DAT Study Tips - The Guide to a Perfect 30

­­­Are you sitting for the Dental Admission Test (DAT) this year? Are you a little confused about how to prepare for it? Worry not, because this article discusses a few tips for studying for the DAT 2021.

Strategies for studying

DON’T CRAM! This is something I cannot emphasize enough. When you cram and pull all-nighters, you feel like you are retaining and learning a lot of information, but this is fleeting. Instead, you will find yourself forgetting vital information during a very crucial time in your exam. The only thing cramming successfully does is overload your brain and cause anxiety as you try to fit an entire course’s worth of studying into a night or two. When you are cramming, you become more concerned about finishing your syllabus and how much you are studying instead of what you are studying.

Therefore it is a good idea to learn your study materials by breaking it up into smaller portions. Try studying consistently, and regularly over a longer period of time.

Sit for mocks frequently. There are two main advantages of frequently taking mock tests. The first is the fact that you are automatically revising and touching up on material you have previously studied. The second being the fact that mocks are a great way to gauge your progress. Good performance in your mock tests is an indication that the studying strategies you are currently using is working and you can continue as is. However, if you are earning subpar results in your mocks, then it might be time to reevaluate your strategy and proceed accordingly. Mock tests also have a habit of exposing your weaknesses. So, use your mock test results as a bearing to figure out which sections require more focus and time.

Choosing a Study Plan

Your study plan has to be specially catered to meet your need. Everyone’s study plans differ from each other because it entirely depends on the person’s learning habits, situation, weaknesses, strengths, and routines.

Different people study and prepare for exams differently. While some may prefer self-study, others seek help from professionals and veterans who have already given the exam. If you are someone who prefers self-studying, enrolling in a test preparation course is a good idea. Test preparation courses have a positive and negative side. The positive side is that it creates the illusion of a class-like structure compelling you to study. A drawback of test preparation courses is that you will be stuck with their material for better or worse and they usually cost a pretty penny. Therefore, it is up to you do figure out which study plan best works for you.

An important tip in the list of tips for studying for the DAT 2021 is that you must choose your study plan wisely. A good example to a study plan is featured on DAT prep and will help you to get started.

Time management

Time management is key to acing the DAT. Time management is also crucial in successfully preparing for the DAT. Therefore, make a study schedule and then stick to it!

Prepare for the DAT like it is your full-time job. This means putting in at least 40 hours of study time each week. This adds up to about a total of 200 to 250 hours of study time, which should be more than enough to effectively prepare for the DAT.

6 to 8 weeks is the recommended prep time for the DAT. So, register for the test with this timeline in mind.

Study Efficiently

Create a schedule and stick to it.

Creating a good, functional study schedule is imperative for your preparation process. Here is an article on how to create a good study schedule.

The human attention span is notoriously short and as mentioned before, cramming is never a good idea. Therefore when creating your DAT study schedule, try breaking up the syllabus into little portions and span your entire prep schedule over the course of a couple of weeks (roughly 6-8 weeks).

The recommended total preparation time is about 200-250 hours, which means you should roughly 36 to 40 hours a week. Putting in 3 to 4 hours of study time a day is optimal. Further break down these 3 to 4 hours of daily study time into shorter study sessions, each lasting for about 40-50 minutes. Really focus on what you are studying during the study session. You can download apps such as Forest and Focus to make sure you aren’t distracted by notifications popping up on your phone.

Take a 10-15 minute long break after each study session. These breaks are equally important because they help rejuvenate your brain allowing you to retain information better. Avoid looking at social media during your breaks. Instead, go on walks and get some fresh air. Stretch your legs and rest your eyes for a bit, you will feel a lot better.

Make sure that your breaks are no longer than 15 minutes at a time. Taking frequents breaks that last longer than 15 minutes threatens your concentration and can destroy your study flow. However, if you do want to take breaks that are longer than 15 minutes, try fitting in about 2 or 3 study sessions (each lasting for about 40-50 minutes) beforehand.

