DAT stands for Dental Admission Test; it is the standard entrance exam for admission into dental schools in the US and Canada.
The test consists of 280 multiple choice questions subdivided into four sections: natural sciences, perceptual ability, reading comprehension, and quantitative reasoning, with the greatest weight and number of questions on the natural sciences section.
The natural sciences section covers a broader range of material than most college or professional school entrance exams: from genetics and evolution to thermodynamics and stoichiometry. The section contains 100 questions, the majority of which cover biology and general and organic chemistry.
An unusual aspect of the Dental Admission Test is its perceptual ability section. This section, consisting of 90 questions, is intended to evaluate raw visual processing ability and requires the test-taker to answer questions involving the folding of surfaces, the counting of objects, and recognition of patterns. As this is not a skill typically cultivated in high schools, tutoring can be extremely useful in preparing the test-taker for this portion of the exam.
The quantitative reasoning, or mathematics, portion of the exam consists of 40 questions covering content similar to the quantitative reasoning portion of the SAT exam, with the notable addition of trigonometry material. The reading comprehension is also similar to the reading comprehension portion of the SAT, except that the essays are academic papers on scientific, and often specifically dental, topics.
The DAT is a standard multiple-choice format scoring system, with points awarded according to total correct answers (unlike, for example, the SAT which deducts points for
blank responses). The score is given on a scale of 1-30, with an average score of 17.
DAT Tutoring Program
Parliament's DAT tutoring program equips students with the fundamental knowledge as well as the reasoning, visual processing, and test strategy skills needed to succeed on the exam.
A thorough review of the natural science topics covered on the exam, with a focus on the relevant biology material.
Preparation for the mathematics portion of the exam through tutor-guided completion of DAT-style math questions
Training in reading for speed and comprehension useful for the reading comprehension section of the test
Cognitive exercises to improve the student's ability to think visually. This is extremely important for the perceptual ability portion of the test.