It’s pretty simple: how you study will determine how high you score on the DAT. In this strategy lesson, I break down a critical study method “A” students use when taking DAT practice tests (this method should also be used for your classes, as well).
To begin, you have the option of taking a timed or untimed practice test. If you’re at the beginning of your study schedule, I suggest choosing untimed. By choosing untimed, your focus is on the material and getting the right answer, and not on your speed. If you’re more than halfway through your study schedule and have a grasp on the material, I recommend switching to timed tests. By choosing timed, you focus on improving your testing endurance and speed instead.
Next, when you’re doing a DAT practice test, you will inevitably run into a question where you aren’t sure between two or more answer choices. You’re 75% confident the answer is Choice B, but there is a small possibility the answer could in fact be Choice D. What should you do? Go with the answer your gut leans toward, and mark it. Come back to it during review, even if you get it right.
You aren’t testing how many questions you can get right during your practice, you’re testing which concepts you need to focus on during your review. If you are shaky on a question, that is the indicator you need to go back and review that topic, regardless if you got the right answer or not. Notice I said to review the topic, and not just the solution. This is key.
After you’re done with your practice problems, check your answers against the solution key, but do not review the solutions just yet. Go back to every question that you marked and/or answered incorrectly, and use your notes, books, and YouTube videos to figure out how to get to the right answer before you look at the solution. This is a powerful learning method, and much more effective than immediately reading the solution to the problem. If you still can’t figure out how to get to the right answer after a few minutes of searching, then review the solution and add the missing concepts to your notes.
From here, it’s just rinse and repeat. With each practice test, you’ll be fortifying your knowledge and will notice you mark less questions each time – a sign that you’ll be ready to conquer the DAT!
- Beginning of study schedule? Choose untimed. Halfway through study schedule? Choose timed.
- Mark questions when you are not 100% sure of the correct answer.
- During review, do not immediately read the solutions to problems you missed or marked. Use every resource possible to figure out why the correct answer is so, even if you got it right.
- Review the solution.