Thanks to “AHugeDeadWhale” DentalDAT was able to add another quality DAT breakdown to the archive. The scores that he earned are nothing to be ashamed of. Just about anyone with scores in this range has an excellent chance at getting multiple interviews and ultimately multiple acceptances. Read through this carefully as he gives some great feedback on study materials and some excellent tips for studying for the DAT.
AHugeDeadWhale DAT Breakdown
Just wanted to say thanks to everyone on this forum for their help and tips. Definitely, couldn’t have done it without you guys. If anything, your posting of 21+ scores scared me into studying hard lol.
I took a Kaplan online course and used their online tests as my practice tests. I had never gotten higher than 17 on Science on any of the Kaplan tests (I think they are supposed to be fairly easy). I don’t know what magically happened on Test Day, but somehow I pulled it off. I didn’t do a single full-length test for the 3 weeks leading up to the test (IDK why lol) so maybe something clicked for me in that time?
Bio: Cliff’s, Kaplan. Bio is my weakest subject, as you can see. Everything was pretty straightforward on the test but like other people have said, it was really random. There were a couple that I just had no idea about. When I read the first question, I was completely clueless and had to mark it. Thought to myself, “Well this isn’t going to go well.” I read through Cliff’s once (available here) and Kaplan bio once (available here). Then randomly in the weeks before Test Day I would just open up a random chapter and read it. I only went about halfway through Bio because honestly it was kicking my butt and I was getting really frustrated. I think it is overkill and the only helpful quality of it is that it gives you a reality check on how much material there is to know. I don’t remember much about Bio now, probably because I was so freaked out while taking it lol. I do remember I had several ecology and evolution questions and only one basic taxonomy question. I would say to expose yourself to as much material as possible and favor “breadth over depth” if you are short on study time.
GChem: Chad’s was enough for this section. I watched Chad’s twice over the course of a few months. The first time through I took super detailed notes, but the second time I was sat back and watched and tried to pick up on things that I hadn’t seen before. Again, Chad’s is a little much here. The math on this section of the test wasn’t that bad at all, pretty straight forward. A lot of them were the “setup” type problems where you just pick the answer that has the right calculation setup. I probably made some stupid mistakes here.
OChem: Chad’s. Watched Chad’s 2X. I didn’t finish Destroyer for this either. I’m also retaking Organic I right now in the summer so I think that really helped out a lot. The test was definitely heavier on Organic I material, so pretty basic reactions. There were I think 3 or 4 EAS reactions as well. I used to hate organic chem but now I think I understand it (well, at least on a DAT level) and actually kind of like it. I finished the Sciences with about 10 minutes left and used that time to go over my marked problems.
PAT: Crack DAT PAT. Once you know how to approach each type of problem and have developed a strategy for solving it, CDP is all you really need. Kaplan PAT is too easy, don’t use it. For example, I had been able to use line counting for TFE on Kaplan, but on the actual test most of the answer choices have the same number of lines and so I had to actually picture the shape in 3D. The difficulty level is about the same as CDP, which surprised me because I thought CDP was supposed to be harder. I had been getting 20-22 on CDP. I will say that angles on my actual test are FREAKING HARD. I wouldn’t be surprised if everything I missed came from the angle section. They definitely don’t care about lining up the angles for you at the same size and rotation. And even when they did, I still couldn’t tell them apart. I just went with my “gut” on most of them. There were also a few (2 or 3) keyholes that were quite outrageous and I had to mark them and basically use an educated guess. Everything else was straightforward. Hole punching and Cubes were a little easier than CDP, I thought. I only had a max of 16 cubes to count, not bad at all. I finished with about 90 seconds left.
Reading: I did not prepare for this section at all. I had been getting 21 on the Kaplan practice tests (available here) and I wasn’t sure how else to prepare for it. I actually spent 5 minutes of my break time deciding whether I was going to read the whole thing through or just go straight to the questions. I am not a good reader so I used the search and destroy method, which worked out for me. I hardly got any tone questions at all. Oh yeah, I got the ETHICS passage. I actually thought I got every question right on this whole section and I finished with 20 minutes left (wtf right?). SO maybe the Ethics passage tricked me or something, but I thought it was fairly easy, not nearly as hard as other people have said. Maybe I got a different Ethics passage?
QR: Math Textbook. I am pretty good at math, or so I thought (5 on AP Calc BC, that is my claim to fame lol). I went through all of the Math Textbook because it helped me gain some of my confidence back haha. Some people have said to go through it twice, with and without timing. I was pretty confident so I just put 45 minutes on my timer and dove straight in. The first few practice tests I only got through about 30-33 questions and getting a lot wrong. So I looked over the answers carefully, found out the “quicker” ways of doing those problems and brushed up on my equations and formulas. After Test 4 or so, I was able to finish an entire test basically right on time with getting only a few questions wrong. To be honest, I was aiming to get everything right on this section, but that didn’t work out I guess, LOL. I think my mistake was that I got caught up on one problem and I didn’t want to give up so I wasted like 4 minutes on it. Then I had to rush through everything else half-assed. Poop. I finished the section with about 1 minute left.
Even though I think 21 AA is quite good, I don’t think it will be enough to get me in during this cycle. I have 3.0 scGPA and 3.3 cumGPA with lots of volunteering. Still, I am applying to all the Texas schools (resident) and a few of the OOS friendly ones around the country to test the waters.
Thanks for reading and good luck to you all!
Thanks once again to “AHugeDeadWhale” 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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