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2013 DAT Breakdown – 22/22/22 by mightymoose02

I took the DAT September 17, 2013 and these were my scores: 

PAT – 22 (93.4)
QR – 21 (96.4) 
RC – 24 (94.0) 
BIO – 22 (95.9)
GC – 22 (91.8)
OC – 21 (85.7)
TS – 22 (95.6) 
AA – 22 (97.0) 

Added smileys just like everyone else’s breakdowns. :D

Added a photo of my study wall. I put up things that I always forgot and helped me memorize a lot of things. (see below)

I have this odd feeling that everyone will just want to compare scores. ;) So the EXCEL file of my scores are ATTACHED. Scroll down!

Few things to note here: I was also supposed to take it September 6, 2013 but after the feedback I received from a thread that I made here and some self-evaluation, I decided to postpone the test date about two weeks. When I postponed the test, I was about 10 days removed from the original date so essentially, I gave myself a full three weeks to improve my scores. It definitely helped because I was able to squeeze in more practice tests and review my mistakes once more. 

Preparation for Test Day: Make sure to bring 2 IDs, your confirmation e-mail and look over the ADA Test Day checklist. It’s always best to make sure. My test center was about 40 min away on the freeway so I drove there two days before and the day before to simulate the traffic. On the day before, I walked into the test site and just made sure that I was in their system. Looked around for the bathroom and quickly familiarized myself with the place. During test day, they gave me two laminated graphing “boards” and two markers. They were fine tip dry erase markers. (If you want to use something similar, just use some thin EXPO ones for practice) Overall, they were pretty easy to use. I was very worried about it before test day but it shouldn’t be a concern for most people. (I even tested the markers out while they were fingerprinting me and verifying my IDs) Also, I was told not to erase my markings on the “boards” with my hand and to not write anything on it until I started the Natural Sciences section. So no writing during tutorial. (Funny thread for test day) 

Pacing: I finished with 7 minutes left on the Sciences. Ran out of time for PAT but only had few problems left. Finished RC on time. Ran out of time for QR. Just push yourself to move onto the next problem even if you are stuck or unsure of a problem. Always make sure to mark AND click an answer when you skip a problem. 

Lunch (hour before): I ate a six inch Subway sandwich + lemonade. Starbucks Tall Mocha Frap right after. Subway sandwich contained many fiber and cellulose-containing foods. Add that with caffeine and the power of coffee and I forced my gastrocolic reflex into motion. Excreted nitrogenous waste 30 min before the test. Of course, you lose water so I rehydrated myself with water and checked-in for my test. 

Break: I took two bites out of my Subway cookie, emptied bladder and drank water. 

Note: On Achiever, you are able to cross out answers. On the real thing, I was not able to cross out answer choices. Keep that mind for those that are using Achiever DAT program to simulate the real thing. Achiever’s format is a very good representation but few things are not exactly the same like the one I mentioned. No highlighting passage on RC on the real thing as well. 

Materials + Cost: I spent about $1000 on materials. I have it all basically.

PAT – Start with KBB introductory sections. Find youtube videos for strategies. Here are ones I used: (Angle ranking) (cube counting, keyhole) (Tic Tac Toe hole punching method) 
Once you get through the KBB + videos, you should do Crack the PAT (CDP) practice tests until you get 22 or higher on consecutive tests. CDP will become too easy after awhile so your next goal is to do well on PAT sections in DAT Bootcamp and Achiever during a simulated full-test. (Practice doing the PAT section AFTER doing 90 minutes of Natural Sciences. Get used to taking them back-to-back without any breaks.) DAT Bootcamp gives the best explanations for Pattern Folding and Keyholes (learn strategies from them). 

QR – Math Destroyer is great practice and stamina-builder. I never got more than 80% correct on Math Destroyer when timed. On the real test, I would suggest that you blitz through all the easy questions and just click an answer for problems that are more than a line long or is too complicate for you. After that, I would go back and work on the word problems that are the easiest first. Just remember, every question is worth the same. Might as well stack it up in your favor. Also, DAT Bootcamp is awesome for practice b/c of their calculator integration and similarity vs. Real DAT. 

RC – Search and Destroy. I read the first two paragraphs to get an idea about the article and then just skimmed through the article for whatever the question was asking for. Usually, the answer is found in one of the paragraphs. After you answer 4 or 5 questions, you basically get an idea for the entire passage and by the time you finish 8 to 9 questions, you really know what the article is talking about. Just don’t stop searching, keep skimming for the answer! If you really can’t find it, just go back to it after answering some questions on the same article. Eventually, you will find the answer. If you really need to practice, just get real comfortable reading a scientific article from a magazine like Scientific American or Issues (published by the National Academy of Sciences). Seems like most of the passages are about some sort of controversy/argument. Even some of your personal experience/scientific knowledge can help you here. 

