Here, I am sitting down on my computer unable to watch the Lakers game since I don’t have damn cable. (Yes, I started yesterday). So I am going to write my first real post regarding how to do well on DAT. This post will go over how I studied for the QR section of the DAT. I am going over this section first because I got the best score out of all the sections. I believe I only got one question wrong since I got a 29. But before I go into any detail, I would like to talk about one important tip on studying for the DAT. Some of you may know but I am sure there are people who do not know it but should know it. If you go to the DAT website, there’s a study guide made by the DAT people. If you are lazy to find it on your own, here is the link, http://www.ada.org/prof/ed/testing/dat/dat_examinee_guide_2008.pdf. Most of the stuff in the pdf file are pretty much useless in preparing for the DAT except the test specification section (page 18-19). This is what I used to figure out what to study for each section. If you conquer all the topics listed in that section, I guarantee you will do well on your test.
So going back to quantitative reasoning, the guide lists the topics that must be studied.
Algebra – equations and expressions, inequalities, exponential notation, absolute
value, ratios and proportions, and graphical analysis;
Numerical calculations – fractions and decimals,
percentages, approximations and scientific notation;
Conversions – temperature, time, weight, and distance;
Probability and Statistics;
Applied Mathematics (word) Problems.
Those are the topics that you must be familiar with before going into the testing center. Do not overestimate any of the topics. For example, you must know the conversion for time, distance, temperature, and weight. I know one of my friends had a question on temperature conversion and I had a question that required a distance conversion.
Honestly, I have to say that if you know your high school math, you should do well. However, I do believe the difficulty of QR section lies in the limited amount of time rather than the difficulty of each problem. My best advice for you is to brush up on all the topics and PRACTICE. But before you do mass practice, let’s go over each topic.
Algebra – really basic. If you don’t know basic algebra, there are tons of resources on the internet that you can probably use. On my test, I saw quite a few basic algebra equation problems, but I don’t remember seeing any graphical analysis or inequalities. Still, I recommend you should still know them.
Numerical calculation – Don’t really have much to say about this section although I saw a few of these. Just practice if you are slow.
Conversions – Yes, these are on the test. If you want to get a 20+, you better know your conversions. I don’t think it’s necessary to know every single conversion in the world, but if you know the major ones you should be fine. For example, celsius to farenheit, miles to km, inches to cm, lbs to kg, and so on. Don’t worry about all the obscure ones, just know the ones you have seen in your life many times.
Probability and Statistics – Probably the hardest section for most people and for me. I had about four of these problems and I did not know how to do two of them. Fortunately, I had some extra time to do one of them manually without using any formula. Anyway, learn to do these types of problems. Know permutations and combinations for sure.
Ok, I am tired of writing, I will continue next time.