Featured Student of October

Meet Samantha Marks, a happy DAT Bootcamp customer who recently conquered the DAT. I’ve asked Samantha to share her DAT experience with us as the featured student of October.

What is one piece of advice you would give to another student preparing to take the DAT?

Studying for the DAT is not one-size-fits-all. Take a step back from the Internet and all of the advice you’ve been given from past test takers and remember that everyone is different. Everyone studies in a different way, and learns in a different way, and has a different way of making things click. Just because one person claimed to have made thousands of flashcards or swore that they read Campbell’s AP Biology six times, doesn’t mean that their way is the only way. Some things I had read online convinced me that I was doomed for failure because I hadn’t finished Destroyer ten times and I’d only gone through Chad’s videos once. You have to focus on your own needs and how you learn best. Find your own modified recipe for success and go with it. You know yourself better than anyone else, so trust yourself and utilize the skills you have.

You’re never going to feel like you know absolutely everything there is to know. Nobody does. But, you know so much more than you’re probably giving yourself credit for. We all know that studying for this test is a full time job and it’s easy to get discouraged. There’s a light at the end of the tunnel and you should be so proud of yourself for how far you’ve come!

How did you use DAT Bootcamp to prepare for the DAT?

I began studying for the DAT using another program, and I was feeling so hopeless because I wasn’t performing at the level that I wanted to. No matter how hard I was trying my scores weren’t budging. I discovered DAT Bootcamp about 6 weeks before I was planning to take the DAT, and it completely transformed my attitude and my self-confidence.

Ari’s schedule is gold and if you have the time to do everything on it you absolutely should. Unfortunately, I was four weeks short of his recommended time, so I had to prioritize. I would take time each week to assess my progress on DAT Bootcamp in order to see what concepts I still needed to work on. DAT Bootcamp was such an amazing program for helping me prioritize what areas I needed to focus on more.

I did make sure, however, to allow myself enough time to take every practice test. I always read through the explanations for the answers, even if I got a question right. There is nothing more toxic than guessing on a question and getting it right, so I always ensured that I had a complete understanding of the correct answer and why the remaining choices were incorrect. Ari’s written explanations and videos are amazing, and will help you understand a concept that you might be missing. If I was still confused about something, or needed additional practice material, I would contact Ari and ask for advice. He was so responsive and truly one of my best resources while I was studying. I am so grateful for all of his help.

What would you do differently to prepare for the DAT?

I wish I had taken Ari’s recommendation to take a rest day each week. When I began studying, I felt like I needed to spend every second of my day studying. I would work from sun up to sun down every single day. I was overworked and overwhelmed, never allowing myself adequate time to unwind after a long day of studying. I’d stay up at night reading SDN posts in hopes of finding the secret to mastering the DAT. My mind would race anxiously, enumerating the list of concepts I still needed to study. I was driving myself insane.

About half way through my study preparation, I took a step back from everything and realized that not taking breaks while studying was going to be my downfall. I began doing things like taking yoga classes or grabbing lunch with my friends. It really helped me relax and take my mind off the DAT for a little bit each day. Learning to take breaks saved my mental and physical health. I only wish I’d made the realization earlier.

Yes, this exam requires commitment and dedication and may push you in ways you’d never imagined. But, you have to give yourself a break. See your friends, go for a run, sit down and watch an episode of your favorite show. Allow yourself to relax during one of the most stressful times of your life. You are intelligent and capable and you’ve made it so far. Remind yourself of your dreams, trust DAT Bootcamp, and most importantly, trust yourself.

  • Biology21
  • General Chemistry25
  • Organic Chemistry23
  • Reading Comprehension20
  • Perceptual Ability20
  • Quantitative Reasoning20
  • Academic Average22

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