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Best DAT Prep Courses & Study Materials
Our comprehensive guide to the best DAT prep courses and study materials on the market
The DAT is one of the most challenging exams that you’ll take in your life, and in order to crush this all-important test, you’ll very likely need a prep course. But with so many options to choose from, how do you know which one is best for your needs? Our team of experts has purchased, thoroughly tested and reviewed just about every DAT prep course on the market, and ranked the best of the best here, so you can make an informed decision on which is right for you.
To quickly navigate through this comprehensive guide of the best DAT prep courses and study materials, simply use the jump-to links above.
YouTube Video Breakdown: The 4 Best DAT Courses
In the video above, John from the Test Prep Insight team walks you through an overview of the 4 best DAT prep courses on the market. For more detail on any of the courses discussed in the video, be sure to keep reading below.
When it comes to DAT prep, DAT Bootcamp’s self-paced study program gets a ton of hype—and for good reason. They’ve primarily made a name for themselves by offering an absolute mountain of realistic practice material, a guided study plan, and some very solid video lessons.
Their video lessons are especially good. They have awesome production value and we loved the energy we got from DAT Bootcamp’s instructors, particularly their chemistry expert, Dr. Mike.
Additionally (as discussed more below), the biggest selling point in our team’s opinion is DAT Bootcamp’s heaps of practice work. There is no questioning that they are the kings of practice. And it’s more than just volume (13,000+ problems), as we found DAT Bootcamp’s practice problems to be the most realistic in the space.
They are a dead ringer for the content, difficulty and length of real problems. And in terms of when to do this practice work and watch those solid video lessons, DAT Bootcamp provides a really helpful study plan that we found to be one of the best in the game.
If there is one major downside here, when compared directly with Kaplan and Princeton Review, DAT Bootcamp doesn’t offer live classes, which can be a huge benefit when prepping for the DAT.
To be fair, they have rolled out some new live crash courses, which are pretty solid 3-hour intensive sessions, but they are an add-on and not regularly scheduled yet. Once Bootcamp builds these workshop sessions into their main course, they will unstoppable.
Mountains of DAT Study Material
If you’re the type of student that loves to burn through practice questions and take tons of simulated exams, DAT Bootcamp will be the option for you. They offer a crazy amount of practice work, and it is top-tier in the DAT prep space.
Specifically, you’ll get access to over 10 or 15 full-length practice tests (depending on your package), 13,000+ practice questions, and an unlimited number of PAT questions through their PAT generator.
And like I noted above, it wasn’t just the quantity that impressed our team – we also really liked what we saw with respect to quality.
The practice questions from DAT Bootcamp are realistic in terms of content and difficulty, and we thought they closely mirrored the real thing.
We also liked the explanations that accompany their practice problems, especially those that carry a video explanation. These short video breakdowns were really useful and we wish they would add more to follow each question.
While the quality of all their video lessons is solid, the series of chemistry videos from Dr. Mike are particularly good and noteworthy (hence the extra section to emphasize them). Dr. Mike is engaging, enthusiastic and a great communicator. I cannot say enough about these videos.
He easily breaks down some really tough chemistry concepts, that even the experts on our team find to be difficult. He uses sample problems to perfection to help explain his lesson and loves using the digital whiteboard, which can be a major benefit to visual learners.
We’ve even had readers tell us that they’ve used his chemistry videos as supplemental learning for class work. They’re that good.
The bottom line for DAT Bootcamp is that they offer the most efficient and effective package on the market. Between their video lessons, study notes, study schedule, and realistic practice work, we were super impressed.
And it’s offered at a decent price! For under $500, DAT Bootcamp is a killer value.
DAT Booster makes our list of best DAT prep courses for many of the same reasons DAT Bootcamp does. That is, they offer a comprehensive program packed with quality study materials, including realistic practice work, video lessons, digestible study notes, and a robust study schedule.
Not only that, the programs have a very similar look and feel, as well as syllabus/organization.
However, they do differ in a few ways, and a couple areas where Booster has the edge is perceptual ability (the PAT) and tutoring. Plus, their bite-sized video lessons are awesome. They’re packed with graphics and delivered in a very easy-to-understand way.
Not to mention, DAT Booster is an incredible value. With a price tag under $300, it’s very hard not to like their course.
Most people don’t realize that DAT Booster was originally PAT Booster. Perceptual ability was literally the only thing they focused on at the beginning.
