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Preparation for the Canadian DAT in May/June


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Hello Folks,

I have started my preparation for the Canadian DAT coming up in the next 12-15 weeks. I have written the DAT in November and unfortunately my RC score was disappointing and damaged the overall AA. I decided to make this post for whoever that wrote the DAT and the new test takers to discuss the main takeaways as well as a new form of preparation. The biggest lesson that I've learned, is changing the style of my prep and focusing on mainly practice tests as much as possible. I got into too much details, especially in BIO & CHEM which is unnecessary for the Canadian DAT. If anyone's interested, we can talk about the study materials as well.

Good Luck to everyone!

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Hey! I was wondering what you used to prepare for the other sections (PAT, BIO, CHEM)? I’m also on the same boat as you, writing my DAT for the second time after getting an average score back in November. However, I did well on RC, it was the other components that brought me down. I only used DATCrusher to study for it all and did not supplement with any additional material. I specifically used Nicole’s Notes which I think was the problem as those notes just barely scratched the surface for biology. Chemistry has always been my weakest subject but I felt that Chad’s Videos really did help me do better than I expected. DATCrusher did not prepare me at all for what I saw on the November DAT for PAT. However, it did suffice for RC but even then, the DAT ended up being much harder than DATCrusher. 

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I did try to mix up a variety of Texts especially for BIO (Cliffs AP Biology, DATBootcamp BIO Academy, DATCrusher and even a bit of Khan's videos. Overall, they covered the  questions in the Bio section but there were a lot of details that were not necessary; especially in Bootcamp Academy.)

When it comes down to BIO, I think a good strategy would be to focus on as much theory as possible for the first 2-3 weeks if you have already written the exam and then try to find as much related practice exams as possible but more importantly, try to actually learn from all of your answers; which was something that I could have placed a higher emphasis (I've had friends that passed USMLE board exams by doing 10x number of practice exams as opposed to just studying the material.) CHEM is pretty straightforward and CHAD was very solid and similar. I just think too many students do well on this section, which is why a 20 or 21 would be considered a great score.

Bootcamp was also good for PAT, however the App does get repetitive and you shouldn't focus on it. Again, I find a minimum of a 20 to be pretty straightforward if you use different methods and try to ace the 4 easy sections.

I know that RC is more of a long term skill but let me know if you used a technique more useful than other; (Vanilla vs Search & Destroy).

I'm also planning to buy the Kaplan practice tests(1500 questions) but not sure about the similarity to the Canadian Test.

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3 hours ago, ania17 said:

I did try to mix up a variety of Texts especially for BIO (Cliffs AP Biology, DATBootcamp BIO Academy, DATCrusher and even a bit of Khan's videos. Overall, they covered the  questions in the Bio section but there were a lot of details that were not necessary; especially in Bootcamp Academy.)

When it comes down to BIO, I think a good strategy would be to focus on as much theory as possible for the first 2-3 weeks if you have already written the exam and then try to find as much related practice exams as possible but more importantly, try to actually learn from all of your answers; which was something that I could have placed a higher emphasis (I've had friends that passed USMLE board exams by doing 10x number of practice exams as opposed to just studying the material.) CHEM is pretty straightforward and CHAD was very solid and similar. I just think too many students do well on this section, which is why a 20 or 21 would be considered a great score.

Bootcamp was also good for PAT, however the App does get repetitive and you shouldn't focus on it. Again, I find a minimum of a 20 to be pretty straightforward if you use different methods and try to ace the 4 easy sections.

I know that RC is more of a long term skill but let me know if you used a technique more useful than other; (Vanilla vs Search & Destroy).

I'm also planning to buy the Kaplan practice tests(1500 questions) but not sure about the similarity to the Canadian Test.

Alright that makes sense! I think that is where I fell short on the biology section so I’ll definitely supplement with other resources this time but also focus on doing questions as opposed to memorizing the nitty gritty details! I’ll definitely also give bootcamp a try as well for PAT. Do you have any suggestions on how to do well on the TFE section? That’s the section that really sets me back, especially now that questions can’t be answered using solely the line counting method. 
 

