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How long does it take to study for the DAT?


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I've written the DAT for 2 times now. Each time was during the school year so it obviously took more than a month to study. With the DAT being postponed this year, I am wondering if it would be realistic to study for the DAT over a month. I have nothing better to do during the summer break - I believe I can devote at least 6 hrs a day, if not more, and I am already familiar with the format as well. However, this is the first time I am studying for biology and chemistry portions of the DAT and I'm unsure how much time those portions need. Based on your experiences, do you think it would be realistic to be fully prepared for biology & chemistry over a month during summer? 

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On 3/10/2021 at 9:06 AM, paper said:

I've written the DAT for 2 times now. Each time was during the school year so it obviously took more than a month to study. With the DAT being postponed this year, I am wondering if it would be realistic to study for the DAT over a month. I have nothing better to do during the summer break - I believe I can devote at least 6 hrs a day, if not more, and I am already familiar with the format as well. However, this is the first time I am studying for biology and chemistry portions of the DAT and I'm unsure how much time those portions need. Based on your experiences, do you think it would be realistic to be fully prepared for biology & chemistry over a month during summer? 

I took the DAT for the first time in November along with taking a full load (5 classes) and found that it took be about 2 months to study. I would think a month of studying without other things to worry about like classes would be okay. For the biology portion, the majority of it is just memorization. For the chemistry portion you are going to want to be comfortable with the major concepts and theories.

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I spent a lot of time on the DAT in comparison with others because I wanted to get it right the first time. I started studying around May because I had nothing to do and really ramped up my studying in the last 2 months before the exam. I had a 4 course load in sept-dec and a 2 course load in the summer. Coming into the DAT, I had no chemistry background and minimal biology (I took one 100 level bio 4 years ago). However, I did have a health science degree so I was very well versed with physiology. I scored a 22AA (23 Chem, 22 Bio, 21 RCT) and 19 PAT. I think it is feasible to study for the DAT in 2 months if you have background. I think you can study for it in 1.5 months with 0 course load. I managed to kill my last semester with a 97 average because I studied in the summer so I recommenced you do the heavy lifting in the summer, ANKI bio everyday while in school, and then review chem in the last 2 weeks before the exam. I was really good at PAT on crusher (lowest score was 22) but I started getting dizzy while doing the PAT and I goofed it on the exam. Be warned, the paper on the exam is trash and makes it difficult to see the PAT stuff. For. RCT, I found crushers practice to be written terribly and it was nothing like what I saw on the DAT RCT. I ended up just not studying for PAT -- the most I did was practice MCAT CARS just to get a feel for how the test writers can justify the answers they are looking for. 

It's not really about the time you allocate for studying; it's how you use your time. My friends studied way more than me but slacked off during their study and got 1 hours work done in 4 hours -- this ended in them getting a 17s-19s on the exam.  Make each minute count!

 

 

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Resources I used: Chad videos, DAT crusher (includes ferallis notes), PAT booster, DAT destroyer (useless imo), DAT ready PAT booklet.

For PAT, I would say 2 hours a day of each section for about 3-4 weeks is enough (this seemed to be enough time for me + 2 other people)

For BIO/CHM, it depends on your background. I needed around 1.5 months ~4 hours every weekday to make notes and do enough practice problems/tests. 

For RC, I spent around 3-4 days searching different methods (vanilla, S&D, hybrid) and did  3-4 RC tests using the method that best suited me.

I want to emphasize, studying for the DAT varies from person to person, and its best not to compare yourself to others and their schedules... I'd recommend setting a date to start (to be safe 3 months before the DAT), and commit yourself fully. After a week of dabbling in each topic - you will know where you are at and how much more time you need.

24BIO, 21CHM, 20RC, 21PAT, 22AA

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1 month is not a lot of time if you ask me. Not saying its impossible, but if you're taking this very seriously, you would want to start as soon as you can. I found bio to be the most time consuming by far because there is such a wide range of topics in all areas of biology. Obviously, this depends on the individual and also your major. I'm from a health science background so I'm not as well-versed in general biology and chemistry as some others would be. Taking your major into consideration, and the fact that you're already very familiar with PAT and RC, maybe you would need less time than others. But start early, assess the amount of content there is, and plan from there to be safe. You don't wanna take someone else's word for it, then start studying and realize you need more time. 

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