Kexin Ding | 23 AA
What is one piece of advice you would give to another student preparing to take the DAT?
First advice, know your strength and weakness. Before you dig into the actual studying material, you should do a practice test in all subject. You can do the parts separately, bio, chem, PAT, and reading. After the practice test, you will see the big picture of what you need to focus on the most. Then instead of doing the second set of the practice test, you should jump right into study the subject. I put most of my time studying biology and PAT. I spent very little time on chem because I know chem is my strength. So instead of aiming for a higher score in chem, I tried to score above 20 for all subject.
Second advice, practice as much as you can. I not only took all the practice tests on the Crack DAT website but also used the Crack DAT APP on my phone. And this app helped my pat significantly. Since it is a cellphone app, I can use it whenever I was free. When I was waiting in a line, I would try to do a few hole punching questions. Every night, before I go to bed, I will do 15 questions in each section. It might be frustrating for the first time, but after weeks of consistent practice, it became so much easier. Timing is also very important for PAT, so don’t forget to time yourself when doing the PAT part, for example, you should only give yourself less than 30sec to do a hole punching problem, and even less for the cubes counting question.
How did you use Crack the DAT to prepare for the DAT?
Crack the DAT is a very good tool to prep for DAT because the level of difficulty is similar, especially the PAT part. Crack the DAT also provides very accurate score estimate. Because of it, I know I will do okay for chem after I scored above 21 for the first five chem practice tests, so I decided I was not going to finish all of the chem practice tests.
I also really like the Crack DAT APP. Instead of using the web version, I used the Crack DAT APP to study for my PAT because it was quite convenient to do them on the phone and the explanations were also very clear.
What would you do differently to prepare for the DAT?
One thing I will do differently is I wish I spend more to practice the reading. Only one week before the actual exam, I started doing the reading part. I thought reading cannot be approved by practicing so I did spend a lot of time on it and then during the actually exam I really wished I had done more practice tests. I had a hard time finishing all the questions in 50 minutes. If I did more practice tests, at least I will have a better timing instead of leaving many of the questions blank.
(This is only for all the Canadian DAT takers) I also wish I spend more time soap carving. Even though schools may say they don’t look at the soap carving part, but they asked me why my soap carving is much lower than other parts of the DAT test. Soap carving has no shortcut but to practice, so the more I practiced, the higher I will score. Carving 5 soaps is very different with carving 15 soaps.