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DAT Study Schedule: 2 Months and 1 Month Plans Explained

With study preparation for the DAT, one can argue that everyone’s different in the way they prepare for the test.

However, one thing is certain. The better and longer your study schedule is, the higher your chances of getting a high score that will guarantee you admission to your favorite dental school.

Most students get ready within 2-3 months. But some only have a month or so to study due to unavoidable circumstances.

Today I am going to show you in detail 1-month and 2-months DAT study schedules that will help you prepare efficiently for your DAT.

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Is 2 months enough time to study for the DAT?

First things first. Yes, two months are enough to study for the DAT.

In fact, for most people, it’s plenty. But then since we’re all different with various needs, it might not be really enough for some few individuals.

Why am I saying this?

You see, the time you need to adequately prepare for the DAT primarily depends on how much quality time you can handle per study session.

Some people can comfortably master essential concepts in two hours, while another lot can take 5 hours to grasp the same content, and a few others will take 10 hours on the same.

Also, if you tend, you tend to forget what you read pretty fast, then it’s only logical that you leave only a few weeks of marathon studying up-to-the week/few days before your exam.

This way, the memories of the concepts you’ve learned will still be fresh in your mind.

But, if you have no problem remembering stuff even after a couple of months, then you can plan to study for even 6 months before exam day.

As you can see, it all depends on you. And the type of learner you’re.

Another thing is whether you will be comfortable settling for an average score, or you would do anything to achieve the highest score.

Your answer for this, combined with how good you’re at mastering materials, will determine whether you can attain your goal in two months or not.

If by chance, you decide to dedicate two months into your DAT preparations, then you should also be ready to study for long hours.

Remember, some individuals are reviewing for the same test for 4-6 months, and you will be competing for a slot in the same dental schools.

So, what will you do to compensate for the shorter time-frame in your hands? Of course, studying for long, but also realistically.

Therefore, the bottom line here is that, yes, two months are sufficient to ready for DAT. But let no one lie to you that it will be easy.

The fact remains that the lesser time you’ve to review all essential materials, the smarter you’ll have to work to meet your goals.

And this doesn’t mean that it would get easy if you had more weeks to study.

Instead, that would mean more content to cover in a day as everything will be spread over 8 weeks. And that will mean more pressure on you.

Are you ready for that? If your answer is “yes,” then you’re ready to go!

How long should I study for DAT?

Having dealt with this question several times, I would comfortably say that how long you need to study for DAT depends on your ability.

If you keep asking people for their opinions on a matter that will only affect your future and not theirs, then you might end up getting frustrated when the results don’t match your expectations.

Remember, everyone will tell you what they feel is right for them and not you.

And no matter how much others think they know you, you’re the only one who understands yourself best. Theirs will be subjective opinions. And yours will be an honest analysis.

What am I driving at?

Take time to evaluate yourself. Assess your previous exam experience. And here, I recommend you use one occasion where you had to work under pressure/within a specific time-frame.

Which results did you achieve? And did they meet your expectation? What improvements could you’ve made if given a choice? What could you’ve done away with?

Your answers to the above questions will help you know which time-frame is sufficient to help you get ready for the DAT. And by this, I mean adequately.

Also, since DAT primarily focuses on sciences, how great you’re in them should give a clue of how long you should study.

The secret is to select a study plan/schedule that will allow you to not only work hard but also keep pushing until you’re 100% satisfied with all aspects of the DAT exam.

By so doing, you will gain confidence. And that’s one of the most important attributes you need to score highly.

So, I would be lying if I tell you to study for a month, 2 months, or even 4-6 months without knowing your capabilities.

But since you understand yourself better, I hope my explanation will help you comfortably settle into a study-routine that will benefit you 100% at the end of it all.

Remember, the keyword is to study A LOT!

If, after self-assessment, you find out that you’re okay with a two months study schedule, read the following section on how to build your study schedule.

DAT Study Schedule for 2 months

Essential Things and Materials You Need

  1. Books

You can’t study for DAT without using 2-3 prep. Books.

There’re quite a number of them in the market, so you’ll have to select the books that suit your needs.

But since I have already done a review on the best prep books for DAT, I will give you a few examples of the top-ranking materials for your consideration.

The most famous prep book is the Kaplan DAT Prep Plus 2019-2020, followed closely by The Princeton Review Cracking the DAT and DAT: Dental Admissions Test (Barron’s Test Prep).

You can choose one of them and combine it with an online course of your choice such as the popular Princeton Review DAT online course.

