Meet Jenna Schneider, a happy DAT Bootcamp customer who recently conquered the DAT. Jenna was able to crush her DAT retake with the help of DAT Bootcamp. I’ve asked Jenna to share her DAT experience with us as the featured student of July.
What is one piece of advice you would give to another student preparing to take the DAT?
If I could give any advice for preparing for the DAT, it would be to take your time and to fully use the resources at DAT Bootcamp (especially Mike’s videos)! I took my DAT once before with Kaplan, but my score was not the score that I needed to get into dental school. This time when I took the DAT, I postponed my exam for three months but I studied the sections I struggled with (Organic Chemistry and Chemistry), memorized what I needed to, and I took practice questions until I felt ready. You shouldn’t postpone the exam just because you’re nervous, but if you feel you can better understand the material with a bit more time, definitely make that a priority over taking the test by a certain date. Sure, it’s great to take the DAT earlier in the year, but it is much more important to take the test to the best of your ability and show the dental schools what you are capable of.
Lastly, don’t study everything to the same extent. If you feel more confident in certain areas, don’t focus on them so much. Focus on the trouble areas you might have. For me, I didn’t overly stress the sections I did well on the first time around, and it prevented me from getting overwhelmed by all of the information.
How did you use Mike’s Videos to prepare for the DAT?
Mike’s Videos were a lifesaver to me. I am not exaggerating by any means. He is the only professor I have ever had to explain in such detail and break down complicated material into basic terms. The main topics I studied were Chemistry and Organic Chemistry because I struggled the most with those. I watched every single lecture on every topic and paused the videos to take notes when I needed them. I reviewed the notes whenever I did some practice problems that I struggled with and I wrote down practically every Orgo Reaction Mechanism and memorized each and generally why each mechanism went a certain why. Whenever my notes weren’t enough, I would go back to the videos and listen to the explanations. It was exceptionally helpful when I took practice exams and would watch the Mike video of the solutions to the questions. Sure, it was tedious, but it was beyond helpful. My Orgo score went from an 18 to a 26 and my Chemistry score went from a 19 to a 22. That’s all because of Mike’s Videos and some serious studying.
What would you do differently to prepare for the DAT?
This time around, I wouldn’t change a thing. I was working nearly full time and applying to dental school while studying, but I studied at least 5 days a week if not more. It was important for me to realize that some days wouldn’t be the best for studying while other days I could really sink into the work I was doing. For me, it’s important to break up the work so I didn’t get overwhelmed so I used the study schedule as a guide, but I didn’t truly stick to it. It was also important for me to spend some time with a friend or a family member here and there as a break from the study/work world I was in. My last bit of advice is to believe in yourself and your capabilities because you are intelligent and you are pursuing a noble profession, despite whatever grades your practice tests have.
I also wanted to mention that this was my second time applying to dental school. I applied the first time around with my initial DAT score and received absolutely no interviews and all rejections. I did not give up despite what anyone said and this year, I am excited to say that I am going to dental school! Morals of the story: You can do it and don’t ever give up on your dreams.