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Very Detailed DAT breakdown - [22AA] - 8/19/2015

Discussion in 'DAT Discussions' started by zammyd, Aug 20, 2015.

  1. zammyd

    2+ Year Member

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    Wow, I can't believe I finally can write one of these! Overall I'm really happy with my scores and definitely have never studied so much for a single test.

    The biggest surprise on my test was the PAT portion, it was very difficult. But as others have said, this test is about luck of the draw. It is definitely possible to get harder or easier versions of sections on your test!

    Bio - 22
    Chem - 21
    Orgo - 26
    PA - 20
    RC - 21
    QR - 19
    --AA 22

    Study timeline


    Month 1.5 (Review Cliffs, Destroyer, Chads)
    Month 0.5 (Review Destroyer, Chads, one more time and make sure I know all concepts and terms)
    Last week (Make sure I have all my notes memorized and concepts ingrained, did bootcamp every day)
    - In the last month I studied almost everyday for an average of about 10 hrs

    BIOLOGY (22)
    Bootcamp = 24/22/18/20/22

    HOW I STUDIED: Cliffs AP Biology, Destroyer, Bootcamp, Youtube
    - Basically I read through all of cliffs and took detailed notes the first month. Youtubed and googled anything I wasn't too familiar with. To learn the Animal kingdom phyla watch Craig Savage's series of youtube videos on this topic and memorize the phyla tree he illustrates. For plants/photosynthesis youtube Khan academy.
    - I went through destroyer once, and again, looked up anything I didn't know. I put a star beside anything I thought I should go over again, and when I went through destroyer a second time I made sure all the starred questions were good with me. FOR BIO MAKE SURE YOU GO THROUGH DESTROYER AT LEAST 2 TIMES. This is a must as it will solidify all the random terms and definitions in your head, which is crucial.
    - I did bootcamp within the week leading up to my test. Did one bio bootcamp test a day.

    ACTUAL TEST (*The following are tips based on my version of the test, yours may be different)
    - I actually found this section to be straight forward. Questions formats were similar to bootcamp.
    - TONS OF DEFINITIONS "What is a ____?". Know all the terms you are not familiar with in destroyer!
    - Hardy Weinberg calculations
    - A couple human physiology questions (know all the hormones, functions, and where they are produced)
    - Know very well how to predict disease types (autosomal recessive/X linked recessive etc) from pedigrees
    - Know Animal kingdom phyla and associated classes as well as you can
    - I also did get maybe 2 or 3 questions which I had no idea, just give them a good guess and move on
    - Overall I would say Bootcamp, Cliffs, and Destroyer were all very helpful in preparation for this section!

    CHEMISTRY (21)
    Bootcamp =23/24/24/25/19

    HOW I STUDIED: Chad's, Destroyer, Bootcamp, Youtube
    - In the first month I went through all of Chad's videos and took all his quizzes.
    - Also went through chemistry section of Destroyer Once, and just reviewed questions I starred a second time
    - In the last week I did one chem bootcamp test a day

    ACTUAL TEST (*The following are tips based on my version of the test, yours may be different)

    - So I thought of myself as being pretty good at chem based on my bootcamp scores, but during the actual test I definitely found some of the questions a bit stumping. Overall though, a majority of them were very straightforward.
    - Many people mentioned that they didn't have many calculation questions, but on my test I had more than I was expecting
    - I actually found myself spending way too much time on some of the questions in chem, it's very important to just pick an answer, mark it, and move on if you're immediately not sure how to solve. Finish the orgo section first, then come back and finish the chem questions you were stumped on at first. I had 10 minutes left after orgo, so I just came back and finished chem after that.
    - A lot of the questions were very similar in format to Chad's quizzes so make sure you do them twice if you can!
    - Also destroyer has all the concepts covered, so make sure you do all of destroyer once and twice if you know you could be stronger

    ORGANIC CHEM (26)
    Bootcamp = 19/20/19/21/20

    HOW I STUDIED: Chad's, Destroyer, Bootcamp, Youtube
    - In the first month I went through all of Chad's videos and took all his quizzes. Also used Youtube for some of the concepts Chad did not cover (His orgo section is not as strong, although his sections on substitution/elimination/EAS/Nucleophilic Acyl substitution were wonderful)
    - Also went through Orgo section of Destroyer Once, and just reviewed questions I starred a second time
    - In the last week I did one orgo bootcamp test a day

    ACTUAL TEST (*The following are tips based on my version of the test, yours may be different)

    - Orgo was one of my weakest on Bootcamp because I would keep making stupid mistakes, but bootcamp was very great preparation and helped me learn a lot from my mistakes
    - However, the Orgo on the test was very very straightforward, the reaction questions were straightforward
    - Please make sure you read through all the answer choices though! I found that what I thought was the correct product was wrong after I reviewed all answer choices.
    - Know all your reactions from the Destroyer road maps as well as stereochemistry of each
    - Do Chads quizzes TWICE! (I had some questions which were suuuuper similar in content)
    - Know EWGs/EDGs/EAS reactions , Nucleophilic acyl substitution very well
    - Know C13 NMR, HNMR principles and concepts (Youtube was the best for this). Don't think you need to memorize C13 spectra numbers, but definitely memorize carbonyl/alcohol/aromatic HNMR numbers.
    - Destroyer definitely was much harder than the actual test, but it is great preparation. I seriously got annoyed that I kept getting every question wrong in destroyer, but in the end going through the questions is what got me a 26 :D.

