Worthy of an Appetizer at La DATelisse???

Discussion in 'DAT Discussions' started by BeDent2017, Oct 15, 2013.

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  1. BeDent2017


    Jan 20, 2013
    Dear SDN Friends:

    I could not wait to write this post one day myself, and once it was time to do so, I had to collect my thoughts and put this thing together, so it took me a while and to be honest I was just tired for a whole week after the test!
    Disclaimer: I am in no position to tell you how and what to study. This post and all the other posts should be read with the consideration that each person's circumstances are different and what has worked for one, may and will not work for everyone. So please use your judgment in deciding what is best for you.
    Now on with the nitty gritty of the arduous but fun journey of the past three months of my life
    I finally took my test on Oct. 3, 2013. I say finally because I basically paid for that test twice as much since I rescheduled it a couple of times within 5 days of the test:(. They basically love me at ADA because of that and the fact that I took it last year too!
    Here is the score on my DAT on Oct. 3, 2013:

    PAT 20 (79%)
    QR 19 (91%)
    RC 23 (90%)
    Bio 20 (88%)
    GC 19 (73%)
    OC 20 (85%)
    TS 20 (85%)
    AA 20 (88%):

    As a mother of two, I have had to juggle a lot to find time to study. I took my test last year partially prepared because every day that I was at the library, I felt that I had ruined my children's summer and deprived them of mommy time and a well-deserved vacation. That effected my studying and the result showed it: :bang:

    PAT 19 (69%)
    QR 14 (33%)
    RC 17 (36%)
    Bio 15 (26%)
    GC 17 (53%)
    OC 17 (52%)
    TS 16 (44%)
    AA 16 (38%)::thumbdown:

    I decided to give it a second try this summer. This year though I negotiated with my children that if they give me this time, I will make it up to them! Therefore I devoted 3 months of my life to this journey. I studied at least 40 hours a week for 3 months, totaling almost 600 hours of study time. I logged my hours and if I wasn't productive, I didn't include that time.
    I purchased Kaplan's on Demand this year thinking that it would make a difference. I believe it was helpful but not worth the money. I purchased Chad's three month subscription, the DAT Boot Camp's complete set, and Destroyer. So naturally I felt like I had to use Kaplan's material since I spent so much money on them. I did do the PAT, and reading with Kaplan, and felt it was OK. I also did a couple of the tests.
    If I were to start over, I would ONLY purchase Chad's, DAT Boot Camp, and destroyer. The reason I loved Chad so much is because I like to understand things beyond just being able to solve a problem. I also set my mind this time to look at the whole picture rather than being caught up in the details. I always knew what to study for all my tests in the college and emphasized more on the important points, and got good grades. It worked for me here as well.

    Enough of my story and more on the sections and the practice tests I took:

    Kaplan Diagnostics:
    15 /18 /15 /20 /16 /11 /13 /14

    Kaplan Midterm:
    16 /19 / 14 /16 /17 /14/18 /16

    DAT Bootcamp Test # 1 (14 days before exam, took them back to back like the real test)
    20 /20 /19 /19 /24 /19 /18 /---

    DAT Bootcamp Test # 3 (10 days before exam, took them back to back)
    18 /17 /--- /--- /16 /20 /18 /---

    Crack DAT PAT
    20/ 18/ 19

    DAT Destroyer
    Average of 4 sections was between 61-75%

    ADA DAT 2007 (3 days before the test)
    20 /19 /20 /16 /17 /23 /23 /20 (Bio was alarming so I postponed to 6 more weeks, here I took a my vacation and just didn't study for 2 weeks)

    ADA DAT 2009 (2 days before the test)
    19 /19 /18 /19 /19 /19 /19 /19

    What worked the most and what didn't:

    Crack DAT PAT (9/10), DAT Bootcamp (10/10)
    Crack DAT PAT is a great program when none of the YouTube videos were available. But if you want a systematic way of learning and more practice tests at your fingertips, they are great! They also have video explanation for the answers where they tell you why the correct answer is correct and why the other three couldn't be the response. It is really important to actually listen to the video explanation to see how to approach the question and how to quickly narrow down the responses. DAT Bootcamp has many references to YouTube videos published by previous test takers, and so it is a great tool as well.
    *In the real DAT, I felt that my questions were somewhere between the Crack DAT PAT and Bootcamp in difficulty.

    Chad's QR Videos (10/10), Math Destroyer (9/10), Bootcamp (8/10)
    Chad explains the basics so well. He teaches them so we don't have to necessarily memorize things, and since I don't like to memorize anything before I understand it, I loved his method. It seems that Destroyer's explanation matched Chad's so they can both be all you need to do well in the math section. I should tell you that I also love math and I only did the first three of Destroyer tests, Chad's quizzes, and Bootcamp's test # 1, and #3.
    *I made sure to skip the harder questions in my DAT and at least go to the end. I ended up going back to the harder ones at the end and figure them out. I may have just circled an answer on a few!

    DAT Bootcamp (10/10), Kaplan Reading (9/10)
    I was dreading this section, and I hated to practice for it. English is my second language, and this was one of my lowest grades in all my practice tests. I just read scientific articles the last month of my test as it was suggested by Ari at Bootcamp. I also liked Kaplan's method that I would read the whole passage before answering questions. I had to do it this way, because I can't search and destroy. I would have ended up destroying my chances I have to understand what I read to be able to answer. It really served me well to do it this way.
    *I liked all my articles on the real test and so it was easy to stay focused and interested! I really can't tell you a trick on this one, except that I read the passage before attempting at the questions.

