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2013 DAT Breakdown – 22/23/19 by Getatme1537

Wow!!!!! it finally feels amazing to be posting in here. Like many others on here I have read almost every breakdown on here and have found it so helpful. Thank you everyone on here it really does mean a lot and helped me get my good scores! It is so nice to be writing this post, therapeutic too! Now for the good stuff and what you want to hear. I will make it as clear, condense, and concise as possible (the way I like to read breakdowns! 

DAT taken on 7/9/13 (Yesterday!!!!)

PAT: 19 (62.7%) thought i did worse
QR: 18 (73%) hahah
RC: 20 (65.5%)
BIO: 21 (91.8%) whew!
GC: 24 (96.1%)
OC: 25 (96.6%)
TS: 23 (97.5%) Yea buddy!
AA: 22 (95.7%) SUCCESS

I can’t believe I pulled off these TS and AA scores.:whoa: I never hit anything near a 23 TS on any test i took haha: The bio is the variable. However you do in you bio will basically set up the rest of your TS since its more weighed (40% of the TS)

Practice Tests Section: The key for practice tests is to do them right before the test. I did all of my timed tests starting about 2.5 weeks before the real thing while doing my 4 full length practice tests 1 week before. You really want to take a full test everyday for about 1 week before your test. Yes, even the day before you want to do this. I actually took a full PAT about 3 hours before my real exam. Also, in regards of confidence you want it to be as high as possible. So, take your achiever tests in the beginning of the week and then end it with topscore. You only need the 3 achiever test version more is just nuts and painful. I’m pretty sure i was like this after each achiever test. +pissed+
Achiever Test Scores and analysis: (RC is flat out disgusting and impossible) I couldn’t even interpret half the passages. So much garbage and bull**** it was nuts. After my reading tests I’m pretty sure I felt retarded and did not understand anything i just read. I couldn’t even use S&D bc there was so much clutter-wtf
Achiever PAT is really good and helps expose you to unique qs. Yes, their keyhole is hard but its really close to the real dat’s PAT. Actually this entire test is very similar except that TFE and pattern folding is way easier. Overall achiever is so much harder than the real test but it prepares you mentally so well. This is the key. After my 3rd achiever test my confidence was so low it was unbearable. Achiever TS is way way way way way harder than real exam. The GC section was crazy and the calulations they asked you to compute was nuts. At what point in my GC section i sat there and told myself I was being tested on math at what point rather then chem. I couldn’t do ****ing long division :help: (Their PAT and QR are though very representative)
Bio/GC/OC/PAT/RC/QR/TS/AA
Test 1: 17/17/17/17/15/18/17/17
Test 2: 18/16/17/17/17/17/17/17
Test 3: 16/ 16/18/16/16/17/17/17

Topscore: I only had time to take one test. It was extremely similar to the actual test so so so similar. Their RC was a little too easy. But everything else was dead on. The only thing I don’t like about this program is that its set up is out of date and doesn’t mimic the Dats computer software. Achiever on the other hand simulates testing conditions perfectly. I thought I was taking another achiever test (in terms of just their formating) on the day of my exam, yesterday! This gave me great confidence going into the test. I took this test on Monday 7/8 while my exam was 7/9
Bio/GC/OC/PAT/RC/QR/TS/AA
Test 1: 19/21/22/19/24/20/21/21

Datqvault: The way to best utilize dat qvault is to take a full length science test by doing each of the sections back to back to back. Yes, i know you can’t take it as one but just do it back to back in the time frame they give you. I would use this right after you do the destroyer. All of their sections are really representative of the real dat. Their bio is excellent for application types questions. 
Bio/GC/OC/PAT/QR (Only took 6 tests)
Averages on Datqvault (10 tests taken): 19/20/22/18/20 
(Didn’t do RC tests on here but they probably would have been good)

My overall get through message (if you don’t want to read the long breakdown): My DAT I thought was super easy. By far the easiest test I have ever taken. I say this because I exposed myself to extremely tough problems, and tests during my studies. I used a plethora of different materials so I could see how certain things were written and such. This is key and really helped which I will explain later on. Also, be confident in yourself. You know you are ready to take this exam when you are sick of studying and have the feeling of “just wanting to get it over with”. Yes, I was nervous the hours leading up to my exam but I knew the hard work and dedication and sacrifices I put in. Plus the best pump up song combo would def be: Explosions in the sky: Your Hand in Mine. Followed up by Florence and the Machines-Cosmic Love (Seven Lions Remix). You get in the zone with this jawn and its awesome.- I’m a huge dubstep, progressive, house person

My motto: I would rather train for a marathon and have my actual race be a 10K

Quick Background: I go to pretty large university (hint: We just joined the ACC!!) I am a molecular biology major. Have a 3.65 sci GPA and a 3.75 cum GPA. Big time runner, crossfitter, and athlete. Now the stuff you want:

Length of Study: 5/4/13-7/9/10 (About 9 weeks) I would personally recommend an 8-10 week time frame to take the exam. Any shorter or longer is unproductive in my opinion. I studied EVERYDAY including the hour prior to my exam. Yes I studied on July 4th and Memorial day. I put in about an average of 6-8hrs per day. All i did was study (Yes i sacrificed friends, family, alcohol, sex.) When my friends went out on a Friday night, I stayed in and studied. They tried hard to get me to go out with them to the bars but I had to put a foot down and say no. You gotta make sacrifices in life and this is one of them. If i was not studying I was working out, training, running, sleeping, or eating. There is no play or fun during this time period. You can sacrifice 2 months of your life for a lifetime of success. Work hard play later baby!

