How Mara Achieved a Perfect 30 AA and 30 TS on the DAT

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"A few of my classmates recommended Bootcamp, and after taking my DAT, I can confidently say it is one of the best study tools there is."
Mara Hemmer
30 AA

Hello! My name is Mara Hemmer. I just finished up my third year of undergrad, and I took my DAT in May of 2024. I was able to earn a 30 AA by using Bootcamp as my sole study source. As both a full-time student and a student-athlete, studying for the DAT seemed to be a daunting task, but Bootcamp helped me organize my studying in an effective way. A few of my classmates recommended Bootcamp, and after taking my DAT, I can confidently say it is one of the best study tools there is. 

My Study Schedule

I purchased Bootcamp Pro, the 90-day version of Bootcamp, so I began my studying about three months before my test. To start, I followed Ari’s study schedule as closely as possible. Because I was both a full-time student and an athlete throughout the entire time I studied, I had to slightly adjust Ari’s schedule. I would complete as much of the material as I could during the week and use the rest day to catch up on anything I was behind on. I normally did not take a rest day during the week, and I found this to work best with my schedule.I watched every single review video and completed each set of questions to go with them. I made sure to take very thorough notes on the videos, even if I felt as if I already knew the information well. Once I completed all the review videos from a section, I took a few days to commit all the information in my notes to memory before taking any practice test. This was the most important thing I did. While I thoroughly studied the material, I also went back and redid all of the question banks to help memorize everything. By learning the material inside and out, I was able to conquer every question presented to me. In addition to this, I tried to do about 30 minutes’ worth of the PAT practice questions each day. Overall, I spent about 4-5 hours studying each day. Once my final week of studying rolled around, I took 4 full length practice tests. I found these to be very helpful, and I even had a few questions that were identical to questions on my actual DAT.


This section is very broad and can seem very intimidating. Bootcamp has great tools to help you master this section, though. I watched all of the review videos while taking good notes. Then, I completed all of the BioBites and question banks to help me study. The greatest tool that allowed me to commit all of this information to memory, though, were the Anki decks. I didn’t discover these until after I completed all of the review videos, but I would recommend using Anki as you follow along with the videos. These Anki decks were a game changer, and they helped me ace the biology section of the DAT.

General Chemistry 

Dr. Mike has fantastic review videos for general chemistry. I had not taken general chemistry since my freshman year, so I had forgotten a lot of the information I needed to know for the DAT. The DAT does not allow a calculator for this section, which I found to be very frightening, but Dr. Mike gives many great tips on how to solve some of the math problems you’re asked to solve. After watching all of Dr. Mike’s videos and taking notes, I made a separate sheet with all of the formulas that I needed to know. This helped me tremendously, as I was able to quickly look through this sheet and commit all the formulas to memory.

Organic Chemistry

Organic chemistry was my strongest subject during my undergraduate career, but Dr. Mike’s videos helped to solidify my knowledge ofthe subject. I watched all of his videos and took very thorough notes. After taking my notes and studying the material, I used the reaction bites to keep my mind fresh when I needed it. I found the Bootcamp practice tests to be much harder than the organic chemistry on the actual DAT, which meant I was well prepared for my test.


This section was very similar to the Bootcamp practice questions. The key to doing well on this section is practicing. I scored exactly what I had been averaging on my practice tests. My biggest mistake in this section was becoming too relaxed. When I began my studying, I found this section to be very challenging and would practice it every day. Once I gained confidence, though, I stopped practicing as much. This was a mistake. Even if you feel confident in your abilities, I recommend continuing to do questions every day because you will start to lose the ability without practice.

Reading Comprehension

Out of all the sections of the DAT, this one was the most challenging to me. It took me a long while to find which strategy worked best for me. While I was taking the practice tests, I used the vanilla method where I read the whole passage and then answered the questions. This was not very efficient for me, though, and I actually switched to the search and destroy method during my actual DAT. I found this to work best with the passages and questions I was presented with. While I don’t recommend making a last-minute switch like I did, I would recommend using a method that best suits the questions and the passage. For example, my DAT had a lot of fact questions, so search and destroy was the most efficient method to use. Do what you are most comfortable with, though, and make sure to practice multiple methods.

Quantitative Reasoning

Math has always been a subject I’ve excelled in, but the DAT has specific types of questions that take practice to become comfortable with. This was the section I scored the lowest on during my practice tests, but I was able to jump 7 points from my average practice test score to my actual DAT score. I found the Bootcamp practice tests to be much more challenging than the actual DAT for this section. Because of Bootcamp, I was exposed to many different types of questions and was able to easily answer the ones given to me on my real exam. The tool that helped me the most with this section was the formula sheet provided by Bootcamp. I memorized every formula on this sheet and was able to succeed in this section. After memorizing the formulas, the best thing to do is practice. Seeing as many different types of questions as possible will prepare you well for your exam.

Favorite Feature of Bootcamp

My favorite feature that Bootcamp provides is definitely the biology Anki decks. I owe all of my success in the broad subject to those flashcards. They helped me memorize all the information I needed to know for my test, even in areas that I wasn’t previously confident in. I cannot stress enough how helpful the Anki decks are, and I would highly recommend that you use them to help you master the biology section. 


The DAT can seem like a very stressful and intimidating exam, but if you allow yourself enough time and commit to an efficient study schedule, it will become less and less scary. I would not focus too much on your practice test scores, as mine were often different than the actual score I received. Focus on learning the material as thoroughly as you can and you will do well. Stay consistent and often remind yourself of the reason for your studying. Good luck!

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Hannah Brein, DAT Bootcamp Student