What is Dental Admission Test (DAT)?

What is Dental Admission Test What is Dental Admission Test

Dental Admission Test (DAT) – Overview

The Dental Admission Test (DAT) is a multi-choice standardized examination organized by dental schools in the United States. DAT is a computer-based test that can be taken anytime throughout the year.

Prometric centers nationwide hold DAT after the preliminary application from the American Dental Association is completed. An applicant can appear for DAT three times before getting special permission to appear afterward.

Once an applicant has taken the DAT exam, they must wait for a minimum of 90 days before applying again. The DAT exam fees are USD 385, which is non-refundable.

The DAT exam is accepted by over 65 accredited dental schools across the US. It is aimed to provide dental schools with a way to assess an applicant’s potential for success in dentistry. The test is one of the main criteria, along with admission essays and coursework, for an applicant to apply for a graduate dental program.

The admission board of prospective dental schools considers all these factors. Therefore, performing well in DAT makes you a stronger and more successful dental student candidate.

The DAT exam usually takes around 4.5 hours to complete and can be taken all year round at any of the designated Prometric centers nationwide.

How to Register for the Dental Admission Test (DAT)?

What is Dental Admission Test

What is the Dental Admission Test – How to Register?

To take the DAT exam, you will need to follow the 5 steps listed below:

1 – Read all resources

DAT Examinee Guide is provided by the American Dental Association, which underlines relevant information and keeps it handy. This resource has valuable information and helps you learn more about the DAT exam before registering for it.

You can find the DAT Examinee Guide on the official ADA website.


DENTPIN is a specialized username allocated specifically to individual candidates who wish to appear for DAT. This username offers optimal security and privacy before, during, and after the test is completed. You can get your DENTPIN by simply visiting the official ADA website here http://www.ada.org/.

3 – Register online

The next step to appear for the DAT exam is to register online with a credit card. You will need to pay around USD 385 (non-refundable).

4 – Registration

As soon as the ADA approves your application, it will contact the nearby Prometric testing centers and inform them of your acceptance. You must appear at one of these centers for your DAT exam.

5 – Schedule DAT Date

After the Prometric Center confirms your seat for the test, you will receive an email informing you of the scheduled test date, which is usually within 6 months from the approval of the application.

Once you have finished the above-listed steps successfully, you will need to start preparing for DAT.

What is the DAT Test Structure Like?

As mentioned, DAT is a multi-choice computer-based test. It is held at designated Prometric centers across the country and is accessible at your convenience within 6 months of applying. The DAT exam consists of 4 sections, including time for breaks, an optional section, and a tutorial before the exam begins.

The DAT exam usually takes around 4 hours and 15 minutes to finish, while the additional sections may take as long as 5 hours.

Here are the different sections and the times allotted for them during a DAT exam:

  • Optional Tutorial = 15 minutes
  • Survey of Natural Sciences = 90 minutes
  • Perceptual Ability Test = 60 minutes
  • Optional Break = 15 minutes
  • Reading Comprehension Test = 60 minutes
  • Quantitative Reading Test = 45 minutes
  • Optional Post-Test Survey = 15 minutes

Now that you know how the DAT exam and its different sections are allotted, let’s take a quick look at some of the important topics you can expect to be asked about in the DAT exam.

  • Survey of Natural Sciences (100 items) = Biology (40) + General Chemistry (30) + Organic Chemistry (30)
  • Perceptual Ability Test (90 items) = Apertures + View Recognition + Angle Discrimination + Paper Folding + Cube Counting + 3D Form Development
  • Reading Comprehension Test (50 items) = Various topics to test reading comprehension skills
  • Quantitative Reading (40 items) = Mathematics (Algebra, Trigonometry, Geometry, Probability, Statistics, Conversion, and Numeric Calculations)

The DAT exam is graded from 1 to 30, with no passing or failing scores, but the score achieved significantly affects your admission into a dental school.

Dental Admission Test (DAT) Frequently Asked Questions

What is the purpose of the DAT Exam?

The Dental Admission Test is crucial to evaluate the overall potential of dentistry students. The DAT test is concluded by dental schools in the United States, which is crucial for students applying for the graduate dental program. It’s like an entrance test for dentistry students.

What is the test fee for Dental Admission Test?

It costs $525 to appear in the Dental Admission Test. Those who want to clear this test and apply for the graduate dental program must pay the DAT fees.

How long does completing the Dental Admission Test take?

The Dental Admission Test requires around 4.5 hours. During the exam hours, there will be breaks for students.

Who should take the DAT?

DAT, i.e., Dental Admission Test, is conducted by dental schools in USA and Canada. It is an admission test that qualifies the potential of the students who are going to study in their schools.

How many times can a student take the Dental Admission Test?

Candidates can appear for the Dental Admission Test three times a year. If a candidate wants to appear for the fourth time, he has to take prior permission from the authorized department.

If the candidate is unable to clear the exams after the fourth attempt, he will be granted to appear in the exam for the fifth time only once a year afterward.

Can I cancel or reschedule my testing appointment?

It is done by the Administration Vendors. You must contact the administration vendors to cancel or reschedule your appointment. Before you reschedule your appointment, you’ll have to pay additional fees in advance. It should only be done 24 hours before the exam dates during the working days. Candidates will receive a notification regarding rescheduling or canceling of the exam.

Is there a way to get a fee waiver for DAT?

Under certain circumstances, a candidate can receive a fee waiver from the authority. Here’s the list of incidences where candidates can get a fee waiver for the Dental Admission Test.

  • S. Citizen or resident alien
  • Comes from a low-income family with a certificate
  • Received financial support from the school previously
  • Appearing in the exam for the first time
  • Has not received fee waiver in the past

If a candidate meets any of the above criteria, he can get a partial or full fee waiver.

Do I have to worry about my personal data privacy during DAT?

DAT has demonstrated its privacy policy on its official page, where they have described everything about the personal information of each candidate. Your data is safe and encrypted with the latest encryption technology.

How can I contact the officials?

The American Dental Association manages the DAT exams. You can reach out to the department at:

American Dental Association Department of Testing Services

211 East Chicago Avenue,

Chicago, IL 60611

Contact number: 1800 232 1694

Email: datexam.ada.org


The Dental Admission Test (DAT) exam is a nationwide admission test for aspiring dental students who wish to get admission into an ADA-accredited dental school. The ADA conducts the DAT exam to ensure that the most serious, dedicated, and skilled candidates are admitted into dental schools and trained to become professional certified dental experts.

You can find even more details about the DAT exam at the official ADA link.

See Also

Dental Charities

Dental Implant Grants

Best Dental Schools in California

Where Can I Get My Braces Removed for Free?

How to Become a Dental Hygienist?

I am a dedicated healthcare researcher and an enthusiast specializing in medical grants, medical education and research. Through my articles, I aim to empower healthcare professionals and researchers with valuable insights and resources to navigate these critical aspects effectively.

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