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2013 DAT Breakdown – 24/25/22 by gabriejt

Hey everyone! I took the DAT earlier today (Had to work after I finished), and just wanted to post my “unofficial” scores I received at the testing center. I spent quite a few hours browsing these forums during my preparation and thought it was only right to let everyone know how much it helped me.

Perceptual Ability- 22
Quantitative Reasoning- 20
Reading Comprehension- 23
Biology- 28
General Chem- 24
Organic Chem- 23
Total Science- 25
Academic Average- 24

QR wasn’t fantastic but DANG, I am so relieved that all the effort I put in showed.

Rough Undergrad GPA was 3.87

I will post back again in the next few days with my official score report, my test experience, and what I thought was the most helpful in preparing.

Thanks again to everyone who posts and good luck to the rest of you!

Ok, so as far as the study materials i used to prepare.

For the most part I followed the Sample DAT Study Schedule at the top of the DAT discussions forum
I stretched the 8 weeks closer to 10, as I was working 35-40 hours a week on top of the studying. I spent anywhere from 7-10+ hours/day studying on days that I did not work (3 days/wk) and roughly 5-6 hours/day on days that I did work (4 days/wk). I also only took maybe 1 or 2 days off of studying the entire time during my preparation. I don’t expect many people to be able to no-life it like I did as committing that much time to preparing day in and day out can be very stressful. Just giving you an idea of what my preparation time was like.

Materials Used-
Chad’s Videos
Math Destroyer
DAT Destroyer
Kaplan DAT
Cliff’s AP Biology
DAT Achiever

Quantitative Reasoning– (20)
a) Chads Videos- Great if you haven’t had a math class in awhile, as was my case (I think 4 years since my last). Chad does a great job at covering the basics and explaining all of the topics in a way that makes it easy to understand.

b) Math Destroyer- Chads videos are a great way to cover the basics, but it is extremely important that you practice applying the concepts he goes over. Math Destroyer had tons of problems, of which were nearly identical to the ones I was presented on the actual DAT. I went through the entire Math Destroyer twice. The first time through I took each test un-timed and made sure to look at what I did wrong and why. The second time through I set the 45 minute time limit (as is on the actual DAT), again looking at the ones I got wrong and why.

Don’t get discouraged out of the gate as the Math Destroyer problems for the most part are slightly more challenging than those on the actual test, ESPECIALLY from tests 11+

QR is definitely application based and tests your ability to manipulate the variables presented to you. Therefore I recommend doing as many DIFFERENT practice problems as possible. While all of the problems on the DAT were similar to those in the Math Destroyer, being able to apply the concepts effectively in different contexts is the key.

General Chemistry (23)
a) CHADS- If you’ve spent any considerable amount of time on this forum you will know that Chad’s videos are the go to resource to brush up on your General Chemistry concepts. Explains everything in a quick and efficient manner. Take very detailed notes when you watch his videos, this will save you a lot of trouble if you have to refer back to your notes while doing practice problems.

Depending on your science background Chads could be enough to prepare you, however if you still feel you aren’t quite grasping some of the concepts I would look into using one of your college course textbooks.

b) DAT Destroyer- Again you can’t go wrong with this resource. This book was a great representation of what you should expect to see from the General Chemistry section. I went through this book twice, exactly the same way I did for the Math Destroyer. I broke the Gen. Chem section of the book up into 30 question blocks to represent the DAT test length. The first time through I did the problems un-timed and reviewed the questions I got wrong. The second time through I timed myself on each of the 30 question segments making sure to review the concepts of questions I was still getting wrong.

As with the QR section I recommend doing as many different practice problems as possible when preparing for the General Chemistry section. (especially for Acid/Base and stoichiometry problems), Many of the questions in the General Chemistry section of the Destroyer were more challenging and required more time than would be expected on the real DAT. With that said the majority of the problems are conceptually on par with what you will see on the DAT. If you can do these problems fairly well, the DAT shouldn’t throw anything at you that you haven’t seen before.

Organic Chemistry (24)
a) CHADS Videos- I can’t say enough about Chad’s. He covers all of the MAJOR reactions that you will be required to know for the DAT. With that said there is a chance that you will see some random reaction on the DAT that wasn’t covered, but if you have a solid understanding of Organic Chem. concepts there is a good chance you will be able to predict the outcome of the reaction.

The only thing I have against Chad’s videos is that he doesn’t go over the MECHANISMS of all of the reactions. Before you discount Chad’s videos for this reason, you don’ need to know how to draw mechanisms for the DAT. For the most part this section will be recognition based eg.

Given Compound of structure “A”
This Reagent “B”
This product “C” 

This was sufficient enough for me. If you go above and beyond and learn the step-by-step mechanisms for each reaction (I did not), it will make the Organic Chem section that much easier.

b)DAT Destroyer’s Organic Chemistry- I used this the same way I used it for General Chemistry. Broke it up into blocks of questions, 2 times through, once un-timed, once timed, making sure to understand those I was got wrong.

Destroyer was again, slightly more challenging than the real DAT in my experience, but covers everything you need to know.

Biology (28)
a) Cliff’s AP Biology- The most important tip I can give your for biology is to have a strong grounding in the basics of each topic. Cliff’s AP Bio does a great job of explaining the basics of “MOST” of the topics you should be expected to know. The only topics I found it to be lacking in was embryological development which I can almost guarantee you to show up in some form on the DAT.

b)Kaplan DAT- This is a good supplement to Cliff’s AP Bio. In my opinion it Kaplan doesn’t cover topics as well as Cliff”s however, each of these resources includes information on each topic that the other may have missed. Kaplan is a good start if you have a weak Biology background but certainly isn’t enough in itself to master the Biology component of the DAT.

c) DAT Destroyer- The destroyer was an EXCELLENT source of practice problems to prepare you for the DAT. Most of the questions actually cover multiple topics and require you to draw from multiple fields of biology at once. The practice questions can be difficult at times but if you can answer the majority of these questions biology will be a breeze!

