The DAT is a dental education admission test for students who are interested in pursuing a dental education program abroad. It is administered all-year-round by Prometric (“Administrative Vendors”) test centers in the US, its territories and Canada. It is a form of a Computer Based Test (CBT), with multiple choice questions taken by potential dental schools, situated in these two nations mentioned above, under the supervision of the American Dental Association (ADA). The dentistry test is designed to provide educational institutions with a means to assess applicants’ potential for success in a particular dentistry program.
According to the Dental Admission Test guide published by ADA, the DAT Program is administered to understand the skill levels of applicants seeking admission to dental school. Basically, it measures academic ability, scientific understanding and perceptual ability.
Dental schools use this information to take admissions decisions. While all of the dental schools require the applicants to participate in the DAT Program, its results are just a single factor considered in evaluating the potential of the applicant. Studies have proven that the test scores that are in conjunction with a student’s academic performance are quite useful in predicting his/her success in a dental school.
The DAT consists of a combination of four tests on the following: Survey of Natural Sciences like Biology, general Chemistry and organic chemistry, Perceptual Ability, Reading Comprehension on dental and basic sciences, and Quantitative Reasoning. In the DAT, both the U.S. customary and the metric system of units are used.
The DAT Program does not require any specific test preparation courses. The individuals who are considering participating in any test preparation courses are urged to carefully compare course materials against the test specifications for the DAT, to confirm those materials are likely to consist of the current content of the DAT.
The following count as the criteria for being eligible for DAT:
The total duration of the DAT test is 4 hours 15 minutes. DAT test is a multiple-choice format test and is timed separately for every section. The Dental Admission Test consists of four sections. In all, there are 280 testing items and all are of multiple-choice type, as mentioned above.
Each exam includes questions that enable the Dental Admission Test Program to place various and different forms of the exam on a common measurement scale, hence adjusting the forms for minor differences in difficulty. Because of this adjustment, candidate scores in the test have the same meaning, in spite of which specific test form was administered. The data collected on the unscored questions is used to determine if the question is appropriate for use in future test constructions. Unscored questions look the same to the candidates as the scored questions.
After a testing appointment is completed, an unofficial report of the scores will be provided at the test center. Scale scores are present on the unofficial score report.
Dental schools consider quite a many factors when deciding to select applicants for their programs. Many use holistic strategies i.e. looking at the overview of the applicant, not just his /her test scores and grades. Factors considered in the holistic admissions process include:
All the above-mentioned factors are interdependent and coexist.