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How long did it take you to do PAT questions at the beginning?


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I just started studying for the DAT by doing some keyhole questions. Everyone says it should take you under 1 minute ideally and it's taking me an average of 2 - 3 minutes...is this how it was for you guys as well? Or am I just doing something wrong?

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Yeah that's how long it was taking me at the beginning too but you'll get faster. Keyhole and the harder TFE and paper-folding questions usually took over a minute to do properly. Eventually with enough practice you'll get really good at some of the other sections leaving you some more time for the sections you find difficult. 

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I recommend learning a few techniques to do PAT's sections faster. Personally, I was quick at the cube counting>hole punches/angles>keyholes/tfe>pattern folding. I think you need to structure what sections you'll do first, etc. I did my DAT in February and I tell you, you almost don't have time to waste. It's exactly the time allotted for and nothing more. I just studied practice tests I bought from a guy online (like 10 exams from different sources for 50$) and developed techniques to be able to do the exam faster. The last DAT's hardest parts were the TFE and pattern folding imo. I finished Cube, hole punches and keyholes in more or less 30 minutes then the rest was mainly dedicated to TFE and pattern folding. Cubes are simple enough, nothing too special. Hole punches, 1-3 questions have half-holes that you have to account for or holes you think are there at the start but aren't really. Keyholes, it's really about finding the differences and elimination (usually you end up with 2 possibilities left). TFE, here i'd say 5 of them require thorough thinking and the rest is elimination. Pattern folding was my weakest and I left about 14 minutes to do it, I managed to finish when there was 3 seconds left to the exam. I did the exam in Quebec so I don't know if it's different for the rest of Canada.

 

Hole punching tricks: https://youtu.be/6ehnTz4lYiM

Keyholes: https://youtu.be/PyRQL0kgUUw

Cube counting: Make categories of the number of cubes with x number of sides that could be painted. This means u write down 1 to 5 and below those numbers you just put a line for every cube you count, this makes it very easy to answer the questions because you won't have to recount the cubes every time. Furthermore, go level by level. Meaning if there is a structure with 3 levels, count the cubes that have one side till five sides on the first level and write them down in your list. After, go to the second level and clear it, kind of like a video game. Example of the structure: (you have enough space on your exam to write this on the side)

 

1: lll

2:I

..

5:II

 

TFE/Pattern folding: Practice, practice, practice. It's really the key here nothing more than that. Make sure you operate like a robot. Find the differences, eliminate, circle the last possibility left. Usually you can spot them out very quickly with practice so make sure you practice it enough. For Pattern, really look at the biggest pieces and try to identify them in each figure, usually one possibility is eliminated. After, to eliminate the second one, look at another big piece and try to recognize it in the possible answers. When there's two left usually it's a small detail or a small trap that people might not realize. Trust me that with practice this will go relatively quick and you wont do as many errors. I used to get 4/15 and after just two weeks of practice I went up to 14/15 on my practice tests.  

Here are some online generators:

Pattern generator: https://datbootcamp.com/classroom/perceptual-ability/pattern-folding-generator/

Angle generator :https://datbootcamp.com/classroom/perceptual-ability/angle-ranking-generator/ 

TFE: https://datbootcamp.com/classroom/perceptual-ability/top-front-end-visualizer/

This video explains the format of the exam if you were confused like I was at the time: https://youtu.be/kIlqkFIZ74Q

If you need any help, message me or just look around on the web :) 

Good luck with your studying friend!

 

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On 4/30/2020 at 3:43 PM, harkirat said:

I just started studying for the DAT by doing some keyhole questions. Everyone says it should take you under 1 minute ideally and it's taking me an average of 2 - 3 minutes...is this how it was for you guys as well? Or am I just doing something wrong?

You'll 100% get faster with practice. I'd google some strategies to help you create a bit of a plan of attack and then it's just reps :)

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