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What You Need to Know about the DAT Exam

The Dental Admission Test (DAT) is conducted by the American Dental Association and doing well on the exam is important in the dental school admissions process.

Taking the DAT test is an important step in preparing for your career in dentistry. It is required by all dental schools for admission and has important weight on the admissions decision. The DAT is administered by Prometric, Inc. at various test sites around the United States throughout the year. The test is designed to measure aptitude in general academics, scientific information comprehension and perceptual ability.

How the DAT is Structured

This test is structured in such a way so as to measure your ability to be successful in dental education. It measures what you have already learned in your undergraduate studies and your ability to apply that to advanced studies. The DAT exam takes a total of 4 hours and 30 minutes to complete and is divided into sections which are timed. The Survey of the Natural Sciences is the portion of the DAT that measures the student’s knowledge in science such as biology and general and organic chemistry. You are allotted 90 minutes to complete this section. The additional sections include a Perceptual Ability Test, a Reading Comprehension Test and the Quantitative Reasoning Test. There is optional 15 minute break at the half way point.

How to Apply to Take the DAT

You can apply online or by mail to take the DAT exam. It is important that your application is complete and legible or else it will be returned as incomplete. You can make your application for a specific testing period no longer than 12 months before the exam is administered. There are requirements to take the DAT exam. These include at least completing one year of collegiate education that includes courses in biology and chemistry. It’s important to note that the majority of applicants to dental school have completed or will have completed a four year degree program.

Other DAT Resources

American Dental Association Complete DAT Guide

Test Prep Preview Free Sample Test Questions and Self Assessments

Dental Classroom Course from Kaplan Test Prep and Admissions


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