  1. DAT Flashcards

Any smart DAT student working against time will tell you that Flashcards are a lifesaver.  Well, literally.

They allow you to study wherever you are and at whatever time, making it easy to master vital concepts even when on-the-go.

Since most Flashcards come with a list of essential DAT questions, complete with a detailed explanation of their answers, they make it easy for you to study even with the help of a friend.

The best recommendation I can give for this category is the DAT Mometrix  Flashcard Study System.

      3. A Notebook and Pen

If you don’t have a tablet or aren’t comfortable with going through content using your smartphone, then a small notebook and a pen will come in handy.

Use it to note all your weekly observations (as you study) and solutions to arising problems. It makes weekly reviews easy and fast.

You can also use it to draft essential points for last-minute perusing, especially during the last week to exam.

First phase: Studying Content

This is typically 8 weeks of study, and it should be enough to help you properly study and attain a high score on DAT.

And the best way to do this is to take a diagnostic test at the beginning of week one, to help you determine your strengths and weaknesses.

Knowing this will determine how much time you allocate to each section. For instance, if you find yourself better in Biology and poor in Organic Chem, you will have to allocate more time to Organic Chem and less to Biology.

You can also alter your schedule every week, depending on the results of the practice tests that you’ll be taking at the end of each week.

So, in this 2-months study schedule, you will be studying for 5 days, do the practice test on day 6 and take time to review the results, and take day 7 off to rest.

And if you want to study for only 5 days, then you will have to increase the number of hours you study, to cover all the relevant areas. Allocate 3 hours for each section per day and focus on covering 4 chapters per day.

If you do this correctly, you should finish all the review materials by the end of week 6 and shift your focus on practice tests/questions for the remaining two weeks.

If you have a tutor or a study group, it’s advisable to meet on day six after the practice tests to discuss the results and strategize on the appropriate measures to take for the coming week.

Week 1

Take the first few hours of day 1 to take a diagnostic test to help you know which areas are your strongholds and which parts aren’t.

Afterward, list essential concepts you must understand for a high DAT score and rank them according to familiarity.

Your schedule should look like this;

Biology: anatomy and physiology and developmental biology

General Chem: atomic and molecular structure

Organic Chem: nomenclature, stereochemistry

Perpetual Ability Test PAT): understand the various rules in each subtest and how to tackle them.

Quantitative Reasoning (QR): numerical calculations

Saturday: Practice test, Score Review

Sunday: Resting day

Note; Take an hour break between each section.

 – Week 2

Your schedule should look like this;

Biology: cell and molecular biology

General Chem: periodic trends, and stoichiometry

Organic Chem: aromaticity and bonding

Quantitative Reasoning (QR): algebra

Saturday: Practice test, review of answers

Note; remember to take question problems at the end of each study session.

Week 3

Biology: genetics; evolution,

General Chem: equilibrium, thermodynamics

Organic Chem: properties of molecules

Quantitative Reasoning (QR): Conversions

PAT: work on your speed and achieving accuracy in all areas.

Saturday: Practice test, review of answers

Sunday: Resting day

Week 4

Biology: ecology

General Chem: kinetics, liquids and solids, and gases

Organic Chem: reaction mechanisms

PAT: work on your speed and achieving accuracy in all areas.

Saturday: Practice test, review of answers

Sunday: Resting day

Take 1 full-length practice test.

Week 5-6

Biology:  behavior, diversity of life

General Chem: solutions, redox reaction, acids and bases, and nuclear reactions

Organic Chem: all reactions

Quantitative Reasoning (QR): trigonometry, geometry, and probability and statistics

Saturday: Practice test, review of answers

Sunday: Resting day

Remember to increase the number of studies where necessary.

You can also reduce them, but that will mean you will have some sections to cover in week 7.

If everything section is covered by the end of week 6;

 Week 7-8

Review your practice test.

Take more question problems and 1 full-length practice tests.

Polish on your weak areas.

Take a day or two before the DAT relaxing and reenergizing.

Second Phase: Practice Tests

Ensure you take a practice test (questions) at the end of each week.  More tests should come-up in weeks 7-8, as indicated above.

Remember to review the results and adjust your study time each week in favor of your weak areas.

Take the full-length tests in one sitting to give you a glimpse of your time-management skills. And this should be in week 7 or 8. The closer to the actual exam day, the better.

Aim at taking 6 full-length tests, at most. And three at least.

