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2013 DAT Breakdown – 25/29/22 by Subridentes

Hello everyone,

Here is my first post! I was hesitant about posting my scores but I received a lot from sdn and thought that I needed to give back a bit :thumbup: I’ll keep it relatively short and will be happy to answer questions as we go. 
First of all, I want to give special thanks to Glimmer1991, jimmpannzee, aqz, Bangity, and FeralisExtremum for posting their breakdowns, notes and being all too awesome. 

Background: I have taken a decent amount of biology courses (genetics, evo&eco, developmental, and cell bio) and just finished Organic Chemistry II. I have not taken anatomy physiology, plant physiology, etc. 

How long I studied: I studied 3-4 weeks, with the first week being on and off. I felt pretty exhausted after my spring semester finals and started off slacking. I picked up the pace as I went. I followed jimmpannzee’s schedule pretty roughly (great if you have the determination). I know everyone is different but I personally don’t recommend anyone studying for more than 8 weeks if you put in 5-6 solid hours a day. I know many people (who have done better than me) who can attest to this. 

My scores:
AA 25 (100.0%)
TS 29 (100.0%)
BIO 26 (99.8%)
GC 29 (99.9%)
OC 28 (99.5%)
QR 20 (95.1%)
PAT 22 (93.8%)
RC 23 (95.1%)

Section Breakdowns:
PAT (22): CDP and Achiever. After finishing achiever, my hopes for a decent score were non-existent. However, I kept practicing my weak points and must’ve improved as I went. I would recommend starting with CDP and doing achiever if you want the icing on top. I think CDP is enough to get you a 20+

QR (20): Math Destroyer and qvault. I am not completely sure how I screwed up on QR, but it must’ve been pretty bad. I scored 23-30 on the practice exams and was pretty confident. For those preparing for DAT, I’d recommend studying more stats and geometry. 

RC (23): Achiever and Crack DAT Reading. I honestly don’t know how I got this on the exam because this was my weakest section. I did pretty well on SAT reading but I struggled with DAT RC. I ended up using the Barron’s method (writing down keywords). I read CNN and ESPN everyday and the distractions might have actually helped haha

BIO (26): Cliffnotes (supplemented with Princeton Review, Barron’s and KBB), qvault, and Destroyer. I was pretty ecstatic with my BIO score. I recognized almost all of the key terms but had to make guesses here and there. I felt pretty unprepared this morning but guess I’ll never feel all the way ready. The breadth may be overwhelming but soak in the material one topic at a time. Work on your weaknesses as you go. 

GC (29): Chad’s videos, Destroyer and qvault. I always struggled with this section cause I tend to make a lot of mistakes. Go through Chad’s and take good notes. Practice with Destroyer/qvault and gauge where you stand. Understand major concepts and simple calculations. 

OC (28): Chad’s videos, Destroyer and qvault. Similar to GC. Go through Chad’s, paying attention to fundamental reactions. From there, keep practicing with different material. Try not to get too worked up by small things (Mechanism details, unfamiliar reagents) and study smart. Don’t forget to study NMR/IR, nomenclature and lab-related questions. 

I studied a bit of everything everyday. I studied some PAT over the winter when I got bored. I wouldn’t recommend studying for sciences (esp biology) too early. I took practice tests every 3 or so days in the last week and a half to gauge myself. Topscore and ADA 2007 & 2009 were good representations of the real DAT (not so much KBB, Achiever, Crack DAT etc).

Final Thoughts
I was humbled by those on sdn and they motivated me to work hard. At times, I probably let cnn, espn, email, friends, facebook, phone, etc distract me more than they should have – in the end, I think they helped me maintain my sanity. Do what works for you.

As most of you already know, dentistry is a great field. I love research and public health – I guess I will end up at which ever school takes me for my interests. I am sure I will meet some of you during the interview process, etc. 

Lastly, I want to thank my parents and sister for being so great and guiding me through the process. I act like a kid sometimes and they were there for me. They believed in me when I thought I wouldn’t make it. Even today, I felt unprepared and thought about postponing my exam. You just might be in for a pleasant surprise. Never stress out too much over a bad practice exam. I also cannot forget to thank the big man upstairs – you are the best. 

This time has been mentally and physically challenging. I feel for those who are getting ready to take their exams. No matter how hard it may seem, there is always light at the end of the tunnel. Best of luck to those who are preparing for the exam and let me know if you have any questions.

 

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