Meet Tim Bitner, a happy DAT Bootcamp customer who recently conquered the DAT. I’ve asked Tim to share his DAT experience with us as the featured student of December.
What is one piece of advice you would give to another student preparing to take the DAT?
Before you go into the testing center, look at yourself in your car mirror and tell yourself that you’re going to dominate this test! Confidence and self-esteem are the biggest factors for doing well. And that comes from hard work and putting forth the effort for the scores you want to receive. The more you study and take practice tests, the more familiar you will be with the actual test, and that takes a lot of stress off your shoulders. You’ll be able to skip past the tutorial questions at the beginning of each section and save yourself some time. Even though this test is a big deal, you can still have fun with it. That’s probably why I got a 30 on the perceptual ability section; it was my game time.
As for the weeks and months of studying before the test, everyone is coming from different situations. Find what works best for you. I think it’s a good idea to network and talk with pre-dental students who took the test the year before and ask what classes at your college were most helpful for the DAT. For example, I took O Chem and Physiology at BYU during the semester right before the DAT because I was told that these classes were the most helpful as far as preparation goes. That way, I could spend more time focusing on Gen Chem and Math during the month before the DAT because these other subjects were still fresh in my mind.
I would just like to re-emphasize that confidence is the key. You put in so much time and effort that you are bound to do well. Trust in your abilities. Also, rely on the people around you. I’m married and we had our newborn daughter while I was studying for the DAT. I wouldn’t change a thing about my family life because they are my biggest support. My wife put sticky notes around the house the morning of the test to give me that last boost of confidence. In the end, that’s what I needed.
How did you use DAT Bootcamp to prepare for the DAT?
All I have to say is that DAT Bootcamp was by far the most representative of the actual DAT! It is essential to doing well. Not only are the tests perfect, but the resources outlined in Ari’s Study Guide were super helpful as well. Even though the study guide is set up for a 10-week program, I had to refine it a little because I only had about a month to fully prepare. I spent most of my time with Chad’s videos and Cliff’s AP Biology book. I also reviewed all of the Bootcamp tests during my final week of study. If you are using Kaplan or any other source for study, I still recommend paying the extra money just to take the tests on DAT Bootcamp. My actual scores were very similar, if not higher than the practice tests.
What would you do differently to prepare for the DAT?
The only thing I would do differently is study longer. I had a really crazy semester before the DAT, but it would have been nice to review Gen Chem and Math before the month that I was completely dedicated to studying for the DAT. Even if it was only for a couple of hours each week, that probably would have boosted those scores by a few points. I’m still happy with my score though; no regrets!
If you have any questions, feel free to contact me on SDN. My username is: TimmyTheTooth10
My score breakdown: 23 AA, 23 TS, 27 OC, 22 GC, 22 BIO, 23 QR, 22 RC, 30 PAT
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