Yeah, RC is definitely a long term skill that takes a while to develop. But that’s not to say you can’t develop the skills in the next 12 weeks! I followed the crusher schedule so I read the articles they provided as well as did all the practice exams and was able to score relatively well. However, if you did the same and weren’t able to achieve your ideal score, I would definitely suggest finding scientific articles to read on your own to better your reading and analysis skills. I know that some people that struggle with this section sometimes use MCAT’s CARS study resources to prep so maybe you could give that a try (I can’t really comment more on this since I haven’t done it myself). In terms of my technique, I used every single technique that was mentioned on DATCrusher and was getting around the same score using all. However, I felt more at ease doing the tests provided using the search and destroy method! I honestly feel that there is no need to read the entire passage to do well. I found that when I did do this, I would get more anxious and find myself rushing to finish the questions at the end. So definitely try working on your search and destroy technique for this section! Also another thing I would like to mention is that don’t let one confusing question trip you out! Just move on to the next as if you already answered the last question. Last time I wrote the DAT, I got really shaken up by all the questions I wasn’t able to answer right off the bat and I feel like this affected my performance for the remaining questions.  Best of luck :) 

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32 minutes ago, Moro said:

How hard is it to get 15/30 on the PAT? I'm a quebec resident and they only require the PAT for dental schools. What resources can i use to prep this section ?

 

They post the statistics for the results of the DAT. During the November test this year there was a very low number of people that got less than 15. I think like 5 out of the 200 students. the numbers are off I don't have the statistics they sent people. but it's not hard to get 15. its hard to get high scores on that section but you only need 15. I only did the practice booklet once from the CDA and got an 19 on that section lol, I didn't even finish. But there are ways to prep, I asked applicants after and they used YouTube videos on how to do it faster. 

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19 hours ago, kinpredent said:

Alright that makes sense! I think that is where I fell short on the biology section so I’ll definitely supplement with other resources this time but also focus on doing questions as opposed to memorizing the nitty gritty details! I’ll definitely also give bootcamp a try as well for PAT. Do you have any suggestions on how to do well on the TFE section? That’s the section that really sets me back, especially now that questions can’t be answered using solely the line counting method. 
 

Yeah, RC is definitely a long term skill that takes a while to develop. But that’s not to say you can’t develop the skills in the next 12 weeks! I followed the crusher schedule so I read the articles they provided as well as did all the practice exams and was able to score relatively well. However, if you did the same and weren’t able to achieve your ideal score, I would definitely suggest finding scientific articles to read on your own to better your reading and analysis skills. I know that some people that struggle with this section sometimes use MCAT’s CARS study resources to prep so maybe you could give that a try (I can’t really comment more on this since I haven’t done it myself). In terms of my technique, I used every single technique that was mentioned on DATCrusher and was getting around the same score using all. However, I felt more at ease doing the tests provided using the search and destroy method! I honestly feel that there is no need to read the entire passage to do well. I found that when I did do this, I would get more anxious and find myself rushing to finish the questions at the end. So definitely try working on your search and destroy technique for this section! Also another thing I would like to mention is that don’t let one confusing question trip you out! Just move on to the next as if you already answered the last question. Last time I wrote the DAT, I got really shaken up by all the questions I wasn’t able to answer right off the bat and I feel like this affected my performance for the remaining questions.  Best of luck :) 

 

TFE has changed within the past few years and the lining method will probably work for 2-3 questions out of 15. I thought Bootcamp's practice tests were high yield. The good thing with the PAT as opposed to the other sections, is that it doesn't need to be particularly based on practice tests because it is a skill more so than theory based. Also don't worry about a rock keyhole question which will usually be 1 and won't affect your score heavily. When I started PAT review, my keyhole scores were good but TFE was poor (usually half correct) but by the end TFE became straightforward but I did drop down on keyhole practice everyday. But I still think that the other 4 sections are straight forward and I've seen 21+ scores on average if you get 10/90 incorrect.

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