For future DAT test takers, I recommend watching all the lectures and taking notes, and doing the practice problems constantly throughout the whole process. Also, I highly recommend taking all the practice exams in a fairly short amount of time (probably not six in a week like I did) in order to become familiar with the structure of the exam right before test day.
Hello everyone! My name is Kang-Young Kim, but most of my friends call me Young. I am currently a junior who is getting ready to start the application process for dental school which is super exciting. I took the DAT in December 2022, and I wanted to share my story and study method with everyone else. Bootcamp was my primary source of studying and practicing for the DAT, and it was one of my best decisions in life to use this site. Here is my story, and how Bootcamp helped me find success!
Ever since I was a young child, I always dreamt of becoming a dentist. Throughout the years, my parents pushed me toward my potential and dream, and now, I feel like I can finally demonstrate my gratitude for their parenthood and support. As a student, I always did my best and believed that I could become the best. The science classes at my University really helped me know the material, but also the systems and methods used to study. I owe my test result to my parents and my professors, for making sure I showed integrity and perseverance as a student.
My Study Schedule
Unconventionally, I began my rigorous DAT Bootcamp studying two months before my exam while I was studying abroad during the fall semester in London. I believed this was the right choice for me because the courses I took while studying abroad were easier and less intensive than the classes back on the main campus. Furthermore, I wanted to do the exam relatively early, so I could focus on preparing for the application during the spring semester. I believe that two months was the perfect time for me, as I like to study most of the material in a short amount of time. I believe that three months of studying would not have been beneficial because there is always a chance that I could forget the material I studied during the beginning stages.
For the two months, I used my own intensive study schedule, as I would watch two lectures of biology, one lecture of General Chemistry, and one lecture of Organic Chemistry every other day for approximately the first three to four weeks. After I finished those lectures, I began watching the lectures for Perceptual Ability, Reading Comprehension, and quantitative reasoning and finished those sections within a week. I then took a diagnostic exam from another company and four exams from Bootcamp in a matter of two weeks. In between exams, I would review the missed questions and also do practice problems for each section (specifically focusing on certain parts that I struggled with on the practice exam). I had final exams for my classes the following week, so I did not study for the DAT that week. For the last week, I took the remaining 6 practice exams from Bootcamp and reviewed the missed questions (I would not recommend this as it was mentally exhausting, but I liked the pressure).
It is also important to take breaks. I had two types of breaks: breaks in between studying and breaks in between the days I would be studying. This is crucial in not only making sure your mental health is good but because these breaks help take your mind away from studying. By taking your mind off the DAT, it allows you to study better later on (at least that’s how my headworks). For my breaks, I would usually work out, cook, watch movies, or hang out with friends. You can do whatever you want that makes you happy and relaxed.
My Study Time Frame: October 15 - December 18
Practice Exams vs Real Exam
Compared to the practice exams, the real exam was more straightforward and simple. That said, if I didn’t study like I did, I would not have done as well. The sections that were similar in difficulty were Perceptual Ability, Reading Comprehension, and Quantitative Reasoning. The natural sciences were much easier and straightforward but practicing with harder questions helped a lot. Moreover, I loved studying with Bootcamp because it is very organized and allows me to create my own schedule. The lectures not only allowed me to review the material I learned before, but they were great for learning new topics. Lastly, the vast amount of practice problems is what allowed me to constantly practice the style and format of the exam.
On the practice exams, my AA ranged from 21-24. I rarely cracked 20 in Biology, and my Organic Chemistry and General Chemistry scores were always ranging from 22-24. PAT and RC were always a mystery depending on how hard the questions were for that day. Fortunately, one thing that didn’t change was my QR score which I got a 30 on the Bootcamp Practice test consistently.
For future DAT test takers, I recommend watching all the lectures and taking notes, and doing the practice problems constantly throughout the whole process. Also, I highly recommend taking all the practice exams in a fairly short amount of time (probably not six in a week like I did) in order to become familiar with the structure of the exam right before test day. Finally, make sure to stay healthy and happy during all of this because your health is most important!
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