Environment

The environment you study plays an important role in how well you study and prepare for your exam. Make sure you have a dedicated study corner that is comfortable and is equipped with proper lighting (this is to avoid eye strain). But, avoid studying on your bed, because while you should be comfortable in your study space, you shouldn’t fall asleep.

Some students prefer studying in a quiet, secluded place like home, while others prefer a coffee shop or even the library. Go wherever you feel most comfortable and be in whatever environment that makes you the most productive.

Sometimes a change of scenery goes a long way. So, don’t be afraid to change up your study spot every once in a while and amp up your productivity.

Study Material

Use diverse material to prepare for the DAT.

Make interactive notes that summarize the content covered in various sections of the DAT syllabus. You can create flashcards to remember small facts easily.

Some students prefer studying alone, while others study better in groups. In case you prefer the latter, go ahead and connect with other pre-dental students who are also going to be sitting for the DAT very soon and create study groups to study with them.

Study out loud, sit for mocks, discuss with your friends. Do whatever you feel is best for you. Try and allocate more time to the sections you are weak at.

In the end, always remember that consistency is key. So, practice, practice then practice some more. I hope these tips for studying for the DAT 2021 will come in handy when you implement them in real life. Prepare with dedication and patience and you will find yourself acing the DAT with flying colors.

Post-baccalaureate Programs

Photographer: Element5 Digital | Source: Unsplash

What is a Post-baccalaureate Program?

A post-baccalaureate program or post-bacc is a program you participate in after you have completed your undergraduate studies. Simply put, a post-baccalaureate program is a transition program between your undergraduate education and graduate school. Students sign up for this program with various goals, including but not limited to, completing a second BA/BS degree, attaining a graduate certificate, or completing prerequisite courses for medical or dental school.

Some post-baccalaureate programs can provide degrees and certificates, while others can be non-degree-granting. It usually takes about a year or two to complete a post-baccalaureate program.

Do you need a post-baccalaureate program?

Post-baccalaureate programs in health sciences are designed to bring students who graduated with a non-science degree up to speed, or strengthen their academic credentials or fulfill prerequisites for dental or medical school.

There is a variety of post-baccalaureate programs available for you to choose from. Each program varies in length, in contents, and while some of the programs offer a certificate or degree, others do not. Therefore which program you choose will broadly depend on the following-

  1. Financial situation
  2. Academic Record
  3. Your target school

Here are a few generic questions you can ask yourself in order to figure out whether you should be enrolling for a post-baccalaureate program or not.

Are you a science major or not?

Being a science major is not a prerequisite for applying to dental school. However, there are a couple of science-related specifications that you must fulfill. Therefore, if you are not a science major, then enrolling for a post-baccalaureate program can be a good way for you to meet your insufficient prerequisites.

Do you want to enhance your academic record?

Are you a science major who already meets all the prerequisites, and seemingly don’t have a reason to enroll in such a program? Think again. Having a post-baccalaureate degree can give you a competitive advantage and amp up your dental school application.

Dental schools are always on the lookout for students who have showcased their willingness to work and learn dentistry. They will, therefore, especially appreciate the fact that you have done some extra work, despite already being eligible to apply. This will make you stand out as an applicant.

Are you a socially, economically, or educationally disadvantaged student who needs a little boost?

As mentioned above, post-baccalaureate programs can cover a variety of topics and subjects. This can range from background science courses to academic enhancement classes to test prep classes. Often, schools conducting and offering such programs have guaranteed seats for the students who meet specific requirements.

At some schools, students accepted into the program do not pay tuition, and in some cases, they must be selected by the school rather than apply for a spot.

