DAT Test Introduction

Students who are interested in being accepted as a student of dentistry at a school in the United States or Canada must first pass the Dental Admission Test, or DAT. The DAT assesses a candidate’s ability to understand basic scientific information, as well as academic and perceptual capabilities. The American Dental Association administers the test through Prometric test centers.

The exam is composed of four test sections. Each section contains between 40 and 50 multiple-choice questions. The test is computer-based, with both a Canadian version and a version for applicants in the United States. Most dental schools, however, will accept DAT scores from either version. In order to register for the exam, potential examinees must first submit a preliminary application with the American Dental Association. Eligibility requirements include a minimum of one year of college that includes biology, general chemistry, and organic chemistry classes. Most candidates, however, have finished at least two years of college before taking the DAT.

Take the Practice Tests:

Perceptual Ability Practice Questions
Quantitative Reasoning Practice Questions
Reading Comprehension Practice Questions
Inorganic Chemistry (Natural Sciences) Practice Questions
Organic Chemistry (Natural Sciences) Practice Questions
Biology (Natural Sciences) Practice Questions

Because scores rank test takers in relation to one another, it is important to be as prepared as possible.

  • Candidates who fail at the first attempt cannot take the test again for three months.
  • At that point, they must begin the process over by applying with the ADA and pay all DAT fees again.
  • A third attempt to pass also requires a 90-day wait period, reapplication, and repayment of fees.
  • After three failed tries, candidates must request permission in writing from the Department of Testing Services for subsequent tests. This permission is considered on a case-by-case basis and is not automatically granted.
  • Applicants must wait one year after the third failure before retesting. In addition, proof of active intent to apply to a school of dentistry must be included, such as a letter of acceptance or rejection, a copy of a completed application, correspondence on school letterhead referring to one’s application, etc.

Serious DAT candidates will spend significant preparation time before taking the exam. Candidates may prefer to work with a test prep guide, audio CDs, flashcards, or downloaded materials. Many candidates find that joining a study group or participating in a test preparation class is a helpful way to get ready for the DAT.

We fully understand and support your need to succeed on your first attempt, so we have created a set of free, no-strings-attached DAT prep questions. Reviewing these questions will help you to identify your areas of academic strength and weakness, and it will introduce you to the types of questions you will face. We want you to be fully prepared for taking your DAT exam!

DAT test blueprint and breakdown

Video Review

Last Updated: 08/04/2014

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