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2013 DAT Breakdown – 20/20/21 by hashmasterflex

Hey guys, I took my DAT on 7/18, and I just wanted to fill you guys in on my study schedule, techniques, and recommendations. First off I really want to thank EVERYONE on SDN, the countless tips and tricks I learned really helped me to achieve my goal. The main thing I learned from viewing other people’s breakdowns and success stories: DON’T BE DISCOURAGED. I used to feel so unmotivated when seeing people scoring 25+ on every section, and I just felt like complete poop after. They key is to use it as motivation, and especially USE THEIR TECHNIQUES. Instead of having to find out certain techniques, tips, and tricks out on your own, most people on SDN already went through the trial and error, so take advantage!! Most of us want to help you achieve top scores, especially me, so lets break it down.

Materials and ratings:

KBB (3/10)
Cliffs AP (8/10)
Destroyer Math (8/10)
Destroyer Bio (9/10)
Destroyer Ochem (10/10)
Destroyer Gchem (5/10)
Ferali’s notes (Bio) (9/10)
DAT Question of the Day (DAT Bootcamp) (9/10)
Topscore (1 test) (6/10)
Crack the PAT (9/10)

So what I did was I attempted the 8 week schedule of studying, which includes KBB, Cliffs, Destroyer chem, ochem, and bio, and math destroyer. I tried this for the first 3-4 weeks, and I can honestly say that it did not help me all that much. It’s okay for a review, but when it came down to actually doing problems after, I remembered nothing from what I read the weeks prior. I really don’t think I stuck to that schedule one day; it was just impossible for me to retain anything. 

So I started doing Destroyer problems, and lets face it, I got pwned, smashed, DESTROYED. I can’t emphasize enough that YOU’RE NOT MEANT TO GET EVERY PROBLEM RIGHT ON THE FIRST RUN. It’s the way Romano makes these problems. If you can, power to you, but that certainly wasn’t the case with me. The key to doing these problems is to attempt it, try to get an answer, look at the solutions CAREFULLY, and if it’s something you’ll forget, throw it on an index card. Index cards proved to be KEY to me, especially when it came to reviewing towards the end for gen chem and orgo. I went through about half of destroyer chem, 90% of destroyer ochem, and 6 tests of math destroyer, all untimed.

With 3 weeks left at this point, and still feeling uneasy, I decided to purchase Chad’s quizzes, not the actual videos, just the quizzes. These quizzes were PHENOMENAL, especially for math, gen chem, and orgo.
So now for the breakdown of each section, and how it compared to the test.
Starting with the worst:

QR-(16) A hurtin score, ik, but I really did not expect higher in this section, I did chad’s quizzes once in the beginning and a few destroyer tests, but I really did not focus on this section, it’s the least important in terms of what schools look at (some schools vary, obviously). My friend got interview at 4 schools with a 15 in this section. 

Test: The test was really not that bad, but again I failed to review last minute. A few trig problems, mostly algebra and simple word problems. If you can do tests 1-6 in math destroyer and chad’s quizzes and actually retain everything, you’re golden.

BIO-(19) I went through KBB, Cliffs AP, Feralis notes (awesome), Alan’s notes, and destroyer bio for this (also awesome). KBB was okay for a review, but DO NOT use this as your only method, you’ll set yourself up for failure. Expose yourself to as my types of areas and questions as you can, destroyer bio was key for this. I also heard QVault was good, but I didn’t try it personally.

Test: Honestly, some questions were either extremely simple, and some I feel required a PhD in Molecular bio to answer. Very concept-based, so work on looking at processes from a different point of few. I guessed on many, but as long as you know the main ideas of each function/topic, you should be fine.

GC-(20): I was the most nervous for the section, the destroyer really destroyed my motivation. Started off with KBB for review, which isn’t bad at all. I went through about half of the destroyer and just said F*** it. The questions on the destroyer are 150% overkill, but like others said, over preparing is always a good thing. I used chad’s quizzes, and that proved the most successful for me. I honestly think that this alone prepared me for it very well. There are some DAT gen chem flashcards online as well, just literally google that, I reviewed those as well in the last few weeks, and the flashcards I made from going through Chad’s and Destroyer.

Test: VERY simple. Again do chad’s quizzes, use his videos if you’re still struggling with concepts and you WILL get a 20+. I think I just F’d up some calculations (as you can see from my math scores, not my forte), but nonetheless I’m happy with the scores. Know the main concepts, do some problems dealing with them, and you WILL succeed. I can’t emphasize enough, Chad is your man for this section!

OC-(22): I just took OChem 2 at my college this past Spring, so that helped a little but not by much. Again, Chad is awesome for this section. I would recommend doing chad’s quizzes to get comfortable with the different concepts, and move on to destroyer. Destroyer OChem is fantastic in my opinion. A few verbatim questions appeared, the solutions are explained very well.

Test: One reaction I’ve never seen, but the rest were very basic. Study the road map in the destroyer, that really helps for the reactions, and know main concepts (BP, bonding, Sn1, E1, etc.) So for this section Chad+Destroyer=Success.

RC-(21) I honestly did one TopScore test, and that’s it. Search and Destroy is effective for 98% of the questions. People say to read the passage first, but honestly when you search and destroy, you are forced to skim through and read the passage, so you save time and remember where certain topics are in the passage that they ask. Conclusion: If you can read English, you’ll get at least a 20.

PAT-(21) Okay, I have no clue how I got this score. I did 5 CDP tests and got an 18 on every one. In my opinion, CDP is WAY harder than the actual DAT. If you’re scoring lower, don’t fret. My biggest fear were the hole punches, the ones on CDP were nuts, but on the actual exam they were SO TRIVIAL.

Test: Angles were pretty tough, was about the same as CDP. Keyholes weren’t too bad, similar to CDP. Top-Front end was a bit easier than those of CDP. Hole punches were 10x easier on the test in my opinion, very basic folds. Grid method is key. Cube counting was similar, nothing tricky. Counting method is key. Pattern folding was similar to CDP. Conclusion: CDP is harder in my opinion, but if you can score well on those, you’re golden.


So that’s it guys. I took one TopScore full-length, and 1 QVault test for bio, Gchem, and Ochem. If you guys have any questions at all, please let me know, I will do my best to answer!

One more thing I want to add, you really have to find ways to de-stress and motivate yourself. For example on nights after studying I would play a few rounds of Halo 4 with my good friend. For motivation I watched the scene in The Dark Night Rises where Bruce climbs out of the pit for my motivation. Literally watched every morning, including minutes before I walked into the exam.Motivating yourself is key!!

Good luck everyone!! See you all in dental school!!

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