2013 DAT Breakdown – 25/26/20 by gogate
Now my breakdown:
PAT: 20 (very relieved that it wasn’t lower and happy with this)
QR: 20 (same as above)
BIO: 24 (shocked–went into the exam thinking I’d get a 17)
OG: 29 (bummed that I missed one! Ha!)
Background: I am a non-traditional student. I used Dentalworks’ schedule, with some personal modifications based on time I had and weaknesses I have. Here’s my breakdown.
Bio: DAT destroyer, qvault, Cliff’s AP bio, handmade flashcards, barron’s flashcards, Craig Savage videos, Khan academy, Wikipedia
Can I just say that bio was the biggest pleasant surprise? The day before the exam, I was going over my bio notes and felt that everything was so foreign to me and all jumbled in my head and that I would forget so many things. I also averaged 19 on qvault. As everyone says, on the real exam, it is “breadth before depth.” I really don’t think I got any questions about anything in specific that I didn’t study. The questions were worded a little funny, and they required you to think a little deeper, but it wasn’t really that tricky. Everything I used was very helpful in preparing for this. The way I really understood concepts was think of the big picture and draw out the process of how it happens. By the time I finished my studying, I had so many random pieces of paper with various diagrams I drew to study for Bio.
GC: Chad’s, DAT Destroyer
I went through DAT Destroyer for GC once, and Chad’s videos and quizzes once in the beginning. The day before the exam, I went through all of Chad’s quizzes a second time. On the real thing, I got some really tricky questions; a good 1/3 or 1/2 were calculations, but they set many of them up for you.
OC: Chad’s, DAT Destroyer
Same as above. I studied for this least (after RC). I only went through DAT Destroyer once for these also. DAT Destroyer is WAY harder than this OC test. I actually thought it was really easy (although I am not the best to judge—OC was always my “thing” in college and I did my senior chemistry research in an organic lab).
PAT: CDP, Achiever, My Wicket PAT tutorial, Youtube videos
I was also very worried about this score going into it. I used CDP for the first 9 tests. When my average was consistently between 19-21, I started getting worried, so I got the 5 test version of achiever during the last two weeks for PAT only. Achiever was good to show you how hard some problems can be. I took my final CDP test yesterday (the day before the DAT) and scored a 23, which really helped my confidence going into the exam. I would recommend that people take at least half of CDP, then take achiever (without worrying about your score) and then take the final CDP tests to see how your score improves.
Real thing: HARDER THAN ACHIEVER AND CDP! I think I got a really hard version of the test or something, because most of the keyholes were as hard as Achiever, TFE was comparable to both. ANGLES WERE THE HARDEST I HAVE EVER SEEN! For most of them, I could not even tell the difference between the biggest and smallest angle (and in achiever/CDP I consistently scored above 75% for angles). The hole punching was also harder than both Achiever and CDP. I was consistently getting 100% on both and felt like I had no clue on the real test. There were also tons of 1/3 folds. I wasn’t even halfway through the hole punching when I noticed I had less than 20 minutes left, so I freaked out. The cube counting was also HARDER than achiever and on par with CDP. All of mine had imaginary cubes! The one section that was notably easier was pattern folding. I will say that I thought I got, at most, a 17 on this section when I finished. Seriously. AT MOST! After my break, I became resigned and figured with the PAT, I was going to bomb it anyway, so nothing really mattered…
RC: CDR (only took two tests)
So I wasn’t planning on studying for this at all. However, 2 weeks before my test, I quickly took a practice test in the KBB and didn’t score so hot, so I bought the CDR to give me some practice tests. They were helpful in the sense that you get to work on your strategy and timing, so I am glad I took them. I averaged a 21 on both of those two tests. Coming into RC, after my break, I was so upset about PAT, so I came in thinking “whatever.” My first passage in RC was SO HARD, which didn’t make it better with so much scientific verbiage! I felt like I guessed on many in the first passage. The next two passages were more user friendly. I got one tone/inference question total; the rest was S&D. My strategy was quickly skimming the whole thing, writing down key words to stay engaged in the passage, and then S&D.
QR: Chad’s, Math Destroyer, QVault
I was very worried about QR. I took tests 1-10 of Math Destroyer twice. By the second time through, I felt ok about my QR skills, since you can see how you’ve improved and that you know how to set things up (whereas before, I would just stare at a problem like it was an alien). I started doing Qvault two weeks before the exam, which was a HUGE confidence booster from Math Destroyer (my average QR qvault was about 21). I thought my actual exam was a hybrid of Qvault/Math Destroyer and was harder than I expected. I marked 10 of my questions and almost ran out of time. I probably flat out guessed on 5 of the questions at the least. The calculator worked ok–not perfect but it helped.
My opinion about full length practice exams:
I really felt that time was an issue during my studying. I had one month to study, which included classes I was taking (along with tests, etc.) so each spare moment I had to study counted. I decided I would spend more time learning concepts than taking practice exams, so I never took a single full length exam. Ever. I also didn’t take one for the bar exam, which I passed easily, (which is 8 hours a day for two days in a row), so I knew that adrenaline would give me the endurance to take the test. I thought about taking a 2009 ADA test before my exam, but decided against it because of the time issue, and I thought it might freak me out and hurt my confidence. In retrospect, I’m glad I didn’t take any practice tests. It might help some people, but I knew it would have little benefit to me.
I also want to thank this incredible community and would like to pay it forward. If you have any questions at all, please feel to respond to this post or message me! Now, I am getting a mani/pedi to begin celebrating!
I also want to thank Ari again for creating DAT Bootcamp and Question of the Day. These materials were also VERY HELPFUL to my studying–not just for the DAT questions, but I found that Ari’s blogs on the DAT bootcamp website were very helpful.