Dental Admission Test (DAT)

The Dental Admission Test (DAT) is a multiple-choice exam required by all dental schools as a criterion for admission. The admissions process involves evaluation of DAT scores, collegiate records, letters of recommendation, and other information, but the relative importance of each of these components is determined by each dental school. Applicants may take the exam more than once to improve their score, though all history of test attempts will be reported. The office recommends that applicants take the exam by mid-summer of their application year to remain competitive in the rolling admissions process.

DAT Registration

The DAT is offered year-round through the American Dental Association (ADA) at Prometric Test Centers. It costs $495 for one-time registration for the exam; this fee covers the cost of the exam and the cost of score distribution. Applicants are recommended to schedule an appointment 60 to 90 days prior to their desired test date. Individuals must first apply through the ADA to take the DAT before scheduling an appointment to sit for the exam.

Register for the DAT: see here to apply to take the DAT—keep in mind that registration fees are non-refundable

Schedule an Appointment at a Prometric Test Center: after registering for the exam through the ADA, applicants must follow the instructions on this website to set up a testing date

A candidate can only take the DAT up to three (3) times and must wait at least 90 days between sittings.

ADA Testing Accommodations: if you are seeking special testing accommodations, you must fill out the PDF application form and submit it to testingaccommodations@ada.org

DAT Fee Waiver Information: fee waivers only cover 50% of the DAT fee and there are strict criteria an individual must meet to be eligible

When candidates apply to take the DAT, they are asked to select the list of schools and/or programs which they wish to receive their scores. In doing so, candidates grant permission to release official results to these schools. Results will then be released upon authorization.

After a testing session has ended, an unofficial score report will be provided at the test center. Official results are reported electronically within three to four weeks of the testing date to the selected schools and will be posted to the candidate’s account. If a candidate has tested more than once, a history of all testing attempts is reported.

DAT Scoring

The DAT is scored from 1 to 30. According to the ADA, the national average for students taking the DAT is 19. The average score for UConn matriculants to dental programs during the 2020 cycle was between 21 and 22 and was 21 for the 2021 cycle. The test is scored on a scale, meaning that scores are neither raw scores nor percentile groupings.

DAT Content

The four sections on the DAT are:

  • Survey of the Natural Sciences
  • Perceptual Ability
  • Reading Comprehension
  • Quantitative Reasoning

These sections cover information from a variety of undergraduate classes such as Introductory Biology, General Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, Biochemistry and English. Students are expected to have completed all of their prerequisite coursework before taking the DAT.

For comprehensive information about the DAT and its material (including specific breakdowns of each section’s testing topics), review the Dental Admission Test (DAT) 2021 Candidate Guide.

DAT Preparation

We encourage students to begin their preparation with the basics and then expand their understanding by using different study methods and resources to prepare. The test itself is five hours and fifteen minutes long (5h15m), so academic, mental, and physical preparation are all necessary when getting ready to take the exam.

The ADA offers a variety of resources for candidate preparation that will be very helpful throughout the preparation process. The program guide to the DAT serves as a valuable starting place; once applicants begin studying, they can either purchase individual modules covering the various topics ($20 each) or an official practice test ($100) from the ADA.

DAT 2021 Candidate Guide

DAT Reference Text List

ADA Test Preparation Resources

For additional resources from past years, look on the ADA website.