    Barron's AP Bio (9/10), Detroyer (10/10), DAT Bootcamp (10/10)
    I read the Barron's AP bio and if needed more detail or there was a mistake I used Cliff(there are a few mistakes on Barron, but if you know your stuff, it is actually fun to figure out what the mistakes are). I also supplemented with Google, and Campbell's. As I said before, I tried to paint the big picture and not to worry about nitty gritty details. I had taken anatomy and physiology in my post Bach program so I didn't even study the anatomy and physiology. DAT Destroyer or Bootcamp will help you tremendously. But I only did a fourth of Destroyer and two Bootcamp exams.
    *The real test had wide variety of questions, but nothing that I had not seen before. I would have done better had I utilized the Destroyer and Bootcamp early on during me studies.

    General Chemistry:
    Chad's Videos (10/10)
    Chad is the best source to relearn or review the concepts. I can say that the only reason I got a 19 was that I did not do enough problems for that subject. If you do Chad's quizzes in combination with either Bootcamp or Destroyer, you are covered.
    *My test had good assortment of concepts and problems. There were some questions that I was stuck on for 3-4 minutes; I was running out of time during this section. It took me longer than bio and orgo.

    Organic Chemistry:
    Chad's Videos (10/10)
    For my version of the test, Chad was the best source that I could have used. A lot of the questions were conceptual, and had I memorized all the reactions without knowing why things happened when they did, I would have failed this section. I made sure I understood the concepts behind the reactions. It helped me tremendously.
    *As I mentioned above, the test was conceptual and more on the mechanics of reactions than the reagents and products. I am so glad that I paid extra attention to the details Chad was presenting.

    How was I able to keep going at it for three months?

    When my family was sacrificing for me so much, how dare I not reciprocate! I owed them and wanted to show my appreciation by what I scored. It would be next to impossible task if you don't have support of the family.
    I also love to learn, so I just took this as a learning opportunity. The preparation for DAT was the culmination of all the classes I had taken so far, and a decent score on all section meant I was ready for the next step of going to dental school.
    I also exercised often to keep my mind clear. And then locked myself in a room and studied. To stay sane, I read a the SDN and got motivated, listened to songs that I enjoy, and focused on the prize.

    What would I do differently to prepare?

    I would stick with Chad, Bootcamp, and Destroyer. I would also start with Bootcamp and Destroyer much earlier in my preparation, using them as tools to gauge where I am and to get more practice all along.

    What did I do leading up to the test day?

    Last year I was a wreck when I step foot in that Prometric center. I knew I was not 100% ready, and so it really affected my mood. This year,on the other hand, I was very relaxed the day before, I tried to study but my body and mind was not in it. So I just took it as a sign that I needed to take a break. I went to bed early, and the day of DAT studied for 3 hours straight!!!! I reviewed most organic chemistry and some math formula.
    Then it was show time.

    Show Down!

    I went to the Prometric earlier than my scheduled test and listened to Shakira's "Give it up to me" on my way to the center; I needed something uplifting and fun to listen to. I had a small breakfast, and two cups of coffee in the morning. So before the test, I just ate some raisins. Found a locker with number 20 on it and confidently walked to my designated seat. I used the time for tutorial to do the PAT prep on my board. And had some time to relax and concentrate.
    I was running out of time on the science section, because of the gen chem. During the break, I munched on some nuts and had some water, and by the time I was back, I only had less than two minutes to spare! I was about to die. I knew the end is near and for better or worse I had done all I could to prepare under the circumstances. Once the test was over, I covered my eyes with my hands and slowly and hesitantly peered through my finger until I saw the score appearing on the screen. I saw a 19 and a 20 and was able to finally open my eyes and confront what took me three months to prepare. Suffice to say that I was looking around to make sure I hadn't distracted anyone by my excitement:love:

    At the end I like to thank my family for putting up with this process, and for supporting me all the way. I like to thank and appreciate the SDN community for being so generous even though we are essentially competing with each other and for giving solid advise. I like to give a shout out to Ari at Bootcamp for responding to my questions and for having such an awesome and affordable site. Last but not the least Chad for laying the foundation so well, and for his most amazing and affordable website.
    If you have any questions just ask and I make sure to respond to the best of my ability.
    Peace and good luck to all:) You will get there......
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2013
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  3. duvaldentist

    duvaldentist 5+ Year Member

    Jan 27, 2011
    Congrats awesome job
  4. Glimmer1991

    Glimmer1991 5+ Year Member

    May 5, 2012
    Absolutely worthy of the breakdown collection! A HUGE congratulations on your scores--you worked hard, and it paid off! And thank you for such a great and thorough breakdown! :)
  5. starnova

    starnova 5+ Year Member

    Apr 27, 2012
    San Francisco
    You deserve it for all the hard work. I don't know that many people who would be willing to study and devote their time so diligently in your position. Congrats again and I hope you get in!
  6. paymaant

    paymaant 5+ Year Member

    Mar 28, 2011
    Washington DC
    Great improvement on your scores! Congratulations! Are you applying next cycle?
  7. BeDent2017


    Jan 20, 2013
    No, I have already submitted my apps for this cycle. I really hope I am not too late!

    20AA / 20TS / 20PAT
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2013
  8. BeDent2017


    Jan 20, 2013
    Thank you Duvaldentist, Starnova, paymaant, and Glimmer1991 very much:)

    @ Glimmer1991: I should say that I have thoroughly enjoyed your Collection on this forum. What a smart, innovative, and generous thing to do. It would be an honor to be on that list :)

    20AA / 20TS / 20PAT

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