Meet Patrick, a happy DAT Bootcamp customer who recently conquered the DAT. I’ve asked Patrick to share his DAT experience with us as the featured student of January.
What is one piece of advice you would give to another student preparing to take the DAT?
The biggest piece of advice I would give is to pick a test date before you start studying and try as hard as possible to stick to it. Since it costs a lot of money to schedule the exam and a lot of money to reschedule, you will be more pressured to stick to a date. Basically try and think of it as a final exam in one of your upper level courses and that you need an A to pass! I “started” studying about 4 times. The 4th time, my mentor told me to pick a date and stick to it and that is when the real studying began to take shape. I was a pre-pharmacy student until September 2017 and had to juggle studying for the DAT, getting in dental shadowing hours, dental extracurriculars, and everything else to show admissions committee during the 2018-19 cycle that dentistry is the right field for me. So in order to be able to accomplish all of this I had to keep the big picture in mind but take it one day at a time. Once you pick a test date, then you can use the DAT Bootcamp Schedule or make your own schedule with a list of to do list for each day and everything won’t look too overwhelming anymore. Also, do not sell yourself short. Don’t just aim for average. Aim to get a 30 and you will get a 30 or you won’t fall too far below a 30!
How did you use DAT Bootcamp to prepare for the DAT?
First, I looked over the DAT Bootcamp schedule to see what topics I needed to review and then made my own schedule. I knew I wouldn’t be able to follow the Bootcamp schedule well as a full time student and with all the extracurriculars I had to do. I made a to-do/check list of what I needed to get done each day. The DAT Bootcamp Biology notes weren’t available when I started studying (highly recommend them) so I started off reading Cliff Notes to cover the very basics. Once I was done going over biology notes, I started using all the biology resources DAT Bootcamp has and doing the practice tests. The most important thing to do for biology, and all the subjects, is to constantly review. Biology can get overwhelming due to the sheer amount of material but constantly reviewing will make it easier. I reviewed all my practice tests constantly and bookmarked topics and questions I kept missing and went back and reviewed those topics. Before my real DAT I went back and did all the subject specific questions on Bootcamp to make sure I got everything down!
For General Chemistry and Organic chemistry, I watched all of Mike’s video and took notes along with him using his outline! His videos are the best resource out there! He only teaches the things you need to know for the DAT and no extra unnecessary stuff! Throughout my studies, I kept going back and reviewing the notes I took from his videos. Please take his end of chapter quizzes seriously! My real DAT test was very similar to these. If I didn’t understand a topic or got couple questions wrong, I would re-watch his videos on that topic. Once I was done reviewing all the materials and watching all the videos I started doing the practice tests. I bookmarked and took notes on the questions I got wrong. The last couple weeks before my exam I went back through the bookmarked questions to see what I was still weak in. I then went through and did all the subject specific questions to close any gaps in knowledge and make sure I have everything down from DAT Bootcamp. Use all the resources on DAT Bootcamp for the chemistry sections! They were all essential to my success in both of these sections. This includes the equation sheet and the list of reactions!
For reading, I tried all the different strategies Dr. Joel mentioned in his RC Academy videos! I would recommend going through the RC Academy first and then trying out all the different strategies using the DAT Bootcamp Reading Comprehension tests and see what works best for you. By doing this, I found out that I did better by doing the vanilla method and highlighting important topics and keywords.
For PAT, the DAT Bootcamp generators are second to none! I used the PAT generators every morning and at first it was frustrating getting so many questions wrong but I changed my mindset and looked at them like a game. Over time I got better and better. I also watched Dr. Joel’s videos which helped me find strategies to help me with this section and did all the practice tests and reviewed them.
For Math, I watched all the Khan Academy videos to brush up on topics I had not seen in a while and utilized all of Bootcamp resources for this! I intensively reviewed all the questions I missed from the practice tests and bookmarked them so I can come back to them later and review. The key to math is to practice as much as possible! Math is my biggest academic weakness so I was very nervous for this section but DAT Bootcamp prepared me very well!
Overall, DAT Bootcamp is hands down the best resource to succeed on the DAT! It may seem very overwhelming at first, but if you trust the process you will succeed.
What would you do differently to prepare for the DAT?
If I had to go back, I would of spent more time on Math and Reading. Those are two subjects I wasn’t the best at and many times I would put off doing the practice tests because I feared getting a bad score. I should have focused more on understanding the problems instead on my estimated score. The key to succeeding is to not be afraid to tackle your weaknesses.
If you have questions, feel free to message me on SDN (princeafrica) or follow me on Instagram (priinceafrica) and message me on there too.
- General Chemistry26
- Organic Chemistry23
- Reading Comprehension20
- Perceptual Ability19
- Quantitative Reasoning19
- Academic Average22
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