If I ended up doing every problem twice or remembered the answer, it didn’t matter to me because I put a lot of emphasis on the active learning process itself.
I recently finished my sophomore year of college. I’m majoring in biochemistry and plan to send my application next year. I started studying around late May and it’s basically been my full time. I’ve been doing some volunteer tutoring on the side, and consistently go to the gym, but apart from that, the last two months I made the DAT my priority. I only used Bootcamp for my studying. My main ideology when it comes to studying is very active learning based. I believe answering questions is much more efficient than looking at a video. I believe when it comes to studying the harder and more effort it takes the better the information is being retained.
Biology - I started really early on because as a sophomore I hadn’t taken courses like biochemistry, genetics, or metabolism so I felt the weakest in this section. The first thing I did was watch a complete biology section video every day and then complete all the Bio Bites the very next day. When completing the Bio Bites I really tried to actively focus on learning what I was getting wrong. The last month or so I started to complete the harder question bank problems. I did not take any notes in biology, I just tried to learn the information through practice questions and become familiar with the subject through repetition.
General chemistry - I did the same format. I watched the videos first month while completing practice questions. I did not take notes for this subject, just doing practice and truly understanding formulas and so on… huge shout out to Dr. Mike!
Organic chemistry - I did not focus too much on because I just finished orgo 2 so it was fresh. I was really good at orgo and felt comfortable so I just tried to do practice problems everyday to make sure the info was fresh.
Reading comprehension - I did not do too much practice. I felt comfortable with the pace of the test and the straight forward format. I should also mention English is not my first language as I was born in Cuba so I speak Spanish at home. However, I feel as though if your reading speed is good, it’s a straightforward section.
Quantitative reasoning - a subject I’ve always been good at, so for the DAT I just did as many practice problems as possible. If I ended up doing every problem twice or remembered the answer, it didn’t matter to me because I put a lot of emphasis on the active learning process itself.
I think the main things that makes my schedule unique was the fact that I didn’t take notes. I’ve always found note taking to not work for me because I would just rather learn through making mistakes on practice problems than watch videos and take notes. Another thing I did differently was that every Saturday I would take a full length exam. I believe this worked for me better than grouping them all at the end because I progressively saw progress in my scores which hugely boosted my confidence and the exposure to different materials really helped me. The last week I completed all the math, biology, chemistry and orgo full length test sections again so I did all the full length test sections at least twice.
For the PAT I wish I would have done a little more consistent practice because I wasn’t as comfortable at that section as the others. So more consistent practice would have helped, especially at the beginning.
That’s my experience!
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