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2013 DAT Breakdown – 25/26/24 by hunterx2

Cool my DAT breakdown (finally !!!) 25 AA 24 PAT

Hi guys,

I actually took it last week and didn’t want to post at first, but I figured that since I’ve been lurking here for the last few months and received many helpful bits of advice I figured I’d help out too  Anyway, here are my scores

24 PAT
21 QR
25 RC
29 Gen chem
27 Ochem
23 Bio

AA 25
TS 26

Materials used:
DAT Destroyer (2008)
Cliffs bio
Chad quizzes
Crack PAT
Barrons DAT (for PAT only)
Math destroyer (2011)
Ari (GATORD)’s website: http://datquestionoftheday.com/ Thanks Ari !!!
Campbells (for reference only)
I did not take any full length practice tests (top score, achiever, ADA, etc)

Time table
Tough to say because I was working full time and only had time to study sporadically. I’d say it would be the equivalent of 2.5 months.

Background
I graduated from college a few years ago, and while I was a bio major I worked in a totally unrelated field upon graduation, so I remember absolutely nothing from my undergrad days. I knew that I couldn’t turn to “review books” because for me there was nothing to review. So I took the unconventional step of reading over my college textbooks in gen chem and o chem, relearning everything from step one. I know it sounds like overkill but it only took me slightly over a month to do this, and I reaped huge rewards later on.

Gen chem– this section was a joke. The questions were super easy and I was actually surprised I got a 29 instead of a 30. Only one question required calculation, but there were several that required me to set up equations. To prepare for this section the first thing I did was take Ari’s practice test on his website above. I got a 28 on it, and this was before I did anything else. Just to be sure, I went over the questions in my 2008 destroyer and purchased Chad’s videos just to do his quizzes (I didn’t really watch the videos). I averaged around 25-27 correct on destroyer and around 28 correct in Chad’s (per block of 30). I credit my success on this section to the fact that I read my college gen chem textbook beforehand, and obtained a deep level of understanding that is impossible to obtain from watching some random review videos. If you have two spare weeks it might not be a bad idea to try this yourself.

Ochem– again, simple stuff, I probably got only a single question wrong. Questions were nowhere near the level of difficulty on Destroyer or Chad’s quizzes. Only simple reactions were tested, nothing approaching the complexity of the roadmaps in Destroyer. Ochem 1 was heavily favored over ochem 2 with the exception of some EAS reactions. I did not have to know any NMR or IR values. On Ari’s test, I got a 28. I also got around 23-26 correct per block of 30 in Destroyer, and around 27 per block in Chad’s.

Bio– this section sucked hard. I didn’t get anything on plants or photosynthesis, but I was hit hard with biological diversity. I got 4-5 questions on this topic  !!! Fortunately, the rest of the questions were not that bad. To prepare, I just read Cliff’s bio cover to cover twice; once a couple of weeks ago, and again just 2 days before the exam. Anything that I did not understand I looked up in Campbell’s or online. I skipped the biological diversity and plant chapters, and instead read them on the very morning of the test (the old pump and dump). I scored a 21 on Ari’s practice test and got 31 correct on the first block of 40 in Destroyer, but I did not do any more practice questions after that. I feel that this section is more about luck than anything else. If I didn’t get those biological diversity questions I definitely would have done better, but I guess that was balanced by the fact that I had zero plant questions 

RC– I did not prepare at all, and declined to do any practice tests. All three passages were science, and I finished with plenty of time to spare. I suppose I did well but I am unhappy about the quality of the questions. It seemed like whoever wrote the questions did not do a good job of reading the passages themselves, and several were ambiguous or didn’t have a right answer. Idiots.

QR– I hate math. It’s been forever since I’ve taken any math courses, and it’s something that I would gladly forget. The questions were not hard but I ran out of time. I had like 3 minutes remaining and 10 questions left so I ended up guessing towards the end. To prepare, I took Ari’s practice test, and got a 21 but ran out of time. I purchased Math Destroyer and usually scored 37+ out of 40, but again never within the time limit. The questions in destroyer were way more difficult than the real thing.

PAT– Again, questions were not difficult but I ran out of time. 90 q’s in only 60 minutes is pretty grueling and leaves no time to double check answers. I have a habit of making random dumb errors so not having review time at the end really sucked. To prepare, I used Crack PAT. I did the first 5 tests untimed, getting a 21 on the very first one but used up 64 seconds per question. On the second I had the same score but was down to 45 seconds. I went below 40 seconds for the remaining tests and my score generally increased every time, and by test 5 the only questions I was missing were angle ranking. I also had a copy of Barron’s DAT that contained 2 practice tests. While most of the book was riddled with errors, the PAT section was pretty useful and alone justified the purchase.

Be aware that the real deal is somewhat more difficult than Crack on most sections. Keyholes were subtle, and many looked like more than one answer would be correct. In TFE, I often had to visualize objects in 3D on the real thing instead of relying on line counting, which worked almost every time in Crack. Paper folding was comparable, except that I got this weird 1/3 fold on a question. Angles were maybe somewhat easier on the real thing, and cube counting was comparable. Pattern folding was more difficult, and several figures were very small and I had to glue my eyes to the screen to see certain subtleties. There were several obvious “experimental” questions that had faulty answer choices.

Summary
Overall, I am pleased with my scores. I think that I scored the highest I could have scored, and that any more effort would have been met with diminishing returns. Heck I think I over-prepared and should have taken it a few weeks earlier. All of my study materials are for sale, specifically Destroyer 2008 (in near new condition), Math destroyer 2011, and Barron’s DAT. The 2008 version is just as good as 2013. Please PM me if interested, and good luck !!!

Time to get my letters ready and apply for the entering class of 2014 !!!!

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