    PAT (20)
    Bootcamp = 18/19/19/19/20

    HOW I STUDIED: Bootcamp
    - I spent about the last 3 weeks doing PAT strictly using the bootcamp generators
    - In the last week I also did the first 5 practice tests
    - I did find that the generators sort of seemed repetitive at times, so in the last couple of days I would also do individual sections from the last 5 practice tests instead (which have more unique questions)

    ACTUAL TEST (*The following are tips based on my version of the test, yours may be different)
    - I was so used to reading from people that the PAT portion was much much easier than bootcamp that I literally said what the f_k when I saw some of the questions
    - Pattern folding was on par in difficulty with bootcamp practice tests
    - Keyholes on par in difficulty with bootcamp practice tests
    -
    Angle ranking on par with bootcamp generators. I seriously could not tell the difference between a good chunk of them. Very hard and obscure angles. I consider myself pretty good with angles too.
    - TFE more similar to the generators, but had a few tricky ones that were similar to practice tests
    - Cubes were easy, however the last cube counting was difficult. It was one of those cubes where its hard to picture what the structure looks like because there are so many lines. I think I saw a similar one in the BC practice tests.
    - I think I probably got 65% of the questions right and was pissed at myself during the break for underestimating PAT. But seeing the 20 at the end made me realize I probably just got a harder version which most people also found difficult.

    IMPORTANT NOTES!!
    - My timer for RC started automatically once the break was done. It did not wait for me to click okay to start!
    - Make your keyhole and cube counting charts during the tutorial
    - Don't click okay between sections, it will give you about a 2 minute break before it starts automatically
    - Write down math formulas when you come back from your break
    - the marker they gave me was a non-erasable fine point pen and a laminated graph paper.


    READING COMPREHENSION (21)
    Bootcamp =20/19/21/22/21

    HOW I STUDIED: Bootcamp
    - I spent about the last week and a half on RC
    - I did the first two BC tests with pure search and destroy method but didn't find it working for me. I felt like I kept missing the concepts and gist of the passage which would help me connect the dots more easily
    - On the third test I used the mapping method and it was great for me!! Writing down key words from each passage definitely helped me a lot more as a weak reader, and I used S&D afterwards, using my map to find which passages contained the terms I was looking for.
    RC STRATEGY:
    1. Read the first paragraph
    2. Read the first question
    3. See if you can answer the first question, if you can't just read the passage and map as you go along until you find the answer
    4. Move on to the next question, and read/map until you find the answer to that
    5. Continue this until you have mapped the whole passage
    6. Use S&D to answer the rest of the questions, your map will help you find the passages which contain the info much faster. By this time you have also read the passage so you have a good foundation to answer inference/tone questions.

    ACTUAL TEST (*The following are tips based on my version of the test, yours may be different)
    - All the passages were no longer than 15 blocks long
    - I had a lot of inference/interpretation questions which required a good understanding of the passages. If I did purely S&D I know I would have done worse. Thus I highly recommend a mix of reading/mapping and then S&D. This is my tip as a weak reader!
    - Overall Bootcamp did a very great job preparing me

    QUANTITATIVE REASONING (19)
    Bootcamp = 19/20/x/x/x

    HOW I STUDIED: Bootcamp, Math Destroyer
    - This was always my weakest section
    - I started doing math destroyer tests about a month before my test and would always get destroyed. I averaged maybe a 20/40 doing timed destroyer tests
    - One mistake I made was not learning the concepts first. Destroyer is good practice, but I don't think its the best platform to learn the concepts of how to solve the problem and set up the equation.
    - If I were to do it again I would use destroyer to know the types of questions, then youtube the concepts, then practice doing the questions and knowing how to setup the equation
    - I saved the math questions at the back of the regular destroyer for the last couple of days since I knew they would be most representative

    ACTUAL TEST (*The following are tips based on my version of the test, yours may be different)

    - THE KEY TO QR: It is crucial you just pick an answer, mark, and skip questions you don't immediately know how to solve. Spending too much time on one question will tremendously eat away at your time.
    - There are a bunch of easy questions that can get you the same amount of points in a fraction of the time
    - I skipped all the hard ones and answered all the easy ones first. I think this is what got me my score as I had to guess a majority of the harder ones.
    - Overall though about half the questions were similar to the back of the regular destroyer, and about half of them were a bit easier.
    - Just like PAT I seriously thought I f---ked up this section, but I was elated to see a 19!

    =======

    Lastly,
    Huge shout out to @orgoman22 and @Ari Rezaei for all the work they put into their products and the SDN community. My biggest tip for this test is pick an answer, mark, and skip questions you don't immediately know how to solve and come back at the end. Oh, and also study your ass off ;).

    *Bonus: Whenever I felt like I lacked the motivation to study, watching this always set me straight
     
    #1 zammyd, Aug 20, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2015
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  3. Alice Tang

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    Good scores.
     
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  4. orgoman22

    orgoman22 DAT DESTROYER
    Lifetime Donor Sponsor Exhibitor Classifieds Approved 10+ Year Member

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    Congratulations! zammyd :soexcited::highfive::clap::clap:

    You Destroyed it. I really enjoyed reading your detailed study plan, it will help a lot of students.
    Love the 26 in Orgo:love:, Orgo is a most challenging section and your hard work paid off big! And you said it best! "Study your Ass off ~, that is truly what it takes. Dental schools will notice your consistent scores and interviews will be coming your way! The DAT Beast was not a match for you today...he is in hiding waiting for his next opponent.

    Thank you for the shout out, it's much appreciated..

    Take some time off and celebrate, you have a lot to be proud of.

    Wishing you the best..

    Dr. Jim Romano and Nancy
     
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  5. zammyd

    2+ Year Member

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    Thank you so much for such a warm-hearted reply :biglove:
     
    orgoman22 likes this.
  6. BYU4you

    5+ Year Member

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    Congrats and good breakdown!
     
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