DAT Practice Test

The Dental Admission Test (DAT) is administered by the American Dental Association to assess the readiness of applicants for dental education programs.

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There are no specific eligibility requirements for this exam, though it is recommended that you have completed at least one year of college education that involved biology, general chemistry, and organic chemistry courses. Most DAT test-takers have completed at least two years of college before taking the exam.

Exam Outline Review

The DAT exam contains 280 multiple-choice questions and has a time limit of 4 hours and 15 minutes.

The exam is split into four sections:

1. Survey of the Natural Sciences (100 questions)

This section of the exam is split into three subsections, and you will be given a time limit of 90 minutes.

Biology (40 questions)
  • Cellular biology
  • Molecular biology
  • Diversity of life
  • Structure and function of systems
  • Genetics
  • Evolution
  • Ecology
General Chemistry (30 questions)

An image of the periodic table will be available for reference during this subsection.

  • Stoichiometry
  • Gases, liquids, and solids
  • Solutions
  • Acids and bases
  • Chemical equilibria
  • Thermodynamics and thermochemistry
  • Chemical kinetics
  • Oxidation-reduction reactions
  • Atomic and molecular structure
  • Periodic properties
  • Nuclear reactions
  • Laboratory
Organic Chemistry (30 questions)
  • Mechanisms
  • Chemical and physical properties of molecules
  • Stereochemistry
  • Nomenclature
  • Individual reactions of the major functional groups
  • Combinations of reactions to synthesize compounds
  • Acid-base chemistry
  • Aromatics and bonding

2. Perceptual Ability (90 questions)

This section of the exam is split into six subsections, and you will be given a time limit of one hour.

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

3. Reading Comprehension (50 questions)

This section of the exam requires you to read three passages and answer the corresponding questions. Each passage will be about a different scientific topic, and everything you need to answer the questions is contained within each passage. You will be given a time limit of one hour to complete this section.

4. Quantitative Reasoning (40 questions)

This section of the exam covers various mathematical problems, including applied mathematics problems. You will be provided with a digital four-function calculator to use during this section, and you will be given a time limit of 45 minutes.

exam outline for the DAT exam, which contains 280 multiple-choice questions and has a time limit of 4 hours and 15 minutes

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To register for the DAT exam, you must first obtain a Dental Personal Identification Number (DENTPIN), which you can do by visiting the ADA’s website. Once you have a DENTPIN, you can submit an online application, which should include the examination fee of $525.

Once your application has been approved, you will be provided with instructions on how to schedule a day and time for your exam.

Test Day

You should arrive at the testing center around 30 minutes early to allow enough time for the check-in process. Once you arrive, the administration vendor will biometrically scan your palm vein and/or fingerprint for security and identification purposes, and you will be asked to provide a valid form of government-issued identification.

Before you enter the testing area, any eyeglasses and hair accessories will be removed and inspected. No personal items or jewelry will be permitted in the testing room.

Once the vendor has determined you are ready, you will be led to the testing area, where you will have the option to take a 15-minute tutorial before starting the exam.

How the Exam is Scored

The ADA uses a scaled scoring system for the DAT exam. This means that your raw score, which is simply the number of questions you answered correctly, is converted to a standard score set on a scale of 1 to 30.

There is no set passing score for the DAT, but a scaled score of 19 is generally considered an average score.

You will receive an unofficial score report before you leave the testing center, and you will be sent an official score report within 3 to 4 weeks.

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How many questions are on the DAT exam?

There are 280 multiple-choice questions on the exam.

How long is the DAT exam?

The time limit for this exam is 4 hours and 15 minutes.

What is the DAT exam?

The DAT, which is short for Dental Admission Test, is a test used to assess the readiness of test-takers who plan to apply for dental education programs.

How much is the DAT exam?

The examination fee for this exam is $525.

What is the passing score for the DAT exam?

There is no set passing score for this exam. The average score is a scaled score of 19.

By Peter Rench

Peter Rench joined Mometrix in 2009 and serves as Vice President of Product Development, responsible for overseeing all new product development and quality improvements. Mr. Rench, a National Merit Scholar, graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering and a minor in mathematics from Texas A&M University.


by Mometrix Test Preparation | This Page Last Updated: January 17, 2023