Young Rim Chang | 27 AA
What is one piece of advice you would give to another student preparing to take the DAT?
While preparing for the DAT, you might feel the studying for the DAT to be daunting. However, I think it is very important to not feel negative about this whole studying experience, but always try to stay positive and happy. Your attitude truly affects the quality of studying. Try to stay genuinely curious towards the studying materials, instead of feeling just too stressed out. Although it may seen like nothing is being retained that when you are studying, but believe in your brain. It does a lot more work behind the scene than what we think it does! Your continuous studying everyday does count and add up. Perhaps, scheduling for the DAT early on so that you can strategically plan out the studying timeline, and thus having enough studying time can also help.
Also, physical health is crucial during the preparation. Continue to work out in the gym and take a walk occasionally so that you stay healthy and fit. It is advantageous to be fit when you have to endure through long hours of studying. Eat healthy food, sleep well, and take study-breaks time to time so that you can recharge and refresh.
How did you use Crack the DAT to prepare for the DAT?
First, in order to refresh overall contents, I watched the videos in the video courses to quickly browse through the contents. I started this for biology like one month earlier than the other sections, because I knew that biology section requires a lot more thorough memorization and understanding of the concepts. Also, I started solving QC and PAT questions one month earlier as well, since it is definitely advantageous to be familiar with these questions types early.
And, then I went straight into practice problems. Solving problems is not necessarily about just testing-my-knowledge process, but it is also a learning process. As I solved more and more questions, I was able to catch the details of contents. Thus, I believe reviewing the questions that you missed is very, very important, because reviewing is mostly how I had many of difficult concepts ingrained into my memory. I solved all my practice tests timed, and I tried to simulate the test day when possible (for example on weekends) close to my testing date by starting my practice test at 8AM (my test was at 8AM).
What would you do differently to prepare for the DAT?
I was planning to take my test in June 2020, but I ended up taking my test in September due to Covid-19. I felt pretty ready to take the test by May, so it was difficult to know that my test is postponed indefinitely. Everything was uncertain, and I was quite stressed worrying. I think I drained too much energy worrying while still studying in June and July. If I could go back, I would just take a big break from studying. It is ok to take breaks when you feel pressured, and it is important to stay positive and healthy.
Also, try to familiarize yourself with small things that can prepare you on the test day, such as effectively punching the numbers into the calculator, instead of using the cell phone calculator because it is more convenient and easy. I realized that I was quite slow with using the calculator on my real test, and wished that I was more prepared for some technical difficulties as well.