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2013 DAT Breakdown – 28/28/25 by wazian2018

Hi SDNers- I wanted to post a DAT breakdown (taken on 6/28/13) in the hopes that it will help someone with their test! WARNING: it’s really long!!!! I stalked everyone’s breakdowns before my test and I know how much I benefited from reading other people’s advice/experiences, so here ya go. Also, before I give you my scores: NO, I AM NOT HERE TO BRAG. SERIOUSLY. I got a lot of helpful info from other people’s breakdowns so I just wanted to give my own input. So please don’t be mean :) 

PAT: 25 (98.6%)
QR: 30 (100%)
RC: 26 (98.8%)
Bio: 24 (99.1%)
GC: 30 (100%)
OC: 29 (99.3%)
TS: 28 (99.9%)
AA: 28 (100%) :D

Background on me, to give you some context for my scores: currently a Chemistry and Biology double major at a good undergrad university. 3.94 BCP/ 3.95 sci/ 3.95 overall GPAs. My verified AADSAS app was sent out in the first batch, same day I took my DAT!

PAT (25): I thought it was kind of hard, but definitely doable. Like everyone else says, keyholes were difficult, and I had one that literally looked like a rock haha. I thought top front end was relatively easy, angles were annoying as always (about the level of Crack or harder), hole punching was simple (I didn’t have any weird folds), cube counting was cube counting (although I did have one set of cubes that had some weird illusions going on… annoying but I guess I figured it out), and pattern folding was okay- it was really easy to eliminate half the answer choices but the last two just looked exactly alike to me for a lot of questions. I used any materials I could get my hands on- I did the 10 Crack tests, the 10 Qvault tests, 4 Achiever tests, the ones in ADA 2007 and 2009, and whatever practice tests came in the KBB, Princeton Review, and Barrons DAT book/CD. I did one PAT practice test pretty much every single day to get my timing down, so I actually had about five minutes to spare on the real thing. Overall I thought QVAULT was the best representation of the test in terms of difficulty (except angles- Qvault angles are a joke). Qvault is great for the PAT as long as you can look past some silly mistakes (for instance, all of the cubes are labeled with the same letter, so all 6 or 7 of your cube sets will be labeled “Figure E”, etc… very annoying). I started practicing on Qvault and then moved to Crack, which is why my practice test scores for Crack are a bit higher. 

Crack: 22/ 22/ 21/ 22/ 25/ 25/ 25/ 26/ 23/ 24
Qvault: 19/ 21/ 21/ 20/ 21/ 21/ 21/ 21/ 21/ 21
Achiever: 19/ 22/ 20/ 18 
Topscore: 22/ 26/ 26

Math (30): I’ve always been pretty good at math, but I actually studied a lot for this section because my strategy for the DAT was to really maximize my strengths (math, chem). I did math destroyer three times, the questions in the back of the regular destroyer three times also, some Crack math but not much, and any practice questions in KBB/Princeton/Barrons. I was actually shocked at how simple the actual DAT was… after I did all that practice in destroyer it seriously felt like a joke. Maybe I just got lucky, but I don’t think I had many word problems or trig, and the ones I did have were easily solved by plug and chug. Nothing I would consider weird (p values, ellipses, etc) showed up on my test. I would say like half of my test could be easily solved by a thorough understanding of right triangles haha. My calculator was really awesome, not laggy or anything. 

Qvault: 25/ 23/ 25/ 27/ 30/ 27/ 30/ 26/ 23/ 26
Achiever: 29 
Topscore: 23/ 22/ 29

Reading (26): Super excited with this score! DID NOT STUDY FOR READING AT ALL. I didn’t do any practice even though I bought Crack and Qvault reading because every time I would think about doing a practice test for reading I would just get really sad and angsty, which is obviously not conducive to studying. I did the ADA 2009 test on paper cause I ordered a hard copy, but I don’t really count that (we all know how different taking the test on the computer is). I think I got really lucky with my passages- they were all really short (10 or 11 paragraphs at most) and easy to understand. I didn’t really have a strategy for reading, and honestly I just wanted to get at least a 19. Some of the questions could be answered with my prior science knowledge. I only had like one or two tone questions, most was S&D. I thought it was interesting that I had quite a few questions that required me to do math- converting stuff, multiplying some numbers found in the passage, etc. On the real thing I would read a few questions, then skim a few paragraphs to see if I could answer them, and repeat. I finished with about five minutes to spare. 

