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DAT Exam: What You Need to Know

dat exam

Do you wish to study dental medicine too, like many of your mates? Do we hear you say ‘not in India’? Wish to study in US? But do you for that you have to qualify DAT exam!

Yes, you read it right DAT exam is a Dental Admission Test conducted and prepared by American Dental Association (ADA). DAT is a standardized test for admission to dental schools in the United States.

This curated guide shall take you through the many depths that you definitely need to be familiar with before you start gearing up for your next fight towards pursuing a dental medicine degree outside of India.

Highlights of DAT exam

Take a look at the highlights about the DAT exam:

highlights of dat exam

DAT exam pattern

DAT, among other things, is a test of endurance. Contains four sections and 280 multiple-choice questions. The duration of the exam is 4 hours 15 minutes.

The four sections in DAT exam include: Survey of Natural Sciences (including Biology, General Chemistry, and Organic Chemistry), Perceptual Ability, Reading Comprehension, and Quantitative Reasoning.

Below is the table to show the breakdown of questions and time limit.

SectionNumber of QuestionsTime Limit
Optional Tutorial15 Minutes
Survey of Natural Sciences10090 Minutes
-General Chemistry30
-Organic Chemistry30
Perceptual Ability Test9060 Minutes
– Angle Ranking15
– Cube Counting15
– Hole Punches15
– Keyhole15
– Pattern Folding15
– Top/Front/End Visualization15
Optional Break30 Minutes
Reading Comprehension Test5060 Minutes
Quantitative Reasoning Test4045 Minutes
– Applied Mathematics (Word Problems)30
– Mathematics10
Optional Post-Test Survey15 Minutes
Total2805:00 Hours

DAT application fee

There are a number of costs associated with applying to a dental school that many students do not consider early. Make sure you set aside money to cover these costs before you start the application process so that you do not find yourself overwhelmed over time.

Following is the DAT exam application fee structure:

dat application fee

Rescheduling fee

The rescheduling fee is as follow:

dat rescheduling fee

DAT exam date

A candidate should keep track of all the DAT exam-related dates. Missing any important date might lead to missing important deadlines such as the last date to apply, examination date, date of result, etc. Hence, a candidate should keep on visiting the official website or this link to know about important dates or any date-related changes.

DAT cut off

DAT scores range from 1 to 30. According to the American Dental Association (ADA), competing DAT scores ranked 25% DAT points i.e., 19 to 20 percent. Thus, the maximum score is either 22 or higher. The DAT exam average score is 17.

DAT colleges

The DAT exam is accepted by 66 dental schools in United States and 10 dental schools in Canada.

DAT syllabus

In this section we will give you a brief of DAT exam syllabus:

Survey of the Natural Sciences (100 Items)


  • Cell and Molecular Biology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Diversity of Life
  • Evolution, Ecology, and Behavior
  • Genetics
  • Structure and Function of Systems

General Chemistry

  • Acids and Bases
  • Chemical Equilibria
  • Chemical Kinetics
  • Gases
  • Laboratory
  • Liquids and Solids
  • Nuclear Reactions
  • Oxidation-Reduction Reactions
  • Periodic Properties
  • Periodic Properties
  • Solutions
  • Stoichiometry and General Concepts
  • Thermodynamics and Thermochemistry

Organic Chemistry

  • Acid Base Chemistry
  • Aromatics and Bonding
  • Chemical and Physical Properties of Molecules
  • Individual Reactions of the Major Functional Groups and Combinations of Reactions to Synthesize Compounds
  • Mechanisms
  • Nomenclature
  • Stereochemistry (structure evaluation)

Perceptual Ability

  1. 3D form development
  2. Angle discrimination
  3. Apertures
  4. Cube counting
  5. Paper folding
  6. View recognition

Reading Comprehension

The Reading Comprehension Section contains three reading passages on various scientific topics. Previously understanding scientific topics is not a requirement to answer experimental material. This section requires the ability to read, comprehend, and analyze basic scientific knowledge.

Quantitative Reasoning

  1. Applied Mathematics (Word Pattern)
  2. Mathematical Problems

Note: It is advised to keep a check on the DAT exam pattern to avoid missing important notification. You can check the official website or this link to know any syllabus related changes.


So, here you have the tricky essentials of including DAT exam syllabus, exam pattern, colleges, etc. We hope you have some clarity about the matter now.

Although if you need guidance and want to take expert opinion before you go on to follow this career path, then consult a career counselor and make an informed career choice. We at iDreamCareer always believe in helping young minds discover their true mettle. We try to help young confused minds from 9th class10th classclass 11class 12 with an aim to select their most-suited career choices.

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