Manual Dexterity

1. Introduction

In this first video of DATCrusher’s exclusive DAT Soap Carving 101 series, we go over the MDT and the supplies you will be given and ones that you should bring.

2. Overview of the MDT

In this video, we continue with the overview of the MDT and the supplies you will be given and ones that you should bring with you on test day.

3. Introduction to Patterns

In this video, we will go over the types of patterns that can possibly show up on the Canadian DAT.

4. Test Day Anxiety

In this video, we will discuss common emotions and the anxiety that will be felt as you approach test day and how you can deal with them.

5. Quick Tips (Featuring Shahed)

In this video, Shahed will go over some quick high-yield tips to help boost your soap carving skills.

6. Marking: Quadrants

In this video, we will go over techniques for creating the quadrants, longitudinal lines, and other valuable information for perfecting your guidelines in the pre-carve phase of the exam.

7. Marking: Simple End

In this video, we will begin creating the design specific markings starting with the simple end which is almost always composed of either a flute or a notch or rarely, both.

8. Marking: Circumferential Lines

In this video, we will go over the correct technique for marking the circumferential lines and ensuring the design measurements are perfect.

9. Marking: Flute

In this video, we will show the best technique for creating the guidelines for the flute end section.

10. Marking: Complex End (Notched Partial Triangle)

In this video, we will begin discussing the process for marking various types of complex end by starting with the notched partial triangle design.

11. Marking: Complex End (Notched Full Triangle)

In this video, we will discuss design variations of complex ends and the difference between half and full triangular end pieces.

12. Marking: Complex End (Fluted Square)

The complex end of the soap can consist of a number of different designs. In this video, we will go over the toughest one: the fluted square!

13.Marking: Complex End (Fluted Triangle)

Having gone over the fluted square and the notched triangle patterns, we will now go over marking the fluted triangle.

14. Finishing the Mark-Up

In this video, we will go over last minute checks and things to watch out for before beginning to carve the soap.

15. Introduction to Carving

In this video, we will go over last minute checks and things to watch out for before beginning to carve the soap.

16. Gross Carving: Simple End (Notch)

In this video, we will quickly discuss how to gross carve the notch while being efficient and mindful of the other sections to be carved.

17. Gross Carving: Simple End (Flute)

In this video, we will tackle the flute, which is the second and final possible design that you may be asked to carve on the simple end.

18. Gross Carving: Saddle

Similar to the notch, the gross carve for the saddle should be quick and clean. In this video, we will show you how it should be done.

19. Gross Carving: Complex End (Notched Triangle)

In this video, we will go over the more difficult of the two ends and discuss how to gross carve for a notched triangle design.

20. Fine Carving: Simple End (Flute)

Now that the gross carving for the entire design has been completed, it is time to go over the more delicate technique of fine carving.

21. Fine Carving: Simple End (Notch)

In this video, we will go show you the technique required to accurately and efficiently complete the notch segment of the simple end.

22. Fine Carving: Saddle

Building on the previous video, we will now go over the middle saddle and how to properly finish it with smooth planes and perpendicular walls.

23. Fine Carving: Complex End (Notched Triangle)

In this video, we will tackle the tougher end and show you how to complete the notched triangle with efficiency and precision.

24. Gross & Fine Carving: Complex End (Fluted Square)

Unlike the simple end, the complex end can have a variety of design patterns. In this video, we will focus on the fluted square design and show you how to correctly complete it.

25. Gross & Fine Carving: Complex End (Fluted Triangle)

In this video, we will show you how to complete the last possible complex end pattern, the fluted triangle.

26. Full Carve Time-Lapse DEMO 1

In this video, we will show you a complete soap carving DEMO from beginning with evaluating the design and marking up the pattern, all the way to finishing the carving and grading the soap.
Simple End: Notch & Flute
Complex End: Notched Partial Triangle

27. Full Carve Time-Lapse DEMO 2

In this video, we will go over a complete DEMO of the MDT section from beginning with evaluating the design and marking up the pattern, all the way to finishing the carving and grading the soap.
Simple End: Double-Flute
Complex End: Fluted-Square

28. Full Carve Time-Lapse DEMO 3

In this video, we will go over a complete DEMO of the MDT section from beginning with evaluating the design and marking up the pattern, all the way to finishing the carving and grading the soap.
Simple End: Flute
Complex End: Notched-Triangle

29. Grading a Perfect 30

In this video, not only do we go over the four criteria which the CDA uses to grade the MDT soaps, but we will also apply these criteria to show you exactly what a perfect score looks like.

30. General Grading Overview

In this video, we will go over additional marking caveats and the steps which the CDA uses in order to systematically and accurately grade each submitted soap carving.

Recommended Practice Patterns

1. Soap on the test maybe different– The soap the CDA will provide you on the test day maybe different from the soap you bought from them. They have done this multiple times in the past and these soaps tend to be VERY soapy. But don’t be worried if this happens, just apply the same concepts of soap carving that you practiced with and you will do fine.

2. Carve the soaps under test settings – Since the DAT is offered in the mornings, it’s highly recommended that you practice soap carving in the morning in order to get used to the conditions of the real DAT.

3. Practice makes perfect! – Literally, there is no other way to improve on this section. Everyone starts out with a different baseline but realistically anyone can get a 30 as long as they put in the time. For some people, it may take 5-10 soaps to start carving perfect soaps, however, for other people it may take 25+. And so, you need to just keep practicing smart.

4. Learn from the soaps you carve – Each time you carve a soap, you need to criticize it and figure out where you need to improve. This is the only way you can improve enough to get a perfect score. At the end, it comes down to practice and learning from each soap you carve.

5. Limit the # of soaps you carve per day – As we all know, soaps are expensive and so you don’t want to burn through them really fast. And more importantly, you don’t want to burn yourself out by carving 3-4 soaps a day. Therefore, we highly recommend you carve 1 soap every morning for the weeks leading up to the DAT. As you approach the DAT test day, we recommend you carve about 2 soaps a day (once at night and once in the morning) in order to improve. Just remember to not to take this section lightly, especially if you are applying to the University of Alberta since Soap carving is with 33% of your DAT section that they look at.

6. Practice every single variation of soap patterns- Before writing the DAT, you should have attempted every single variation of pattern that you could expect to show up on your DAT including the ones below.

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