Mar 31, 2018
7
8
Status
Pre-Dental
Hello all! I took my DAT today, (3/31/2018) and am underwhelmed to say the least.

AA: 19
TS: 19
BIO: 19
GC: 19
OC: 18
RC: 22
QR: 18
PA: 18

Undergraduate Cumulative GPA: 3.43
Undergraduate Science GPA: 3.2

Score Report.jpg

I was particularly surprised with QR since it seemed ridiculously easy compared to what I'd utilized to study - the 2018 Math Destroyer as well Bootcamp were both much more difficult than the real deal.

I am already plotting my re-take strategy. I'm in a gap year and decided to enroll in a dental assisting certification program to gain experience in the field (I'm loving it!!!) but it's a HUGE time-suck. They have me in class from 8AM-4PM Mondays-Thursdays.
Clinic days on Tuesdays and Thursdays often runs from 7:30AM-5PM.

Long story short, I've had challenges with my schedule.
Study time is after 6PM on weekdays and whatever I could accomplish on weekends.

It is safe to say that I'm eager to get back to work (and maybe live a little bit of life... haha!) in this 90-day waiting period before I can reschedule another exam.

However, I realize I have some significant work to do if I expect to boost my scores....

My questions to you all:

- how soon after your exam did you begin prepping for the retake?

- did you have troubles finding testing date availability after the 90-day waiting period? I'm concerned that after waiting 90 days, submitting a new application, and finally gaining access to the testing schedule that there may not be any available dates until after July or even later...

- for those of you that work full-time, how did you manage?

Thanks in advance! I'm excited to be a part of the community.
 

rebecca_chatul_tov

2+ Year Member
Dec 31, 2016
231
119
TX
Status
Pre-Pharmacy
I hate to tell you this, but I have had to start and stop three times working full time with kids. I had a baby and then moved across the country three months later which threw a wrench into it big time. Due to work I won't be able to take any time off until after June 15th this year. Basically I am in my third iteration of reviewing all the material in the last 6-7 months and by the time I actually close in my final date it will be almost 10 months that I have been trying to tackle the DAT.

When the stars align and everything falls perfectly into place I can get about 2-3 hours of study time weekdays and about 10 hours collectively on weekends. Altogether I have 20 hours per week which gets me about 50% of the way through a DAT bootcamp week according to Ari's schedule. My plan is to keep reviewing the material and renew my subscription (again) and last half of June take 2+ weeks of vacation and hole up in the library for 12 hours a day and l sprint to the end. Don't know if this will even come close to working, but I have no other options.

I wouldn't wait to start studying again. I would hit the books while the areas where you didn't do so well are fresh in your mind. People in our shoes that have to work have to find ways around the forget-remember cycle of the DAT and just do our best. It's great to get a 22+ but plenty of people get in with a 19. I hope this helps.
 
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Mar 31, 2018
7
8
Status
Pre-Dental
I hate to tell you this, but I have had to start and stop three times working full time with kids. I had a baby and then moved across the country three months later which threw a wrench into it big time. Due to work I won't be able to take any time off until after June 15th this year. Basically I am in my third iteration of reviewing all the material in the last 6-7 months and by the time I actually close in my final date it will be almost 10 months that I have been trying to tackle the DAT.

When the stars align and everything falls perfectly into place I can get about 2-3 hours of study time weekdays and about 10 hours collectively on weekends. Altogether I have 20 hours per week which gets me about 50% of the way through a DAT bootcamp week according to Ari's schedule. My plan is to keep reviewing the material and renew my subscription (again) and last half of June take 2+ weeks of vacation and hole up in the library for 12 hours a day and l sprint to the end. Don't know if this will even come close to working, but I have no other options.

I wouldn't wait to start studying again. I would hit the books while the areas where you didn't do so well are fresh in your mind. People in our shoes that have to work have to find ways around the forget-remember cycle of the DAT and just do our best. It's great to get a 22+ but plenty of people get in with a 19. I hope this helps.
Wow!! Thank you very much for your humbling response. I can't imagine trying to tackle the DAT with a little one AND working at the same time. I will keep my fingers crossed for you.. Nobody has succeeded without making sacrifices, just some of us have had to make a few extra. The "forget-remember" cycle of the DAT really resonated with me, it can be incredibly frustrating to feel the time and effort put in (even a few days ago!) went to waste. But I have confidence that we can do it!

I'm weary of applying with a 19, even with a pending new DAT score...
Rumor has it that some schools will toss your application in the reject pile before waiting for the new score to arrive.

Thank you very much for your input. I will take your advice and begin putting together a study schedule ASAP.
Next challenge: finding some new resources!
 
