DAT FAQ's

Learn About Your DAT Test

Frequently Asked Questions

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)

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.

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.

To reschedule or cancel a testing appointment, candidates must contact the Administration Vendor in advance of the testing appointment. The local test center cannot schedule, reschedule, or cancel your appointment. Additional fees apply, and must be paid directly to the Administration Vendor. Appointments must be canceled or rescheduled by the business day prior to the test (at least 24 hours in advance of the scheduled appointment). Candidates will receive a confirmation notification when rescheduling their testing appointment; please retain a copy of this confirmation.

All available fee waivers have been granted. The application for 2023 fee waivers will be posted at the beginning of next year. The following is for informational purposes only.

In documented cases of severe financial hardship, a limited number of partial fee waivers are available to DAT examinees each calendar year (January – December). The partial fee waiver covers 50% of the DAT fee. The partial fee waiver does not apply to any charges associated with rescheduling/canceling a test date or score reporting after the time of initial application. Partial fee waivers are granted on a first-come, first-served basis to eligible examinees who have submitted the required documents.

An examinee is eligible to request a partial fee waiver if each of the following criteria are met:

  • First-time examinee
  • Has not previously received a partial fee waiver
  • U.S. citizen or resident alien
  • Has demonstrated financial hardship
  • Received financial aid from their school

When fee waivers are available, there is a form to submit with a copy of the financial aid award letter you received from your school. (The financial aid award letter cannot be older than 18 months.) Alternatively, applicants who have not been enrolled in a college or university in the past 18 months can substitute a copy of their most recent tax return. The DAT Program will review all partial fee waiver requests and make the final approval/denial decision. After the partial fee waiver request is reviewed, you will receive an email notification of the decision and instructions for submitting a DAT application online. Please allow up to 10 business days for review of all partial fee waiver requests.

  • The ADA Privacy Policy
  • The Biometric Data Privacy Policy
  • Personal information used and disclosed in connection with the DAT
  • Your rights

Yes. Fairness in testing is of vital importance, and is in fact fundamental to an examination’s validity. Fairness considerations are embedded throughout the DAT program, affecting every aspect of how this examination is constructed, administered, scored, and reported. 

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