Independent Minds, Working Together

The DAT

The DAT (Dental Admissions Test) is required for dental school admissions. It is a computerized exam administered by Prometric Test Centers and can be taken nearly any day of the year. The test consists of four sections:

  • Section 1: Survey of the Natural Sciences
    First-year biology, general chemistry, and organic chemistry
  • Section 2: Quantitative Reasoning
    Basic mathematics, geometry, trigonometry, and algebra (NO calculus)
  • Section 3: Reading Comprehension
    Interpretation of three passages (ca. 1,500 words apiece) on unfamiliar material, simulating reading assignments from a dental textbook
  • Section 4: Perceptual Ability Test
    Two- and three-dimensional problems dealing with angle discrimination, paper folding, form development, and object visualization

Each section is scored numerically on a scale of 1 to 30. The average of the first three sections is reported as the Academic Average, and dental admissions will look separately (and often very closely) at the Perceptual Ability section. Some published data on DAT scores is shown below:

  Portion with Academic Average 17 or higher Portion with Perceptual Ability 17 or higher
Students Applying to Dentistry Programs (Nationally) 67% 55%
Students Admitted to at least one Dentistry Program (Nationally) 85% 65%
*Source: Richard Weaver et al. J. Dent. Educ. 2005, 69, 1064-1072.

There is no score that guarantees admission, but a competitive applicant will score 18 or higher in both Academic Average and Perceptual Ability. Wooster students enrolled in the Seven-Year Dual Degree Predental/Dental Program are required to score 18 or higher in both Academic Average and Perceptual Ability on the DAT.