DAT Test Sections

The Dental Admission Test, or DAT, is composed of four individual sections.

  1. DAT test sections include the Survey of the Natural Sciences
  2. The PAT, or Perceptual Ability Test
  3. Reading Comprehension Assessment
  4. Test of Candidates’ Quantitative Reasoning.

Candidates are given one hour each to complete the Perceptual Ability Test and the Reading Comprehension assessment. Candidates are given one and a half hours to complete the Survey of the Natural Sciences test and 45 minutes to complete the Quantitative Reasoning test, which is divided into four subsections.

  • The Survey of the Natural Sciences is composed of three subsections.There are 40 multiple-choice biology questions that address the following: cell and molecular biology, the organization and interrelatedness of Six-Kingdom and Three-Domain System taxa, system structures and functions, developmental biology, genetics, evolution, ecology, and social behavior.
  • The DAT test section on general chemistry is concerned with stoichiometry and general concepts, liquids and solids, solutions, acids and bases, Brønsted-Lowry reactions, chemical equilibria, Le Chatelier’s principle, thermodynamics and thermochemistry, chemical kinetics, oxidation-reduction reactions, atomic and molecular structure, periodic properties, nuclear reactions, and laboratory- related materials. Thirty multiple-choice questions focus on organic chemistry, and these questions may cover the areas of mechanisms, energetics, and structure; chemical and physical properties of molecules; stereochemistry; nomenclature; individual reactions of major functional groups; and combinations of reactions to synthesized compounds.
  • The Perceptual Ability Test is organized into six separate question subsets that assess candidates’ abilities in manipulating forms through space as well as in regard to spatial reasoning. Specifically, the subsets consider apertures, view identification, discrimination of angles, paper folding, cube counting, and the three-dimensional development of forms.
  • Three scholarly scientific text excerpts, along with pertinent questions regarding textual understanding and interpretation, complete the third of the DAT test sections: Reading Comprehension. The Reading Comprehension test contains 50 multiple choice questions designed to evaluate how well candidates are able to read, understand, and consider information that is based in science.
  • Lastly, the Quantitative Reasoning subsection is composed of 40 multiple-choice questions, which use word problems to assess candidates’ critical thinking skills and knowledge of fractions, mathematical roots, numerical calculations, conversions, probability and statistics, geometry, algebra, trigonometry, and applied mathematics.