Friday, May 18, 2012

Introduction to the DAT

The Dental Admission Test is administered by the American Dental Association. The DAT is what the GRE is for graduate schools, the MCAT for med schools, the PCAT for pharmacy schools. (This could be the start of some nerdy rap.)

You are required to read this comprehensive DAT Program Guide before you sign up for the exam. Quick facts about the DAT:
  • About five hours long and broken down into the following:

  • Natural Sciences section has three parts: biology, inorganic chemistry and orgnaic chemistry.
  • Conducted year-around at Prometric Test Centers
  • Costs $360 per exam currently (check again- this increases each year) 
  • Scores for each section ranges from 1-30 with 17 being the average. You will get a separate score report for all the sections, in addition to a Total Science average and an Academic Average.
  • Can retake in 90 days
  • No limit to number of re-takes
  • Scores immediately available at the end of the exam. Testing center will print an unofficial hard-copy of your scores before you leave.
You must first register for a DENTPIN which is a unique number identifying you for dental-related exams including the DAT and NBDE. You need this DENTPIN to sign up for the DAT.

Remember to have your scores sent to the dental schools you are applying to. If you send your scores to at least one AADSAS-participating school, all the schools selected on your AADSAS application will automatically receive them.

You don't have to have taken the DAT to complete your AADSAS application, but I think it's best to take the DAT the winter before you apply.