I do strongly suggest you stick to the time frame you initially set for yourself though (whether that’s the standard 10 weeks or something else). Be sure to hold yourself accountable, as dragging out your study time is a surefire way to burn out and/or begin to forget material.
Meet Daniel Bloom, a happy DAT Bootcamp customer who recently conquered the DAT. I’ve asked Daniel to share his DAT experience with us as the featured student of October.
What is one piece of advice you would give to another student preparing to take the DAT?
You will find some great studying techniques here, but I’d like to offer something different: the importance of reflection. I don’t mean a meditation retreat in the Himalayas (though this will sound wonderful post-DAT). Rather, I encourage you to regularly gauge how you feel.
Ask yourself, “Am I ready to devote hours to studying right now?” If not, do something to get in the correct headspace. “Am I comfortable with the material I learned today? Yes, except for A, B, and C.” Review that material further. “Are my practice test scores satisfactory? No, perhaps I should reschedule my test date.” And so on.
Thinking about these things will make sure you stay honest with yourself regarding your knowledge of the material, the effectiveness of your study strategies, and your preparedness for the exam.
How did you use DAT Bootcamp to prepare for the DAT?
There really is nothing better than following the study schedule. Upon first glance at the amount of material you are expected to know, you can feel your heart race and eyes widen, however this resource ensures you gradually build upon your knowledge each and every day. I do strongly suggest you stick to the time frame you initially set for yourself though (whether that’s the standard 10 weeks or something else). Be sure to hold yourself accountable, as dragging out your study time is a surefire way to burn out and/or begin to forget material.
What tips do you have for other non-traditional students on how to study for the DAT?
As someone who has been out of school for a few years, I had the same concerns as many non-traditional students. Namely, (1) How can I possibly relearn all this information? (2) How do I find the time to study? (3) Will schools even consider me? Hopefully my advice and experiences can put your mind at ease…
1) There’s no doubt you will have forgotten some material. Most of us don’t reference glucose metabolism, gas laws, or aromatic synthesis reactions in our every day lives. But I can assure you that you’ll be surprised at how much you still know. Just remember, take it one day at a time. Looking ahead will only intimidate you.
2) As someone who was working full-time, finding time to study was by far my biggest obstacle. Some strategies employed included shifting my work hours to have more time in the evenings, spending lunch breaks studying, and minimizing the usually active social life of a young professional. I also added a few weeks to the DAT Bootcamp schedule to make up for days I couldn’t complete the assigned videos/problems. Perhaps the best adjustment I made was to add additional review days into the schedule. This allowed the material to remain fresh in my mind before moving on.
3) Although not specifically DAT-related, I feel this is worth addressing. I highly suggest looking at dental school websites and reaching out to admissions offices to ensure you meet their criteria. For instance, some do not accept prerequisite courses over 5 years old. Use this information to narrow down where you are going to apply. Beyond the numbers though, own the fact that you’re a non-traditional applicant; don’t shy away from it. Share your unique journey and how it led you to pursue a career in dentistry. After all, it’s what makes you you!
Bonus Tip: practice Reading Comprehension passages and problems, even if you think you’re a proficient reader!