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2013 DAT Breakdown – 24/24/20 by jyjuang

Just finished my DAT a couple of hours ago. For the longest of time, I’ve been a lurker on SDN (look at my post# :laugh:). Reading people’s breakdowns and feedbacks on this site really helped me a lot in my preparation for the real deal. For people who will be taking their DAT soon, I wish you the best of luck. Be confident! You don’t want to let all that study time go to waste by being nervous on test day.


PAT: 20 (81.0%) :shrug:
QR: 26 (99.8%)
RC: 21 (88.9%)
Bio: 24 (99.6%)
GC: 24 (98.0%)
OC: 24 (97.9%)
TS: 24 (99.7%)
AA: 24 (99.9%)

Study materials:
DAT destroyer (2010 edition) 
DAT Bootcamp (full package) :thumbup:
Datqvault (full bio + free tests for other sections)
CrackDatPAT (6 tests only, had to reformat my pc and was told that i needed to purchase another key, which i did not do)
Cliffs 3rd edition :thumbup:
Feralis notes (best bio source ever! Can’t believe it’s free) :love:
Chad’s videos on GC/OC :thumbup:
KBB :thumbdown:thumbdown
Achiever (3 tests edition) :rofl:

PAT Bootcamp (10/10) CDP (10/10) Achiever (9/10)
Looking at my score, I don’t think I’m qualified to make recommendations on this section. But I started this section by reading KBB’s descriptions of each section and doing the practice problems in the book. Please do not just use KBB as your only source for PAT as the questions were not even close to what actually appeared on the DAT. I purchased the 10 test edition of CDP later on and did 6 full test simulations and numerous hole punching and angle ranking practices. Then I moved on to DATBootCamp. I never really had a problem with cube counting so I did not use any methods while doing this section. I am pretty terrible at angle ranking as I could never be 100% confident if my answer was correct or not. I tried numerous methods, the quick eye technique, the slope method, laptop….but in the end, after you narrowed down your choices to 2, it’s simply based on instincts for me. TFE and keyholes are of the same difficulty of CDP. There are really no tricks to these sections except being attentive to details for keyholes and having a good eye in visualizing the structures by examining dash line/solid lines. Pattern folding is much easier on the DAT than anything on CDP/BootCamp. Focus on one part (unique shape, usually top piece of the structure and what it is connected to) of the pattern really helps! Hole punching is the section I want to place my emphasis on because in my opinion, everyone, and I mean everyone could get a 15/15 on this section if you’ve done enough practices with applying the line of symmetry technique. 

I averaged around 17-20 on BootCamp (do they keep a record of your scores?). In terms of individual sections, keyhole and pattern folding are harder than what I saw on my DAT. The rest are pretty much representative of what you are going to see on the test (yes, angles do come in 3 degrees differences for the large part of the test). Although DBC has harder problems than the real test, their explanations to the problems are GODLY, so do purchase this material if you are struggling with PAT.

I think I averaged around 22 on my CDP tests. However, those are inflated scores because for the longest of time, I always thought we have 90mins to complete the PAT (I was confused as to why the software has 60mins as default). I was like ROFLOMFG when I realized we only have 60mins to comlete those 90 questions. TIMING is KEY. Try to follow Ari’s suggestions on time per section. In terms of individual sections, pattern folding is harder, and the rest are good representations of the real test (except that you can’t use line counting method of the real thing).

My scores for achiever are 17/17/18. Although I do agree that achiever is much harder (except for angle ranking), I really like their explanations for TFE. They give you a 3D structure of every wrong TFE choices so you know why the TFE you pick was incorrect.

In terms of most representative of the test: CDP > BootCamp > > Achiever
In terms of explanation: BootCamp >= Achiever > CDP

QR BootCamp (10/10) Achiever (8/10) DAT Destroyer (9/10)
I did not really prepare for this section as I am pretty good at non-calculus math. I like word problems. My only concern going into the test was probability, permutations, and combinations. Luckily I only got 1 problem on combination on the test (which I probably missed). In terms of recommendations, I would strongly encourage you to memorize some trig identity (just the simple ones) and simple unit conversions (ex. 1 yard = 3 ft).

BootCamp: 24,24,24,26,22. BootCamp’s QR is definitely harder than the real thing as I usually struggle to finish all 40 problems in 45 minutes, so don’t get discouraged! Do the problems, learn from your mistake. I was done with QR in like 30 mins on the real test.
Achiever: 29,19,24.
qVault: 23

RC BootCamp (9/10) Achiever (8/10)
English is my second language so I am actually quite satisfied with my score. Strategy I used: If the article is interesting, I read the whole thing and answer the questions. If the article is boring, I look at the first question, start reading until I find the answer to that question, hit next, continue reading where I left off, rinse and repeat. On the real test, I got 2 really dense articles. 40 search and destroy, 5 inference, 5 tones. Although many people tend to think that doing practice tests won’t help much on this section, I disagree. Yes, you won’t get the same article or questions on the test, but by doing practice tests, you learn to pace yourself and get the timing down. Again, TIMING is KEY. 20 minutes for each article. It is no good if you get the first 33 correct and have to guess on the rest.

Achiever: 17,17,17
qVault: 20
BootCamp: 18,19,20,23,20

Bio Feralis’ notes (12/10) Cliffs (10/10) BootCamp (10/10) qVault (10/10) Destroyer (8/10) Achiever (7/10) KBB (7/10) 
As many have said, exposure is key to this section. I STRONGLY RECOMMEND Feralis’ notes. I went through KBB first but thought it was too general and colorful. Then I read Cliffs and I actually enjoyed it. Bought qVault as a learning/diagnostic tool to find out my weaknesses. Found out about Feralis’ notes and decided to take detailed notes on subjects that I was weak on (mainly physiology, plants, and taxonomy). For people who want to gloss over taxonomy, DON’T. It actually appears on the test. Just buckle down and study. Cliffs’ chart and Feralis’ chart (I believe it’s the same one) are really helpful in summarizing the general characteristics of each animal phylum. I did not have any questions on plants although I did spend a lot of time on that subject. I think BootCamp and qVault are best representative of the level of difficulty/specificity you’ll see on the DAT. Destroyer and achiever are slightly too specific but hey, who knows whether or not you’ll get a few specific questions on your test. My point is, do not assume anything for this section. Biology is a broad subject. Don’t try to convince yourself that it is ok to not study/know this or that, because it could very well appear on your test.

BootCamp: 20-22
qVault: 19/20/20/19/20/19/19/19/20/21
Achiever 20/18/18

GC/OC Chad’s (12/10) BootCamp (11/10) Destroyer (10/10) Achiever (8/10)
Chad’s vidoes are the best studying material for this section. BootCamp, Chad’s quizzes, and Destroyer are really helpful in terms of applying the concepts to actual problems. Destroyer’s roadmaps are helpful but not necessary (for my test). Achiever is not representative of the test.

BootCamp: 21-22 for both OC/GC.
Achiever: 23/16/20 GC 19/18/19 OC

I only did achiever and ADA 2009 in full length:

Achiever 1 (8/5/2013): 17/29/17/20/23/19/21/22
Achiever 2 (8/12/2013): 17/19/17/18/16/18/18/18
Achiever 3 (8/19/2013): 18/24/17/17/20/19/19/19
ADA 2009 (9/11/2013): 20/26/21/21/24/28/23/23

And that is my breakdown…please ask me any questions if you have them.

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