Featured Student of August

Meet Russell Wilson, a happy DAT Bootcamp customer who recently conquered the DAT. I’ve asked Russell 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?

My biggest piece of advice for anyone preparing to take the DAT is to not get discouraged. It’s easy to be overwhelmed with the difficulty of the test and the huge variety of study materials available. Remember that others have succeeded, and you will too! I found it extremely useful to choose just a few resources to really focus on and dive into. Make a study plan and stick to it the best you can, but don’t get stressed out if you have to depart from it or adjust it as you go. Put in the time, and you’ll succeed!

That being said, pace yourself well and take breaks in your studying. If you’re getting too worn out and can feel that you can’t cram any more into your brain, take a rest! Study one subject until you’re confident in a new skill, then switch it up.

When you’re taking the test, approach it with confidence. You’ve prepared, you’ve studied, and now you have the chance to show what you know! Get mentally prepared to conquer, and when you come to questions that you don’t know, skip them, moving onto the ones you do know. Confidence that you can succeed can be a huge help in keeping you focused and your mind clear and sharp.

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

My favorite part of DAT Bootcamp was the full-length practice tests. Take them in an environment as close as possible to test day, that way you’ll be prepared for the actual testing situation. The practice tests were essential in my study to get the pacing of the test down. It won’t do you much good to know how to tackle every question if you can’t do it fast enough to achieve a good score. Practice, practice, practice the pacing! Even when you’re doing the questions without a time limit, you can try simulating the time restraints in order to get better at this. Spread the tests out across your study plan so you can see the progress you’re making as you go. Getting a point or two higher on the next test will be a huge confidence booster.

Going through every question carefully afterwards was another key to my success. Knowing why the wrong answers are incorrect is just as important as knowing the correct answer. There are so many things they can test you on during the real DAT, and you’ll want to be prepared to answer any question they throw at you. I also recommend going over the subject-specific sections for the areas where you are weak. The quickest way to raise your score is to focus on the areas where you have lots of room to improve.

The perceptual ability generators and tests were my favorite way to study for the PAT. They were the most accurate of all the study resources I tried. With the PAT, I found it best to do some practice every day. DAT Bootcamp really will prepare you for the format and question style of the test. I never found myself surprised by how they were phrasing a question on test day.

What would you do differently to prepare for the DAT?

I would have started my study sooner. I waited for a semester to end before I got into studying much, and I wish I had just devoted a little time, even an hour each week, to reading or studying DAT materials. I only had about 5 weeks of really focused studying, and it would’ve been much less stressful if I had done more previous to that time. I would however, suggest having at least a month, if possible, when you can study exclusively for the DAT, without other distractions.

I was surprised on my DAT that the level of detail on the majority of questions wasn’t quite as specific as I had imagined. Some questions had me thinking, “Is it really this easy?” That being said, there are some very specific questions, and you’ll want to be prepared for those as well. Start by building your foundation of the basics, and then you can build up to the nitty-gritty details. Focus on the subject material with high pay-off first. Trying to stuff your head with minor taxonomy facts won’t be as important as having a firm grasp on basic genetics or cellular respiration.

Again, be confident in yourself. You’re a future dentist, and you can conquer the DAT. Don’t get discouraged, and keep on studying! Good luck!

  • Biology28
  • General Chemistry30
  • Organic Chemistry27
  • Reading Comprehension24
  • Perceptual Ability24
  • Quantitative Reasoning25
  • Academic Average27

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