The Dental Admission Test is a national, standardized exam for dental school admission. The test is designed to measure general academic ability, comprehension of scientific information, and perceptual ability. While all dental schools require examinees to participate in the Dental Admission Testing Program, test results are only one factor considered in evaluating the admission potential of an applicant. Below are the basic features of the exam. For a more detailed description, please see the entire DAT Program Guide.

Features of the DAT

The DAT is a 4 hour and 15 minute exam that is administered in 4 separate parts:

1. Survey of the Natural Sciences


General Chemistry

Organic Chemistry

2.  Perceptual Ability Test

Perceptual ability section tests your ability to discern things in 3D space. This test involves several of the major factors commonly identified in studies of spatial ability (angle discrimination, block counting, paper folding, form development and object visualization). Sometimes students who have hobbies like fine arts or building models or playing an instrument are excellent candidates for dental programs because they tend to be very good at this type of hand-eye coordination. You might want to include this type of activity on a dental school application.

3.  Reading Comprehension Test

Read and answer questions about 3 science passages.

4.  Quantitative Reasoning Test

Content covers algebra through trigonometry; probability and statistics; applied mathematics (word problems).  


1. The DAT is administered through Prometric Test Centers in the United States. Testing is by appointment and is available year-round.

2.  The DAT has a lifetime limit of 3 attempts. Prepare thoroughly and take it when you are ready.

3.  More information on scheduling and scoring is available on the DAT homepage