Here are my scores from the 2 times I took the DAT:
Perceptual Ability: 19
Quantitative Reasoning: 17
Reading Comprehension: 18
General Chemistry: 14
Organic Chemistry: 15
Total Science: 15
Academic Average: 16
(*Studied for about a month before taking the DAT)
Perceptual Ability: 20
Quantitative Reasoning: 20
Reading Comprehension: 17
General Chemistry: 21
Organic Chemistry: 21
Total Science: 23
Academic Average: 21
(*Studied for about 2-2.5 months before taking the DAT)
I would have to say the biology was my hardest subject, but surprisingly it ended up being my highest score. To study for this section, I used Cliff’s AP Biology book, tons of YouTube videos and some people’s old Quizlet flashcards made from Cliff’s and Kaplan’s Blue Book.
I had a HUGE (5 whole points! Crazy!!) jump in my DAT score and I’ve been asked by a lot of people (including at interviews) how I made such an improvement. The honest truth is that by the time I was studying to retake the DAT, I had figured out how I studied best. Especially how to study in an effective and efficient way where I didn’t have to keep going back to learn the material over and over again. Once I learned it, I just needed to review it occasionally. The masters program I’m in helped me build those study habits, and I know it will definitely help in dental school.
I know studying for such an important test can be nerve wrecking, intimidating, and just straight up scary but if you put in the time to study the material, your results will reflect your hard work.
If there is any advice I could give about studying for the DAT, it would be to not get discouraged if your practice test scores aren’t very good. I started taking practice tests on DAT Bootcamp and DAT Destroyer after I learned all of gen chem and orgo, but my scores ranged from 14-19. After taking those tests and not doing well on them, I stopped and went back to re-study ALL the material I had for gen chem and orgo. After that, my scores raised to about 17-20. I went back to re-study the material AGAIN for a 3rd time (!!!), and that’s when my scores started to consistently stay at around the 19-21 range.
At times I would get extremely frustrated because I would study the material and would know everything like the back of my hand when my friends and I would quiz each other, but my scores just weren’t reflecting that. I came to realize that, yes, I did know the material, but I didn’t know how to answer DAT style questions. Once I realized that, I started to do more practice tests to get used to that style of testing. After taking a practice test, I would also go back through it again with my notes to get the right answer.
If you have any specific questions you’d like me to answer, or would like me to add to this post, send me a message or leave a comment!