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2013 DAT Breakdown – 20/20/20 by lilwebb09

I wanted to provide an update with a simple breakdown now that I’ve had a chance to relax a bit and not have to worry about this test. 

Background: I graduated in 2008 (~3.3. GPA science and overall) and have been working in the field ever since. I applied in the 2007 cycle with an extremely low DAT score (see below) and was honestly scared to take the test ever since. I studied on and off for the past six years and finally just hit a point of not being happy about the path my career was heading and got the courage to just go for it. So while commuting 3 hours a day and working full time I buckled down and studied my life away and now I’m so happy to have my summer back! :D I plan to take a couple of classes this fall to “get back into the swing of things” but haven’t taken any classes since graduating although I’ve still shadowed consistently. So my pre-req’s are a little dated but I’m planning on applying this cycle anyway. 

Scores: 

2007 (quite embarrassing.. I can’t believe I’m actually sharing this) :oops:
PAT – 17
QR – 16
RC – 19
Bio – 16
GC – 15
OC – 15
—————
TS – 15
AA – 16

2013 
PAT – 20
QR – 20
RC – 18
Bio – 22
GC – 19
OC – 20
—————
TS – 20
AA – 20

Materials Used: 
Cliffs AP Bio (pdf version)
Feralis Bio Notes
Chad’s Videos – GC, OC, QR
DAT Destroyer
Math Destroyer
DAT Bootcamp 
CDP
ADA 2007/2009 Exams

I started studying mid-March and my approach was to start off slow and build up over time which allowed me to be realistic and gradually gain more confidence since I was prone to start studying and then stop for numerous reasons. I printed out the first chapter in Cliffs, put my timer on 20 mins and sat down and just studied… As I got more comfortable with the material 20 mins turned into longer sitting times and I was becoming more engaged with the material and watching YouTube/googling anything I didn’t understand. I also purchased Chad’s videos about a week after starting Cliffs and just watched the videos and did his quizzes afterwards. After the foundation was set, I attacked Destroyer… or really it attacked me haha but it helped me get the concepts down especially for Bio since I’ve had no upper levels at all. I also used DAT Bootcamp which was an excellent tool in having more “realistic” questions and helped with timing. 

Bottom line, I went through Cliffs once, making my own notes/flashcards, watched Chad’s once all the way through and then went back and watched certain videos again on fastplay to help me understand questions I was getting wrong in Destroyer/DAT Bootcamp. I went through 75% of Destroyer for each section and 11/12 Math Destroyer tests. Since I’m working, I tried to study 2-3 hours on weekdays and maybe 4-5 on weekends.

Exam:

Biology: I actually thought this was okay seeing that it was the section I was most concerned with. Like I said earlier, I’ve only taken Bio I and II and that was about 6 years ago. The questions in general weren’t difficult at all, they were just more application sort of questions. I think 97.2% of the answers could be found in Cliffs and were all pretty basic stuff. I had one question where I actually sat back and said wow this is a great question and I have no idea. Destroyer and DAT Bootcamp were great for timing and really solidifying all that I studied. 

Gen Chem: I honestly don’t know what happened here because I thought this would be my highest score. These questions were not really hard, just weird and I’d be interested in knowing which ones I got wrong. There wasn’t anything here though that Chad didn’t cover, so I agree with others in really just knowing the basics. Bootcamp definitely help with conceptual understanding. Destroyer was also beneficial in reviewing. I’m a little disappointed in the score, but oh well, it’s over! 

Orgo: Chad. That’s all you need. I struggled with orgo in school so I’m actually pleased with this score. I also used Destroyer and DAT Bootcamp here. Destroyer was good for the challenge but DAT Bootcamp was very realistic in terms of exam difficulty and types of questions asked. 

PAT: I was scoring 18’s on CDP up until two days before when I got a 20. The actual test was meh… slightly more challenging that CDP, but it wasn’t unbearable. I did chuckle at a few of the KH and TFE because it was silly how ridiculous it was so again I’m pleased with this score as well. 

RC: Meh. I didn’t do anything for this other than the ADA exams. My strategy was search and destroy, and that worked out not so well so just meh. 

QR: I skipped anything that required too much reading and went for “easier” questions first. So I think at the 15 min mark I had 15ish incomplete questions and used the remaining time to answer those. At 30 seconds I straight up guessed two. Math destroyer definitely helped with this and Chad’s videos helped lay a good foundation. 

Overall, I’m relieved to be done and am glad I didn’t reschedule. The actual exam was not as bad as I thought it would be but I’m glad I put in the work I did. It was the little things that got me and maybe the second guessing especially for GC. I think if you focus on really studying and staying confident you will surprise yourself; I certainly did. My scores are far from these outstanding ones on SDN but the personal achievement outweighs it all for me. I don’t plan on retaking so we’ll see what happens. Good luck to everyone here and thank you for all your help! Let me know if you have any questions and/or advice about what to do next!

 

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