DAT Breakdown by: SLYgUY2098

To Start of this new year “SLYgUY2098” wanted to lend all of you pre-dental students out there a hand by posting his DAT breakdown here on DentalDAT. First of all, congratulations to “SLYgUY2098” for a job well done. Scoring in the 98th percentile is not an easy task when it comes to the DAT. I highly recommend that you read this breakdown along with the others that are posted in the DentalDAT archive. Use the information that you gather from these successful students to formulate a winning strategy for yourself. Once you formulate a strategy that fits you and your schedule stick to it and you will see the results that you have been longing for.

SLYgUY2098 DAT Breakdown

PAT: 21 (87.9%)
QR: 24 (99.0%)
RC: 23 (89.8%)
Bio: 21 (92.3%)
GC: 21 (87.0%)
OC: 27 (98.7%)

TS: 22 (95.6%)
AA: 23 (98.7%)

Generally speaking, I thought the actual DAT exam was easier in respects to the practice that I’ve been doing. The only section that I thought was harder was the PAT, specifically pattern folding. All in all, as many have stated, if I can do it, so can you.

I would like to thank everyone on SDN that has helped me throughout this summer and Dentalworks for his DAT 8-week study guide that I based my study schedule on. My family, friends, and you SDNers truly made these scores possible. I am humbled and deeply grateful. I will be posting a complete breakdown later tonight.

Here’s my breakdown:

Practice Tests:
TopScore:
Bio/GC/OC/QR/RC/PAT/TS/AA
Test 1: 29/28/30/22/22/20/30/26
Test 2: 22/28/30/30/29/25/27/28
Test 3: 24/28/30/26/22/21/28/26

Achiever:
Test 1: 17/19/19/18/18/16/19/18

**Before I begin the actual breakdown of how I tackled my studying for the DAT, a quick note about materials. KBB was not the best. I read it as a  foundation but didn’t rely on it at all. Pretty much none of it stuck after I finished with it. Achiever was ridiculous and  killed my confidence. TopScore was pretty accurate in its difficulty.  Nearly matched that of the real DAT.** Additionally, I modeled my study schedule after Dentalwork’s 8-week study program.

Biology: 
Materials: KBB, DAT QVault, Cliff’s AP Bio, Alan’s Notes
Comments:
I first started with KBB (available here) and realized that practically nothing I read was sticking. Asking advice from a friend who already took the DAT last year, I then bought the Cliff’s AP Bio. Solid investment (available here). Cliff’s goes through almost everything you need for the biology section of the DAT. It lacked on details regarding the skeletal system (bone anatomy) and special senses (eye and ear).

Next, after reading through Cliff’s twice. First time through, I got about 50-60 wrong. Then my second run, I got 10 wrong. I then reviewed Alan’s notes. They are detailed but very succinct. You really have to know your material to find Alan’s notes useful (and they are!).

I intermittently did DAT Qvault (bought the subscription) and it really helped. Started out at 18 for benchmark test #1 and went up to 23 for benchmark test #9 and #10. Very good investment and helped broaden the range of questions I came across.

Overall, I felt quite prepared for the bio section of the real DAT.

General Chemistry: 
Materials: KBB, Chad’s Videos
Comments: 
I watched Chad’s videos once, then textbook once. Took notes using the handouts provided by Chad. I initially tried textbooks prior to watching Chad’s videos and I knew next to nothing. Chad’s videos are VERY helpful. It was worth my money!

Overall, I felt super prepared for this section.

Organic Chemistry: 
Materials: KBB, Chad’s Videos
Comments: 
Same thing as General Chemistry. Did textbooks twice, and looked at the roadmaps too! (They help!)

Overall, I felt really prepared for this section as well.

Quantitative Reasoning:
Materials: KBB, Math Textbook, Chad’s Videos
Comments:
Judging from the success I had with Chad’s videos for GC and OC, I plunged into his latest collection of videos, the ones for the QR section. It turns out I made the right decision. I tried Math textbook before watching the videos and I ran out of time about 25 problems into it. Post-watching the videos, I nailed all 40 with a few minutes to spare. I did Math textbook once through.

Overall, I was really surprised at the QR section. I know it has a nasty reputation for being the section people run out of time on, but I finished with 5 minutes left. There was nothing I didn’t know or see before between Chad’s videos and Math textbook.

Added advice: Please do not underestimate this section! I know I first did because I assumed I knew everything due to my perfect math SAT scores, but that’s not the case! Take this section seriously too!

Reading Comprehension:
Materials: Crack DAT Reading (10-test), TopScore, Achiever
Comments:
Crack DAT Reading was nice, I used the 10-test version. Went through all of them, scored 23-25 on each one. It had more history and philosophical passages, very few on science. It helped build my speed and focus.

TopScore reading passages were far more like the real DAT because they were highly technical and science-based. Achiever was a bit overboard in my opinion.

Overall, I was confident going into the RC section. I read every passage (taking 10 minutes maximum), then answered the questions (10 minutes max). I didn’t run out of time.

PAT:
Materials: KBB, Crack DAT PAT (10-test), TopScore
Comments:
Well I knew this was going to be a killer. Started out with CDP at a 16, worked my way up to 25 by the end of test 10. CDP was great because it had excellent explanations, and the range of figures/patterns/hole punches were great. Timing is key. But the most important part was practice. Practice, practice, practice. This isn’t something you can “learn” how to do, it is simply practice-driven.

Overall, PAT wasn’t terrible. Keyholes, hole punches, and cube counting were easier than CDP. Angles and TFE were of the same difficulty. Pattern folding was pretty tricky, definitely harder than CDP. The pattern folding on TopScore was more representative of the difficulty of the real DAT though. Actually, TopScore PAT, in general, is quite representative of the actual DAT. Again, Achiever is pretty nuts.

Overall:
My experience with studying for the DAT has proven to me one thing: with hard work, anything can be achieved. I started my studying on July 5th and concluded it on August 21st. I worked 8am-5pm Monday-Friday during that timeframe, and yet I still managed to study effectively and efficiently. I guarantee you that your hard work will be bountifully rewarded at the conclusion of your studies.

Other DAT Breakdowns

Thanks once again to “SLYgUY2098” for donating his DAT Breakdown! If you have a DAT Breakdown you would like to donate you can contact me via e-mail at TheCreator@DentalDAT.com.

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