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JDent99

2+ Year Member
Jul 12, 2017
35
35
Status
Pre-Dental
Stats on retakes are unfortunately not too encouraging, however I think you've made a good first step in reaching out to the community. Also, great job on RC. I'm going to preface my statement with this: it's not impossible to get in to dental school with your stats, assuming that the rest of your application is in order.

That said, the DAT is the most important exam you'll take. If I were in your position, I'd seriously consider holding off on becoming a full-time dental assistant (you do, after all, have the rest of your gap year to work). Take a break for a couple of weeks then use the rest of those 70ish days and pick a study schedule that works for you. Working part-time would be great, and offers more flexibility in general. It's significantly more difficult trying to retain information after coming home from a long day at work, especially as the week drags on.

If working full-time is a necessity, you can still make it happen. Ask questions when you're stuck and review everything over, even if you got the question right. Good luck!
 
Mar 31, 2018
7
8
Status
Pre-Dental
Stats on retakes are unfortunately not too encouraging, however I think you've made a good first step in reaching out to the community. Also, great job on RC. I'm going to preface my statement with this: it's not impossible to get in to dental school with your stats, assuming that the rest of your application is in order.

That said, the DAT is the most important exam you'll take. If I were in your position, I'd seriously consider holding off on becoming a full-time dental assistant (you do, after all, have the rest of your gap year to work). Take a break for a couple of weeks then use the rest of those 70ish days and pick a study schedule that works for you. Working part-time would be great, and offers more flexibility in general. It's significantly more difficult trying to retain information after coming home from a long day at work, especially as the week drags on.

If working full-time is a necessity, you can still make it happen. Ask questions when you're stuck and review everything over, even if you got the question right. Good luck!
Thanks for the response! When you say stats on retakes are not too encouraging, is that in reference to the probability of improving or that dental schools do not look kindly upon retakes?
 

JDent99

2+ Year Member
Jul 12, 2017
35
35
Status
Pre-Dental
Thanks for the response! When you say stats on retakes are not too encouraging, is that in reference to the probability of improving or that dental schools do not look kindly upon retakes?
In reference to improving on a retake. There are other threads created on the topic. Certain schools only consider your most recent score. It's why a different approach to studying is crucial to obtaining a higher score.
 
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Dasaniii

2+ Year Member
Mar 10, 2016
165
129
From my own experience, I think you can definitely do better on a retake if you really take it seriously the 2nd time and study hard for it. Check out my breakdown if you need help with your retake.
But before you decide to retake the test, come up with a list of schools that you want to attend (realistically), and check their average DAT/ GPA. If it's around 21+, then you should definitely go for a retake!
 
  • Like
Reactions: Duña_
Mar 31, 2018
7
8
Status
Pre-Dental
From my own experience, I think you can definitely do better on a retake if you really take it seriously the 2nd time and study hard for it. Check out my breakdown if you need help with your retake.
But before you decide to retake the test, come up with a list of schools that you want to attend (realistically), and check their average DAT/ GPA. If it's around 21+, then you should definitely go for a retake!
Thank you for the encouragement! Based on my academic experience alone, I tend towards and upward trend so I'm confident I can improve on a retake, as well. Timing was the biggest issue for me (can't believe I let myself get stuck on a hole-punch 1/3 fold!!!!). The caveat now is to coordinate the application timeline with my retake... And of course, my schedule in general :)

I will definitely check out your breakdown. Thanks again!
 
Mar 31, 2018
7
8
Status
Pre-Dental
Awesome come back! Did you switch up your strategy?
I did. I used Dr Romano’s latest version of Destroyer and also purchased his organic chemistry Odyssey textbook as a supplemental resource. I ditched Bootcamp and focused on learning the material rather than getting my timing right... Although I did use it for the PAT.

I also prioritized having a better work/life balance. The first time around I was miserable with my life revolving around work and studying after work and repeating that process. I actually took the time out to relax this time, which may or may not have made a significant difference.

When I step back and take a look at the bigger picture, 2 extra points don’t seem like very much — but I’m at peace with these scores.
 

tooth-hurty

2+ Year Member
May 31, 2017
58
60
Status
Pre-Dental
I did. I used Dr Romano’s latest version of Destroyer and also purchased his organic chemistry Odyssey textbook as a supplemental resource. I ditched Bootcamp and focused on learning the material rather than getting my timing right... Although I did use it for the PAT.

I also prioritized having a better work/life balance. The first time around I was miserable with my life revolving around work and studying after work and repeating that process. I actually took the time out to relax this time, which may or may not have made a significant difference.

When I step back and take a look at the bigger picture, 2 extra points don’t seem like very much — but I’m at peace with these scores.
2 extra points make a huge difference! Congrats!!!
 
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