How Long To Study For DAT? DAT Preparation Guide

Every student is unique with their studying mechanism and learning technique. But the only sure thing is that the more time you invest in studying, the better you are prepared. DAT preparation is the same as well. Additionally, good practice will ensure the excellent performance that can get you admitted to your dream dental school.

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Many dental aspirants prepare for the DAT war for 2 or 3 months. However, due to unavoidable situations, many aspirants don't get the chance to prepare themselves for that long. They only get a month for DAT preparation.

We have researched and come up with detailed study schedules for 1-month and 2-months so that you can take the DAT with efficient preparation.

In this guide, you will learn-


  • The length of preparation time depends on the ability of a dental aspirant.
  • There can be unavoidable circumstances that compel you to sit for the DAT with one month of preparation. But, apart from that, you should always have more time for better performance.
  • Having a study strategy reduces stress.
  • The more practice tests you take, the better you’ll do in DAT .

How long should I study for DAT?

This is the first thing every dental aspirant wonders. But, to be fair, only you can tell when you should start preparing yourself for the DAT.

 pen and notebook

Because, if you are asking for anyone else's opinion, they will be saying it based on their experience. As we have already told you, every student is unique in their way. Your circumstances will never match theirs.

Only you know about your learning techniques and learning speed. Hence the best person to ask this question is you. Analyze your ability and mechanism. Only then will you realize how long you should study for the DAT.

For example, you can get a clue from how long you should study from your expertise in science. Because DAT is focused mainly on science. Biology and chemistry, to be precise.

One constant thing for every dental aspirant is that there will be hardcore competition. Therefore, you have to study a lot. Choose a DAT preparation strategy that will make you fully confident and satisfied with your preparation.

We have prepared study schedules for 2-months and 1-months. But if you think you need more time, you can still go through the following two to design your own plan.

DAT Preparation Guide For 2 Months

First Step: Study your materials

2 months is roughly 8 weeks. Any average student with an efficient strategy can score well in DAT.


A test at the beginning of your preparation will help you analyze which section you need to devote more time to. For example, if you have a strong biology background but lack enough organic chemistry expertise, you should spend more time with organic chemistry.

The more practice tests you take, the better you will be prepared to face the demon. Hence, your strategy must include a practice test every week. Based on the result of your practice test, you can alter the time frame you have set for each subject.

We recommend students to study 5-days a week and take practice tests on the 6th day. On the 7th day, you can review your result and set a new schedule for the upcoming week.

However, if you study 5-days a week, the number of hours you study every day will be increased to meet the study goal.

If you execute the plan accurately, you will see yourself completing all the review materials within the 6th week. After that, you will have a couple of weeks to take a practice test.

Study groups are efficient in this regard. You should hold a meeting on the 6th day of every week and discuss the result of your tests, problems you faced, and strategize your study schedule for the next week.

1st week

As we have mentioned earlier, spend the first day of the first week taking a test and understanding your expertise in each section. Then, list the chapters relevant to each other and score well on DAT. After that, you can start your study session.

For example, you can study anatomy, physiology, and developmental biology in biology. Because these chapters are co-related. Likewise, you can consequently study atomic and molecular structure in general chemistry. In organic chemistry, you can research nomenclature and stereochemistry together.

Allot separate time for the perceptual ability section and quantitative reasoning section. Analyze the subtests of each section and how to answer them. For quantitative reasoning, choose one section each week. You can pick numerical calculations in the first week.

Between each section, you should take a break. You can do Pomodoro sessions- read for 25 minutes and rest for 5 minutes. Pomodoro sessions are scientifically proven to increase your productivity.

2nd week

In the 2nd week, you should study cell and molecular biology together. In general chemistry, you should analyze periodic trends and stoichiometry together. You should research aromaticity and bonding together for general chemistry. In week-2, you can practice algebra for the quantitative reasoning section.

3rd Week

In the 3rd week, you can study genetics and evolution for biology. For general chemistry, choose thermodynamics and equilibrium. Finally, from the organic chemistry part, you can choose to study the properties of molecules.

This week, you can work on the accuracy and speed of the PAT section. Study conversions from the quantitative reasoning section.

Don't forget to take practice tests on day 6 and, most importantly, take a break.

4th week

For the 4th week, study ecology in biology. Spend more time on general chemistry. Go for studying kinetics, liquid, solids, and all gasses. Inorganic chemistry, you can study the reaction mechanisms. Work on the PAT section to achieve speed and accuracy.

Additionally, don't forget about the reading comprehension part.

You can start taking full-length practice tests beginning this week. Don't forget to slow down a little and give your mind and body rest.

Week 5 & 6

You are just two weeks away from your goal. Hence, these two weeks are very crucial. Focus more on the chemistry section in these weeks. In general chemistry, you can study the acids and bases, nuclear reactions, redox reactions, and solutions. For organic chemistry, you should study all the reactions.

