Learning Efficiently and Study Plan for the DAT 2023
You should not overwhelm yourself with loads of information, it is hard to remember them. You can learn and memorize information chunk by chunk.
Learning information is in a way like eating food; you should try to eat spoon by spoon and chew it well so that you can take it and so that your body can absorb it after, but if you just take the whole plate at once you cannot swallow or digest it well. The body may return what you have taken in if it is too much for it; when it is food your body throws it out, when it is information you simply forget it.
So it is best to try and learn information bit by bit rather than taking huge amounts at once, you can check how much you have learned by trying to test yourself a few days after you have learnt the information. If you can remember most of the information it means you have taken them in well, if you can’t remember them well it means there is a problem with the learning process that you must identify to optimize your studying time. Whether it is concentration or huge and confusing amounts of information, you must figure it out.
Choosing a Study Plan
The questions “How much should I study for the DAT?” or “How should I study?” or “Should I self-study or take a test preparation course?” can have different answers depending on the person’s learning habits, situation, weaknesses, strengths, and routines, but long story short you need to study several hours most of the days of the week to be successful. You can change the details on how much time you want to study every day as you see fit.
Different students have passed the DAT successfully by self-study or with a test preparation course. A positive side that there is to a test preparation course is that it has a classroom structure which you have to attend and prepare for so it forces you to study and guides your studying. But the negative point is that you have to use their material for better or worse and you have to pay for it, and the fee is sometimes a considerable amount of money. So it is up to you to decide.
Most sources recommend a total amount of 200 to 250 hours of study for the DAT, you can break this amount down in any way you prefer; you can study 6 hours 6 days of the week for example which is 36 hours a week, and you would finish the 250 hours in around 7 weeks.
Time: In order to have efficient study time you must have separate periods of studying; having separate study spans even if they are 2 to 3 hours per day during the week is more efficient than studying 12 hours in one day of the week all at once. Learning and reviewing the information every day is more efficient in terms of remembering and learning rather than trying to remember a huge bulk of information at once.
Whether you are planning to study 3 hours per day or 6 to 8 hours, you must have short breaks in between to rest your brain.
The length of study span and the breaks in between them really depends on you but it is recommended that you have 35 or 45 to 50-minute spans or even longer, and have 10 to 15-minute breaks for 2 to 3 spans of studying; then if you are planning to have longer hours of study each day have a longer break for a meal of the day like an hour or two for example and after that have another 1 or 2 study spans. You should see what the best study span is for you.
Try to avoid distractions like your phone or social media and so on at your study time, staying focused is crucial in learning efficiency.
It is highly recommended that you have two or three studying spans before longer breaks than 10-15 minutes and having too many interruptions will damage the learning process and concentration.
Environment: It is highly recommended that you choose an environment to study in which you are comfortable to study, quiet, and with appropriate lighting. It should not be in a way that makes you feel sleepy.
Materials: Each person has different weaknesses and strengths in different subjects of study. One student may need to study, test, and review General Chemistry more than other subjects while another student may need to work more on his/her Math or Biology. You should find your own weaknesses and strengths.
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