Preparation materials used: 
DAT destroyer (10/10), 
MATH destroyer (2/10), 
CDP (8/10) (The Biggest package possible, I think it was ace bundle. Only get the PAT and RC along with the Bonus PAT problems. Everything else is useless and I wasted my parents money on the biggest package possible. Their Sciences are crazy hard, detailed specific, and not worth it at all. I stopped after 6 science tests hitting like 17. **** CDP science i hate those tests. :beat: However though, I do get free upgrades for life from them 
DATQVAULT: (10/10)
DAT ACHIEVER (6/10) 
Cracking the Dat- Princeton Review (+ their online content!) (10/10) 
Topscore (10/10) 
Scsc7211’s Biology Notes. (10/10)
**Also a note of interest: I DID NOT USE CHADS VIDEOS OR USE ANY KAPLAN STUFF. Kaplan is a joke and if you actually want to do well don’t use them its a waste of money. My thing with these types of study programs is this: When you take the test you don’t have someone sitting their helping you. Thus, you shouldn’t need to be formally taught. Any “hints, tips, tricks” can be found online via forums (SDN and the internet) The money for them can be spent on the other crucial materials. I have heard Chad is good but will not comment further bc i did not use him.**

BIO Section Prep: This was a really tough section to study for because there was just so much material to cover. I believe having biochemistry courses for the past year helped out immensely. I have never taken Anatomy and Physiology so that was my biggest section to tackle. Regardless, to succeed in this section you need to do the following:
**The first 3-4 weeks expose yourself to all of the material. Cracking the Dat Princeton review was an excellent beginning book and really hit on everything. I would strongly recommend this book. It does not get any attention on here and really should. Also, SCSC7211’s bio notes are ABSOLUTLY amazing I found these about 3 weeks ago and are incredible. I cannot say enough. It really touches on everything you need.
** The next 2 weeks you want to do as many practice problems as possible. I would start out with DAT destroyer. It really puts you into perspective of what you need to study. Yes, the destroyer is way harder than the exam but this pays off in the end.
Do not use CDP sciences they are awful awful awful They give you unneeded stress and way too detail. This goes for bio, GC, OC

GC Section Prep: Same as the bio prep. First three weeks go through the Princeton review book. They have everything you need. Then do destroyer to see your weaknesses. Yes, GC destroyer is harder than real exam.

OC Section Prep: Same as above. Note following. I believe the princeton review book was not that strong for this section in terms of knowing the reactions. This is supplemented however with doing dat destroyer. I am really good in OCHEM (I TA it) and used some of my own personal materials to ace this section. Again, OC destroyer is harder than real exam.

RC Section Prep: CDR was pretty good and fairly representative of the real exam. They had too many inference q’s. 
The only way to get good at this section is to practice it and use different techniques that work for you. I tried to read the whole passage but found that too much time so i did a hybrid method of S&D + reading the first sentence or 2 of each paragraph, while reading the first and last paragraphs all the way through. Also CDR’s passages are longer than the real thing. My passages were 9, 11, 12. (Will get into real exam below)

QR Section Prep: This one is interesting. Math destroyer can really suck my left nut. I hate that ****ty book. I’m pretty sure i put like a hole through my door, bathroom door, and almost my roommates door. Somehow my computer was spared- probably bc math destroyer wasn’t on the computer haha. Anyway, this book is rediculous i prob hit like 24/40 in the 45min if I was lucky. These tests are impossible to finish. I gave up after the 12 test which had like all of this bull**** statistics. Hey Dr. Romano find the p value of my nutsack. :diebanana: Anyway, I found the QR section of the Dat Destroyer to be more representative of the actual dat. QvaulDAT QR is also really really good and representative. CDP math is also good too and would recommend.
Time is the major issue with this section. Thus, if you don’t know something just skip it. Admissions don’t really care about this section anyway just don’t get below a 17. I believe Datqvault QR is the best for this section

