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2013 DAT Breakdown – 21/22/20 by pnamiran

Hey guys! First of all a big thank you to Ari who have done a great job with DAT Bootcamp, Feralis for his awesome Bio notes, and Chad for his great videos. I know my breakdown might not be as impressive as others who got 25-26s, but might help some people. I took my DAT on 9/16/13 and I’m happy with my scores (at least I don’t have to worry about retake :)). I’m a junior and studied my whole summer for DAT.

My scores are: 2007 DAT ACH-1 ACH-2 ACH-3 2009 DAT
PAT: 20 (81.0%) 20 18 19 23
QR: 22 (98.7%) 22 21 20
RC: 19 (67.6%) 17 17 19
Bio: 22 (97.6%) 24 20 19 18 24
GC: 21 (91.6%) 25 19 18 16 30
OC: 22 (94.0%) 30 28 18 23 21
TS: 22 (98.3%) 27 21 19 19 23
AA: 21 (97.2%) 23.6 19 22.8

Math Destroyer
QVault (Free tests) 
Cliffs AP
DAT Bootcamp 
Ferali’s notes 
2007 and 2009 DAT sample test

At first PAT was my worst nightmare. I was good at keyhole and TFE, but I had no clue how to tackle angle ranking, hole punch or pattern folding. 
Keyhole: Actual test is harder than CDP, but if you practice with Bootcamp and Achiever, you’ll be fine. Maybe start with CDP, then after some practice move on to Bootcamp and Achiever. 
TFE: On par with CDP maybe a little harder, but definitely easier than Bootcamp. Again start with CDP and move to Bootcamp and Achiever. Also don’t do line counting, it won’t work.
Angles: On par with all 3. Bootcamp’s and CDP’s angle generators are a great practice. Also this eyeballing game is a good practice
Hole punch: A little harder, because I had a lot of 1/3 folds. Bootcamp has some examples like that, so it should be a good practice. If you’re struggling with hole punching, check out this video It’s a great method to use and it almost always works. 
Cube counting: On par with Bootcamp and achiever. Definitely easier than CDP, I didn’t get anything more than 17 cubes in it. Do tallying and you should be fine. I didn’t want to spend too much time on tallying, so I just counted the ones that it asked for.
Pattern folding: On par with Bootcamp and CDP, easier than Achiever. Bootcamp has very detailed and awesome explanations for patter folding. 
Overall: PAT is all about practice. The more you practice, the better you’ll get at it.
I always liked math, so I wasn’t worried about this section that much. I had like 2-3 hard ones, but the rest was easy. Timing is the key for this section. As Ari says in one of his blogs, make use of Mark feature. If you don’t know something or think that it takes a long time to solve, guess, mark and move on. I used this and ended up with about 12 minutes to review. As of practice, Math Destroyer and Bootcamp are great. Bootcamp is much harder than the real thing, so practice with that and you get through this section easy. 

So first, I started studying Cliff’s Notes to refresh my memory. Then I realized that if I just group the chapters that are related to each and take a practice test for that category, I learn them better. Fortunately, Bootcamp uses the same categories that DAT provides on their breakdown. So I categorized the chapters in cliff’s notes based on that and after studying them, I took the Bootcamp’s related tests. I also broke down Destroyer’s Bio section, and took about 40 questions every day. I reviewed the Bio section twice in 20 days. Then I found Ferali’s notes. If you just know everything in those notes, you’ll easily get above 20. Also I made flash cards for any questions that I missed. As of actual test, I don’t remember that much, but it was all over the place. I had 1 or 2 taxonomy and nothing from plants. 

GC and OC
Chad, chad, chad…Great videos, goes through everything. Practice with Bootcamp and Destroyer and make flashcards for things that you miss. I broke down these two sections of the destroyer the same way that I did for Bio. The actual GC was pretty straightforward. I didn’t have to calculate anything because the answers were given in a calculated format. For OC I had this one reaction that I had never seen in my life before, but overall it was pretty straightforward. 

English is my second language, so I was very nervous about this section and didn’t know how to practice for it. I started reading one or two Scientific American articles everyday to speed up my reading. The actual test was mostly search and destroy. I had maybe 5-6 tone questions. I also didn’t have enough time to finish all of them on time and guessed the last three questions. Still, I’m satisfied with my score. 
I would recommend Bootcamp and Achiever. 

Final thoughts:
On the test day, I was very nervous so I had two Redbulls to help me calm down and boost my energy. Also as someone else said here, bring ear plugs. They help a lot. When I took them off at the end of the test, I couldn’t imagine taking the test without them. Besides that, study and be confident, you can do it. 

Good luck to those taking the exam soon and let me know if you have any questions.

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