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Continuing Education Programs

About the DAT

We have the answers to your questions about the content, structure and the types of questions you'll see on the the DAT, as well as the costs and when to take the exam. Dental school is the next step and we have many resources to help you begin the process.  

Common Questions about the DAT

The Dental Admission Test (DAT) is accepted by 66 dental schools in the U.S. and 10 in Canada. It is designed to provide dental education programs with a means to assess applicants’ potential for success. The test takes 4.5 hours to complete and is offered year round by Prometric test centers in the United States, its territories (including Guam, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands) and Canada.

Take the DAT exam in the spring of your junior year of undergrad study, or in the summer between your junior and senior years. Submit your application 60 to 90 days before you intend to take the exam.

Start by reading the official DAT Candidate Guide, which explains:

  • How the exam is constructed and scored
  • How to prepare for the exam
  • Eligibility requirements
  • Fees and waivers
  • How to schedule, reschedule, or cancel testing

Once you have read the Guide, apply for the exam with your DENTPIN. Your DENTPIN acts as your unique identifier. If you have not previously applied to a dental program, request your DENTPIN.

After your application has been processed, you will receive an eligibility letter that permits you to schedule your testing appointment.

Find more information here.

All U.S. and Canadian dental schools require their applicants to take the DAT as part of the admission process. Each school uses its own criteria to determine how to weigh DAT results as part of admission decisions.

Prospective dental students should take the DAT during the second semester of their junior undergraduate year, or during the summer between junior and senior years. Make sure you have taken the subjects covered by the test, especially organic chemistry.

The DAT consists of multiple-choice questions presented in English, and includes a battery of four tests:

  • Survey of the Natural Sciences (100 items)
  • Perceptual Ability (90 items)
  • Reading Comprehension (50 items)
  • Quantitative Reasoning (40 items)

The DAT is offered year-round at Prometric Test Centers throughout the U.S. and Canada. Once you have received your eligibility letter confirming that your test application has been accepted, you must contact Prometric to secure an appointment. We recommend doing this at least 60 to 90 days before your desired test date, since schedules fill up. Visit the Prometric site to find a testing site near you, see procedures updated for COVID-19, and schedule your test.

If you need to cancel or reschedule your appointment due to an emergency please contact the Department of Testing Services by emailing or calling 800.232.1694.

You can reach the Department of Testing Services at:
American Dental Association
Department of Testing Services

211 East Chicago Avenue
Chicago, IL 60611



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