Isabel Hanson | 22 AA
What is one piece of advice you would give to another student preparing to take the DAT?
Don’t fixate on the practice test numbers. This is one thing I really struggled with in the beginning of my studying journey. I would beat myself up over the practice tests scores, or really fixate on the number of problems I was getting wrong versus right. Luckily, I used this as motivation to just keep going and doing more and more problems until I got the result I wanted or got more questions right than wrong. After doing so many of these practice problems, I was finally able to let go of the numbers and start really trying to learn and understand patterns of what I was or was not consistently getting wrong. This ultimately led to my most successful studying.
Always keep your head up. This piece of advice slightly follows the one mentioned above but is extremely important in being successful on the DAT. There is no way for ANYONE to answer every question correctly, not even close to every question. And you do not even need to in order to get the score you want. Address every wrong answer with a humble mind and use it to motivate you to get it right the next time. Never allow yourself to have a negative mindset, because it is hard to get out of that negative space.
Never give up. There will be countless times you are tired, discouraged, and overwhelmed, but if you keep working and stay engaged, you will get the results you want. The key to being successful on the DAT is never giving up. Repetition is vital for preparing well to take the DAT, which can be very daunting as well as exhausting. But I promise, it is all worth it in the end. As cheesy as it sounds, I would always tell myself something that Dory from Finding Nemo would say, “Just Keep Swimming.” You CAN do it!
How did you use Crack the DAT to prepare for the DAT?
Practice, practice, practice. I used every practice test and practice problem on Crack the DAT to help me study. The key to success on the DAT is exposing yourself to every possible question and type of question there is. The more exposure you have to different types of questions, the more likely you are to encounter a similar question on the real test. Crack the DAT offers an extreme breath of questions that allows you to get the type of exposure you need in order to be successful.
Another invaluable aspect of Crack the DAT is the explanation videos. These videos are extremely in depth and offer insight into how to approach the question, the knowledge needed to answer the question, and ways to work through the question. These videos are tools that allow you to really tackle your weak areas and improve them.
The iPhone apps are also extremely helpful. I used the Crack the PAT app every night while I was studying. Each night, I would use the app for about 20 minutes before bed. The videos offered new ways to approach these problems as well as broke down exactly how to be successful on the PAT. After watching the videos, I would use the question generator to just practice. The repetition of these problems each night substantially helped me improve my PAT score.
What would you do differently to prepare for the DAT?
Give myself more time. I want to preface this by saying every person’s study journey is different and I do not think there is a ‘universal’ way of best preparing for the DAT. You have to know yourself and figure out what will work best for you/you’re your schedule. Personally, I studied for the DAT over a five-week period. I studied for ten hours a day, taking one break to eat lunch (but normally this was a working lunch). I only took two days off from studying the entire time. While I did get the results I wanted and I work better in high pressure environments, taking more days off and expanding my study schedule a little probably would have been better.
One other thing I would do different to prepare for the DAT is to more consistently review my ‘wrong journal.’ I kept a notebook full of the questions/topics I got wrong. I would write out the correct explanation to that question. I ended my studying with an entire notebook full of questions and explanation. The day before the exam, I spent my day working through this notebook. I think it would have probably been more beneficial to review this notebook every few days/weeks while I was studying to more securely solidify the information in my head.