PAT section Prep: OHH BOYY.: This will be long I put in a lot of time to this section and it really showed. PRactice practice pracitce. Practice every chance you can. Flood mind with seeing objects in 3. To do well listen to the following:
In the beginning of your studies start doing PAT. You need as much time and exposure to this as possible. PAT is new to all of us. I consider myself to be spatially inept but really forced myself to learn this and it actually worked. Its pretty cool how hard work and dedication pay off. You just gotta set your mind to it
Start off with the princeton Review book since it exposes you to all sections. Yes this book is a lot easy then the actual exam but the idea is for exposure and get you acclimated and prepared for what you will face on your true Pat practice.
CDP is critical in the next phase. You want to get this and just do the 5000+ problems of cube counting, angles, and hole punching. Everyday I would do these problems and force myself to get 20 right of each before moving on in the day. Set your angles at 3* which sucks but is worth it in the end.
:: Take about 3 full length CDP to know your weaknesses. (your sample size)
:: This is crucial. After finding your weaknesses work on them by using the DATQVAULT software. This stuff is great and you don’t have to take a “test” like in CDP to to do pattern forming, keyholes, tfe. There stuff is extremely similar to the actual exam (I will talk about this below in real exam breakdown) You also want to expose yourself to different types of PAT software. What I mean is that CDP pictures are to perfect. Their Keyholes and TFE are also way easier than real DAT. The real dat is similar in format and difficulty to Achiever PAT, Datqvault, and topscore. Actually, if Achiever, Datqvault, and topscore somehow copulated and formed a kid (multiple fertilization for you bio nuts, no block to polyspermy :prof: ) the real dat pat would be it. The graphics on the exam are not great but you will be prepared by doing a plethora of different software. Exposure is key. 
: My tips for each PAT Section (in order of test): Keyholes:I suck at this, including even on my test, I’m pretty sure I had a couple keyholes were i was given a rock. Yes a f.u.cking rock that was scraped along the edge. :bang: Try to find the outline of the figure as best as possible. Also, look for the “dark side” of the object. What I mean is that you want to look at the most discrete part of the object, not the most obvious part b/c the test people try to trick you.
TFE: Don’t use line counting. You can use it on CDP but it won’t work on the real test. Maybe you can eliminate an answer or 2 but its really a time waster. Suck it up and visualize the object. I couldn’t do this until about like 4 days ago :clap:
Angles: Find largest and smallest (don’t look at answer choices b/c they can skew you away) Sit back in your chair to get all the angles views. Orient angles towards the 90 mark. Look for thick pixelated angles. That’s pretty it.
Hole Punching: Line of symmetry. Lots of practice. When I first started this it took me about 15min to do one hole punch.:mad: I can now do about 30 in 10minutes : For people having trouble do this: 1. Work from Left to right. See how they are folding the paper. Then mentally unfold the paper. Don’t worry about the holes yet.2. Work from right to left and unfold the paper with starting from the unfolded position. Now work on the holes 3. Upgrade to now working on holes by using the grid method. 4. ditch the grid and use one of the answer choices as a template for your own grid. If the answer choice does not match then move on to another. ON the real exam the grid method will take to long, you need to do everything in your head. That goes for every section. I did not use any of my white boards for the PAT section.
Cubes: This is really easy just count the cubes. Column extenders are always 4 sided if they are open. Watch out for the “holes” and hidden cubes. If the object is complex take a step back and look at the object as a whole. The key to this section is to fragment it. Work in rows. Thus if there are say 5 rows go across each one. I did this in my head from the get go. Just stay relaxed and in your head count how many of what you need to go through. Doing the tally method takes way too long and this section should be under 5min.
Pattern Folding: Find the biggest/ most notable feature of the object and look for it in the figure. Again everything is about practice. CDP is really go bc they actually fold the paper for you and it shows you how this is being done. I heard doing origami is useful but i didn’t use it.

zzzzzzzzzzz If you are still reading this is about the end hahaa
Real Test:
My test I thought was really easy overall. I had time left in every section except RC: 10 min in sciences, 1min in PAT, 3min in QR. This is really funny bc on every practice test I always was on a time crunch. Especially the achiever tests where I had about 18min left to do the OCHEM :scared: SO time was a major concern for me but with enough practice and real simulations you will get a method that works for you. This is key. Just practice as much as possible and apply what you learn to real life situations. It sticks in your head better. Yes, during my test i was nervous and their were parts where I did begin to freak out, but I calmed down and told myself that I sacrificed and studied way to hard to have a dumbass panic attack ruin me. If you need, 30sec during a section won’t kill you if you just take a few breaths. I also like the noise cancelling head phones. You really can’t hear s.hit in those things. You get in the zone.

Ending:-Yea buddy!
I am shocked with my scores and so happy of what I have accomplished. Remember with hard work, motivation, and perseverance you can achieve anything in life. Their may be bumps in the road along the way but their is a light at the end of the tunnel.
I am still hungover from last night’s celebrations but I can now have a fun and relaxing summer and work on those applications. Hopefully I get accepted into my top schools!! Good luck to everyone taking the test and if you need any further clarification of questions just lemme kno!

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