If you are looking to get admitted into a dental school in the United States or Canada there is one hurdle you must overcome- The Dental Admission Test also known as the DAT exam. This is a multiple-choice test that is mandatory for admission into most US and Canadian Dental Schools. DAT judges your scientific understanding and your academic and perceptual ability. It is a computer-based multiple-choice exam that can be given at almost any day of the year.
Everything you think you need to know about the DAT exams has been compiled here for your convenience.
Candidates willing to sit for the DAT exam must have completed at least a year of collegiate education inclusive of courses in biology along with general and organic chemistry. Candidates can sit for the DAT exam anywhere between the beginning of the third year or the beginning of the first year.
A preliminary step you must complete before applying for the DAT exam is to be committed to taking the exam within the given time period.
Application for the DAT Exam is a two-step process. The first step is to receive approval from the Department of Testing Services at the ADA. Once you have completed the first step and received your DENTPIN, the next step is to apply to sit for the DAT exam.
Remember that once you have received approval to take the DAT you will only have 6 months to sit for it. No, you will not be able to extend this time period, nor will you be receiving a deadline. Therefore, you should perform the preliminary step for mental preparation.
In 2020, the free for the exam is $415. Now, this is a steep amount, but worry not! If you are a U.S citizen or even a resident alien, the ADA may provide you with a fee waiver, given that you are already receiving some sort of financial aid from your educational institution or are facing some form of financial hardship. However, do note that the fee waiver only covers 50% of the cost. Fee waivers are numbered and are usually given out on a first-come-first basis. You can directly apply for the application fee waiver from the ADA website. While the fee includes reporting of official score to all your selected dental schools, irrespective of the number, the fee waiver is only a partial one.
The process for applying for a fee waiver is pretty straightforward. If DAT fee waivers are available, then you will be provided with a form to fill out your financial information. Once you have done that, your application will be reviewed and you will be notified via email on whether your report has been granted, or not.
Keep in mind that your application for a fee waiver will only be considered if you are a first-time candidate and your application is in written form.
DAT exams are administered almost every day all year round at test centers powered by Prometric Incorporated. After getting your application approved by the ADA you have a 6-month period within which you HAVE TO sit for the exam.
The $415 fee is nonrefundable and nontransferable. While you can sit for a retake 90 days after the first time you have taken it, you will have to apply and pay the fee again. While rescheduling your DAT exam is possible, it comes with a hefty fine that depends on how close to the test date you cancel.
In order to cancel or reschedule the testing appointment, the candidate must contact the Administration Vendor well before the actual testing date. The additional fees mentioned above must be directly paid to the Administration Vendor. You will be notified with a confirmation once your testing appointment has been rescheduled or canceled.
If you have already attempted the exam thrice then you will have to apply to get permission to be able to sit for the exam again. Application for permission to sit for retake must be submitted to ADA’s Department of Testing Services and you will have to submit some additional information, including-
Yes, retaking is neither cheap nor straightforward. So, make sure to prepare well the first time around to avoid retakes! To help you with your prep here is a breakdown of the question pattern and what to expect from each section.
The DAT is a timed exam that lasts half a day. It runs for 5 hours and 15 minutes including all the optional breaks and tutorials. Without the inclusion of the breaks, the test lasts for 4 hours and 15 minutes. Each section is timed individually. Here is a rundown of the entire test.
The DAT exam has been divided into 4 sections, with each one testing a different aspect of your academic and critical thinking ability.
The exhibit button on the DAT exam screen includes a periodic table to help guide you.
As the age-old saying goes- practice makes perfect! So, what is the number one tip on how to prepare for the DAT exams? The answer is simple- practice, practice, then practice some more. Yet, here are a few tips, tricks and a few reminders to help you with your prep.
You will not be penalized for answering incorrectly. So, there is no harm in making a guess every now and then instead of leaving a question blank because you are unsure. Scores are scaled according to the collective scoring of all examinees. The DAT exam usually ranges from 1-30 and while there are no passing or failing scores, 17 is considered the national average.
There are a few questions that allow the ADA to place different forms of the questionnaire on the same scale and score your testing. Moreover, there may be a few unscored questions. These can be considered beta testing questions where the responses from them are used to help develop the question pattern and quality later.
It takes about 3 to four weeks for the official results to be published after you have taken the test.
This covers everything you need to know about the DAT exams. For further information here you can refer to the 2020 Dental Admission Test guide here. Remember to give yourself enough time to prepare and don’t forget to practice, practice, and practice some more!