Third Phase: Tips on how to be ready mentally

  1. Concentrate on covering as many sections as possible. Then use the practice questions to measure what you’ve mastered. The ability to answer questions correctly gives you confidence.
  2. Rest as much as you can. That’s why I insist you take an hour’s break after each study session. Also, get sufficient sleep.
  1. Separate yourself from negatively criticizing individuals. If they can boost your mental energy, then it’s better to be alone.
  2. Eat healthily and drink enough water. Your general well-being is primarily what you feed on. Too much sugar and caffeine aren’t good.Fruits, vegetables, and foods rich in Omega-3 will do you good.
  1. Visit the examination center, if possible, to get a picture of what to expect on exam day. Familiarize yourself with the environment.
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How to study for the DAT in 1 month

If, for some reason, you find yourself stuck with only a month before DAT,  then you’ve to work extra hard to prepare for the exam adequately.

The following sample study schedule should help you customize yours;

Like the 2-month study schedule, start your week 1 by taking a practice test for strength/weakness identification.

Afterward, plan to take problem questions at the end of each study-session and a comprehensive practice test at the end of each week.

Increase the hours of study to 5-6per study-session. With a 1 hour break in between.

Use each day of the weekday to cover topics from four sections. Rest on the 7th day.

For instance;

Week 1

Biology: anatomy and physiology and developmental biology

General Chem: atomic and molecular structure

Organic Chem: nomenclature, stereochemistry

Perpetual Ability (PAT): understand the various rules in each subtest and how to tackle them.

Quantitative Reasoning (QR): numerical calculations

Saturday: Practice test, Score Review

Sunday: Resting day

Note; Take an hour break between each section.

No full-length test this week. Take comprehensive problem questions and review the answers.

Week 2

Biology: cell and molecular biology, evolution and genetics

General Chem: periodic trends, and stoichiometry, equilibrium, thermodynamics

Organic Chem: aromaticity and bonding, properties of molecules

Quantitative Reasoning (QR): algebra, trigonometry, conversions

Saturday: Practice test, review of answers

Sunday: Resting day

Take 1 full-length test on Saturday and review the score.

Week 3

Biology: ecology, and behavior, diversity of life

General Chem: kinetics, liquids and solids, and gases

Organic Chem: reaction mechanisms, all reactions

Quantitative Reasoning (QR): trigonometry, geometry

Saturday: Practice test, review of answers

Sunday: Resting day

Use your PAT time to work on accuracy and time-management skills.

Take your 2nd full-length test

Week 4

QR: Probability and Statistics

General Chem: acids and bases, solutions, redox reaction and nuclear reactions

Use a day for QR review.

Use the remaining days to polish on areas your weak areas and maximizing on your strengths.

Don’t focus on learning new concepts, instead focus on the ones you’ve already mastered and those that seem to give you problems.

Take a day to visit the examination center for physical analysis and familiarization of the place.

Take the day before the DAT off to relax. Enjoy your favorite activity to take your mind off the exam fever.

Also, don’t forget to keep your diet healthy and to sleep adequately.

FAQs about studying schedule for DAT

What is the best DAT prep course?

According to numerous positive students’ reviews and expert reviews on the internet, DAT Princeton Review stands out as one of the best closely followed by The Kaplan Review Course.

So, do some research and choose the one that suits your needs.

How many times can you take the DAT?

The best thing about DAT is that you can take the test as much as necessary to help you attain a desirable score.

But for more than 3 repetitions, ADA requires you to forward a school-going proof, to be allowed to take the test. Any evidence related to dental-progress will do.

How long does it take for DAT scores to be sent?

Immediately you finish the DAT; you will receive non-official preliminary results to help you have a clue of your score.

But the score is subject to change upon standardization.

So, expect to access the official results in about 3-4 weeks. If you had selected your dental schools of choice (which I advise you to do), the results would be forwarded to them.

Conclusion

DAT isn’t as easy as ABCD, but it also isn’t too tough for you not to handle. If others have scored highly before you, then there’s nothing preventing you from succeeding even if you only have a month or two before the actual exam date.

In this article, I took you through a 2-moth DAT study schedule and also gave you a glimpse of what your 1-month DAT schedule should look like.

I, therefore, hope you find the content useful to confidently start your preparation without the restriction of time getting into your head.

It’s your time to shine, and you surely can do so with persistence and dedication.

Best of Luck!

Categories DAT
John Reed
My name is John Reed and I am the chief editor of TestPrepPal.com. I am alumni of university of of Pennsylvania and want to help future graduates with their tests.

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