Get into Dental School

2013 DAT Breakdown – 23/23/24 by Soleus715

I’m finally done! Thanks to everyone on SDN for answering my questions and having useful links to ease the pain of studying. I’ll do my best to describe exactly what I did in hopes that I can contribute back to the SDN pre-dental community.
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I’m so relieved that the DAT is finally over. I have studied for about 3 months since August. My entire month of October was largely wasted since I was very sick for 3 weeks. I spent all of November refreshing what I had previously learned.

I studied 8-12 hours daily for August and September. I was very strict on myself through this time.
During November, I took it easy and studied 4-6 hours a day. I took a LOT of days off through this month.

If I could go back in time I would probably have taken it right after the 2 month mark.
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Mindset:

This is by far the most important on the DAT. You need to be confident and diligent in your studies. Use any legitimate reason(s) to motivate yourself. I thought about bettering my family by having a secure future as well as the dream of being a dentist.

For every hour you slack off, it’s one hour less studying for a question that may appear on your test!!!

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My scores: 

PAT: 24
QR: 21
RC: 24
Bio: 24
GC: 23
OC: 22
TS: 23
AA: 23

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Study Materials + DAT comparison:

PAT: Crack DAT PAT (10/10), Bootcamp(10/10)

The difficulty was right in between CDP and Bootcamp. I highly recommend watching PAT tutorial videos on Glimmer’s breakdown list and also the tutorial thread on SDN.
I had about 5 minutes to spare here and thought the questions were really similar to both of these practice materials.

I took CAD courses for two-years in high school. The designs used in Keyholes and TFE utilizes the same rules that the computer program AutoCAD used. This prepared me a lot for the first two sections.

QR: Math Destroyer (7/10), Chad’s (10/10)

I thought Chad’s was enough to answer 100% of the questions I saw. My problem here was timing. I ran out of time too fast. The calculator was phenomenal but I think it added to the timing problem from checking the answers.

Math Destroyer was ok but a bit overkill. I would rather have done some Algebra + Trig problems from high school books instead.

RC: Bootcamp (5/10)

I went through the Bootcamp RC and thought it was really difficult due to confusing way the questions were written out. I didn’t really do any other reading practice because undergrad was good enough for reading.

The actual test was very straightforward. 3 science articles with the detail of an advance bio course. There was a good mix of answers you can directly find in the article and answers that required more thinking.

I read each article and then answered the questions. I had 7 minutes remaining at the end. I think it’s all about remaining calm and really understanding what the article is talking about. I say this because I am a TERRIBLE reader. I never read books besides ones I’m required to in school.

Bio: Bootcamp (10/10), Cliff’s 3rd (9/10), Barron’s 3rd (10/10), Feralis’ Notes (10/10), Bangity’s Flash Cards (10/10), Destroyer (0/10)

I think that the questions were really, I mean, REALLY random. What everyone says is true. Get a good general coverage on everything. There were about 10 questions that I know for a fact that wasn’t covered in any of the sources I listed above. I must have guessed correctly on a good amount of them. But the other 30 questions were very very easy, I probably spent only 10 minutes going through these 30 questions.

EDIT: I think that cliff’s was a great read but plant section and protista sections as well as any section with too much detail should be skipped. I think that Barrons + Feralis notes are better ways to learn bio material than going through the Destroyer. 

GC: Chad’s Videos (10/10), Destroyer (0/10), Bootcamp (8/10) 

Every question could be answered from Chad’s alone. I think I made a lot of mistakes and got a lot wrong. I have been scoring 26-30 on practice tests and 30 on the 2007 DAT.

The Destroyer is bad. I think I wasted time studying it when I could have been strengthening the basic concepts. Learning stuff like Dieckmann Condensation and Heck Reaction is NOT necessary. I think it was a huge waste of time and $200 bucks.

Bootcamp was good for practicing timing.

Overall, GC was very straight forward and requires good grasp on concepts.

OC: Chad’s Videos (10/10), Destroyer (0/10), Bootcamp (8/10) 

OC was exactly the same as GC. Don’t do the Destroyer. Just do Chad’s and get everything down 100%.
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Flashcards!!!!!!!
The most important thing I did to study was using hand-made flashcards (couple thousand of them). This helped me memorize quicker than any other method. I couldn’t use the online flashcards because I’m a visual learner and needed to draw lots of things on index cards.
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Testing Environment:
While I was taking the test at Prometric, I noticed how loud it gets. I was often distracted and lost time trying to refocus. The headphones helped a little but not when the door is opening every 3 seconds and you can hear the proctors talking. It was like this for the whole test for 5 hours straight.

You’re given two light-blue sheets (front and back) that have grid ruling on it. The marker quality was very low and I was easily able to erase and reuse the sheets. Not having a pen and paper really made me frustrated.

I didn’t have time to eat during the break as the check-out/check-in procedure took more than 10 minutes of my break. I only had time to use the restroom.

Be aware that you cannot use the mouse scroll to scroll and also that the monitor is VERY small. If you’re used to a larger monitor, Angle Ranking might get a tad difficult.
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I know my post is rather long.. but I wanted to try and cover as much as I can. If there’s any questions please feel free to ask me here or by PM.

Also, all of this is just my opinion based on the version of the DAT that I took. I highly recommend going through many breakdowns to get a good average of what’s worked for people.

Obligatory Proof:

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