About the DAT Exam

Official website for the American Dental Association Admission tes (DAT)

The Dental Admission Test (DAT) is administered on a computer at Prometric Testing Centers in various sites around the country and can be taken almost any day of the year. The ADA suggests that applicants take the DAT well in advance of their intended dental school enrollment and at least one year prior to when they plan to enter dental school. Most dental schools view the DAT as one of many different factors in evaluating candidates for admission. As a result, schools vary in their emphasis on the different sections of the test.

Format of the DAT

The DAT consists of four sections of multiple-choice:
Survey of the Natural Sciences: testing knowledge of university-level sciences.
    • 100 multiple-choice questions (90 minutes), divided into three areas:
      Biology (40), Inorganic (General) Chemistry (30) and Organic Chemistry (30)
  • Perceptual Ability: testing ability to visualize and mentally manipulate objects in three dimensions; angle discrimination.
    • 90 multiple-choice questions (60 minutes), subdivided into six parts of 15 questions each: Keyholes (Apertures), Top-Front-End (orthographic projections), Angle Ranking, Hole Punching, Cube Counting, Pattern Folding.

Reading Comprehension: testing ability to comprehend long and technical writings.

    50 multiple-choice questions (60 m

  • Quantitative Reasoning: testing mathematics and problem-solving skills.
    • 40 multiple-choice questions (45 minutes), divided into the following areas:
      Fractions, Decimals and Percents
      Word Problems


Immediately after you complete the test you will receive your scores. Each section is scored 1-30. The Natural Sciences subsections (Biology, Inorganic (General) Chemistry, Organic Chemistry) also receive its own score. All your scores in all sections EXCEPT the Perceptual Ability are combined into an average overall score (1-30). You will also receive a percentile ranking.



Students have found the Kaplan, DAT Destroyer, and Crack DAT materials to be helpful in the past. The Career Development library, located in the Gustavus Center for Servant Leadership. The Folke Bernadotte library also has study materials, and a quick web search will reveal many additional resources.



Updated 4/2/2014 HAB