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2013 DAT Breakdown – 22/22/23 by killermuffins

I had debated whether or not to retake my DAT over the course of the year (Low GPA; I’ve been doing post-bacc this past year) and ultimately decided I should. Well actually, my scores would have been ineligible for a number of schools that I’ll be applying to so I basically my decision was made up for me. My goal for the retake was 30AA (gotta shoot high right?), but more realistically I just wanted solid science scores. Regardless, I’m pretty satisfied(and relieved) with the results, although I’m still beating myself up for choking in Bio :(. I took the DAT last Saturday (June 22nd). I didn’t include the percentiles because I don’t think they’re consistent across everyone’s DATs (which I don’t understand).

Old DAT: (September 2010)
PAT: 21
QR: 21
RC: 21
Bio: 19
Gchem: 19
Ochem: 19
TS: 19
AA: 20

New DAT: (June 2013)
PAT: 23
QR: 19
RC: 24
Bio : 19
Gchem: 25
Ochem: 25
TS: 22
AA: 22

Practice Scores: 
I didn’t take as many as I should have, and you might be surprised when you see my practice scores. But I figured I understood the test-timing since I took it before. I was actually freaking out pretty bad after the Kaplan tests (5 days and 3 days before the test), but taking the ADA 2009 really calmed me down (I took it the day before my test). As an aside, I didn’t really like the Kaplan practice tests, and as you can see, I was all over the place in the sciences.

Kaplan #2: PAT:23 QR:22 RC:23 Bio:17 Gchem:19 Ochem:16 TS:17 AA:19
Kaplan #3: PAT:20 QR:18 RC:25 Bio:26 Gchem:14 Ochem:16 TS:19 AA:20
ADA 2009: PAT:na QR:na RC:na Bio:23 Gchem:24 Ochem:22(Only did the SNS)

Materials used:
Kaplan BB – Actually the “white” book, but I assume it’s the same
Kaplan Practice Tests – I took the Kaplan course in 2010 (waste of money btw), so they just re-activated my account. I had 2 untaken practice tests
AP Cliffs Biology – 2nd ed. from high school
Chad’s Videos – Bought 30 days (search for coupon codes!)
Destroyer 2012 – Kind of overkill, but it IS good practice

The Breakdown:
Biology: Read through Kaplan BB, but I wouldn’t recommend ONLY relying on this. I would suggest reading it through first, just so you have a general outline/base to start off on, and fill in the gaps with AP Cliff’s. Definitely review some Bio every night (or at least more often than the other subjects) as the topical range is HUGE compared to the other sciences. This subject is IMPOSSIBLE to cram for so make sure your studying is consistent. I really feel like this section can be a hit or miss given the amount of different questions you could get. Breadth over depth for sure. I also had Destroyer and went through that once. I was really disappointed in my score since I was actually pretty confident but, then again, dunno if you want to take my advice on this section given my score.

General/Organic Chemistry: Kaplan BB was pretty terrible, but Chad’s videos (and quizzes) are definitely the way to go. Went through the videos once on the faster speed, and revisited videos when I felt I didn’t have a solid grasp on the concepts. Went through the quizzes religiously, and reading the answer explanations (even when I got the problem right, and that helped since there were TOO many times that I ended up with the right answer, but with the wrong logic). Chad’s is definitely adequate for these two sections and will definitely prepare you for the DAT. I also used destroyer but it’s definitely not a must. If you can ace destroyer, you’re good. Was definitely pleasantly surprised with my scores, as I expected to do far better in Bio rather than the two chems.

PAT: Wasn’t TOO worried about this section, but I used Crack the PAT, and took 5 tests I believe. Scored from 19-24. My actual DAT was similar to experiences other users reported: TFE was okay, Keyholes was a lot easier than expected, Angles had a couple of difficult ones, Hole Punching was WTF, Cube Counting was cube counting, and Pattern Folding was okay. I probably can’t say anything too helpful, but its just practice, practice, practice! Crack the PAT was definitely the best practice that I would recommend.

Reading Comprehension: I originally did the Search and Destroy Method (what I used for the first DAT), but I realized that I can actually read much faster than I did three years ago. So what I did was just spent the first 5 mins reading the passage and the next 15 answering questions, referring back to the passage when I had to. Can’t really offer advice on this section, but if you can’t read fast/absorb, try search and destroy and see how that works out for you.

Quantitative Reasoning: Literally did not study for this section, so I don’t have anything to say. There WAS a lot of trigonometry on my version, so I’ll just say that.

Study Time: 
I started studying back in April, but I didn’t really have a set schedule; I was taking a full load of classes for the Spring so I wasn’t very consistent week to week. Most of this time was spent on just reading Kaplan BB to re-familiarize myself with the material. It wasn’t until late May that I really started dedicating more time to the DAT. If I didn’t have exams I would be studying the DAT (until I DID have an exam, then I would stop DAT for 1-2 days). After finals were over, I had about 10ish free days to really hunker down and focus; this was when I went through Chad’s over and over and did the 3 practice tests that I had.

All in all, I didn’t feel 100% prepared and in retrospect I definitely could’ve done more, but what’s done is done and I’m pretty satisfied. I’ve read a lot of breakdowns and found most of them pretty helpful, so I figured I should do one too (I lurk a lot). Selling my materials so PM me if you want anything! Best of luck!

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