top of page
  • Alexandra Kaziyeva

How I studied for the 2022 DAT

First attempt November 2021:

Academic Average: 17

Total Science: 19

Second attempt February 2022:

Academic Average: 21

Total Science: 22

Personally, I did not focus on completing an x amount of full length exams. I needed to use multiple resources to study. I first focused on developing a foundation of the concepts. Then I took 40Q Biology, 30Q General Chemistry, and 30Q Organic Chemistry from DATDestroyer and tried to complete these 100Q in 90min (simulating the exam). For Perceptual Ability, practice each section in under 10 minutes with DATBooster. Train yourself to think fast. For Reading Comprehension, use DATBooster's articles and questions to practice answering each passage in under 20min. Lastly, for each math test (40Q) from Math Destroyer, I tried to complete as many questions in 45min at the end of a long study day (simulating the exam since Math is the last section of the DAT and the section where you will be the most tired) as possible. Get the hang of doing math when you are tired so that you will be more prepared. Most importantly, create a revision table to schedule reviewing concepts and questions you got wrong throughout the week. It is a waste of time to keep doing practice questions if you keep getting similar questions wrong.

Survey of the Natural Sciences 90min for 100Q (no calculator)

Biology (20)

  1. Avoid DATDestoryer's biology true or false questions (the DAT does not ask detailed questions).

  2. Do all of DATDestroyer's genetics questions (there's ~80Q about genetics in the book).

  3. Pay attention and remember as much as you can from the first and second semesters of undergraduate biology (i.e. the prerequisite biology courses to dental schools). If you do, then content review for the DAT will be short and sweet. First semester biology is Physiology and Cell Biology. Second semester is Life-form and Ecosystems (my DAT did not ask me anything about second semester biology but just have a general overview of the subject just in case).

  4. If you took intro biology a long time ago and do not remember much, then use Dr. Romano's Dynamite Biology Review (given for free under Files of the Facebook group "2022 Official DAT Destroyer and OAT Destroyer Study Group"). As I went through this textbook (over 600 pages), I made mind maps of major concepts and watched YouTube videos to refresh my memory. Also, the details in the Physiology sections is more for Dental School's Physiology class.

  5. Try not to spend too much time on content review. Spend more time testing your knowledge by doing practice questions from DATBooster or DATBootcamp and locate the gaps in your knowledge.

Below is an example of a mind map of important concepts of the liver (digestive system) for the DAT. Also, drawing visual diagrams helped me memorize!

General Chemistry (22)

  1. NO CALCULATOR! Thus, take time to review high school algebra (e.g. how to work with logs, how to estimate fractions, scientific notation is your friend, how to compute radicals).

  2. Do ALL the questions in DATDestroyer for this section at least twice! (I did this section three times).

Organic Chemistry (26)

  1. Make sure you know your reactions (not mechanisms). If they give you the reactant and reagents, make sure you know the product.

  2. My DAT exam did not ask me questions from biochemistry (DATDestroyer has about 20Q covering basic biochemistry; these concepts are more important for Dental School).

  3. Make sure you know the Acids and Bases concepts inside and out (including pKa, pKb).

  4. Know E1, E2, SN1, SN2 like the back of your hand.

  5. Absolutely know nomenclature and stereochemistry.

  6. Understand the basics of thin layer chromatography.

  7. Do ALL the questions in DATDestroyer for this section at least twice! (I did this section four times because I was weak in orgo and I knew I needed the practice).

Perceptual Ability (16)

60min for 90Q (you have max 10min for 6 sections of PAT)

  1. Practice using DATBooster and YouTube.

  2. I wish I spent more time practicing for this section!

  3. Easiest sections: cube counting, angle ranking, hole punching.

  4. Hardest sections: key hole (mastering key hole first helped me with top front end), top front end, pattern folding.

Reading Comprehension (20)

60min for 50Q (3 passages, 20min each)

  1. I got the Kaplan DAT prep book to study for this section.

  2. The 3 passages could be on any topic and not necessarily relating to science (e.g. I had an article about dams or bridges).

  3. Use DATBooster to practice reading and answering questions in 20min or less for each passage.

  4. Find articles online (e.g. from Nature Journal, The Scientist, News Medical, Psych.Co, Symmetry Magazine, Aegis Dental Network) and practice reading the whole article in 8 min, while taking down notes.

  5. Take 8 min to read the passage and 12 min to answer questions.

As you read during those 8min:

1. Keep in mind the topic of the passage, the author's tone (positive, negative or neutral), and the author's purpose.

2. Write 2-3 key words summarizing each paragraph (one passage is about 14-16 paragraphs).

Quantitative Reasoning (16)

45min for 40Q

(main focus topics are algebra, probability, investments and percents, money, word problems, analyzing graphs)

  1. No trigonometry, no calculus.

  2. Make sure to do all tests in Math Destroyer by Orgoman at least twice! (I only did 4 tests once and that explains my score of 16 on this section.)

This is the calculator given on the DAT:


bottom of page