How to Reschedule the DAT: Tips and Tricks for Predental Students

As a predental student, you know that one of the most important steps on the road to becoming a dentist is taking the Dental Admission Test (DAT). But what happens if you need to reschedule your exam? Whether it's due to a family emergency, illness, or another unexpected situation, rescheduling the DAT can be stressful and confusing. In this blog post, we'll give you some tips and tricks for rescheduling the DAT, including how long you should wait to retake the exam.

 Understand the DAT Rescheduling Policy

The first step in rescheduling the DAT is to understand the policies and procedures of the American Dental Association (ADA), which administers the test. According to the ADA, you can reschedule the DAT up to three times in a calendar year. However,  Candidates must wait 60 days between testing attempts on the DAT, with a maximum of four (4) such administrations permitted during any 12-month period of time, you won't be able to reschedule for at least 60 days. Make sure you read and understand the ADA's policies before you attempt to reschedule.

 Rescheduling Fees

The fees for rescheduling as given by ADA are as follows:

30 or more business days* before test date $40

5 – 29 business days before scheduled test date $70

1 – 4 business days before scheduled test date $150

Penalty if candidate fails to appear for a scheduled testing appointment OR presents more than 30 minutes after the scheduled start time and is refused admission Full testing fee will be forteited

Consider your Schedule

When deciding on a new test date, consider your schedule and availability. You want to choose a date that gives you enough time to prepare and won't conflict with other commitments. On the other hand, you also don't want to wait too long, risking forgetting what you studied and losing momentum. Aim for a date that gives you at least six weeks to review material, but no more than three months after your original test date.

 Contact the ADA

Once you've decided on a new test date, you can contact the ADA to reschedule. You can do this online or by calling the ADA's customer service line. Keep in mind that there may be a fee to reschedule, depending on how far in advance you're making the request. Additionally, you'll need to provide the ADA with your personal information and testing location preferences.

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

211 East Chicago Avenue
Chicago, IL 60611


Retesting Policy

Candidates are required to submit a new application and fee for each testing attempt. A testing attempt is defined as any test administration where the candidate has been seated at a computer at a test center and electronically agreed to the confidentiality statement to start the test.

The DAT retest policy defines the following guidelines:

  1. A waiting period of 60 days is required between testing attempts on the DAT. Candidates are allowed a maximum of four (4) administrations within a 12-month period.
  2. Candidates who have made three (3) or more attempts on the DAT must seek permission to test again. Along with each subsequent application to test, they must provide proof of recent application to dental school.
  3. After the fifth DAT attempt, candidates are permitted to retest only once within a 12-month period.

Reschedule or Cancel a Testing Appointment

To reschedule or cancel a testing appointment, candidates must use the scheduling tools on the Administration Vendor website, or contact the Administration Vendor using the contact information provided on the Administration Vendor website.This must be done in advance of the testing appointment. Additional fees apply, and must be paid directly to the Administration Vendor (see the Examination Fees section of this Guide). The local test centers where candidates complete their examination cannot schedule, reschedule, or cancel your appointment. Appointments must be canceled or rescheduled by the business day prior to the test, and 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.


Candidates who do not appear for a scheduled testing appointment and do not cancel or reschedule their appointment by the required time in advance of the test date will forfeit all testing fees, be required to submit a new application, and must pay the fee to schedule a new appointment. If an emergency occurs on the day of a testing appointment that prevents a candidate from sitting for their examination, a written request for relief must be submitted to DTS. This request should include applicable documentation and be sent to within five business days of the scheduled appointment.

Examples of emergencies and applicable documentation include, but are not limited to, the following: • Sudden illness on the examination day. Provide a doctor’s note or hospital records confirming that you were treated on the day of the examination. • Death in the family on the examination day. Provide a copy of an obituary, prayer card, funeral service program, or death certificate confirming that the relative passed away or services were held on the day of the examination. Testing appointments affected by emergencies occurring prior to the day of the scheduled appointment should be handled through the Administration Vendor’s rescheduling and cancellation process indicated previously.


Eligibility Extension and Fee

Candidates can extend their elibigility period for a fee. The extension is for 45 days and is available once per application. $130


Candidates may request a 45-day extension (weekends and holidays included) to their eligibility window by logging into their My Account page. Candidates may request only one extension per application and cannot have an examination appointment currently scheduled. Any candidate with a scheduled appointment must cancel that appointment before proceeding with an extension request; failure to do so will result in the extension request being denied. The eligibility extension request does not supersede any other rules regarding a candidate’s eligibility. The fee for the 45-day extension is listed above. The fee must be paid at the time the extension request is submitted, and is non-refundable and non-transferable. Please Note: Once DTS processes a candidate’s application, that candidate is eligible to test for a six-month period, unless other considerations—including retest rules and program requirements—limit the eligibility period to a shorter timeframe. Candidates are encouraged to consider their test administration date carefully, as any last minute requested changes (e.g., for medical reasons, personal reasons, or due to a missed testing appointment) may not be approved.

Make a Study Plan

After rescheduling your exam, it's important to create a study plan to make the most of your extra time. Review your strengths and weaknesses on the DAT and focus on areas where you could use improvement. Use study materials, such as flashcards, ADA practice tests, and DAT Study Guide like the DAT Destroyer to help you prepare. You should also consider joining a study group or finding classes if you need additional support.

Take Care of Yourself

Lastly, don't forget to take care of yourself during the rescheduling process. Rescheduling an exam can be stressful and anxiety-provoking, but taking care of yourself can reduce this stress. Get enough sleep, eat well, and exercise regularly. Make time for fun and relaxation, too. Remember that your mental and physical health can impact your performance on the exam.


Rescheduling the DAT can be a nerve-wracking experience for predental students, but it's important to remember that it's not the end of the world. By understanding the ADA's policies, considering your schedule, and making a study plan, you'll be able to reschedule and take the DAT with confidence. Remember to take care of yourself, too. With these tips and tricks, you'll be on your way to acing the DAT and achieving your dream of becoming a dentist. Good luck!

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