Meet Raghed Hamami, a happy DAT Bootcamp customer who recently conquered the DAT. I’ve asked Raghed to share his DAT experience with us as the featured student of April.
(Raghed) First and foremost I would like to say that you can achieve a great score on this exam if you put in the work, even if you are an average student like me. Confidence and hard work are essential, take look at my retake compared to last year as an example:
- Biology18 to 23 (+5)
- General Chemistry19 to 23 (+4)
- Organic Chemistry17 to 24 (+7)
- Total Science18 to 23 (+5)
- Reading Comprehension21 to 20 (-1)
- Perceptual Ability19 to 22 (+3)
- Quantitative Reasoning18 to 21 (+3)
- Academic Average19 to 22 (+3)
What is one piece of advice you would give to another student preparing to take the DAT?
First off, make a study schedule and give yourself plenty of time to cover everything. I personally wouldn’t recommend more than 10 weeks as you will begin to forget some of the topics you learned earlier on in your studies. The most important piece of advice is to keep doing questions. Get your hands on any practice questions, DAT Bootcamp for me was the most representative material and was the only tool I used for the PAT section.
When studying, you should notice a trend with topics that appear frequently (ex. Pedigrees, Cellular Respiration), make sure you master them. Last year I spent more time trying to memorize my notes rather than applying my knowledge. Everyone learns differently so make sure to stick with what best works for you! Lastly, on the actual test, don’t feel discouraged if you feel you didn’t do well on a section, move on and prepare for the rest. Don’t let one section bring you down since you probably answered better than you think!
How did you use DAT Bootcamp to prepare for the DAT?
I used DAT Bootcamp in three different ways during my preparation. The first week I took 2 full diagnostic tests to gauge where I was while also getting a feel for the types of questions being asked. The second time was 4 weeks into my studies when I went through the exams by topic (a great feature of DAT Bootcamp). This is when I reviewed and learned all the material. Finally, I used DAT Bootcamp the last week before the test to get an estimate of my scores and become comfortable with timing.
For the most part, my DAT Bootcamp scores were almost identical to my actual score. I also completed one PAT test a week leading up to my exam (for 7 weeks) and then did the first three again the last week before my exam. DAT Bootcamp also offers plenty of free strategy material pertaining to each subject, utilize them! The program is also reasonably priced, so there should be no reason why its not a part of your DAT resources.
What would you do differently to prepare for the DAT?
The only thing I would do differently is utilize more practice questions. I found that reading textbooks and notes wasn’t helping me as much as practice questions with regards to retention. Looking back I spent a lot more time “studying” the first time I took the DAT. However, this time around when I studied I actually studied and made sure to give myself plenty of breaks to go out and workout. These breaks help the body and mind recover from the increased stress and fatigue of the exam.
Another important aspect was working on my timing. On the real test I had time to go over every single science question a second time. This was vital as I caught a few small mistakes in each section. Lastly, don’t be afraid to postpone your test if you are not ready. I postponed my test by 3 weeks and it’s the best decision I could have made!
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