The Dental Aptitude Test (DAT) is a computer-delivered test that is administered year-round by numerous testing centers across the United States. The test is comprised of 280 multiple choice questions, which are separated into four distinct sections. The first section is titled Survey of Natural Sciences and covers topics in Biology, Inorganic Chemistry and Organic Chemistry. The second section is Perceptual Ability. This section covers apertures, orthographic projections, angle discriminations, paper folding items, cube counting items, and spatial form development questions. This section is followed by Reading Comprehension, in which students respond to questions related to three separate passages. The last section is entitled Quantitative Reasoning and consists of 10 word problems and 30 computation questions.
The DAT is scored based on the number of correct responses, on a scale from 1 to 30, with 17 being the average score. The scores are reported as standard scores rather than raw scores in order to make an accurate comparison between examinees. DAT scores are released immediately after completing the exam in an unofficial score report. Official scores will be released to the appropriate schools approximately three to four weeks after the test was taken. The DAT can only be taken a total of three times, so it is unadvised to take the exam unless extremely prepared.
The Health Professions Office has information about DAT test strategies and preparation. On site seminars about the exams are offered during the fall semester. The Office of Health Professions has practice exam books that students may look through in order to become more familiar with the material and types of questions that are asked. It is ultimately the student’s responsibility to enroll in a preparation course if they feel that it is necessary.
For more information about the DAT please visit: www.ada.org
You can find sample tests in the Examinee Guide at www.ada.org