The Dental Admissions Test

The Dental Admission Test (DAT) is a multiple-choice standardized exam taken by potential dental school students in the United States. The DAT is a computer based test that can be administered almost any day of the year. Tests are taken at Thomson Prometric testing centers throughout the United States after a preliminary application through the American Dental Association is completed.

Each applicant may only take the test a total of three times before having to ask special permission to take the exam again. After taking the exam you must wait 90 days before repeating it. As of this writing, the exam costs $285 for each sitting.
 Please refer to this website for more information

The DAT is comprised four sections. 
  1. A survey of the natural sciences (90 minutes), is the first section.  It consists of questions about biology (40 questions), general chemistry (30 questions), and organic chemistry (30 questions).
  2. Perceptual ability (often called the PAT, 60 minutes), is the second section.  It is divided into six different problems sets designed to test perceptual ability, specifically in the areas of three dimensional manipulation and spatial reasoning. 
  3. Reading comprehension (60 minutes), is the third section of the DAT, and it is divided into three academic essays, each of which is followed by questions about the passage's content. 
  4.  The final section, quantitative reasoning (45 minutes), tests basic mathematics skills, with emphasis placed on algebra, critical thinking, fractions, roots, and trigonometric identities.  The mathematics of the quantitative portion of the exam is similar to that of the SAT.

Perceptual Ability Test (PAT)

The Perceptual Ability Test is designed to test your ability to make judgments, based on what you see.  There are 6 parts to this section of the test.  Each created to gauge different aspects of your perceptual ability.  You have 60 minutes to complete all 6 sections.

Keyhole Section
    In this section, you are asked which hole the 'key' on the left will fit through.  The object on the left can be rotated in any direction prior to entering the hole, but can not be rotated while going through.  Also, the hole must be an exact fit for the key.


Top View/Side View
In this part of the test, you are given the 2 views of an object, and asked to distinguish the third.  The views include the top view (straight down), front view (straight ahead), and end view (the view from the right side of the object).  Solid lines are lines that can be seen from the surface, while dotted lines are ones that are hidden from view.

Angle Discrimination
Angle discrimination asks you to rank the interior angles of a set of lines from smallest to largest.



Hole Punching
This section requires you to determine the finished product of a piece of paper that has been folded, hole punched, and then re-opened.  The top figures are the sequential stages of folding, whereas the selections below are the choice you have for the finished product.  The black circles are considered to be holes.


Cube Counting
Here, you are asked to count the number of blocks that have a certain number of sides painted.  To do this, you must imagine that the figure given has been assembled, placed on a table, and then paint poured over it.  The bottom is assumed to be clear of paint.


Pattern Folding
Here, you are asked to imagine a piece of paper that is being folded.  The object on the left is what you are asked to fold in your mind.  You are then asked to decide which of the four choices would resemble the finished product.

 *PAT section adapted from the University of British Columbia Pre-Dental Club website