May 13, 2017
172
117
San Antonio, TX
Status
Dental Student
Along with all the study material for Bio listed above, I have been watching Crash Course Videos from YouTube on Bio topics/A&P. I read Feralis Notes and then look up the videos that can go along with it. Just helps reinforce the material.
 

LuckBloodandSweat

2+ Year Member
May 26, 2015
1,368
835
Status
Dental Student
Lol to be fair I jumped around a good amount. It's about being as focused as you can while studying that matters more. Make the most of your studying peaks; if you're me there weren't that many hahaha. Also @Dentalgloss learn to breathe. Hang out with friends before your test (like 1 or 2 days before) if you need it. Helped me a ton the 2nd time around
 
  • Like
Reactions: orgoman22
OP
D

Dentalgloss

2+ Year Member
Aug 23, 2017
84
102
From what you've stated, it seems like you spent a lot of time focusing on using practice exams as a foundational source of information when they should really be used to gauge your knowledge after extensive review of the foundation.

I would recommend starting with all of Chad's videos, Cliffs AP Bio (+ additional physiology notes out there that you find helpful), Destroyer, Math Destroyer and the new QR resources recommended by recent test takers to establish your base knowledge. Read/watch/solve all of the problems and take your own notes on the information presented as well as concepts you're unclear on. Review those notes continually. Only when you're confident you have understood the foundation should you move on to practice programs like Bootcamp to help you with timing, RC, PAT generators, etc.

The DAT has many versions, and you may get an exam that covers your weak spots, which consequently will lower your score. Because of its unpredictability, you need to review and understand everything. The resources you used are more than adequate to help you achieve at least a 20. It's how you approach using them that makes a difference. As of now, I would not recommend thinking about a reschedule as you won't be applying until at least next summer. Take a couple weeks off. Eat, sleep, recharge your batteries. Then re-organize and re-focus.
The biggest issue I can see is, as you mentioned, how unorganized it seemed to be. There was a lot of jumping from one resource to another before completion, and in terms of content review some subjects were either neglected or pushed off until the end. I would first try to make a study schedule that you can realistically stick to. Ideally - and I realize some people prefer not to do this - try to cover a bit of every subject each day even if it's a small amount of time (e.g. 20 minutes of PAT practice) so that no area gets too neglected for too long. When you start studying for the DAT again (a break is fine and probably a good idea at this point), I'd begin by doing content review from the very beginning and reviewing/refining the notes you've already taken. When you eventually move on to practice questions and get stuff wrong, make sure you're spending time after to analyze these mistakes, figure out what knowledge or concept was your weak point, and then integrate that back into your notes so when you review them, you're placing emphasis on the more difficult concepts.

These are just general tips for now - feel free to ask me more specific questions as you start to put your approach for the retake together.

Thank you both for the advice. I know a scheduled plan is what I need. I plan on following aris ten week schedule again, and this time not skip any days or try to do all the days at once.

Lol to be fair I jumped around a good amount. It's about being as focused as you can while studying that matters more. Make the most of your studying peaks; if you're me there weren't that many hahaha. Also @Dentalgloss learn to breathe. Hang out with friends before your test (like 1 or 2 days before) if you need it. Helped me a ton the 2nd time around
It's actually STARTing to studying that is difficult for me. But once I get started I can go on for a long time! It's just when I wake up, brush my teeth, eat, look at my phone I dred studying. But as I mentioned before, once I start, I don't even realize it's dark out. I will try to take a easy and learn to see see a friend or two. Haha I did neglect a lot of people these few weeks.
 

so815

2+ Year Member
Aug 13, 2017
17
17
Status
Pre-Dental
I do! The whole week leading to the exam.. I couldn't eat/sleep right..The two nights before the exam I actually couldn't feel my fingers because they were numb from being so nervous. The pressure financially and from my family really got to me. Unfortunately there isn't a special grade for anxiety, so I'll have to suck it up next exam.
Honestly, getting rid of testing anxiety can help so much when you retake it. In addition to focusing on the material, you should work on ways to get rid of the anxiety instead of just sucking it up. I had horrible test anxiety my first time around, got an AA19 but TS 17. With a low GPA, I figured it would be better to retake. I found meditation and focusing less on the Bootcamp scores/more on the material and my knowledge of the material to be helpful in getting rid of the anxiety. Second test scores went up in every section. Getting rid of your anxiety alone can cause your scores to go up. And don't be afraid to take breaks!
 
  • Like
Reactions: LuckBloodandSweat
About the Ads