Vanilla Method for DAT Reading Comprehension

This is the method I used on the DAT reading section because it’s what made me feel most comfortable. It’s a very simple method. I would read the passage in full and then answer the questions in order. I would try to allocate 7-9 minutes to reading the passage, and then around 10-12 minutes to answering the questions.

Something unique I would do is read the first paragraph or two at least twice before reading the rest of the passage. I would try to get a strong sense of what the passage was going to discuss. Don’t race through the passage! You should clearly understand and comprehend what the passage is about. Don’t be afraid to reread if you need to.

Next, I would try to become genuinely interested in the passage. Nearly all of the passages on the DAT are science based, and since you’re going into a science-based career, you should be interested in how life and the world works. I would read the passages as an opportunity to learn about something unique, rather than thinking “Who the heck would write something boring like this?”.

Of course, as you read the passage, pay attention to special words and names of people, places, and things.

Once you begin to answer the questions, always go back and refer to the passage. Most questions on the DAT will refer to a particular part of the reading passage by using a keyword. After reading the entire passage, you should have a pretty good sense of where you could find that keyword. Take a few seconds to scroll to that particular part of the passage where the keyword is and confirm your answer, even if you know the answer already.

Remember, if you are having trouble finding the answer to a question, simply guess, mark it, and move on. You cannot waste too much time on a single question on the DAT.