Dental Admission Test
The DAT is administered year-round at test centers operated by Prometric Inc. and is required by all dental schools for admission into their programs. This test allows approximately 4 hours and 15 minutes for questions, and the total administration time is 5 hours including breaks and the computer tutorial. The DAT is computer-based and consists of four sections: Survey of the Natural Sciences, Perceptual Ability, Reading Comprehension, and Quantitative Reasoning. The table below demonstrates a table provided by the ADA that comprehensively breaks down the test time.
- Survey of the Natural Sciences: This section consists of 100 questions covering the topics of Biology (40), General Chemistry (30), and Organic Chemistry (30).
- Perceptual Ability: This section consists of 90 questions comprised of six subtests: apertures, view recognition, angle discrimination, paper folding, cube counting, and 3D form development.
- Reading Comprehension: This section consists of 50 questions that use three reading passages on various scientific topics. These passages do not require prior knowledge of the topics covered in the passages, they test the ability to read, comprehend and analyze basic scientific information.
- Quantitative Reasoning: This section consists of 40 questions dealing with mathematical problems of Algebra, Data Analysis, Quantitative Comparison, and Applied Mathematics.
- DAT scores are based on a scale ranging from 1 to 30, and while there is no passing or failing score, a scale score of 18 typically signifies average performance a national basis.
Before you can apply to take the DAT or apply for admission to a dental school, you must obtain a Dental Personal Identification Number (DENTPIN®). Once you have a DENTPIN®, you can submit a DAT application from ADA.org/DAT. After your application has been processed, you will be eligible to test for a six-month period. All information you provide on your application must be accurate and the information on your DAT application and IDs must match, otherwise, you will not be able to take the test.