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13 February, 2024

Canadian DAT Study Tips

There are many ways to prepare for the Canadian DAT. In this article, we will provide Canadian DAT study tips to guide you on how to prepare.
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Congratulations! You have decided to apply to dental school and are preparing for the Dental Aptitude Test (DAT). Writing the Canadian DAT and achieving a competitive score will bring you one step closer to your dreams of becoming a dentist! As a student preparing for the DAT, you are likely seeking some guidance to maximize your study efficiency. We’ve provided some helpful tips in this article to guide your studying so you can achieve your goals on Test Day. Disclaimer: We do not claim that following these tips will guarantee a certain DAT score. As stated below, it’s important to do what works for you to improve test scores.

1. πŸ™‹ Do what works for YOU! When studying for a test as significant as the DAT, you may feel inclined to follow what others have previously done to achieve a certain score. However, while gathering input from others who have written the test is important, it’s critical to keep in mind that everyone is different. Certain techniques may work well for others but may not be the best for you, and vice versa! Therefore, it’s important to try a variety of techniques and approaches to determine what helps boost your scores the most!

2. πŸ“ Complete as many stimulated practice tests as possible. Taking stimulated practice tests will allow you to build your test-taking stamina and familiarize yourself with the environment you will experience on Test Day.

3. βœ… Review all practice tests and additional questions you have completed. It’s important to review all questions you have answered incorrectly to understand why your selected answer was incorrect and focus your studying on a subject you may be uncertain about. Additionally, it’s critical to review questions that you answered correctly. Through this, you can see why the other option choices were incorrect and gather more insight into the question (i.e., the question solution may be different than how you solved it, or the wrong answer choices were topics you were unsure of).

4. 🎯 Focus on breadth over depth! The DAT covers a wide range of topics and focuses on application and critical thinking rather than memorizing details. Therefore, avoid spending time on small details and focus on the bigger concepts. This is especially important for the Biology section!

5. ⏰ Don't spend too much time on a single question. With 70 questions in the Survey of Natural Sciences, 90 questions in the PAT section, and 50 questions in the Reading Comprehension section, the DAT is a fast-paced test. Therefore, when completing practice questions, it’s important to avoid spending too much time on a single question so that you are ready for Test Day. If you get stuck, use the process of elimination to quickly select an answer and move on so that you are able to maximize your score for that section. Remember, the DAT is scaled, so one question will not be the ultimate deciding factor of your score ☺.

6. πŸ… Study efficiently using Active Recall and the Pomodoro Technique. Active recall focuses on long-term memory retention, and the Pomodoro Technique improves focus and decreases procrastination tendencies. Both are invaluable study methods that we highly recommend!

7. πŸ“… Create and adhere to a study schedule. Creating and adhering to a study schedule that you are comfortable with will allow you to increase your concentration and instill a sense of discipline to complete daily study objectives. One study done by Yusuff (2018) showed that goal setting and having a study plan improved academic performance and learning engagement among 4th year pharmacy students. The DATCrusher team has created a flexible, comprehensive 8-week study schedule that you can also easily modify according to your commitments!

8. ⏸ Take breaks and time away from studying: Studying for the DAT can be a mentally exhausting task, especially with hours of daily studying. Therefore, it’s important to take time away from studying to exercise, spend with friends and family, etc. This way, you will allow yourself to recharge and eliminate feelings of burnout!

As always, feel free to contact the DATCrusher team at any point during your studying if you would like clarification or more study tips. We wish you the best of luck in your studies and are here to support you every step of the way! ☺