The Dental Admission Test (DAT) is a standardized, multiple-choice test, required for admission to all U.S. dental schools. It is a computer-based test administered by Prometric on behalf of the American Dental Association (ADA).
The test is about five hours long and is divided into four sections. The following table provides the name of each of these sections, the amount of time allotted, the topics covered, and the number of questions:
|Survey of the Natural Sciences||90 minutes|
|General Chemistry||30 questions|
|Organic Chemistry||30 questions|
|Perceptual Ability Test (P.A.T.)||60 minutes|
|Angle Discrimination||15 questions|
|Hole Punching||15 questions|
|Paper Folding||15 questions|
|Aperture Matching||15 questions|
|Orthographic Projections||15 questions|
|Reading Comprehension||50 minutes|
|Three passages||50 minutes|
|Quantitative Reasoning Test||45 minutes|
|Applied Mathematics problems:||40 questions|
|Algebra, some Trigonometry, and Math reasoning word-problems.
Academic advising may be obtained on campus from:
Pre-Professional Advising Office
University of Utah
Building 44, Room 206
Registering for the DAT may be done at:
The Prometric Center
University of Utah
Student Services Building, Room 490
The test covers Biology, General Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, first year College Algebra and Trigonometry (no Calculus).
The computer-based DAT is in Windows format. The test starts with an optional 30 minute tutorial. This tutorial can be ordered in advance, however, from the Dental Admissions Testing Program for use on a personal home computer.
Taking the Test
The DAT should be taken in the Spring of your junior year up to the fall of your senior year. Taken on a computer at the time of your choice.
The computerized exam is scored immediately after you finish the test. Scores are only released if authorization was given on the DAT registration form or when the ADA receives written authorization from the test taker. At that point, the Department of Testing Services at the ADA will release the four most recent DAT exam scores. The ADA does not limit the number of times one can take the DAT Your raw score on each of the eight subsections of the DAT will be converted to a scaled score from 1 to 30, 30 being a perfect score. The correlation between standard score and percentile is non-linear, e.g. a standard score of 25 (out of 30) can correspond to a percentile of 99.3. The academic average score is indicative of a student's overall DAT performance. Scores of 18 or higher are competitive.
The DAT is given a scaled score of 1 to 30, 15 being the median score which represents the 40 - 52 percentile. A 17 Academic Average and Perceptual Average is an acceptable score.