Miya Eberlein | 23 AA
What is one piece of advice you would give to another student preparing to take the DAT?
Studying for the DAT is a time-intensive process. Study for at least two months, focusing as much as you can on the DAT, or maybe a little bit more time if you’re taking college courses at the same time. Consistency is key when studying; it’s important to work on at least one of the sections most every day to keep the information fresh in your mind. It’s helpful to start the studying process with taking a practice exam to gauge off the bat which of your subjects you are already stronger in, and which subjects may need a little bit more attention. For example, I took the DAT two years after I had finished my undergraduate studies, so it had been awhile since I had taken my chemistry and biology courses. This reflected in my first practice test’s results early on in my studies, so I knew I needed to work more diligently on these sections.
One of the DAT sections that is not taught in school in any way is the PAT. The Perceptual Aptitude Test is a key section on the DAT because schools use it to gauge your spatial reasoning. This ability is crucial to succeeding in dental school what with the minute grooves and drillings. To do well in this section it is imperative to practice nearly every day, and figure out which of the six subtests you perform better on. It is this subsection that you should try to ace on the exam, because these will be guaranteed points. I for example found angle ranking to be hard, so on the day of the exam I did not spend as long on those. I went with my gut instinct instead for that because I knew in practice tests it didn’t really make a difference how long I spent on those problems.
How did you use Crack the DAT to prepare for the DAT?
To prepare for the DAT, I used a number of different study materials. Crack the DAT proved itself to be essential in helping me prepare. I practiced the PAT using its practice tests, which was really helpful because they are modeled exactly like the official DAT. When it came to test day I knew exactly what to expect because of these practice exams. Furthermore, there seemed to be an unlimited amount of practice problems for the PAT and the other DAT sections, which helped challenge what I knew and understood on the exam, and what needed more work. Furthermore, I used the Crack the DAT on the go as well, because it works on iPhones. This means you can use it waiting in line, in an Uber, or anywhere else. This time added up and was helpful in studying!
Another helpful part about Crack the DAT is the multitude of thorough videos that it offers, explaining DAT testing strategies, topics and tips to help me succeed. Watching these videos helped me hone in on how to not just learn the material but also the best way to take the exam. Additionally, the biology section was helpful because it was very thorough and detailed, which helped me study for this very broad and expansive topic. I majored in biology in my undergraduate studies, but there still seemed like an endless amount of information that I needed to know for the DAT. Crack the DAT helped me learn what I needed to and helped focus my studies.
What would you do differently to prepare for the DAT?
In preparing for the DAT, I set aside an entire summer, or about 8 weeks, to focus on the DAT. I also worked on my college campus for around five hours a week. I would study six days a week, on average, even though some suggested five days a week would suffice. To study differently for the DAT, I might have started studying for the chemistry and biology sections earlier. Especially for the biology section, there seems to be a lot of material to understand, and if I started reviewing a few weeks before summer started I may have scored slightly higher on these sections. I might have taken it the summer after sophomore year, not the summer after junior year, because it was then that the biology, general chemistry and organic chemistry courses were most fresh in my mind.
Since I did dedicate most of my time for eight weeks to studying for the DAT, it was easy to get caught up thinking about how much material there was to learn instead of taking more time for myself. I would have spent more time with family and friends because no matter how big the exam I believe it is important to maintain a healthy lifestyle balance. Furthermore, I might have used the Crack the DAT chemistry section more in order to improve my scores in those sections. Overall, I am happy with my score on the DAT, and I am thankful for Crack the DAT for helping me achieve that!