A Guide to Understanding DAT Scores



The Dental Admission Test (DAT) is a crucial part of the dental school admissions process. Your DAT score can be a major factor in determining whether or not you are accepted into a dental school, so it’s important to understand how your score will be evaluated. Let’s take a look at what makes up a good DAT score and how you can increase your chances of achieving one.

What is on the DAT?

The DAT is comprised of four sections—Biological Sciences, Perceptual Ability, Reading Comprehension, and Quantitative Reasoning—each of which tests different skills. The Biological Sciences section covers topics such as biochemistry and general biology, while the Perceptual Ability section evaluates your ability to visualize three-dimensional objects from two-dimensional images. The Reading Comprehension section assesses your ability to interpret passages from scientific texts, and the Quantitative Reasoning section tests basic arithmetic skills as well as problem solving ability. 

What Makes a Good Score?

So, what constitutes a ‘good’ DAT score? Generally speaking, most dental schools consider any score above 20 out of 30 on each individual test section to be ‘good’ (though this varies from school to school). However, it should also be noted that many schools also consider the average overall score when evaluating applicants; in other words, if you have one outstanding score but the rest are only average, it may not make much difference in terms of admissions decisions.

How Can You Improve Your Score?

If you want to maximize your chances of getting accepted into dental school, there are several strategies you can use to improve your DAT scores. For starters, it’s important that you spend plenty of time studying for the exam; you should aim for at least four weeks before taking the exam so that you have enough time to review all relevant material thoroughly. Additionally, it’s helpful to practice with sample questions and take mock exams offered the ADA  so that you can get used to the format and develop effective test-taking strategies. Finally, don’t forget about taking care of yourself during this period; eating healthy meals and getting adequate rest will help ensure that you are mentally prepared for the exam day itself.                                                                                                                                                           


Achieving a good score on the DAT is an essential part of being accepted into dental school. If you want to maximize your chances of success on this crucial exam, then make sure you study hard in advance and practice with sample questions as often as possible! Doing all these things will help ensure that when exam day arrives, you feel confident and ready for whatever comes your way! Good luck!

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