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2013 DAT Breakdown – 20/22/17 by Jokrino

Hello everyone! Just wanted to post about my DAT experience, my scores, and what I used to study for the DAT exam. I figured I should give back since I have always come to these forums to search on a number of topics for the dat, so here it goes..

PAT 17 (42.4%)
QR 18 (86.6%)
RC 16 (22.6%):(
BIO 21 (95.5%):)
GC 21 (91.6%)
OC 26 (99.2%):love:
TS 22 (98.3%):D
AA 20 (93.4%):)

Study Materials:

DAT DESTROYER :thumbup::love:
Cliffs AP Bio:)
Campbell’s Bio Text:cool:
CRACK DAT PAT and Reading
DAT Q Vault

A little background about my situation… I graduated college with a very low cumulative GPA (2.3!!!)… after i graduated i realized if I wanted to stand any chance at becoming a dentist whatsoever I needed to fix my situation ASAP, so I decided to enroll in a Post-bacc Premed Program. I completed 64 credits from fall’11 – spring’13 and earned a 3.91 GPA, all science courses (prereqs and upper levels and random sciences). I’m telling you if you are someone who was in my situation with a low cumulative and you don’t think that you can turn it around , you CAN.. trust me if I can, anyone can.. you just need the desire…

ANYWAY… SO now due to my situation with a low undergraduate cumulative, I knew not only did i have to destroy my postbacc, but i needed to rape the DAT… so I had to prepare for it like crazy…

I started really studying I would say 2 months before my exam, for about 2-4 hours a day, and nothing on the weekends, nothing crazy at all.. i went into overdrive when i was one month away… this was 8-12 hours of studying every day except sundays.. on sundays i did about 2 hours and just relaxed and did whatever. I did not go out once, but it’s fine if you go out once a week on a saturday night, just don’t get tooo crazy so you can be ready to go early on monday. 

When I started studying hard/1 month away, I did GEN CHEM destroyer for 3-4 straight days and mastered the **** out of it (i honestly thought i was going to get a 30 in this section). the first time you go through the destroyer you’re going to think about jumping out the window or head-butting your table, but trust me this is THE BEST PREPARATION FOR THE SCIENCES in my opinion, because it makes you tough as hell, the problems are challenging, and it covers all the bases… you will be abused the first time, but don’t let it get to you…. you’re supposed to be broken the first time.. go through it the first time and don’t get frustrated… do the question, if u get it right, awesome! still make sure to understand the WHOLE SOLUTION TO EACH QUESTION, and WHY all the other answers are wrong. if you don’t get it right, circle it, study it then and there, read whole solution, take your time and absorb, and move on. i did this with every single question for chem, and then i went through it again and did a lot better. 

then i moved onto ORGO.. i was best at orgo so i just gave this section about 2-3 days… i did the same process above with the destroyer.. I’d recommend doing exactly the same thing as I mentioned above. KNOW THE ROADMAPS. I think they are fun because I’m a psycho, (i love organic chemistry), but even if you don’t think they are fun KNOW THEM. they will save your ass for many questions… 

After orgo I did BIO , and i did this for about 5-7 days since this was my weakest science and it obviously covers the most material.. the DAT can ask you pretty much anything on the planet that has to do with anything biological.. I did the same process above with destroyer, but when I didn’t understand a question still 100%, I went to CAMPBELL to read more up on the topic, and i also used KHAN ACADEMY VIDEOS and Cliffs… trust me they were all awesome… with biology it’s always very helpful to look at pictures for everything, so for anything that you aren’t really solid at, look at a damn picture, it only takes a second and it will be implanted in your brain whenever you think of the topic/term.. another thing with bio.. I’d recommend studying with friends IF YOU CAN that are also taking the dat.. I did this in person or via skype, and this helped me AND my study partner because I could explain several topics that I had a good grasp on to my partner, and they would reciprocate the same to me… it made studying not as boring also.. This was probably the best thing i did for biology studying

another quick note for BIO: this was REALLY HELPFUL: i had about 100 PICTURES of biology notes on my WHITEBOARD of topics, statements, and facts of all the biology stuff in the destroyer that I didn’t understand 100% my first time around… so whenever I was on the go or not at home studying, i whipped out my ipod with the pics and would look at them. this helped me an extreme amount… i would recommend everyone does this…

I then started doing crack dat READING, PAT, and DAT DESTROYER MATH for about a week straight… crack DAT PAT is GOOD but I honestly think the best thing is DAT Q VAULT for the PAT (except their angles are easy)…. so the best thing, I’d say, is to do DAT Q VAULT PAT, skip the angles section, and do an angles section from crack DAT, THEN see how many u get right out of 90… i think that’s best indicator for PAT…

when i was about 2 weeks away, I did a little of everything each day, I’d say about at least 1.5 hours a section a day, so that was around 9-12 hours a day studying…. there’s nothing wrong with taking breaks.. just make sure you are putting the time in and that you are LEARNING…. whenever you get frustrated with certain topics u aren’t understanding, just take a deep breath, relax.. take a walk if you have to, and just go back and say “this is all going to be over soon, and this is one of the most important things I need to do well on in order to fulfill my dream of becoming a dentist.” I had this mentality and this is what allowed me to study day and night and not give up… and trust me I HAD THE WORST STUDY HABITS MY WHOLE LIFE.