In biology, you should study the behavior and diversity of life. In these two weeks, spend more time on trigonometry, probability, statistics, and geometry. You should cover most of the sections by the end of the 6th week. Hence, you should speed up your study and devote a little more time where necessary.

Week 7 & 8

You should not read anything new in the last two weeks of DAT. Keep these two weeks for practice tests only. Take more and more full-length problems. Identify the areas you are finding difficult to answer and revise them. Polish your strength zones as well.

Second Step: Practice Tests

To score well in DAT, you should have better time-management skills. Full-length practice tests are the best to polish your time-management skills. Every week at least take a one-timed full-length test. In that way, you can understand your weak areas and polish your time-management skills. You should take a minimum of 6 full-length tests.

Third Step: Mental Preparation

This is the most necessary part that most people don't talk about. You need to prepare yourself mentally to combat the challenges you face on the DAT.

Mental Preparation
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The practice tests are a way to measure your ability. Hence, after you are done with covering sections, always take practice tests. Don't lose hope if you don't score well on those. Instead, consider it a chance to understand your weak points and work on them.

Give your mind enough rest. Take a break after each study session. Sleep for 7-8 hours. Cut out people who drown your mental energy. Instead, try to be with people who encourage you to do better.

Have a healthy meal and stay hydrated. Cut out extra sugar, caffeine, and junk foods; eat vegetables, nuts, fruits, and fish. In addition, try to work out every day for at least 30 minutes.

DAT Preparation Guide For One Month

1st week

Since you have very little time left, you have to put in more hard work to score well in DAT. Therefore, at the beginning of your DAT preparation, take a full-length practice test to understand your strong and weak zones.

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Modify your study routine based on the result of your practice test. For example, suppose you have good command over anatomy. In that case, you should spend less time on that section and focus more on the sections you find weak, i.e., physiology or molecular biology.

Create study blocks for yourself. You should spend at least 3 hours per day studying. Take a break on the 7th day from study and use that day to take a full-length practice test. Then, review the mistakes and recharge yourself for the upcoming week.

You can prepare your routine for one subject each day. Start the week studying cell and molecular biology. Learn the rules of PAT and develop a strategy for each subtest that will help you score well in this section.

You can study atomic and molecular structure, stoichiometry, and periodic trends in general chemistry. In the quantitative reasoning section, you can learn algebra, conversions, and numerical calculations.

2nd week

This week starts with reading comprehension. Learn the tactics and analyze the questions of this part. Then, develop your strategy to answer questions quickly from this part.

From biology, go through developmental biology, anatomy, and physiology. Anatomy and physiology are comparatively more complicated than the other parts of biology. Don't worry if you don't know all the details or find it difficult. Try to focus on the other portions of biology to score well.

In the PAT section, try to improve your speed and accuracy with the strategies you find helpful. From organic chemistry, you can study the properties of molecules and reaction mechanisms. The general chemistry section can research equilibrium, thermodynamics, kinetics, liquids, solids, and gasses.

Take a full-length practice test at the weekend. For taking the test, go to the library or a similar place to get yourself accustomed to the exam hall environment. Then, take the test in one sitting.

3rd week

Review the result of your practice test and see your weak zones. Modify your routine based on that; allot more time for vulnerable zones and less time for strength areas.

Practice the PAT section more and more to improve your speed and accuracy. The general chemistry section can study acids and bases, solutions, redox reactions, and nuclear reactions. From biology, you can study ecology, behavior, and diversity. In the organic chemistry section, you can go through all the reactions.

On the weekend, take a full-length test. Then, if you have got enough time, go to your exam centre. This will help you to be prepared and reduce your stress on exam day.

4th week

This is the last week of your DAT journey. Don't take too much pressure. Keep it cool. Again start the week by reviewing your practice tests and modifying your routine according to your needs.

Spend extra time behind reading comprehension and PAT. These two sections are easy but can cost you extra time in the exam hall if you are not well prepared. The more you practice these two sections, the better you are prepared for the next day.

Allot a whole day to sections with remaining topics and try to cover those within 5 days of the week. Finally, on the 6th day, take practice tests and review your mistakes.

The day before your exam is significant. Pack your bags and go through the necessary and prohibited items list. Strictly abandon the banned items.

Don't take any practice tests. Just skim through the flashcards you have prepared while reading. Revise the portions you find difficult. Go to bed early.

Key Takeaways

DAT is a competitive exam. Yet, with proper strategy and preparation, one can score well on DAT undoubtedly.

You must keep in mind that DAT will be taken online. Hence, we recommend you to get accustomed to that.

There are a plethora of online tools available now for DAT preparation. You can choose any of them as your DAT preparatory material. Whatever you choose, make sure it's efficient, like DATPrep.

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DATPrep has thousands of questions and experts to help you on your journey. It will help you to study on the go. There are video lessons as well to review your study materials. Moreover, you will have your own analytics to measure your success rate on DAT.

So what are you waiting for? Sign up today and score a 30 with DATPrep.

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