Biology (24): This is the section I spent most of my studying time on, because it’s arguably got the most material to go through. I used Cliff’s, Barrons AP, KBB, Barron’s DAT, Princeton Review, and Feralis’s notes. A lot of my previous courses really helped me with this section (I have taken anatomy, physiology, cell bio, genetics, micro, biochem). I didn’t feel like anything on the test was too random- I only had like three questions I thought were kind of weird, and I guess I got them wrong. The questions on my test were pretty simple, but I studied A TON for this section (although I’m technically also a Bio major I have really focused on Chem and am playing catch-up on the bio major next year, so I didn’t feel prepared at all when I started studying). I thought Destroyer was really great for this section- I can think of at least 5 questions off the top of my head that were almost word for word straight out of Destroyer. I didn’t really get any plant questions, just some about photosynthesis type stuff. Looking back on it I am surprised that I got zero questions about things I thought were definitely going to show up- enzymes, proteins, dna transcription/translation, etc. Also, some advice for those concerned about the anatomy and phys part of the DAT: use the Princeton DAT review book! The bio section is INCREDIBLY dense so I wouldn’t recommend looking through 100% of it, and I honestly wanted to throw it at the wall and call it a day every time I opened it, but there was a lot of good info in there that I didn’t see in other material. I also thought that the online companion for the Princeton review book had some good practice questions for biology (if you can look past the many many many mistakes it has…) 

Qvault: 22/ 21/ 20/ 21/ 22/ 20/ 25/ 22/ 20/ 20
Achiever: 19/ 17/ 19
Topscore: 21/ 21/ 21

Gen Chem (30): I thought both of the chemistries were pretty straight forward. My GC test was an equal mix of calculations and conceptual stuff. A lot of the calculations were already set up, and the ones that actually required calculating were really easy to estimate because the answer choices were so different. To practice I used destroyer, Qvault, and achiever. Destroyer is probably overkill but I still thought it was good practice, I went through it about two times. I didn’t get any lab questions. 

Qvault: 24/ 30/ 26/ 20/ 26/ 20/ 30/ 24/ 21/ 26
Topscore: 20/ 20/ 19
Achiever: 23/ 21/ 21

O Chem (29): same as GC, very straightforward. I had one or two lab questions here. There were two or three multistep reactions, but they were simple things you see on like every practice test. No weird reactions showed up on my actual test, just the basics. Again, I think destroyer was overkill, but good practice (I did this about three times). I really hated Qvault’s ochem section- not sure why, maybe it was just difficult or something, but I didn’t find it useful. 

Qvault: 20/ 21/ 19/ 20/ 19/ 19/ 26/ 20/ 20/ 20
Topscore: 21/ 21/ 25
Achiever: 28/ 18/ 20

My personal test experience: got up super early to drive a long way to my 8AM test (ugh, why aren’t there more prometric testing centers in Virginia??) I stuffed myself with Chik fil A, and I drove to my house from my apartment because it was on the way to the testing center and my mom offered to drive me…. BIG MISTAKE. Ugh. Not living at home has made me forget what a terrible driver my tiny Asian mother is. We got lost like a million times, because she refused to listen to the GPS… but I left early enough that I still managed to get there early, around 7:30 ish. I checked in at the prometric center and waited foreverrrr (there were a lot of people in front of me, even that early in the morning) so I didn’t start my test until around 8:45 or 9. I brought ear plugs to wear along with the noise canceling headphones they provided (which started to give me a headache after about two hours- but overall weren’t too uncomfortable). It was kinda cold but I thought that would be the case so I wore yoga pants. During the break I had just enough time to scarf down half a sandwich and I got back to my computer with three minutes to spare. When I was done with the survey at the very end and saw my scores I had to stop myself from screaming O **** ! because I was just so shocked with my scores haha. Overall a good experience, everyone at the prometric place was super nice. 

I just wanted to let people know that it’s definitely possible to do really well on the DAT with a lot of hard work!! Don’t get discouraged! I usually handle stress really well but I definitely had days where I was completely panicked over this exam. I studied probably about 2.5 months total- including most of my winter break, spring break, and summer break (from mid-May until now). I seriously had no life during those times. I only took about three days off the whole time- to say bye to my boyfriend who moved across the country, to visit my testing center so I wouldn’t get lost the day of, and to do my AADSAS app. The constant studying was annoying… but worth it! During the times I was studying I seriously studied all day every day for like at least 10 hours straight. I was a studying machineeee. I know some people on here are like “nah, you can’t actually be productive for that long” but I think I was. It was really helpful to have my roommate around in the summer. She was studying for the LSAT for law school, so it was nice to have someone to complain with haha. Going into the test, I did NOT feel ready for it- and I don’t think I ever would have. But I did feel confident in my knowledge, which I think is much more important! 

Good luck to everyone who’s still studying for the DAT!!! Feel free to message me if you have any questions!

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