The benefits of a post-baccalaureate program

We have already discussed the many reasons why you, as a student, may want to apply and sign up for a post-baccalaureate program. Here are a few other benefits that post-baccalaureate programs can offer to you before attending medical or dental school-

#1 Advising for pre-med and pre-dental prep

During post-baccalaureate programs, you are paired with an advisor who specializes in pre-med or pre-dental. This advisor will help you throughout your application process and keep your individual needs in mind while advising. This helps kickstart your activities for professional school.

#2 Adaptable Timetable

As a graduate student, you might already have a job and not be able to dedicate your full time to earning a post-bacc degree. Don’t you worry because post-baccalaureate offers both part-time and full-time programs! The full-time programs are usually eight months long, while the part-time ones last for about a year.

#3 You can volunteer and gain clinical research experience

A few post-baccalaureate programs have volunteer experience as a part of their curriculum. This can really help you build up your clinical or research experience, which in turn will significantly strengthen your medical or dental application.

#4 Medical or dental school linkage

The post-baccalaureate programs for medical or dental school are usually offered and run by dental and medical schools themselves. These schools often have agreements with the students participating in the post-bacc programs. The agreement includes a conditional admission into the medical or dental school based upon your performance. Some schools offer this as a guarantee while for others this is simply implied. In general, however, if you complete a post-bacc program from a certain affiliated dental or medical school you can become very familiar with the culture of the school and build relationships with faculty members, potentially giving you a competitive advantage over the other applicants who are applying to the same institution.

#5 MCAT and DAT Prep

Post-baccalaureate programs are a great way to not only improve your academic records and fill out any academic gaps but also for MCAT or DAT prep. Sometimes, such programs come with built-in DAT prep and MCAT prep classes. Other times, the contents and topics covered in these programs go a long way into preparing you for these exams.

How much does this program cost?

Post-baccalaureate programs can end up costing you a pretty penny. Most post-bacc programs cost anywhere between $20,000 to $40,000. A few schools offer financial aid, but you mostly will have to rely on student loans. Moreover, many post-baccalaureate programs don’t even qualify for federal financial aid. So be very wary and conduct thorough research before applying for grants or just signing up for any post-baccalaureate program.

Things to consider before deciding

Post-baccalaureate programs have a wide variety, so you need to focus on why you want to do the programs, how much are you willing to spend on it and what you expect to learn and achieve from the program.

Here are a few questions you can ask yourself to figure out which program, if any at all, is suitable for you.

Does your academic record need enhancing?

If you are someone who already has all the prerequisite classes covered and has a good score in all of them, you don’t really consider a post- bacc to enhance your academic rapport. However, if your previous results weren’t up to par, these programs are an excellent opportunity to learn and improve. However, a post-bacc program is not the only way to improve. Speaking to your university’s learning center could also result in test- prep solutions for you.

What is better?- A certificate program or a master’s degree?

The amount of time taken to complete a post-baccalaureate program and a master’s degree is roughly the same. So, this raises the question- which one is more beneficial? A master’s program would be more beneficial for students who were science majors in college and now are looking to improving their academic records. A post-baccalaureate program would be more beneficial for a non-science major who is missing the necessary science background and basics required for both medical and dental school.

Can you afford the program?

As mentioned before, a post-baccalaureate program can be pretty expensive, with little or no financial aid available. Therefore, you must choose a program that is cost-effective and fits within your budget. Loans are usually the only form of financial assistance available, so make sure to conduct thorough research before applying to any of the programs.

How much time can you dedicate to the program?

One of the benefits mentioned above of post-baccalaureate programs is the fact that some programs offer full-time and part-time classes. So you can really pick and choose, depending on your needs.

Post-bacc programs are usually 1 to 2 years long.

Does the program offer am advisor?

Having an advisor can be a huge help. They can individually guide you and help with your career and application.

Do you learn better in large classes or smaller classes?

Some students find it challenging to communicate in classes occupied by a large number of students. While post-bacc class sizes are generally small, this is something a student should consider before signing up for the program.