GC – Just watch Chad’s Videos twice and write down everything he says. Do the quizzes immediately after the videos. Make sure you know everything from DAT Bootcamp. If you don’t understand a concept, just go back and re-watch Chad’s videos. Just milk that subscription because you will miss Chad after it’s all set and done. (I watched them 1.5X speed.) I set up an approach for every type of calculation problem and made sure I knew how to set up every equilibrium equation (i.e. Solubility product, pKa, Ka, pH, free energy, enthalpy changes, phase chances, etc.) 

OC – (Disclaimer: Read this only if you suck at organic chemistry) I haven’t taken Organic Chemistry in years. I never liked it. I never understood anything when I took it. Couldn’t stand it. I went through Chad’s Videos and still didn’t understand anything. I knew what a resonance structure sorta looked like but never knew how to move the electrons around or draw them. If you are like me, pick up Organic Chemistry as a Second Language by David Klein for First Semester. I went through the entire book front to back. Did all the questions and read every word. Wrote out every example. I also read some of the Second Semester book as well (EAS chapter really helps). After going through David Klein’s books, I re-watched Chad’s videos and that was enough for me to understand organic chemistry for the DAT in less than a month. The day before my real test, I went through every single question on DAT Bootcamp for this subject to make sure. 

BIO – It is a fact that Feralis Biology Notes has all the facts/concepts that will show up on the test. Like everything. When I got home, I went straight to his notes on PDF and did a word search for everything that showed up and indeed, it was all there. Even word-for-word on some instances. With that said, I wouldn’t rely on it as your only study source or reviewing material. I would only use it as a reference or the way we use Wikipedia. Just quick search for a term and see what’s listed. What I did was I had Office Depot print out the notes and spiral bind it. If I missed a question on a practice test, I highlighted in his notes. Anyways, I’m not sure why Biology section is considered “random” by so many people on these forums. The distribution of topics was very similar to any of the DAT Biology practice sections that is available. It’s just basic biology. Just make sure you understand the basic principles of biology before moving on to memorizing a whole bunch of facts. Memorization is only as important as long as you are using it to understand concepts. For example, you can memorize that LH is secreted by the anterior pituitary and that LH surge causes ovulation. Great. Now what? You have to ask yourself WHY is this significant and expand on these facts. There’s no point in memorizing those facts unless you connect it with estrogen production/menstrual cycle and positive feedback concept. This would make a pretty good EXCEPT question, btw. 

For Biology, instead of Cliff’s AP Biology or KBB Biology, I personally recommend Barron’s AP Biology (Green) and use Cliff’s Biology’s end-of-chapter questions to supplement Barron’s questions as well. That way, you have about 30-40 questions per topic. (also, used Barron’s AP Biology Flashcards too) After that, DAT Destroyer Biology should do it. I made Anki flashcards for mistakes that I made in DAT Destroyer Biology. (~500 cards) Definitely helps if you like flashcards. It’s free for PC, Mac and Android. I went through DAT Destroyer once and then did DAT QVAULT Biology twice. DAT Destroyer Biology is good in the early stages of reviewing Biology but the way they ask questions is not representative. Towards the test date, you have to get familiar with QVAULT, Bootcamp, TopScore and Achiever question-types. Any of those are great. Combination of BootCamp and QVAULT is good enough if you want to save money. 

Score Predictor: Make sure you take the 2009 ADA test to accurately predict your score. GatorD (Ari from BootCamp) suggested this to me in a different thread and it was definitely great advice. Biology and General Chemistry were off by 2 points, PAT was off by 1 point and Organic Chemistry was right on. The TS score on 2009 ADA test matched my real DAT score. Also,DAT Bootcamp was another great predictor. I got 22 in Biology three times out of five tests and that ended up being my real Biology score. My General Chemistry score range on BootCamp was 19-23 (average 20) and I ended up hitting 22 on the real thing. For organic chemistry, I improved to 20 and 19 on my last two tests and ended up scoring 1 point higher. For those taking Achiever and TopScore, they weren’t good predictors for me. (I believe the scoring is more stringent) 

QVAULT BIO (retake score)
1 – 31/40 (37)
2 – 36/40 (37)
3 – 29/40 (37)
4 – 32/40 (35)
5 – 30/40 (33)
6 – 25/40 (30)
7 – 32/40 (35)
8 – 31/40 (35)
9 – 31/40 (35)
10 – 31/40 (35)

If you guys have any questions about studying or study schedule, let me know. 

Oh, I almost forgot, make sure you sign up for DAT Question of the Day by the same people that does BootCamp. 

QVAULT + BootCamp – Thank God for them!

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