Patrick Mugabe | 22 AA
What is one piece of advice you would give to another student preparing to take the DAT?
Take it one day at a time! My biggest stressor during this time was looking too far ahead. It is important to keep the big picture in mind but do not pile up all the obstacles you have to overcome. The road to succeeding on the DAT is long and filled with many obstacles. Taking it one day at a time allows you to focus and put in as much energy. If you look too far ahead you will start thinking that it is too much for you. What I did was set daily goals. I wrote down what I wanted to get done each day and gave myself breaks in between. If I was able to check off everything I did that day I thought I was successful! This in turn gave me a boost of energy for the next day and I did not feel like I was getting behind. Breaks during the day were just as important as the studying. Giving myself little breaks allowed me to refuel and allowed my brain to solidify the information. It also gave me time to get rid of distractions. If you are someone that gets easily distracted by the internet, social media, pets, etc these breaks give you time for that and allows you to go back and hit the material hard!
Review! Review! Review! I cannot stress this enough. The biggest mistake I kept making was going over materials and when I think I got it, I would never look back at it. It is really important to look back at everything you learn. Even just for 5 minutes a day looking over the reactions that you memorized from organic chemistry for example. I promise you it will help in the long run and recalling information faster on practice tests and on the real exam. What I did specifically is I would take 5-15 minutes to review materials I went over the previous day. If there was something I was still struggling with I would make note of that and go over it at the end of the day. What I found was that sometimes I would struggle the next day on material I thought I had understood the previous day. During the weekend, I would take about 30min – 60min reviewing all the materials I went over the past week and focusing mostly on the ones I marked down as struggling with.
How did you use Crack the DAT to prepare for the DAT?
I wish I would have started on Crack the DAT much earlier! It proved to be an amazing resource! The questions on Crack the DAT were amazing very representative of the information I needed to know for the real DAT! There were so many questions that I did not get the chance to go over but the many that I was able to go over gave me a breath of information. During the real DAT, I was able to recall information that I got from the Crack the DAT and could honestly pinpoint where on Crack the DAT I got the information from which is pretty crazy! The explanations for each questions were amazing and really helped me understand the concept. There were only like one or two times where I had to pick up a textbook to go deeper into a concept. Otherwise the explanations on Crack the DAT were enough for me to understand the concept and be able to answer more questions on a specific topic.
The PAT portion of the DAT was challenging yet amazing! I stumbled upon Crack the DAT mainly because I was really struggling with PAT (below 16 scores) and a friend suggested I check out Crack the DAT. At first I really struggled because of how challenging the questions on Crack the DAT were but the more I practiced the higher my score got. I really saw huge improvements in my score. The explanations were very well written and helped me understand why I was getting questions wrong. I wrote down why I was getting questions from and whenever I did more practice questions I was able to correct my way of thinking/approaching these questions which helped me get more correct answers. Thanks to Crack the DAT, I was able to change my approach to a couple of sections within PAT and I saw huge improvements. I really recommend checking out their PAT. If I had discovered Crack the DAT earlier, I believe I would have gotten a higher score on the PAT section on the real exam as I would of had the chance to go through all these practice questions and explanations.
What would you do differently to prepare for the DAT?
Do not be afraid to reschedule! If you feel that you are not fully ready go ahead and reschedule. It won’t be the end of the world. As I mentioned, I discovered Crack the DAT late and did not have enough time to go through all of their amazing content. If I had rescheduled my DAT, I believe I would have gotten a higher score, especially in PAT. I didn’t want to study anymore and just basically walked into the exam wrong not feeling fully prepared. During the PAT questions I was a bit nervous knowing I had not not completely gone through Crack the DAT.
I would have spent more time on QR. I got frustrated too many times with QR and spent less and less time on it. Had I kept trying as I did with other subject I would have done better. The QR score is part of your overall score, so it is important not to disregard the section. I should have given myself more time to go over the QR questions and do more practice problems. QR was just like biology. There were so many random question but if I had just done more practice questions I believe I would have scored higher.