The DAT, Dental Admissions Test

If you’re planning on getting into a career in dentistry, you’re going to need to take the American Dental Association (ADA) Dental Admissions Test (DAT). You should take the exam during the Spring of your junior year (undergraduate) up to the Fall of your Senior year. However, with the increasing competitiveness of Dental School admission and the importance on applying early it is recommended that you take it as soon as possible.

The DAT is a standardized test that is designed to measure general academic ability, science background, and perceptual ability. The test consists of 4 sections; Natural Sciences, Reading Comprehension, Quantitative Reasoning, and Perceptual Ablity.

From this writer’s perspective, the singe greatest tool I had when preparing to take the DAT was a copy of the Dental Admission Test (DAT) Computerized Sample Tests and Guide, TopScore Pro for the DAT. This software is identical to the testing situation that you will have when you take the computerized DAT at one of the authorized testing centers. It contained 3 complete practice tests that are in the exact format of the actual test. The only difference I noticed from the actual DAT and this software was the software included a timer at the top of the screen to let you know how your pace was compared to where you should be. For example, if you were on question 17 of the reading comp test it would tell you that you should be on question 15, letting you know that you are ahead of the pace.

My actual DAT scores were almost identical to my practice scores. I found the Dental Admission Test (DAT) Computerized Sample Tests and Guide, TopScore Pro for the DAT to be an outstanding tool.

As of August 2008 the cost to take the exam is $190.00

When you take the exam you will have 4 hours and 15 minutes to complete the four tests.

Survey of Natural Sciences – 90 Minutes
Biology – 40 Questions
General Chemistry – 30 questions
Organic Chemistry – 30 Questions

Perceptual Ability – 60 Minutes
Angle Discrimination – 15 Questions
Hole Punching – 15 Questions
Cubes – 15 Questions
Paper Folding – 15 Questions
Aperture Matching – 15 Questions
Orthographic Projections – 15 Questions

Break – 15 Minutes

Reading Comprehension – 50 Minutes
Three Passages – 50 Questions

Quantitative Reasoning – 45 Minutes
Applied Mathematics Problems:
Algebra, Trigonometry, Math Reasoning (word problems) – 40 Questions

DAT Scores
Now that the DAT is administered in testing centers on computers, you will get your DAT Score as soon as you finish the exam.

Your raw score on each of the eight subsections will be converted to a scaled score from 1 to 30, with 30 being a perfect score, 15 being the median score and representing the 40-52 percentile.

Each subsection will have it’s own score, but the scores will be combined in areas and you will get an Academic Average (AA) score. This is generally the score that you will see listed when checking your competitiveness for a particular school.

For more Information visit the ADA Website


3 Responses to “The DAT, Dental Admissions Test”

  1. Should I Retake The DAT? « Dental School Says:

    […] Dental School How to get in and succeed « The DAT, Dental Admissions Test […]

  2. How Important Is My Undergraduate School? « Dental School Says:

    […] Potential students often wonder about the things that will be weighed when measuring their suitability for a dental education. There are so many questions that it is difficult to answer them all. Is my DAT score high enough? Do I have the G.P.A. I need? How important is the essay? How important are my letters of recommendation? […]

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