Dental Admission Test (DAT)
The Dental Admission Test (DAT) is a standardized exam designed to assess competencies in areas important for success in dental school and a career as an dentist. There are four sections to the DAT: Survey of the Natural Sciences (including biology, general chemistry, and organic chemistry), Perceptual Ability Test, Reading Comprehension Test, and Quantitative Reasoning Test. Although coursework in physics is required for admission to dental school, physics is not a subject covered by the DAT.
If you are ready, we recommend that you try to study and take the DAT in the summer between your sophomore and junior years, after completing the biology and chemistry requirements (organic and inorganic). Taking the DAT at this time will give you time to prepare to re-take the exam the following summer if you need to improve your score before applying to dental school. You do not need to complete physics coursework before taking the DAT, so if you wish you may delay the physics courses until after you complete the biology and chemistry requirements.
If you plan to go straight into dental school after you complete your senior year of college you should plan to take the DAT in the summer after your junior year at the latest, so that dental schools will be able to review your completed applications by late summer and offer you interviews for early fall.
A fundamental way to begin to prepare for the DAT is to review the content of the exam (go to the DAT Guide and scroll to the "Test Specifications" at the end of the document). Review the concepts and ask yourself if you are familiar with them. You should prepare intensively through taking repeated practice DAT exams, available in book and CD form. Students should familiarize themselves in particular with the perceptual ability problems that are included on the DAT.
Examinees must submit an electronic application via the website below prior to scheduling a test date. After submitting the application you will be sent registration authorization information that will allow you to call a testing center and schedule the exam.
You may take the DAT up to three times (in order to take it more than three times applicants must apply for special permission). You must wait 90 days between exam dates.
For the entering class of 2013 at the Indiana University School of Dentistry the average DAT scores of the class were: Academic Average of 19; Perceptual Average of 19; and Total Science Average of 18.
For more information please consult the DAT website.