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Standardized Exams

Taking the Dental Admission Test (DAT)

About the DAT® Exam

The Dental Admission Test (DAT) is a standardized, multiple-choice examination.

The DAT consists of four tests on the following:

  • Natural sciences (biology, general chemistry, and organic chemistry)
  • Perceptual ability (two- and three-dimensional problem solving)
  • Reading comprehension (dental and basic sciences)
  • Quantitative reasoning (mathematical problems in algebra, numerical calculations, conversions, etc.)

When should you take the test:

  • When you have completed your prerequisites in biology, general chemistry, and organic chemistry.
  • It is recommended that you take the test at least one year before you want to go to dental school. Most of those who take the DAT do so after their third year of college. 
  • You can only take the test once every 90 days.
  • You can only take the test three times, no more unless you get special permission from the ADA.

Almost all U.S. dental schools require you to submit DAT exam scores. If you are planning to apply to a Canadian dental school, you will have to take the Canadian DAT administered by the Canadian Dental Association. U.S. dental schools accept the Canadian DAT in addition to the U.S. DAT.

For detailed information about the DAT Exam, go to the American Dental Association (ADA).