Clearly, they’ve since expanded the scope of their program into full DAT prep, but because this was their original expertise, their team’s specialty is obviously the PAT. To this end, Booster provides a very good PAT generator tool and analyzer.
With their generator, you can create an infinite number of problems, all broken down with filters however you want. Plus, they include a useful analyzer tool as well, which provides feedback on your weak spots.
Finally, it is worth noting that their 3D review tool is fantastic as well, and they have a ton of video content that focuses exclusively on the PAT. So if perceptual ability is a weak area for you, this is definitely something to think about.
For students that learn well via notes and outlines, Booster may be a solid option. Their study notes and cheat sheets were some of the best we’ve seen, as they’re packed with graphics and distilled down to the essentials.
DAT Bootcamp’s notes are right up there with Booster’s written materials, though Booster may have a slight edge. We were particularly big fans of their cheat sheets.
One other thing worth noting is that Booster gives you some really strong tutoring-like support as part of your package. Despite only costing $300, DAT Booster still adds in 1-on-1 time with their team.
To be clear, this is not intensive, daily tutoring sessions. They simply can’t swing that at their value price point. But if you have a few questions or sticking points, you can set up chat sessions with their expert team here and there to get answers to all of your questions.
We put this to the test and found their coaching to be great. Again, these aren’t full, hour-long sessions, but for getting through minor difficulties here and there, they were very helpful. I was shocked they provide this feature at this price.
When it comes to DAT prep, Princeton Review has one of the deepest curriculums we’ve reviewed. It all starts with a set of coursework that our team found to be incredibly comprehensive and well-designed.
Princeton does not shy away from the details, and their coursework gets into the nitty gritty, covering every last bit of material that you need to know for the DAT. This curriculum is primarily driven by some first-in-class live classes.
More on these below, but the 55 hours of live class time you’ll get with Princeton Review cannot be matched in terms of helping you prep. These classes are supplemented by over 4,600 practice questions and 4 full-length practice exams, which we found to be highly realistic of the actual DAT, including the all-important PAT section.
When combined with Princeton Review’s award winning hardcopy prep books, this makes the package a very powerful course.
Incredible Live Instruction
As discussed above, Princeton Review’s live classes are one of the main reasons they make our best list. With 55 hours of live class time, they offer almost 20 hours more of live prep time than their next closest competitor, Kaplan (36 hours).
Winning on the quantity front is always good, but we also love the design of these live class sessions.
Instead of using one generalist instructor who knows a little bit about everything, Princeton employs a subject matter expert approach. Specifically, this means you’re going to get a rotating team of 3 to 5 subject matter experts leading your sessions. For the course I took, there were 4 different instructors across the first 7 class sessions alone.
These instructors were fantastic, and rotate in and out throughout your class sessions based on their strengths. Additionally, I found them all to be excellent communicators.
Maybe they weren’t all the most lively or funniest teachers I’ve had, but they were clearly all masters of their relevant areas and did an excellent job spoon feeding us the essentials that are needed for the DAT. If self-study just won’t do it for you and you need the commitment of live class time, Princeton Review is going to be your best bet.
Awesome DAT Prep Books
As a complement to the core live instruction, Princeton Review boasts some of the best DAT prep books on the market. When you sign up with Princeton, they will ship you a set of hardcopy prep books that our team absolutely loved.
This set includes their legendary Cracking the DAT prep book, which has been a staple of DAT preppers for decades, and includes over 800 pages of test taking strategies, hard content review, and practice material.
You also get a course workbook with 500+ pages of practice problems, as well as an in-class booklet that contains drills and supplemental practice work.
Our team found these books to be clearly written, detailed and thoughtfully designed in terms of the balance they strike between strategy, content and practice. These books offer a huge benefit to text-based learners.
Kaplan makes our best DAT prep courses list for a number of the same reasons that Princeton Review does, namely their high quality video lessons, practice material and well-designed curriculum. That said, the difference comes down to a matter of quality vs. quantity, and that is why Kaplan falls in line right behind Princeton Review.
Whereas our team found the quality of Princeton’s materials to be slightly better, and believes the Princeton course would be more effective for the average student, Kaplan’s level of study material cannot be disputed.
Offering 120+ hours of online lessons and practice, Kaplan simply offers a mountain of prep resources that will keep you busy right up until the day of your exam. This package includes a whopping 7 full-length practice exams, 1,500 practice questions in a customizable question bank, interactive workshops, books and quizzes.
