1. Dismiss Notice
  2. Guest, be sure to check out How To Get Into Dental School, our free downloadable PDF with step-by-step details for dental school applicants!
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice

Interview Feedback: Visit Interview Feedback to view and submit interview information.

Interviewing Masterclass: Free masterclass on interviewing from SDN and Medical College of Georgia

When to start studying for the DAT again?

Discussion in 'Pre-Dental' started by cmcner, Dec 28, 2008.

  1. cmcner

    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2008
    Messages:
    444
    Likes Received:
    143
    Status:
    Dentist
    I applied this cycle on July 10th to 13 schools. I was rejected from 2 in October, yet I haven't heard back from the other 11, even calling them just reconfirmed the in review status. At this point I have to start preparing to apply again next cycle, but I can't decide how long before I start to study for the DAT again. I'm afraid that if I wait to be rejected it may come in April and I won't have enough time to prepare before the first day of application submission. But I'd hate to study for the test again and then get admitted when I'm almost ready to take it for the second time. What do you think?

    My stats:
    DAT: TS 18, AA: 18, PAT: 17
    Bio: 21, Chem: 16, Orgo: 18, QR: 17, RC: 19

    cGPA 3.25 should be raising to slightly over 3.3 with fall grades; sGPA 3.03 should be raising to slightly over 3.1 with fall grades

    Graduated in December so no more GPA change is possible for undergrad.

    140 hours of shadowing, other ECs are on my predent profile.
     
  2. Northside

    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2008
    Messages:
    127
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Pre-Dental
    Would you actually be bummed out about being accepted while studying for the DAT? Anyhow, IMHO, I think you should retake until you get 20s.
     
  3. dent2009

    dent2009 YEEE BOI
    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2008
    Messages:
    633
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Pre-Dental
    start restudying now as if you already got rejected to all schools. not saying you won't get in this cycle but your chances are slim with your subpar GPA and DAT. Aim for 19+ DAT with those GPA.
     
  4. cmcner

    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2008
    Messages:
    444
    Likes Received:
    143
    Status:
    Dentist
    A little, because I'd have to buy a lot of new study materials and I pay for everything myself. Also my goal would be to get above a 20 but it wouldn't happen in time for this cycle, so I really don't care if I get into dental school with 18s for this cycle. And when I start to study again I'm going to dedicate myself fully to it again like I did last time, so it will cost me more money in lost hours at my job.
     
  5. dent2009

    dent2009 YEEE BOI
    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2008
    Messages:
    633
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Pre-Dental
    there's no need to buy new study materials. you already probably have them - your college textbooks. Look you have A LOT of time to study before you'd have to retake it. Work your normal hours and study afterwards. There's plenty of time to go over each and every one of the science books if you start soon. Save that money.
     
  6. Northside

    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2008
    Messages:
    127
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Pre-Dental
    I understand... However, if I was in your position, I would want to have everything ready to go for next cycle. I wouldn't want to be rejected this cycle and find myself in the middle of August without any improved DAT scores.

    How long did you intend to study for the DAT? I would recommend 2 months of 3 hours a day (3 hours of some good studying/no distractions). Use the first month to go over theory/review notes and use the second month to go over questions and identify certain weaknesses and strengthen them by going over these sections again. If you do this, I guarantee you will score 20+. I tried to do this (didn't end up doing as many questions as I wanted as I only had ~ 3 weeks to study in which I studied about 5 hours a day) and I came out with 22DAT. I tried to start studying before but my employer was not supportive of my decision to pursue dent... so I quit! It's all up to you and how bad you want it.
     
  7. DrReo

    DrReo "Thread Necromancer"
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2007
    Messages:
    3,117
    Likes Received:
    12
    Status:
    Academic Administration
    You need 20's, regardless. Consider it as an investment. Have you conisdered a post bacc program, Tufts has one- you'll need to improve that subpar GPA.
     
  8. cmcner

    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2008
    Messages:
    444
    Likes Received:
    143
    Status:
    Dentist
    I was planning on studying for at least 2 months, I studied for about 5 weeks last time 4-6 hours a day but I choked when I got to the test. I never finished the science section with much time left during practice and i finished with 20 min left during the actual DAT. I went back to the bio section when i should have gone back to the chem section, i was practicing around an 18 on gchem. I'm just trying to find out if I can afford to wait until March or so to start studying again when I'll have responses from most of my schools. My adviser has given me some bad advice, like telling me my scores were fine and not to retake the test so that's why I'm asking here now when to start my prep for next cycle before it's too late. My lack of rejections is holding me back.
     
  9. cmcner

    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2008
    Messages:
    444
    Likes Received:
    143
    Status:
    Dentist
    Thanks for the advice, I think I'll start to study again when the break ends. I just bought a solutions manual to my old chem text book for like $3 since its about 3 editions old now, maybe I should have used my texts from the very beginning instead of those over simplified summaries.
     
