If you’re planning on going to dental school, you need to do well on your Dental Admission Test. This test takes 4½ hours, and costs $525 to take. It’s not a quiz you can take casually.
The DAT has a maximum score of 30, and a score of 17 is about average. That’s the score that students achieve even after months of serious study for the test. And some top dental schools have even more stringent DAT standards. Keep in mind that students accepted to the Harvard dental school have an average of 23.5.
But what does serious study for the DAT entail? It means you need to devote several months (the recommended is at least 3 months) to focusing on your DAT studies. And while you might (or as some may say, you should) try out an online course, you also have the option of going with a traditional book instead. If you are in a hurry and just want to check our best DAT prep pick, check this article here.
And that leads us to the DAT Destroyer. This is a book (now updated for the 2023 DAT) written by Jim Romano.
Who is Jim Romano?
He is actually Dr. Jim Romano, and he wrote the first DAT Destroyer way back in 2006. He has 2 degrees, with a degree in Organic Chemistry from the University of Miami and a degree in Dental Surgery from New York University.
In fact, he is the author of the various Destroyer books on several different subjects. He also cofounded Orgoman.com and is the founder and head instructor at Romano Scientific.
Features of the DAT Destroyer
As have been previously mentioned, the DAT destroyer is a book. So you won’t find any of the nifty technological benefits that you might get with the online prep courses and mobile apps. There are no videos lessons, video explanations, flashcards, and advanced analytics.
Still, you can visit Dr. Romano’s YouTube page, where you can find 584 videos (as of last count). These include nifty whiteboard explanations regarding many of the concepts. It’s like having a front seat at one of his lectures. But you can watch these videos for free.
Also, there’s a Facebook page you can visit (2023 Official DAT Destroyer and OAT Destroyer Study Group) so you’re able to interact with other students. You might get tips on how to use the book more effectively, plus you get answers to your questions regarding the book.
There are private areas of the site, however, which you can only access after you buy your book. But at least you get answers to questions. In fact, sometimes Jim Romano himself takes time out regularly to answer questions on Facebook.
There is also the official Orgoman.com website, where you can find more information. There are even some practice tests for the various subjects, including Reading Comprehension. But there’s no PAT practice test.
As you’re getting another book, it seems redundant for this book to contain a lot of lessons and concepts that you’ll already find in your current text book collection.
Instead, you get plenty of practice questions to test your knowledge regarding those concepts. And if you get the question wrong, you still get the right answer and proper solution. So, there’s no need to dig up your old textbooks and search for the lessons to tell you how to get the answers right.
The practice questions are just for 4 overall subjects:
- Biology 903 problems with solutions
- General Chemistry 537 problems with solutions
- Organic Chemistry 471 problems with solutions
- Quantitative Reasoning 152 problems with solutions
That’s a total of 2,063 practice questions. As you might have noticed, there are no practice questions for the PAT and Reading Comprehension. But the cover of the book does list only these 4 subject areas, so you can’t complain about the missing sections.
The solutions are terrific, as they guide you through each step of the process to getting to the right answer. These solutions should really help you improve, and make sure you don’t make the same wrong answers.
Tips and Hints
Yes, the practice questions and problems represent the bulk of the study materials you can use for your DAT preparation.
But you shouldn’t ignore the helpfulness of the various tips and hints you can find in the book. These tips are scattered throughout the book, and provide some help for each of the subjects listed.
These include the Biology mnemonics in the book. These are extremely convenient (and quite effective, too) if you’re having trouble memorizing the various Biology terms.
There are also various Organic Chemistry reactions listed in one handy section. That way, you won’t have to go through numerous books to learn about and memorize each one.
On Amazon, the DAT Destroyer book is available for $199.
But it’s more affordable if you go to the official DAT Destroyer website. There, it’s available for $174.95.
