DAT Test Help

American Dental Association conducts and manages the dental admission test (DAT), as it is a computer-based and multiple-choice exam.  It tests the academic ability of the examinee, perceptual ability, and the comprehension capabilities.  All United States dental school, accept dental school applicants who take the DAT as it is the most weighted factor. The ADA, Or the American Dental Association, conducts these tests.


When can I apply for DAT?

Applicants need to obtain a Dental Personal Identification Number, also known as a DENTPIN.  To request for testing accommodations, an applicant should download the DAT Accommodation Request Form and complete it. A student should submit a new application as previous once do not stand for future applications. During application, a student may name schools where they wish to collect their scores as they do not increase the charges. After application, an applicant receives instructions via mail, on the exam schedule. ADA recommends that scheduled appointments should wait 24 hours after receiving the letter.

 What does the DAT cover?

 It has four sections, which consist of 280 multiple-choice questions making it an endurance test.  A student should have sufficient confidence on the exam day, which can result in good scores. The DAT takes five hours and fifteen minutes, inclusive of a break, a post-test survey, and a tutorial at the beginning. DAT has four sections namely, natural sciences, reading comprehension, perpetual abilities and quantitative reasoning.

 Natural Sciences survey

This subtext tests a candidate’s knowledge of university science completed in 90minutes. The section covers biology, organic chemistry, and general chemistry in 100 multiple-choice questions. Biology covers 40% of the question, and organic chemistry covers 30%, while general chemistry covers the rest of 30%.

Reading Comprehension

A candidate faces three passages where the questions test on the ability to analyze, comprehend and interpret passages on given scientific topics. This section consists of 50 multiple-choice comprehension completed in 60 minutes, and each passage should take 20 minutes.

Quantitative Reasoning

This section consists of 40 multiple-choice questions where a candidate has 40 minutes to complete, meaning each item has less than one minute to answer.  The concepts tested are data analysis and interpretation, algebra and probability and statistics, sufficiency, and quantitative comparison.

Perpetual Ability

The perpetual ability section covers 9o multiple-choice questions to be answered in 60 minutes, meaning a candidate has 40 seconds to answer each question. The questions test on the ability of a candidate mentally manipulate objects in three dimensions, visualize and special angle discrimination skills.

How is DAT Scored?

The ADA  reports is rated in eight  major subjects of  the DAT  as the first six are major tests like general chemistry,  biology, comprehension reading, organic chemistry, perceptual ability, and quantitative reasoning. Incorrect answers and unanswered questions fall in the same category and as a result, candidates should answer all questions even if they are not sure of the answers.

The raw score converts into a scaled score, which usually ranges from 1 to 30, 1 is the lowest, and 30 the highest. A skipped section will get a score of 1, which is neither, a percentile, or a percentage. They do not base the test on a curve, but an ability-referenced system measures the DAT performance. Knowledge and problem-solving abilities of candidates compare directly to that other DAT examinees.

Academic Average and Total Science

The other two scores are Academic average and total science. The standard rating for 100 questions is the total science score of the science subtexts. The sum of the raw ratings in biology, organic chemistry, and general chemistry is the total score. Total science equals the conversion of the overall rating to a standard score.  Standard scores from quantitative reasoning, general chemistry, organic chemistry, reading comprehension, and biology, when rounded to the average, gives Academic Average score.

What is a Good Dental Admission Test score?

In DAT, there are no-fail or pass marks as an ability-referenced measurement calculates the score. The standard score indicates the test performance of a candidate as compared to other students who did the same test on the same date. It means that the average rating does not guarantee the acceptance of a student in a dental school. 

The average score depends on the number of students applying in a specific academic year.  Preliminary data indicates that 12to 28 is the average score, 12 to 30 is the total science score, while 10 to 30 is the perpetual ability score.  However, dental schools do not agree on the same good score, and candidates should do more research on the schools they wish to attend.

What to Expect after the Dental Admission Test?

After too much hard work in preparation for the exams, the students now wait for results where they receive unofficial scores at their local Prometric centers. Students should keep these scores as they wait for the official ratings, which take three to four weeks after the exams. These results posted to their schools indicated by the candidates on the DAT application competed during application.

What is the Cost of Dental Admission Test?

A candidate pays the current Fee, which is 415 dollars during the online registration process. The Fee covers all official scores of all schools listed on the DAT application, score reported to a pre-dental advisor, and a score report issued at the testing centers.  The ADA offers partial waivers to u.s citizens or aliens who get financial aid from their schools. The exemption covers only 50% of the registration fee, and it does not include additional charges incurred after the initial application when reporting the scores. Examines who have benefitted from the waiver are not eligible for another exemption as they serve on a first-come, first-served basis.

How Many Times Can I Take the DAT?

A candidate should submit a new application after 90days and also pay a fee for the retake. However, those that have more than three or more retakes should apply for permission to retest. A retake application should be written and submitted to the ADA testing department with evidence of intending to apply for the last 18 months to dental schools. Evidence needed include;  a rejection letter from a dental school, copies of completed and submitted applications to the ADEA, a letter encouraging a student to retake from the school admission officers, or a letter of confirmation from university health professional stating that a candidate wants to resit the exam.


Taking a Dental Admission Test exam is a necessity for candidates who inspire to start a journey of dental training as it is the only exam required in Canada and the U.S for admission to dental schools.  Other considered factors include coursework and undergraduate GPA, personal interview, and admission essays. Excellent performance in DAT makes a candidate a stronger and prospective dental candidate. The gishomework help desk will however guide you on your verge of attaining the best scores in your Dental Admission Test examinations.

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