Dental Admission Test (DAT)

The Dental Admission Test is a standardized exam required by dental schools across the county. The exam assesses competencies required for dental school in several areas.

The DAT includes four sections:

  1. Survey of the Natural Sciences (including biology, general chemistry, and organic chemistry)
  2. Perceptual Ability Test (two- and three-dimensional problem solving)
  3. Reading Comprehension Test (dental and basic sciences)
  4. Quantitative Reasoning Test (mathematical problems in algebra, numerical calculations, conversions)

We recommend that you take the DAT when you have completed prerequisite coursework in biology, general chemistry, and organic chemistry. Although coursework in physics is required for admission to dental school, physics is not covered on the DAT. Not all programs require coursework in anatomy and physiology, but physiology is included on the DAT. If you plan to go straight to dental school after your senior year of college, you should plan to take the DAT in the summer after your junior year.

To begin preparing for the DAT, review the exam’s content in the DAT Guide and assess your familiarity with these content areas. You should prepare for the exam intensively by taking repeated, full-length practice exams. In particular, you should engage in repeated practice for the perceptual ability problems you will encounter on the exam. Although you may re-take the exam, you should only attempt the exam when you feel that you have thoroughly prepared and are ready to get your best score.