How Simrah Used DAT Bootcamp for a 24 AA and 25 TS

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"I felt very prepared by Bootcamp and you genuinely won't need any other service if you are dedicated and put in the time."
Simrah Ansari
24 AA

I studied for the DAT using Ari's schedule and started in the summer before my junior year in July thinking I was going to take it around October. Long story short, I couldn't find enough time during the school semester to study as I work two part time jobs and am involved in extracurriculars. So after about 1 month of studying in the summer, I decided to pause my Bootcamp subscription. I rescheduled my test for Jan 17th and unpaused my membership the very first day of Thanksgiving break (Nov 18). This gave me exactly 2 months to study and complete what was left for me on Ari's schedule. I didn't feel 100% on the material from the summer so I took the first week to review the material in exchange for most of my rest days. I studied every single day of my Thanksgiving, final season and winter break, following Ari's schedule mostly except I skipped over QR and RC until winter break. I felt very prepared by Bootcamp and you genuinely won't need any other service if you are dedicated and put in the time. Bootcamp has some great resources so definitely take advantage of them - my favorites were DAT Biology High Yield Notes, Dr. Mike's videos for GC/OC, PAT videos for TFE and pattern folding, QR Academy handouts, and most importantly the BOOTCAMP PRACTICE TESTS. Know these 10 tests like the back of your hand. Tag every question you answer. Focus on your weaknesses. And definitely make time for yourself! The feeling of relief is like no other so try and put in as much effort up front so that you won't have to retake it even if it means rescheduling until you can properly give it the right amount of time.


The bio section was very daunting for me because I took Dual Enrollment biology my senior year of high school online during covid and got out of Bio 151 and 152 at my school and ever since then felt like I was missing a solid foundation when I was taking higher biology courses. This was part of my decision in switching to a chemistry major, and definitely resulted in me having to learn/re-learn a good amount of this section on my own. At first, I was handwriting the notes from the high yield PDF which I personally would not recommend. Instead, I watched all of the bio videos with the note guides in front of me and annotating as I went. Then I would do all the biobites and use the tagging feature!! Even if you get it right and you were 75% sure, mark it yellow (same for the actual practice questions). The next day, before I started my next chapter I would go back and reanswer the yellow and red tagged ones (even if you remember the answer this helped me reinforce the ideas). Towards the end when I was doing practice tests, the strategy I think that helped me the most was opening up every single practice test I had done and going over the questions by category (use the filter that Bootcamp has). So if I just completed Test 8, I would quickly look at how I did and then I would go unit by unit, first rereading the entire high yield chapter for it and then going through each question from all the tests and making sure I knew the answer. This definitely took a lot of time and probably not necessary if you already feel good about biology/have a strong background but I swear this 100% nailed in my score because my practice tests were 17-23 with an average of a 20 and I got a 25 on the real one because I had seen similar questions, and knew the ins and outs of each chapter.


For GC, I watched all of Dr. Mike's videos and followed with the handouts. I felt pretty solid about this section because of my major but definitely could've practiced a little bit more. My practice tests ranged a lot with an average of 22, and I got a 23 on the real one. Sometimes it's hard to remember all of the little things and I definitely had very specific questions on my real DAT that I would not have known if it weren't for Bootcamp. For this section, I would recommend watching all of the video explanations on the practice tests, especially if you guessed and got it right. Practice practice practice.


My orgo average on my practice tests was a 22 and I ended up with a 27. I felt very confident in Orgo 1 and barely reviewed this because I'm a supplemental instructor for this course but orgo 2 I definitely forgot a lot of the reactions by the time I started studying. I used the reaction summary sheet a lot as a quick reference and watched all of Dr. Mike's videos for Orgo 2 and lab content. Especially for the complicated reactions, I would redo those OC Bites for that specific chapter over and over. Definitely take some time for the lab tests. Review every single practice test and know all of those reactions. I think how my score improved from practice tests to the real one was by using those practice tests to my advantage. Just because you don't have the scores you wanted on your practice tests does not mean you can't increase that score on the real one. Use those tests to boost your knowledge and thoroughly review every single question. The Bootcamp practice tests are probably the best source to accurately prepare you for the test.


PAT was a little rough for me because I felt discouraged a lot of the time especially by keyholes and angle ranking for some reason. TFE really started to click for me when I watched the video explanations, so definitely watch those and same for pattern folding. For keyhole, I found towards the end that using the answer choices to eliminate each other was much faster than actually testing each option. Find what's different between two from the same view and check which is right. One thing I wish I did differently is to do at least one hour of PAT everyday. I felt discouraged by this section and I'm used to getting results sooner and let this deter me from practicing as much as I could've. My score ranged from 19-21 on the practice tests and I got a 20 on the real one and 100% know I could've done better if I didn't get lazy with it.


The RC surprised me. On my bootcamp PTs, my average was a 27, with my lowest being a 25. I use the vanilla method personally since I can read a little faster and it was never really a problem but on the real one but I got a 23. I'm not sure honestly where my score dropped on this, I felt pretty confident while I was taking it but I guess that's a lesson to double and triple check. I will say the passages were a little denser than the bootcamp ones. I would invest the first 10 passages of your RC studying finding what strategy works best for you, there's a bunch of options that are all on Bootcamp's RC Academy. I would also be prepared for a tougher section on the real one than the Bootcamp ones.


I definitely procrastinated QR and my average was a 21 on my PTs but got a 24 on the real one. To be fair, my QR section on the real DAT was on the easier side. Not sure if it was luck but I definitely am grateful none (or not many) of the questions I didn't know how to do. I would recommend at least reading through the handouts from the videos just to see the strategies because at first I went straight into it and was just watching explanations and was wondering where all these formulas/concepts came from. Definitely review the handouts and use the formula sheet as a quick reference. Practice practice practice and review all the practice tests 100%.

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Hannah Brein, DAT Bootcamp Student