For many of us, the PAT section of the DAT can be very intimidating. Within the PAT there are several challenges. Remember, this section is new to everyone taking the DAT! There will be some of you who are naturals but the majority will struggle at first. Just like a video game the more you play the better you get!
There are 5 sections within the PAT:
- Key Hole
- Hole Punch
- Cube counting
- Pattern Folding
It will be essential that you become efficient in all of these areas if you want to do well. The following are steps that will help you to study the PAT section.
- Be familiar with ALL the rules for each section. Sometimes you may get one correct but for the wrong reasoning. To eliminate this know the rules. There are a few good resources for the rules including but not limited to Kaplan Blue Book (buy here), Studentdoctor.net (use the search feature), The Gold Standard, and Crack DAT PAT.
Once you’ve learned the rules you can practice, practice, practice. In general, Kaplan’s resources are the easiest for this section, so you may want to start out with these. Just do a few at a time until you get the hang of them.
With a good foundation, you can now begin testing yourself! I would suggest starting out with Crack DAT PAT because they offer a large number of tests. I would save the Top Score Pro and DAT Achiever tests for when you do full-length practice tests (meaning all the sections together just like you would on the real DAT). Crack DAT PAT has 10 tests total but you can also randomize the tests. (Take a look at my DAT Breakdown in order to see how my real scores compared with my practice scores).
Start by completing a single Crack DAT PAT test or test from another source. Taking a full PAT test will allow you to find your weaknesses.
After finding your weakness go back and look at your score breakdown. What type of questions did you get incorrect? Once you identify your weakness go back and practice, practice, practice. Do a lot of the same type of problems over and over again. Do the same thing for any other section that you struggled with.
Now you can move on to PAT test number two. Repeat step 5 for this test. This process will continue all the way until test number ten. Don’t try and knock these out in a couple of days. Give yourself some time between tests. Between tests is when you should be doing practice problems and reviewing rules on sections that you did not accelerate at.
It is going to be important that you take full-length practice tests such as those sold by Top Score Pro or DAT Achiever. If you struggle with this section during the full-length test do step 5 for each of those tests also.
If you complete all of Top Score Pro, DAT Achiever, The Gold Standard and Crack DAT PAT and you still do not feel comfortable then I would suggest taking randomized Crack DAT PAT. However, this should not happen if you took your time learning the rules and analyzing the problems you get wrong on each test!
When I receive an e-mail regarding the PAT test it typically has to do with the angle ranking section. This section can be very deceiving and can impact your score dramatically. Some sources like Kaplan make this section way too easy and may instill a false sense of confidence. Crack DAT PAT is much closer to the real DAT by way of difficulty for the angle ranking.