when i was a week away i downloaded DAT Q VAULT and did several tests from all sections except for reading… the chem and orgo were confidence boosters, the bio could sometimes be difficult, and the PAT was challenging but I think it was the best representation of the real thing. I think the math was good preparation also. I wanted to get my timing down and that was on of reasons I got it, and I’m happy I bought it.. if you’re low on cash just get the PAT and you’re good to go… the first exam for each section is free, and you could use that as a round for practicing your timing…

when I was five days away from my exam, i did the 2007 ADA exam, and when I was 3 days away i did the 2009 exam, but not the reading (go figure…. DO THE READING!!) . These are the most accurate representations of the DAT exam. IF you ARE NOT BREAKING AT LEAST A 20 AA, 20TS, AND 19 PAT, I WOULD RECOMMEND RESCHEDULING YOUR EXAM. This is just my honest opinion and i’m throwing it out there.. that is what i said to myself.. i broke those scores so i decided to go with the test day and not reschedule..

now the fun anxiety and stress started to set in (obviously not fun, sarcasm there..)…. the big day was approaching… the day that I’d been waiting for and preparing for for months… The day before my exam I did study… honestly this is up to you if you want to study or not… I wanted to keep my mind fresh… so it helped me out… i did a reading test, PAT test, some bio, chem, orgo and math… i did a decent review of math so i could keep a lot of formulas and trig stuff in my working memory.. do what works for you … 

i got in bed at midnight that night (test was at 2PM next day) and i rolled around until 4AM… I’d probably recommend taking melatonin or fruits/food that could help you sleep, like berries and strawberries… I woke up at 10 and looked at some math and random orgo, bio and chem stuff for about an hour… i got in the shower and said out loud “this is it baby… it’s ****ing game time… LET’S GO!!” and slapped myself in the face a few times (lol have to thank my wrestling background for that).. you have to be mentally ready to own this exam.. you are NOT GOING TO FEEL TOTALLY 100% READY FOR THIS EXAM NO MATTER WHAT MOST LIKELY, but there will come a point where you will know that you have to man up and just go in for it.. I’m not saying go take the exam if you’ve only studied for about a week and don’t know what a benzene ring looks like or what an electron is… all I’m saying is if you don’t feel completely 100% ready, that’s COMPLETELY NORMAL… 

I drove myself to my test center, put on some good house music (it gets me in the zone and pumped up..) then when i parked my car i sat and looked at my bio notes real quick on my phone for about 2 minutes… i looked out my windshield and said “here we go…”

I got out and went into the test center and felt good. little nervous and scared, but good (I was about to be out of “jail” for god’s sake!!)… GO TO THE BATHROOM BEFORE YOUR EXAM EVEN IF YOU DON’T REALLY HAVE TO.. you won’t be able to go until you’ve finished the sciences and PAT which is 2.5 hours… ( you can get up but you will have your timer counting down and obviously you don’t want that..)

They will fingerprint you and make you feel like you’re entering a high-security facility.. but don’t let it get to you , remember to focus and stay in a right state of mind mentally… YOU’RE ABOUT TO TACKLE AND OWN THE DAT SO YOU CAN BE FREE

The second you walk in and sit in your seat, you will have a TUTORIAL. before test day you can go on the prometric website and see the tutorial yourself, so make sure u do that ahead of time! this will allow you to do whatever you choose for the 15 minutes. what i recommend u do 100% is do draw 16 GRIDS FOR YOUR HOLEPUNCHES AND 6 TABLES FOR YOUR CUBES. (I mentioned an extra box for holepunching incase u mess up one, and i got 6 cubes on my exam!, remember every second counts especially on the PAT section!) they don’t have to be big… remember you have only 2 laminated sheets double sided, but don’t stress about it either… you have more than enough space for the sections…

after drawing my boxes, i had several minutes left.. i just sat there and took deep breaths and relaxed… remind yourself of what you’ve done up until this point… all of those hours studying while your friends were out partying, getting drunk, getting with girls, out lying on the beach… you were locked in preparing for this 4.5 hour exam… you dedicated all of your time to DOING WELL AND DESTROYING THIS EXAM…. this is your time..

I then sat up straight and clicked the “start” button…. oh baby… a nice exciting rush of adrenaline shot through me, it felt scary but good… it was my time to get this over with…


This section was random but nothing too crazy…. there were about 3 HARD questions, but the rest were straight forward… any question that I didn’t know immediately i marked and went back to… (PLEASE DO NOT FORGET TO PUT AN ANSWER FOR EVERY SINGLE QUESTION YOU MARK, EVEN IF YOU THINK YOU WILL HAVE ENOUGH TIME TO GO BACK AND PUT AN ANSWER… THIS IS WHAT RUINED ME IN PAT AND READING)


3 weirdly worded questions, but nothing hard at all really… this is when you will be happy that you let the destroyer own you at first, and then you owned it… marked a few and then answered them at the end..


