Meet Alec Tai, a happy DAT Bootcamp customer who recently conquered the DAT. I’ve asked Alec to share his DAT experience with us as the featured student of May.
What is one piece of advice you would give to another student preparing to take the DAT?
Give yourself enough time to study and be realistic with your study habits. I knew right from the start that I was a crammer. I chose to allot four weeks to studying for the entirety of the test not only because winter vacation was the only time I had to spare, but also because I knew that I would have lost momentum and would have been too distracted had I studied for any more than a month. Make a strict guideline to follow, especially if you decide to study in a short period of time. I prepared an Excel spreadsheet that covered my daily agenda from 9 A.M. to midnight, with specific “checkpoints” per three hour session (i.e. #1-60 Destroyer Biology, Organic Chemistry Test #3 on Bootcamp). Lastly, do not be discouraged by initial test scores. Realize that you will score higher through hard work and practice. My diagnostic PAT score was 16; by drilling through many practice questions and carefully analyzing the solutions to all the questions immediately afterwards, I was able to achieve the score that I got on the real DAT.
How did you use DAT Bootcamp to prepare for the DAT?
In gathering my materials, I chose Bootcamp as my only source of full-length practice tests. I used Chad’s Videos for General and Organic Chemistry, AP Cliffnotes 4th Ed. for Biology, Crack DAT PAT for the PAT, and DAT Destroyer for General Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, Biology, and QR. Bootcamp was my only source of RC practice, and it was sufficient. Bootcamp’s RC contained questions that very closely resembled the actual DAT, and since the passages were generally more advanced, it made the RC on the real DAT seem rather easy. Bootcamp’s QR was definitely more challenging, which trained my time management to the point where I had fifteen minutes leftover to double check on the real DAT! Lastly, Bootcamp’s PAT was the most impactful of all the sections. The solution to every single problem was clear cut, and TFE quickly turned from one of my weakest sections to one of my strongest on the PAT. The real PAT section did not contain a single trick that Bootcamp did not already introduce and elaborate on. Overall, Bootcamp made sure there were no surprises on the DAT, except for how much simpler certain questions were on the real DAT.
What would you do differently to prepare for the DAT?
I would have further tackled my weaknesses, especially RC. I never considered myself to be even an average reader, and postponed starting on RC until my last week of preparation. I was only able to do three of five total RC tests on Bootcamp, which were just enough for me to settle with a strategy. Additionally, I would have given myself more breaks. I was so distressed during my first two weeks because I felt guilty for even watching an episode of my favorite TV show or going out for lunch with my friends. It is critical to maintain a positive attitude and to get enough rest every night. I began studying less and less as my test date approached because I felt that I was ready for the test, and that studying any more would lead to a point of diminishing returns. On the day of the exam, I walked in confidently, ready to destroy the exam and knowing that, regardless of my scores, I would indulge in a full night of Netflix and ice cream afterwards.
My SDN is Alectrify, and I would be more than happy to answer questions. Feel free to PM me for my one-month study schedule!
My score breakdown: 23 AA, 23 TS, 21 OC, 26 GC, 24 BIO, 24 QR, 22 RC, 24 PAT
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