Meet Shahil Amin, a happy DAT Bootcamp customer who recently conquered the DAT. What’s unique about Shahil is he first took the Canadian DAT, and now more recently took the American DAT. I’ve asked Shahil to share his DAT experience with us as the featured student of August.
What is one piece of advice you would give to another student preparing to take the DAT?
The biggest piece of advice that I could give is to really get an understanding of the material. This is easier said than done, but I think it’s the best way to tackle the DAT. In the past, I would do practice questions and memorize the answers or how they calculated the answer. This took a lot of brain power and wasn’t very efficient. By having a better understanding of the concepts, I was able to focus on the underlying causes of why I was getting questions wrong and I wouldn’t make those mistakes again. This also allows you to extrapolate your knowledge to other questions that might be asked on the DAT that you haven’t come across in your preparation.
How did you use DAT Bootcamp to prepare for the DAT?
I used DAT Bootcamp in two ways for my preparation for the DAT. The first was to get a handle on the style of questions and how they were being asked. By having an understanding of how they ask questions and in what order I knew what to expect on the real DAT and had no curve balls thrown at me in terms of type and order of questions (ex. The Quantitative Reasoning has a distinct pattern on the order in which they ask questions, such as algebra near the beginning and word problems near the end). The second way I used the DAT Bootcamp was to hone my understanding of concepts. I did questions on Bootcamp first and the questions I got wrong I would go back and re-read the specific concept that question was asking about (ex. Fertilization). Two weeks before my DAT, I redid every question on Bootcamp with my better understanding of key concepts.
How does the American DAT compare to the Canadian DAT? How would you prepare differently now that you’ve taken both exams?
To be honest I found the Canadian DAT to be harder in terms of the sciences. The biology section is really complex and the best way to tackle the biology and chemistry section of the Canadian DAT is to have a really good understanding of the material. The questions were slightly different than what I found with the American DAT, but by doing questions on Bootcamp it allowed me to identify areas of weakness in my understanding, and by revisiting those areas of weakness, I could extrapolate to the Canadian DAT. The PAT section was exactly the same, I found the Canadian DAT to be a little easier because it was paper based and I could draw on the test booklet. Using Bootcamp, and in particular the TFE visualizer, really helped me for the TFE section, which was my worst section. I think the TFE visualizer is the coolest thing about Bootcamp and I highly suggest using it to get a handle on how to visualize the TFE questions, as this is the only way around this part of the PAT section. The Canadian DAT doesn’t have the QR and OC sections, but the reading section was exactly the same to the American DAT. I wouldn’t change much in how I prepared for both the exams. This is due to the fact that I have changed the way I study for any test over the past couple of years to have a huge emphasis on understanding, it makes memorizing easy and the test much easier.
My score breakdown: 24 AA, 22 TS, 22 BIO, 26 GC, 21 OC, 23 QR, 26 RC, 21 PAT
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