KNOW THE DESTROYER. because of this i literally did this section in 15 minutes.. i felt like i was doing really well whiIe i was taking the exam. they also had a few questions straight from the destroyer in there! I blasted through this section … I only got one question wrong, thank god… 

I had about 10 minutes left and checked all of my answers and just got ready for the PAT… make sure to again ALWAYS PUT AN ANSWER FOR YOUR MARKED QUESTIONS THAT YOU SKIP. I CAN’T STRESS THIS ENOUGH. 


I was good at keyholes, but these made me want to cry… they were extremely difficult.. I only did about half of them and marked about 6-7… i then jumped to the angles… I did all of the angles and thought they weren’t thatttt bad…. I’d say 8/10 difficulty… on holepunches I felt pretty good… I think i got all of them right but perhaps i got one wrong who knows… cubes were annoying sort of because I was second guessing myself and they took a decent amount of time to tally! and I had 6 cubes!!! but don’t worry, just relax, and take your time, and don’t doubt yourself… I then did pattern folding… the devil definitely had fun making this section for me… ( i also was weak at this section and TFE, and I always left them for last).. it was extremely hard I had no idea what was going on here.. but i just tried to focus and do them… I marked about half here… then i jumped to TFE… worst at this section and I thought this was really challenging… line counting didn’t really work here, and it works in CDP most of the time… went back to all my questions that I marked to put and answer for them and THE TIMER RAN OUT AND IT CLOSED OUT ON ME… this is why i stress so much to always put an answer for your marked questions… i really thought that I’d have time to go back and put something, but apparently I did not! I had about 7 completely blank! and this is why I got a 17… don’t make same mistake as me!!

break time… I got up and walked out… TAKE A BREAK AND GET SOME AIR AND GO TO THE BATHROOM .. have a snack… i brought a water with me and a banana.. try to relax and calm yourself… you only have 2 sections left now and you’re home free…. i was out of the room for about 6 minutes… make sure you don’t go out for more than this for 2 reasons– 1, because you have to get checked in all over again, and 2, because you’re going to want to get new sheets to write your math formulas/trig identity stuff on (break is only 15 minutes)… i went back in, wrote some stuff for math down… and then started the reading…


my reading sections were very difficult in my opinion… i do like to read and i do it often, but these passages were challenging, dense, and the questions were all out of order and I was not used to this from CDR… the CDR questions, for the most part, were in order most of the time for me for the few exams that i practiced on.. some people have told me that their questions on the DAT were in order, but mine were allllll out of wack… this caused me to panic a little… i tried to do search and destroy for this section, and I honestly regret it for MY EXAM… If i were to do it again, I would read the whole thing first and take notes for each paragraph, and do this for about 8-10 minutes, then i would have 10-12 minutes to answer the questions… figure out what works best for you.. and guess what, i MARKED QUESTIONS AND LEFT BLANKS… TIMER CLOSED OUT ON ME AGAIN AND I HAD SEVERAL QUESTIONS UNANSWERED… if i put random choices for those, i probably would’ve gotten at least a 17….


This section really wasn’t that bad, and I just really wanted to get out of here at this point! I did all of the questions and just finished on time, and didn’t leave any blank… I honestly thought i got at least a 19/20 on this section, but oh well… i’ll take an 18, whatever… I used my calculator and i recommend using it, just make sure that it registers everything that you click!! it definitely works, but can be slow at times, so just be a little careful!!!

When my scores popped up on the screen, i was pretty disappointed in myself with the 16 and 17 in reading and PAT, and I know this is because I made the stupid mistake of leaving questions blank/unanswered thinking I’d have time to go back and put something for them… But i was happy i got at least a 20 AA (i got a 20.4 AA, only .1 pts away from being a 21AA…. AHH!!), i was happy with my TS, and the Orgo score made me crack a smile despite the 16 and 17…

IF YOU ARE GOING TO TAKE THE DAT, BE READY TO GIVE IT 110%. you can’t half ass studying, and don’t worry that all of your friends are out partying, getting wasted, and getting laid.. you are studying to become a professional… you are studying and sacrificing your time now to be a DOCTOR and TREAT PATIENTS… this is not your time to go to the beaches and the clubs…it is your time to sit and learn and ask yourself what you want your future to be like…

I started from the bottom, and now I’m here…. I am so thankful (and i also really didn’t expect this) that i got an interview at UConn. I told you all where i started from at the beginning of this post…. If i can do it all of you can… never give up on your dreams and don’t let a stupid test bully you around… you can own it. 

Get on the roller coaster of success. It takes a lot of work and energy going up the coaster, but once you are at the top, the rest of the ride takes care of itself. Good luck to everyone and I wish you all the very best of luck on the DAT, on getting into dental school, and for a bright and fruitful future. Thank you everyone for your help here on sdn.

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