Meet Carly Robinson, a happy DAT Bootcamp customer who recently conquered the DAT.
Carly has a great story: she improved her score by 5 points in only 4 weeks. I’ve asked her to share her DAT experience as the featured student of March.
What is one piece of advice you would give to another student preparing to take the DAT?
One piece of advice: be confident in your abilities. You will have good study days and bad study days, but don’t let the bad days define your perception of yourself. When you have bad days, remind yourself why you’re studying. For me, focusing on a certain score was only stressing me out more, so I focused instead on the end goal: becoming a dentist. This will play a huge role during test day.
You NEED to go into the testing center with confidence. When you take your seat, get into your zone. Make sure you are mentally ready before each section. Don’t let anything distract you. And don’t let the test defeat you. If you start to feel unsure about what a question is asking, skip it and tackle the questions you do know.
Going along with that, don’t forget you’re a person first and a student second. Set mini-goals for yourself like “know thermodynamics and pH calculations like the back of my hand by the end of Tuesday.” Then once you meet that goal, go have some fun, go eat, go take a nap, or go for a run. Taking breaks is crucial to having a sharp mind.
Study tip #1: Focusing on a certain score was only stressing me out more, so I focused instead on the end goal: becoming a dentist.
How did you use DAT Bootcamp to prepare for the DAT?
I used a very condensed version of the DAT Bootcamp 10-week study schedule. I only had 4 weeks to prepare for my DAT so I began the first week of December and completed Ari’s entire study schedule by January 8th. Closer to my test date, I focused more on my struggles and weaknesses. I always studied in 3-hour minimum intervals to simulate the real test, which I found to be very helpful come test-day.
Most importantly, DAT Bootcamp’s PAT section is the best preparation for the test, hands down. I would do 15 minutes on each PAT generator every day and, almost immediately, my PAT scores were improving and it became fun. On test day, I was genuinely looking forward to the perceptual ability section.
Study tip #2: I always studied in 3-hour minimum intervals to simulate the real test, which I found to be very helpful come test-day.
What would you do differently to prepare for the DAT?
Since I only had 4 weeks to prepare, I did not practice Reading Comprehension or Quantitative Reasoning as much as I should have because I was focused on memorizing little biology details about photosynthesis and the Calvin Cycle. I would have spent less time counting intermediate products in chemical reactions and more time focusing on practicing QR problems.
The DAT isn’t necessarily testing you like your college biochemistry course. It’s testing you on the fundamentals and your ability to apply basic knowledge and make inferences given scientific scenarios and data. Do yourself a favor and don’t count the number of ATP’s. Instead, study more of the QR section or read a scientific journal, so that those sections do not suffer.
Study tip #3: The DAT isn’t necessarily testing you like your college biochemistry course. It’s testing you on the fundamentals and your ability to apply basic knowledge and make inferences given scientific scenarios and data.
Could you provide some insight on how you prepared differently after you rescheduled your DAT and what you believe helped you raise your score from a 17 to 22?
DAT Bootcamp took me from a 17 AA to a 22 AA.
During the summer following my sophomore year, I began studying for the DAT using Kaplan’s Self-Paced program and was under the impression that I would be taking the DAT before school started in August. I completed the 3 month program and was doing well on the practice tests, consistently scoring 20’s and above. However, two weeks before my real DAT, I decided to take the ADA’s 2009 test, and I was incredibly disappointed in my results.
Based on the ADA score conversion, I received an AA of 17, and all of my sections were average or below (even a 14 in PAT). It was then that I decided to reschedule my DAT until winter break in December and devote those 4 weeks to improving my score.
This time, using DAT Bootcamp, I was able to practice concepts and topics that were more relevant to the actual DAT. I was also provided more feedback on my weaknesses and strengths so I could study accordingly. With Bootcamp, I had a structure to follow, and I had a bank of questions to test my knowledge daily. The key to succeeding on the DAT is by testing your knowledge with practice tests within the time limit. I believe this technique saved my scores.
I truly believe that DAT Bootcamp prepares you for anything that could possibly be tested; it teaches you not only how to answer commonly asked topics, but it also prepares you for the way questions are worded and presented on the real test; I cannot stress this enough, the format was basically identical, and during test day I was able to confidently answer all of the questions.
Study tip #4: The key to succeeding on the DAT is by testing your knowledge with practice tests within the time limit. I believe this technique saved my scores.
Also, as a comparison to my real DAT results, here are my scores on Bootcamp’s practice test #5:
- General Chemistry22
- Organic Chemistry24
- Reading Comprehension21
- Perceptual Ability19
- Quantitative Reasoning19
- Academic Average21
My real scores are almost identical, and this speaks to the accuracy of the program.
- General Chemistry22
- Organic Chemistry23
- Reading Comprehension22
- Perceptual Ability20
- Quantitative Reasoning19
- Academic Average22
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