Bottom line, Kaplan offers a mountain of tried and tested DAT study materials that will fit the needs of students who love to grind out their studying with tons of practice work.
Excellent Video Lessons
If you are the type of student that is content to study alone and are leaning towards a self-paced course, Kaplan’s on demand video lessons are a true highlight of their DAT prep package. They are not quite as good as those from Bootcamp and Booster, but rock solid nonetheless.
These videos are modern, engaging and designed to effectively feed you everything you need to know about the DATin 36 jam packed hours. Our team loved both the substantive content and delivery format of these lessons.
They are not the PowerPoint video lectures of yesteryear. These video lessons feature a team of rotating instructors who guide you through the most important concepts of DAT prep.
Unlike other companies’ video lessons, you actually get to frequently see your instructor onscreen and watch them work practice problems and explain concepts through a sleek digital whiteboard.
This format held my attention, and is generally going to be helpful for visual learners. Additionally, I loved the content of the lessons. Kaplan’s DAT test taking strategies are on point, and we had no issue with the content review portion of the lessons.
Everything they explained in the lectures was easily understandable and actionable. If there’s one thing to knock here, it’s that the instructors were not the funniest or most personable teachers we have seen (not by a longshot), but they were definitely knowledgeable and managed to hold my attention.
Why DAT Cracker Makes the Best Study Material List
When considering all of the factors that help a course rise to our list of best DAT prep courses, value is always a huge part of the equation. With DAT Cracker, you get that in spades. Priced at just $199, DAT Cracker provides serious bang for your buck. And even at that, you can almost always find it for 50% off.
Let’s not hide the ball though – this course is no DAT Bootcamp, DAT Booster, Princeton Review, or Kaplan. They do not provide robust video lessons, prep books, creative drills or interactive learning modules.
DAT Cracker costs what it does for a reason – this is a library of 55 practice DAT and PAT tests that are designed to help you prep through practice, practice an more practice, pure and simple.
That said, while there aren’t any engaging video lectures or cool drills, there is one component of this online course that provides some significant instructional value, and that is the problem explanations that accompany every practice problem.
More on these below, but know that our team loved these explanations. In short, if you’re on a budget and need a value prep option for your upcoming DAT, then DAT Cracker may be a solid option.
Awesome Practice Problem Explanations
As alluded to above, one of the highlights of this prep offering are the detailed problem explanations that accompany each and every one of the 1,400+ practice problems. These detailed explanations cover exactly why each answer choice is correct or incorrect. And this is more than simple one sentence statements of the obvious.
These explanations thoroughly explain the underlying rationale behind the question, the content or theory being tested, and why each choice makes sense or does not.
They are well written, comprehensive, and perhaps most importantly, easily understandable. These explanations provide your primary learning opportunity with DAT Cracker and their value should not be overlooked.
DAT Cracker As A Study Supplement
One thought our team shared as we reviewed the DAT Cracker course was that it would make for an excellent supplemental study tool. Without video lessons, prep books or other interactive study tools, it is hard for this course to stand on its own, unless you are an experiential learner who learns best by just doing. If you are, and practice work is all you need, then you may be set with DAT Cracker alone.
But if you’re like most others and need more instructional material, then DAT Cracker could be a nice study aid. For just $199 (usually $100 after discounts), you get access to 55 practice tests with thousands of solid problem explanations.
The ideal study option here is likely going with DAT Bootcamp or DAT Booster, then utilizing DAT Cracker to bolster your library of study material. Their practice tests do an excellent job mirroring the real DAT in terms of content and delivery, and we loved their problem explanations, as mentioned above. So if you’re looking for some additional practice work, this prep package might be a great supplementary option.
Do I need a DAT prep course?
As the DAT is one of the most important exams you’ll take in your life and is filled with difficult problems, you will almost definitely need a prep course. The DAT is nearly impossible to ace without a prep package of some sort.
How much does a DAT prep course cost?
DAT prep packages range widely in price from around $100 all the way up to nearly $1,500.
Will a DAT prep course raise my score?
Very likely yes. The DAT is brimming with difficult material that you’ve probably forgotten since your undergrad science classes, as well as unique problem types that require actionable strategies. Given this, a prep course will almost assuredly raise your score as compared to going it without prep materials.