You can find a suitable postbaccalaureate program from the database of postbaccalaureate programs.

Remember that you know your needs best, so conduct appropriate research to find programs that suit you best. A post-baccalaureate degree will strengthen your dental school application. But, it is imperative that you find the right program, so that is well worth the time, money, and effort.

DAT Study Tips to Score a perfect 30

Studying for an important exam is an intimidating process. The preparation process for the Dental Admission Test (DAT) is even more so. We usually have to learn a lot of things in a very limited amount of time. Accomplishing this can sometimes be very chaotic. So, to help you along, here are DAT study tips to score a perfect 30. Dont Forget to Sign up for DATPrep to get access to free Practice exams and help with studying for the DAT.

#1 Study like it's your full-time job

Your main and only focus should be your preparation for the DAT. Design your study schedule depending on how much time you have left till the actual exam and how late you started preparing. Generally, it is suggested that you should put in 40 hours of study time a week to prepare for it successfully.

But keep in mind not to overwork yourself. Consistency is key. Study every day to maintain a steady flow and to ensure that you do not forget whatever you have studied in the past.

Take occasional breaks so that you can feel rejuvenated. One day per week as a break is ideally suggested.

#2 Be wary of distractions

This may sound very obvious, but the biggest hurdle to your exam preparations is your notoriously short attention span. Therefore, be wary of potential distraction. Keep your phone locked away during your study sessions. Download apps such as Forest, Focus, etc. that help increase focus by locking away distracting sites on your phone. Study in a quiet secluded place away from the commotion of other people such as family, friends, neighbors, or roommates. You may give your family, friends, and roommates copies of your study schedule and ask them not to bother you within that time.

Studying can be a mentally taxing process, so as time goes by, these distractions become even more tempting as escape routes. The instant you lose focus due to one of these distractions, you also lose the time it takes to return to the level of concentration you just had.

Therefore, stay away from potential distractions and study with single-minded focus.

#3 Change study locations

Sitting at your desk for hours and staring at study materials can quickly become monotonous. So, change up your study location. Go to the library or find a quiet corner in a coffee shop. Many studies suggest that the change of location can amp up our productivity.

Moreover, you will not be alone in the actual exam hall, so studying in public places such as libraries and coffee shops will help you learn how to ignore others and continue your work unbothered.

#4 Sit for Mock exams

Go all the way with your prep. Try and recreate the exam conditions as closely as possible, sit for mock exams, and make sure to time yourself.

Giving practice tests in a library or a computer café is, therefore, a good idea. Turn off your music, television, and phone. However, the DAT is a very long exam, so keep that in mind if you do sit for a practice test in a public place. You should closely recreate exam conditions to give yourself enough time to adjust to them. Study at the same time of day as your official test, especially on the same day of the week. This will help you acclimatize to the idea of giving the test at that time of the day.

These were a few mentionable DAT study tips to score a perfect 30. However, remember that the most important thing is to practice because practice makes permanent.

Best DAT Study Schedule (Study Smarter, The Right Way)

With any sort of exam “start early” is something that is mentioned over and over again. This is so that we have an ample amount of time to properly study our exam materials and have surplus time to review it all. Early preparation is recommended for the DAT too. However, sometimes due to unforeseen and unavoidable circumstances, we are unable to start our prep for exams early. And then we realize that we have an important exam coming up in a few weeks and not nearly enough time to comfortably revise. In these situations, we need to make the most of whatever available time we have left. But the process of organizing your study schedule can sometimes be an overwhelming process. Which is why this article exists. This article describes the DAT study schedule for three different lengths of the preparatory period- 12- 15 weeks, 8-week, and 1 month.

How to prepare for the DAT with a time crunch

Here are a few things that you should consider and perform as part of your preparation for the DAT regardless of how much time you have before the exam.

