Meet Vincent, a happy DAT Bootcamp customer who recently conquered the DAT. I’ve asked Vincent to share his DAT experience with us as the Featured Student of June.
What is one piece of advice you would give to another student preparing to take the DAT?
The most important advice I would give to another student preparing to take the DAT is to remember to take breaks in between studying. During my last 2 months studying for the DAT I studied 7 days a week. However, I would give myself 1-2 hour breaks each day to go outside and breathe in fresh air by going on hikes, runs, working out, spending time with family, etc. By allowing my body and mind to relax each day, I progressively got better at dealing with anxiety and stress that comes from studying for the DAT. Keeping my body in shape, especially with cardio exercises, helps to significantly clear my mind and increase my natural dopamine high, uplifting my motivation to study each day.
How did you use DAT Bootcamp to prepare for the DAT?
DAT Bootcamp is the only resource I used to prepare for the DAT. From the end of March to the beginning of April, I studied about 6 weeks – 12 hours per day, 7 days a week while being a fulltime student and working part time.
As Covid-19 pandemic got worse my test was forced to be delayed from June to August, and once more from August to December. After I had heard the news that the test was postponed, I stopped studying for the DAT until around the end of October as I had to finish up my undergrad biology degree that spring and started my masters at a new university in the fall. When late October arrived, I gave myself 9 weeks to study for the exam – 7 days a week, 14 hours a day.
During the first 5 weeks, I followed Ari’s schedule. The only exception would be skipping out on completing the section practice tests (bio/chem/qr/etc.) and later saving those tests to do the full-timed practice tests. I watched all the videos and completed each question bank problems. I would always write down whatever I got wrong on the question banks, whether it would be biology, chemistry, organic chemistry, or quantitative reasoning. I would work out the entire problem/concept with explanations.
Every day I did 15 questions on each section of the PAT trainer mimicking the test timing of the real PAT. This significantly improved my PAT. During the last 4 weeks of studying I would take all 10 of the practice tests with the real timing. I would take 1 practice test on one day, and the next day would review my test. This method significantly helped me get better with the timing and get used to the structure and requirement of the test. On test days I would take the test in the morning and study more in the afternoon. During the review days I would review the entire test and write down every problem I had gotten wrong or those that I was unsure of. I would write down the correct answer and the explanation and thoroughly go through the problem to make sure I really understood it.
What would you do differently to prepare for the DAT?
The only thing I would do differently would have been in a more optimistic mood while studying for the DAT. Studying for the DAT is draining and can be very discouraging. I was consistently getting 18-19s on the practice tests. However, when I finally scored a 23 on the 2007 DAT, I became less anxious, more optimistic and confident which really changed my mood and state of mind during the last couple days of studying. Having a more optimistic and confident mindset towards taking the DAT really helped prepare me to perform well on the test. Having a positive mindset made me determined, focused, and sharp to go in and take the test.
Vincent’s Score Breakdown
- General Chemistry19
- Organic Chemistry20
- Reading Comprehension24
- Perceptual Ability23
- Quantitative Reasoning22
- Total Science21
- Academic Average22