DAT Test

What is DAT Test?

The Dental Admission Test, in short DAT is an entrance test developed by the American Dental Association in order to assess those students, who want to get admission in dental schools. Only those who do well in the DAT will be admitted to dental schools. This exam tests academic ability, understanding of scientific information, and perceptual ability of the students. It is a computerised test and students can’t attempt the exam more than thrice. Students will have to seek special permission if they want to take the exam more than thrice. There should be a gap of 90 days before repeating the exam. The exam fee is $320.

Eligibility/ Qualification

To be eligible for the exam, candidates must have completed at least one year of college that includes courses in biology and organic chemistry.


The DAT is a multiple-choice standardized test which includes four major sections.

  • Survey of the natural sciences (90 minutes)
  • Perceptual ability (PAT, 60 minutes)
  • Reading comprehension (60 minutes)
  • Quantitative reasoning (45 minutes)

The first section covers the specific topics in biology, general chemistry, and organic chemistry, such as cell and molecular biology; diversity of life, biological organization, and relationship of major taxa; vertebrate anatomy and physiology; developmental biology; genetics; evolution, ecology, and behaviour; stochiometry; gases; liquids and solids; solutions; acids and bases; chemical equilibria; thermodynamics and thermo chemistry; chemical kinetics; oxidation-reduction reactions; atomic and molecular structure; periodic properties; nuclear reactions; laboratory procedures; mechanisms of organic chemistry; chemical and physical properties of molecules and organic analysis; stereochemistry; nomenclature; individual reactions of the major functional groups and combinations of reactions to synthesize compounds; acid base chemistry; and aromatics and bonding.

The second section of the exam covers angle discrimination, form development cubes, orthographic projections, apertures, and paper folding.

The third section comprises of passages on dental and other sciences, which the candidate will have to critically evaluate.

The forth section of the exam covers specific areas in maths, including algebra; numerical calculations; conversions; probability and statistics; geometry; trigonometry; and applied mathematics problems.

There are DAT study guides available which will be helpful for the preparation of the test.


The exam scores will be placed on a scale ranging from 1 to 30, based on the number of questions answered correctly. Candidates should score an average of 17 to pass the test.

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