  1. Treat your preparation for the dot as a full-time job this means try putting in at least 40 hours of studying per week. While this is the recommended studying time do not overwhelm yourself by overworking. Consistency is key. You might not want to study for eight hours on a particular day but want to study more than 8 hours on another day then do that. The idea is to study every day, to stay in touch so that you don't forget the previous material nor do you deter from your study flow.
  2. Before you jump in and start studying, or before you start creating your DAT study schedule go over the syllabus. Then mark the chapters that you think require more of your attention and mark the chapters that you find relatively easy. When preparing your study schedule be sure to complete the more difficult chapters and topics early on and leave the easier ones for later.
  3. Picking the right study materials is crucial. If you try and study everything you will be overwhelmed regardless of how much time you have to prepare. Therefore, it is imperative that you go over the contents of each available DAT preparation review material and choose the correct one for you. If need be contact someone who already sat for the DAT or consult any of the many websites dedicated to DAT prep.
  4. While studying one topic at a time may seem like a very organized approach to revision it can often be counterproductive. Studying one topic at a time can be monotonous and can lead to boredom, which causes your brain to lag resulting in poor information retention. So create your DAT study schedule in such a way that it covers all the subjects in an equally distributed pattern.
  5. Practice, practice, then practice some more. You should practice questions every day. You will learn more from questions that you get wrong than from questions that you are able to answer correctly. Practice will help you understand and learn how to approach a question, it will improve your time management and most importantly it will teach you what not to do. It is suggested that you take at least three full-length practice tests before the actual exam.
  6. Falling sick before your big exam is a huge concern for many candidates. Therefore, it is crucial that you take care of your body and your health. Drink lots of water, and maintain a well-balanced diet. Also, try to get at least eight hours of sleep every day.

The DAT study schedule

As mentioned above this article gives you the general guidelines for creating a study schedule over three different lengths of preparatory periods.

Conquer the DAT in a month!

Normally a candidate sitting for that exam prepares for over 200 hours. However if for some reason you only have a month to prepare for the DAT, fear not! Preparing for the DAT in a month can be very difficult but it is not impossible. Especially if you already have a strong base in math And are willing to study dedicatedly for a significant amount of time every week.

So here is a weekly guideline you can use to prepare for the DAT in a month.

WEEK 1

  1. Perceptual ability: there are six subsets for PAT. Learn what each subset involves.
  2. Biology: cell and molecular biology
  3. General chemistry: atomic and molecular structure, periodic trends, and stoichiometry
  4. Organic chemistry: nomenclature, stereochemistry, aromaticity, and bonding
  5. Quantitative reasoning: numerical calculations, algebra, and conversions

WEEK 2

·Dedicate 1 whole day this week to the following:

And then on the 6th-day practice a full-length test. Try recreating exam like conditions to help improve your time management and deal with the stress of exam conditions.

WEEK 3

Start off this week by reviewing all that you have learned so far and by doing a survey of your progress thus far. See where you have improved and which topics and areas require more improvement. Then revise your study plan accordingly allocating more time and energy to those areas.

Dedicate one day of this week to each of the following:

On the 6th day take another full-length practice test and time yourself and then compare your test results from the previous week to see if you have improved.

WEEK 4

The DAT study Schedule- 6-week study schedule

This six-week study schedule is based on how one dental student prepared for the DAT in six weeks. This study schedule requires you to put in about 50 hours of work every week for six weeks.

A few points to note-

Here is a weekly breakdown of how she had approached the DAT prep-

WEEK 1-2

WEEK 3

WEEK 4-6

The DAT study Schedule- 12-15 weeks study schedule

This study schedule requires you to put in about 20 hours of work every week. This DAT study schedule especially helpful for candidates who are full-time students or have jobs and cannot dedicate all their time to DAT preparation.

Final thoughts

All the study schedule formats discussed here are just suggestions and guidelines. Use these to base your actual DAT schedule on. Everyone has different needs, different areas to focus on. Make sure your study schedule is specially tailored to cater to your needs.