DAT: Road to Success

“I think I can. I think I can. I think I can.” – The Little Engine That Could

From August 2014 to November 6, 2014, it seemed as if my entire life revolved around the DAT (Dental Admission Test). Everything else seemed infinitely insignificant next to their towering presence. After struggling with deciding what direction I wanted to steer my future, I was so afraid this simple standardized exam would be a sign. A sign that I chose wrong! I have always believed that what is meant to happen will happen and there is nothing you can do to change it. Not fate, exactly, but still some sort of predetermination. So, I am extra sensitive to any sort of “sign from the universe” (Lily from How I Met Your Mother”) as vehemently I deny believing in any of that ‘stuff’. But I’m happy to say my worst fears did not come true and my life is good (at least in that area). As my heart galloped like a wild horse on an open field, I clicked the little button that would reveal my future in a manner and the result was actually good. I don’t know what it says about me and my life right now that I was actually shocked I have good news to give but I honestly don’t care about that right now. Here is the page that validated all of the effort I had put into studying these past few months:
Score Sheet

For those who are unaware of what these scores mean, let me just clear up any confusing by saying I literally squealed with joy when I saw them (and I am not a girl that squeals). Many sleepless nights, lonely Fridays, and an insane amount of staring at a computer screen led me to this moment. So, for any perspective DAT-takers out there, you might be wondering what I used to achieve these scores. After all, I remember how I researched like a maniac for such advice when I was studying. Or you’re all just thinking I’m annoying and have stopped reading by this point. But for anyone who has still stuck around, here’s the breakdown.

20141109_100040

Pictured above is every single piece of printed paper I used in this quest. Unfortunately, I am unable to visually represent the online resources in such a condensed and visually appealing format. The giant book you see on top is the Kaplan review book. Yes, I caved and took the Kaplan online course. But before any more of my dramatics, let me just give you a list of every resource I used and how useful I found it to be.

Kaplan DAT On Demand Prep Course (6/10) – It was useful to get started and create a base of all the information needed for the test. However, it was overly simplified and I just didn’t enjoy paying a thousand bucks for it. For the money, it’s not worth it in my opinion! However, if you need some sort of structure, it is still great in that it is very good at introducing you to everything DAT and giving you an accurant representation of how the test looks (even though the difficulty is a bit easier than the actual test)

DAT Destroyer by Orgoman (10/10) – By far the best resource you can have! It’s just a book of questions that are super difficult and will crush your confidence but also prepare you in the best way possible. I swear I had at least two questions on the actual DAT that I remember doing in destroyer. Do all the questions! Review them! Unlike many other people online, I only went through the questions once (actually didn’t even finish the GC or QR sections) and found that was enough if you review the questions thoroughly the first time.

DAT Bootcamp (9/10) – Very helpful! Especially for the PAT section. But just as a final effort. The last tests to take before the exam. The problem generators for the PAT section are the only really useful tool for everyday use. Still think it played a big role in my scores.

Chad’s Organic and General Chemistry Videos (10/10) – I pretty much watched this and didn’t do anything else for these sections because I was so preoccupied with Biology and PAT. Yes, my scores are as amazing for these sections but that’s because I watched these in August and just never reviewed them again. If I could do it over, I would re-watch these a month before the exam. They are awesome in explaining all the concepts in a memorable way.

So, now that’s out of the way, I just have one last piece of advice. Just take the test! Don’t push it back or make some excuse about how you are not ready. If you have studied to the best of your ability, you are ready. Pushing it back just makes you lose confidence and encourages procrastination. Having a solid deadline (a test date) is so much more motivating that just working towards a hypothetical day. Please feel free to comment or email me with any questions you have! I don’t want all this knowledge I gained while studying for this to go to waste and am happy to help someone else succeed. Now, if you have made it to this point, thank you for reading all that. It really makes my day 🙂

4 thoughts on “DAT: Road to Success

  1. I can definitely relate, substitute DAT to will any of the tests I have sat in my life. Recently being my Masters Thesis. I also relate to the surprise in passing – maybe we underestimate our abilities to protect us from the crashing sense of defeat if we fail? I liked that you shared your experience and then passed on advice to others who might be in your position. Great job!!

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    1. Thank you for your comment! I agree that the surprise is a kind of defense mechanism. In my more pessimistic days, I used to have this motto that “If I don’t expect anything, I won’t be disappointed”. So, I definitely believe fear of failure is an extremely powerful force in our lives. That is in fact what my blog started from. I wanted to confront some of these fears in any way I could, no matter how small and blogging about it is very motivating!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Nice blog post! You had me interested in reading about a subject I would normally not read. But I can relate to the heavy studying that goes into being accepted into a profession. Congratulations on your test scores.

    Just a note that I can’t see your second picture on my Android phone.

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