This is an important issue to address, because I feel a lot of study materials for the DAT sway pre-dental students in the wrong direction.
The biggest issue I can relate to is the heavy focus on calculation based questions in other DAT prep books. The real DAT general chemistry section focuses heavily on conceptual questions, not calculation questions. The general trend seems to be ~10 calculation questions and ~20 conceptual questions. This is why students always come back and say DAT Bootcamp’s general chemistry section was the most representative of the real exam – we focus on conceptual questions the same way the DAT does. When we do ask calculation-based questions, the answer choices are setup like equations, exactly like the real DAT. The chemistry section is interested in testing your knowledge of chemistry – not your ability to calculate complex numbers.
Another issue is the difficulty of DAT chemistry practice questions. While I agree that practicing above the difficulty of the DAT will strengthen a student’s knowledge for test day, practicing significantly above the difficulty only causes frustration, anxiety, and a bad headache. We all know that feeling you get when you study hard, think you’re well prepared, and get an abysmal score on a practice test. “Was all that time wasted?”, “Am I smart enough?”. That’s why we calibrate the difficulty of every question on DAT Bootcamp to challenge students and encourage learning, and to not cause panic attacks and fear.
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