How Hard is the DAT? Know Everything About DAT Exam

A doctor’s profession is such a great service that brings blessings and creates the opportunity to learn a lot. When you want to serve people as a dentist, you have to go through the Dental Admission Test (DAT).

The way of becoming a successful doctor is not that easy. You may think that “How Hard is the DAT” to clear it and proceed through to be a dentist. Let’s know more about Dental Admission Test and how hard it is!

How Hard is the DAT

What is DAT?

DAT is a Computer-based, multiple-choice exam also known as the Dental Aptitude Test that started in 1950. The standardized exam like MCAT, LSAT, and GMAT, DAT stand for the Dental Admission Test for the students in the United States and Canada.

There is a separate Canadian methodology of this exam, but both versions are interchangeably granted. Also, there are some fixed rules for DAT. These are:

  1. DAT is a four hours and fifteen minutes exam that focuses on the four sections of study:
  • Survey of the Natural Sciences,
  • Perceptual Ability,
  • Reading Comprehension
  • Quantitative Reasoning
  1. The exam frequency is Year-round, and the cost of the exam is $445.
  2. You can obtain the score highest 30 and on average is 17 in the exam.

 DAT Exam

How Hard is the DAT

If you ask any of the senior dentists, you will answer yes most of the time. You have to organize a proper study plan with a focused career goal to appear in a DAT.

In preparation, you must go through the DAT questions and learn about the difficulties of the problems. You also can choose the courses that will help you to secure a noticeable score on the test.

To obtain a good score and confirm admission, you must acquire great control over the exam’s main focusing sections. The sections cover the whole area of your previous learning. the units consist of :

  • Survey of the Natural Sciences

This section includes Biology, General Chemistry, and Organic Chemistry. As the whole question is in MCQ, approximately 100 questions, you have to answer from these subsections of science.

  • Perceptual Ability test

PAT is the second most important and challenging part of a DAT. It is a sort of mini mind game that tests mental and visual abilities.

PAT covers spatial visualization skills, view recognition, paper folding, and cube counting. Additionally, your apertures, angle discrimination, 2d interpretations, and 3D form development are also examined here.

  • Reading Comprehension

The third part of the DAT measures your comprehension and analysis of scientific content. Here you are given three reading passages, and Within 60 minutes, you have to resolve the answer to 50 questions.

  • Quantitative Reasoning

 The section test the DAT required skill of mathematics. The test includes algebra, data analysis, interpretation, probability, statistics, etc. you will be given 40 multiple-choice questions to solve within 45 minutes.

You may take help from an initial four-function calculator that will appear on the screen of the calculator.

The difficulties of the DAT

The examinees find the DAT difficult because of the nature of the examination. Most of the time, the large number of subjects included in DAT creates difficulties for the examinees.

Within 4 hour and 15-minute exam, an examinee needs to scatter his mind into six sections of studies and mark the multiple-choice questions.

Though the time seems enough, the previous applicants describe that the time passes too quickly to correctly observe and answer all the questions. Moreover, You will not get any break within the given schedule to encompass the information.

However, there is a controversy regarding the preparation time and acquiring score of DAT. Some students claim that they achieve an optimal score for admission with a few weeks of preparation.

Whenever the other’s objection is that to attain a satisfactory score, they need to study for several months.

How to proceed through DAT?

The average grade that an applicant needs to obtain for admission is 17 that symbolizes you are one step forward rather than 50% of examinees.

But keep in mind that renowned dental institutions like UCLA School of Dentistry and Harvard School of Dental Medicine require a score of 23.2 and 23.8 to have an admission.

That’s why you need to prepare yourself and follow your strategy to overcome the score’s margin line.

Selection of the Study Materials

An excellent preparation can ensure a satisfactory appearance in the exam. To start the preparation, you need to select the appropriate review study materials for a preliminary test combined with other resources.

But try to avoid the materials that are full of unnecessary details if you don’t have much time before the exam.

Time-Management for DAT

 We all know that practice makes a man perfect. During the preparation time, you have to sit for several mock-tests.

Make sure that you can comfortably answer all the questions within 4hours and 15 minutes. If possible, try to save a little time for the topic that may pull you behind.

Maintain health

Maintaining sound health is obvious to keep your body and mind active and fit to sit for the exam without stress.

Try to have some exercise and take a rest after studies. Eat green vegetables and drink purified water as much as possible. Before the exam day, a healthy dinner and a good night’s sleep are a must.

Less Intimidate the DAT

The average student spends 8-12 weeks or above 200-250 study hours on DAT preparation. You should make your schedule and include the mock-test in the study plan.

The day before DAT, take 30 minutes to visit the DAT website to confirm all the details of the exam time, rules and regulations, prohibited items.


DAT is the opening step to flourish your future as a dentist. So if you start with a bang, your journey will be greater and smoother as well.

You will get three chances to pass the DAT. If you overcome the difficult experiences of DAT and keep yourself determined to aim, you will be the winner.

Leave a Comment