As with all other parts of the DAT destroyer, I split the Biology questions up into blocks, (40 questions each to represent the DAT format) and went through the entire book twice. The first time through the Bio section I did each set of 40 un-timed and made sure to understand what I was doing wrong. The second time through the Bio section I did each set of 40 questions timed again, reviewing the questions I answered incorrectly.

NOTE!– there are quite a few “random” questions in the Bio section of the Destroyer. Don’t let this intimidate you. Like I said at the beginning, understanding the basics will ensure that you do at least borderline on the Bio section of the DAT. Know the destroyer and you will crush Biology.

NOTE 2: I had, what I would consider a very strong background in Biology. Simply reading over Cliffs AP Bio was enough for me, and I had relatively little difficulty with most questions in the Destroyer. If you are not quite as confident in your Biology background, read through each chapter in Cliff’s once, just to read it and be familiar with the topic, then go through each chapter a second time taking notes, really attempting to understand the concepts.

Perceptual Ability (22)
a) Crack DAT PAT (10 Tests)- This resource was excellent in demonstrating the actual DAT environment for the PAT section. The only way to prepare for the PAT section is practice. Being able to visualize three dimensional objects etc such as is required on the DAT is something you can only improve upon through practice.

Break down of each PAT section:

1. Keyholes- The keyholes section on my DAT was a mixture of very difficult to very easy. Most of the keyholes were fairly easy to pick out however 2-3 of the questions blew me out of the water. When I came across those I took my best guess and moved on so as not to waste any time. Overall Crack DAT PAT prepared me very well for this section.

2. Top/Front/End- The TFE section on my DAT was comparable, if not a little easier than the Crack PAT. I won’t lie, TFE was the section of the PAT that I was least confident in. TFE can be intimidating but practice is the key, and Crack DAT PAT helped immensely.

3. Angle Ranking- The angle ranking portion on my DAT was fairly easy compared to the practice tests provided in Crack PAT. 

4. Hole Punches- Nothing to say here. My DAT experience was on par with what the Crack PAT practice tests provided.

5. Cube Counting- Nothing to say here. My DAT experience was on par with what the Crack PAT practice tests provided. This should be an easy section for most people.

6. Pattern Folding- My DAT pattern folding section was easier than the practice tests provided in Crack PAT. The pattern folds in Crack PAT were slightly more complex than those on my DAT. (coloration, lines/dots on the surfaces).

When preparing for the PAT sections use all of the resources available to you. Kaplan DAT has a PAT section in the back that briefly explains each portion of the PAT and gives you tips on how to solve each type of PAT question. Kaplan is an ok start in figuring out how to go about each type however there are plenty of threads/websites that offer different methods for solving each section. Find out what works for you, practice that method, and stick to it.

Reading Comprehension (23)
I will be completely honest and say that I almost had no prior preparation for the reading comprehension section of the DAT. It felt putting in a significant amount of time preparing for this section would be time wasted for other areas I was less confident on.

With that said I do not recommend going into the DAT completely blind on Reading Comprehension. The DAT Achiever program practice tests contain reading comprehension sections that I found to be pretty difficult. But not having any prior practice on reading comprehension I was glad to have been exposed to them.

My DAT RC section wasn’t terribly difficult. I am a Health Science major and one of my sections pertained to health screening programs, so that was to my benefit, but even the sections where I had no prior background, I was able to answer fairly confidently.

DAT Achiever
After all was said and done the 3 or 4 days prior to my DAT I used the DAT Achiever program. Don’t get me wrong, this company has put together an amazing program that simulates the DAT test format nearly identical to what you will see on test day. Now…. in my experience, the DAT Achiever is if anything, completely discouraging. Taking these practice tests in the few days before the test has me questioning if I was actually prepared or not. Every section was significantly harder than what I was expecting. If I recall I was averaging 16/17 on each section for the Achiever practice tests.

With that said I did much much better on the actual DAT. So if you want a realistic test environment the, DAT Achiever is ideal, just don’t become to stressed out if your performance on these practice tests is a little less than what you were expecting.

Overall DAT Experience
My main concern, and likely the concern of many others was the time crunch placed on each section. I’m not sure if it was because of this time crunch that I rushed through each section, but I had around 5-10 minutes of extra time on nearly every section of the DAT except for quantitative reasoning. Any questions that required calculations, eg. GC and QR, and I couldn’t come up with a confident answer fairly quickly, I selected a quick guess, marked the question and moved on so as to not waste un-necessary time. If you are well prepared, quickly moving past the ones you struggle with ensures that you have a chance at answering the questions that you know for sure. I learned this from my practice tests, if there was a problem on my DAT that I “could” figure out the answer to, but would take me a significant amount of time and effort to do so, it was beneficial for me to skip it and get to the questions i was guaranteed to get correct. Any conceptual questions like those in Bio that I clearly wasn’t familiar with, I quickly took my best guess and moved on. Keep in mind that you are scored on correct answers, not penalized for those you get wrong, so answering every question whether you know the answer or not is only in your best interest.

That’s all I have for now. I know my explanation etc was long but hopefully some of you will find some useful information in here somewhere. I am very grateful to all of those who took the time to help me and all of the others here on SDN in preparing for the DAT.

If anyone has any questions please don’t hesitate to ask and I will try to reply in a timely manner.

Thanks again, and Good Luck to Everyone!

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