Dental Admission Test (DAT) – Ultimate Study Guide With Practice Questions

All dental schools require their students take a Dental Administration Test or DAT test. The DAT test is accepted by 66 US dental schools and 10 Canadian schools and is verified by the American Dental Association.

The DAT is designed to assess and set the standard for all dental student’s comprehensive and quantitative reasoning skills. The higher a student scores on the DAT, the better their chances at getting into their desired dental school.

The test is 4.5 hours long and is tested in Prometric test centers all over the United States. The test is multiple choice and has four parts to it. Included in the test are the following:

  • Natural Sciences (100 points)
  • Perceptual Ability Test (90 points)
  • Reading and Comprehension (50 points)
  • Quantitative Reasoning Test(40 points)

How Do I Apply?

  1. You should submit your application for the test 60-90 days before the DAT exam.
  2. Get your DENTPIN – this is your identity number for all your DAT and dental admission profiles.
  3. Use your DENTPIN to sign into your MyAccount to complete your application
  4. You will need to pay a fee ($510) for the DAT. The fee is non-refundable and you will be charged when you submit your application.
  5. The Dental Admission Test fee covers costs for scoring and reporting your test to all the dental schools you select in your application. If you requests your score report after you’ve taken the test it will be $50 per report.
  6. Confirm yours eligibility via email. You will receive an email from the Department of Testing Services and here you confirm your eligibility to take the test. Before test takers schedule their test, they must confirm this email.
  7. When you arrive at the test center present your name (the name on your driver’s license) and the name used on your application – if your name doesn’t match the application name then you will be denied admission and have to submit a new application, with a new fee.

Where Do I Take The DAT?

Prometric Test Centers offer the DAT year-round in the US and Canada.

All you need is to receive and confirm your eligibility letter and contact your nearest Prometric to make an appointment. You should confirm everything 60-90 or 2-3 months ahead of the actual test date.

a person studying in front of the laptop

Visit the Prometric site to find a testing center near you and choose your desired test date. Depending on that testing center’s availability, you will either be accepted or asked to reschedule. Make sure you follow all COVID-19 safety protocols.

If you need to cancel or reschedule your test because of an emergency, contact the Department of Testing Services by email [email protected] or call 800-232-1694

Now you know the basic process, it’s time to take online practice test so you can achieve more than a passing score.

Types of Questions and Answers

Below are 3 example questions taken from each of the 4 DAT test sections

Natural Sciences:

1. How many grams of NaOH (40.0g/mol) are required to make 250ml of a 0.500m solution?

A. (250)(0.500)

B. (250)(500)/1000

C. (250)(0.500)(40.0)/1000

D. 1000/(250)(0.500)(40.0)

E. (250)(0.500)(40.0)

Answer: E

2. What is the percentage of oxygen by weight in Zn(H2Po4)2 (259g/mol)?

A. 53.3%

B. 24.7%

C. 39.5%

D. 6.18%

E. 49.4%

Answer: C

3. The outer layer of cells, the ectoderm, in a developing embryo gives rise to the muscle system.

A. Reproductive system

B. Circulatory system.

C. Skeletal system.

D. Nervous system.

Answer: D

Quantitative Reasoning Portion:

1. 1/4 + 2/5 – 1/6 = ?

1. −1/60

2. 2/15

3. 29/60

4. 8/15

5. 49/60

Answer: 3

2. A person’s earnings increased by 10% from Year 1 to Year 2 and decreased 10% from Year 2 to Year 3. Which of the following percentages represents the change from Year 1 to Year 3?

1. +20

2. +1

3. 0

4. −1

5. −11

Answer: 4

3. A book sells for $8 but is on sale for 25% off. If there’s a sale tax of 6%, the total cost of the book is what?

1. $5.52

2. $5.65

3. $6

4. $6.36

5. $6.48

Answer: 4

Perceptual Ability Test

* This section of the examination uses pictures to assess each student, the questions below do not include pictures but are just examples of the language and questioning styles used in the DAT.

  1. This group of cubes has been made by cementing together cubes of the same size. After being cemented together, each group was PAINTED ON ALL EXPOSED SIDES EXCEPT THE BOTTOM ON WHICH IT IS RESTING. In the figure below, which of the cubes has four of their exposed sides painted?
  2. Examine the four INTERIOR angles and rank each in terms of degrees from SMALL TO LARGE. Choose the alternative that has the correct ranking.
  3. A flat pattern will be presented. This pattern is to be folded into a three-dimensional figure. The correct figure is one of the four given at the right of the pattern. There is only one correct figure in each set. The outside of the pattern is what is seen at the left.

Reading and Comprehension:

This section of the test is known as the easiest section, all questions are formulated around a core text and all questions are multiple choice questions.

If you want to practice this section, click here

a person typing on the notebook

How is the DAT scored?

The DAT is scored on a scale of 1 to 30.

Your raw score is the number of questions that you answered correctly for each section. Candidates aren’t penalized for answering incorrectly. So DO NOT leave any answers blank even if you guess some answers.

Your raw scores will not appear on your score report. Instead, you will be given your scaled scores that fall between the 1-30 range. The scaled scores are what is sent to your selected dental schools.

Most dental scores accept scores of 19-20 (63% onwards) and this score is the 85th percentile of all test takers.

But if you want to get into a competitive school, you should aim for a score of 22-30, this is the top 25% of all test takers.

Free DAT Practice Tests

The best way to achieve great scores is by studying and practicing the questions that will be asked – Use all the available and free DAT practice test online. All the best!!

Other Important Information

It’s also important for each test taker to read through the Dental Admission Test Candidate guide. It has all the information each student needs to understand before the registration process and the DAT exam.

Take a Prometric Online Tutorial – learn all there is to know about the testing centers and how this standardized test is set up. Some of the Prometric tests are computer-based examinations and it’s vital to take the tutorial beforehand.

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