    #9 cmcner, Dec 28, 2008
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2008
  10. GeorgiaGirl23

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2008
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Pre-Dental
    Northside, what materials did you use to study for the DAT?
     
  11. oreoson

    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2008
    Messages:
    215
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Dental Student
    I am in the same situation as the op. I already started studying for DAT, but I know it's too late to send in new scores for this cycle. Hopefully my fall grades will boost my gpa up.
     
  12. Northside

    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2008
    Messages:
    127
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Pre-Dental
    I used the Kaplan white book, Cliffs DAT prep, and KSF review. I went over the Kaplan white book once and then went over the bio section 2 more times because bio is just memorization. The other sections of the DAT are about understanding concepts and I only had to go over them once. This took about 2 weeks. I also had the Kaplan blue book (from a friend) and I did the practice test from it and read over the answer explanations. I ordered KSF review online and downloaded it mainly for PAT practice. I think I did around 5 PAT tests and 2-3 tests in the other sections. The last two days before the test, I did all of the questions in Cliffs DAT prep and again went over my answers.

    I don't know if what I did will work for others. I took the free online diagnostic test from Kaplan about a month before all of this and scored 18-20 in all of the sections without any studying... I didn't even know much about the DAT when I did this and wasted some time reading over the instructions for some of the sections. On test day, my main worry was the RC as I scored in the 18-20 range on the 3 or so practice tests that I took and there wasn't a trend of improvement like in the other sections. However, I tend to rise to the occasion when it comes to standardized comprehension tests because I know that if I just concentrate and not waste any time, I should score well (you can't really do this for bio/chem/math, and PAT to some degree, as you either know it or you don't) and I did alright with 21.

    I've TA'd over 5 classes in bio and chem and my math has always been quite strong so, again, I might not have needed much prep compared to others. However, I think that the average applicant should score in the 20s if they use Kaplan white book and two other sources with lots of questions. I actually believe that if you know the Kaplan white book inside-out, you'll get 20s in the chem and bio for sure. The other sections depend more on the person. I know ppl who have scored 20s on PAT, RC, and QR without even studying and I know others who can't break 20 w/out practice.

    What's important for any test-taker is to identify his/her weaknesses early on and really focus on these areas. This allows you to maximize your score as there is more room for improvement in these weaker areas.
     
  13. playa2652

    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2008
    Messages:
    278
    Likes Received:
    8
    Status:
    Dentist
    I think out of everything that my friends and I studied, the most valuable asset was DAT destroyer. It had the most probs and detailed explanations that any study material had. I studied it at least three times and I got 20AA, 21TS/22 PAT. The only reason why I got a 20 was because my QR score was low, but everything else was way above average. If you don't have this already, I suggest you get it because all my friends who didn't have it got 19s or lower. Also, I would setup a day to day schedule for the next 3 months saying what 1-2 topics you plan to study that day. For each day, you study some theory or problems and at the end of the day, you do a summary review. When its about 2 weeks before the test date, take a test with a timer in addition to the test timer to keep track of break times. After each test, write down in a notebook why you got something wrong and the explanations because it'll help you remember never to make the mistake again (this is tedious, but I found this to be a very effective method). If you have DAT achiever and/or topscore, make sure you take these tests doing this time period. This may come to be a shocker to you but I did really poorly on my practice tests, except for the PAT section. I got 17-18s on almost all my sections for almost every test, so don't feel bad if you get around those scores during practice tests. JUST FOCUS on the stuff you got wrong and u'll be fine.

    http://acedat.wordpress.com/

    This website really gave me some really good tips and will definitely help u almost ace the detail questions in RC. For the other tone/overall summary questions, i suggest doing RC passages from MCAT books at a bookstore to save money. Hopefully this helps and good luck to you.

    Also Crack the DAT PAT is the best practice for PAT
     
    #13 playa2652, Dec 28, 2008
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2008
  14. BakeNeat

    BakeNeat UCSF Class of 2013

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2008
    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Pre-Dental
    OP, it seems as if you REALLY REALLY don't want to study. But you gotta do what you gotta do. If things are looking glum, it is probably not best to sit back and wait for the Big Man to do His thing.

    Study hard. Good luck with your 20+ scores.
     
  15. illusionD

    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    May 28, 2008
    Messages:
    51
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Pre-Dental
    start studying now and study your butt off. find as many pratice tests as you can. kaplan, topscore, Achiever, CrackPat, CliffsAP Bio (good for reviewing)
     
  16. chober

    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2008
    Messages:
    270
    Likes Received:
    19
    Status:
    Podiatry Student
    OP, I'm with you on this, I'm starting to worry about getting into school too. I'm thinking of applying for a SMP and retaking the DATs in May. But I'm not looking forward to it at all. My GPA is pretty much not gonna move anywhere. The first time I took the test, I procrastinated till the very end and I didn't even study QR or RC.
     

Share This Page