Meet Uriasvi, a happy DAT Bootcamp customer who recently conquered the DAT. I’ve asked Uriasvi to share her DAT experience with us as the Featured Student of February.
How did you use DAT Bootcamp to study?
After researching about many different resources, I believed I needed only DAT Bootcamp to succeed and it was the only resource I used. I started using Bootcamp with a goal to first master the content and then do practice tests to gauge my understanding of the content and the question types. I religiously watched all of Dr. Mike’s videos along with QR, RC and PAT videos and went over the Bio Academy notes during my first one and a half months of studying and then moved onto the practice tests. For the sciences, I would do a practice test followed by a review of my mistakes and would take notes on the content I missed. And for QR and PAT, I tried to do as many practice problems as I could from the question bank and took all of the practice tests which were very helpful in identifying the different question patterns and improve my speed while doing similar problems.
The bookmark feature was the biggest life saver and the week before my exam, I went over all of my bookmarked questions of practice exams and did a thorough review of everything I missed. Since I was short on time, I only took one full length test and but took all other tests as individual tests and still was able to build confidence and stamina for the test. Overall, using Bootcamp was the best decision for my studying process and I also used almost all of the additional resources provided for my final review before my exam which included the equation sheets, lesson outlines for General Chemistry and Organic Chemistry, and Biology condensed notes.
English is not your first language; any tips for other students facing the same challenge while studying for their DAT?
RC was one of the sections I was most worried about since I am a very slow reader and I used to run out of time on practice tests. However, after trying different strategies, I figured a strategy of my own that was similar to search and destroy, and my biggest realization was that I do not need to comprehend each and every detail given in the passage.
It’s okay if English is not your first language. Don’t be under an impression that the RC section of DAT is solely testing your English skills because it is not and instead you should practice being efficient in your reading and comprehension skills.My biggest advice is to practice reading almost every day in an effort to increase your speed and learn to make sense of the information. This will slowly but eventually help you get better with your reading pace and will allow you to not overwhelm yourself and lose focus.Whenever you take a test, don’t lose your confidence, review your mistakes and each time reflect upon what you could have done differently. After some days, take the same test again making changes to your strategy based on your first attempt, and believe me you will see an improvement.A strategy that might work for someone else might not necessarily work for you so I would suggest that try each of the strategies given on BC and also modify them according to your needs.
Here is the strategy I used:
1. Thoroughly read the first paragraph and then read only the first sentence of each paragraph to get an idea of the theme of each paragraph.
2. Thoroughly read the last paragraph as well.
3. Identify the theme of the question, move to the paragraph with a corresponding theme, and quickly skim through that paragraph until you find words that match what’s in the question. Quickly read through the sentence containing those terms and answer your question.
Lastly, remember to stay confident and PRACTICE, PRACTICE, and PRACTICE is all you need!
What would you do differently to prepare for the DAT?
Even though I am happy with my score, I know that I would have done much better if I had given myself more time to practice and not rush with the practice tests. I am a pretty slow learner and most of my studying period was spent on reviewing the content and I started with practice tests especially for Sciences when I was less than a month away from my test, so I would definitely start taking practice tests early on if I were to do something different. I would also allow myself more time for PAT practice.
I knew that this test is not the end of the world and it cannot stop me from achieving my goal of becoming of a dentist. And knowing that the test does not need to conquer me, but I need to conquer the test was my biggest motivation. You will never feel 100% prepared but give your best to prepare for this test and trust the hard work you’ve put into studying. You’ve got this!