There are even alternative payment plans. One is the interest-free 4-payment, with a payment of $43.74 every two weeks for a total of 8 weeks. That’s a grand total of $174.96 (the extra penny doesn’t really count as interest, right?).
The other payment option is for 12 months, with $15.79 per month. That’s a total of $189.48, so you’re only paying an extra $14.53 in interest.
There are some bundle discounts, if you’re also getting other books from Orgoman, which publishes DAT Destroyer. The discounts range from $50 to $136, depending on the other books you’re getting.
Just keep in mind that there are no refunds. The books are also not for resale—meaning that if you’re getting a 2nd-hand copy, you can’t enjoy all the other privileges such as posting questions on Facebook.
Shipping destinations include the whole US, including Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Guam, and Canada. They even ship to APO (Army Post Office) and FPO (Fleet Post Office).
Shipping normally takes 5 to 7 business days, not counting holidays and weekends.
Benefits of the DAT Destroyer
Yes, the fact that it’s not an online prep course leads to a long list of disadvantages. But there are some good things to consider here.
It’s a Book
And as it’s a book, it’s comfortable and familiar to book lovers. Some people still prefer books these days compared to their electronic counterparts, which explains why hardbound books and paperbacks still sell well compared to their e-book counterparts.
There’s just something about books that feels great. And it’s easy enough to tote around, like a laptop. you can study with it in a coffee shop or your local park.
The Author is an Actual Expert
This author isn’t some self-proclaimed expert. With 2 degrees from reputable universities, you can be sure that Dr. Romano knows what he’s about. And don’t forget that he’s been at it since 2006.
No Time Limit
Virtually all online prep courses have a limit as to how long you can access the online study materials. But you can read your book at any time, even beyond 6 months if you get your book early.
No Power or Internet Requirement
You don’t have to worry about your laptop (or smartphone) losing its battery charge before you finish your lesson. That’s not a problem with a book. You don’t need a good internet connection, either. This is actually problematic for primarily smartphone studying, as the mobile data charges can get a bit expensive.
It’s Not Just the Book
The videos are helpful, when you check them out on YouTube (You can watch those free). You can see how Dr. Romano explains various concepts quite clearly.
And the Facebook page is great as well, as you can interact with others, post problems, and get solutions and tips.
If we’re all being honest, this type of book is just obsolete, compared to what you can get from a good online DAT prep course. You won’t get the thousands of video lessons and explanations that you might find in other alternatives such as Bootcamp or DAT Booster. You don’t get flashcards, 3D modeling and manipulation, and advanced analytics.
- Best PAT and Biology section in the market.
- Realistic Practice Test.
- Impressive PAT problem creation and analysis tools.
- Engaging video lessons in easily digestible portions
- Excellent comprehensive study materials with visual aids, such as graphics
- Around 9000 Practice problems that closely resemble the real thing
- Beneficial one-on-one coaching with expert tutors
- Offers a guarantee for a higher score
- Anki deck from Booster is quite useful for Chemistry.
You’re even missing out on PAT and Reading Comprehension study materials. Which makes this book merely a supplement. It works well in that regard, but it’s just not a complete solution to your DAT study issue.
So, should you buy the book? If you’re more comfortable with a book, then go ahead and get it. Just don’t stick with this as your only DAT prep material. Use it along with a good online DAT prep course, and you’ll be fine.
Consider this a footnote, if you will. It’s obvious that the DAT Destroyer functions very well as a supplementary study material. It helps you with the DAT, but it works better when you already have a working knowledge of the various topics covered.
So, to make sure you get the basics first and you insist on books, here are the books that you might want to read along the way:
- Organic Chemistry, written by David Klein
- Organic Chemistry Odyssey, Jim Romano
- Chemistry, Raymond Chang
- General Chemistry Destroyer, Jim Romano
- Campbell Biology, Neil Campbell
- Dynamite Biology Review, Jim Romano
- Math Destroyer, Jim Romano
Have fun with all your books!