As you’re preparing to take the Dental Admissions Test (DAT) it’s important to make sure you’re using high-quality study materials. To help ensure you are using the right materials, the American Dental Association (ADA) is selling official practice tests for you to use during your test prep.

Why is it important to use official DAT practice materials?

There are many sites that claim to offer good prep materials, however, these often turn out to be unofficial practice tests that were written by third-party suppliers and which will not give you an accurate idea of what the DAT is like. These tests can have overly simplified questions or questions on material that will not be included on the official exam, which will interfere with your DAT test prep. You don’t want to waste your time studying the wrong materials, so make sure the materials you use are coming from a reliable source such as the American Dental Association or a well-respected tutoring service.

A sample math question from the DAT.
A sample math question from a DAT practice test.
Image courtesy of the ADA.

Are the ADA practice tests expensive?

You can purchase a full practice test for $100 or you can purchase individual modules for $20 each. When you’ve purchased the testing modules, you will have 24 hours to complete them.

The available modules are:

  • Biology 101 (40 items)
  • Organic Chemistry 101 (30 items)
  • General Chemistry 101 (30 items)
  • Reading Comprehension 101 (25 items)
  • Perceptual Ability 101 (30 items)
  • Perceptual Ability 102 (30 items)
  • Perceptual Ability 103 (30 items)
  • Quantitative Reasoning 101 (40 items)

If you purchase the full test only six modules will be included, but you will receive a discounted price as the full test only costs $100 instead of $120.

The modules included with the full practice test are:

  • Biology 101
  • Organic Chemistry 101
  • General Chemistry 101
  • Reading Comprehension 101
  • Perceptual Ability 101
  • Quantitative Reasoning 101

What are the ADA practice modules like?

Each module is taken separately so you can go in whatever order you like. Keep in mind that this is different from the actual DAT exam, and if you would like a more realistic testing experience you should try to roll from one module to the next in the same order as they appear on the actual DAT.

DAT Administration Schedule
A breakdown of the official DAT format.
Image courtesy of the ADA.

An important thing to keep in mind in regards to the DAT practice modules is that you can only see the right answer to each question if you select “Show Answer” every time. You will not be able to review the test after you submit and you will not be told which questions you get right or wrong after completion.

Are the questions the same difficulty as the actual DAT?

Yes, these questions are written and presented by the same people who write the official DAT exam. This means that the question difficulty and subject material covered will be a highly accurate representation of the actual DAT. This accuracy is the main reason so many experts suggest taking the full practice test at least once before exam day. While it may not be a perfect study exam, the practice test can help you get an idea of how you would score on the real exam.

Is the ADA’s DAT practice test worth it?

Overall, yes, we believe that the ADA’s practice exam can be a very useful tool in your preparation for the DAT.

Of course, we do acknowledge that the test isn’t perfect and does have some faults. The fact that the simulation can not be reviewed and only gives you a raw score can be frustrating. It is also not the best tool for working on testing endurance as you have to move through modules instead of taking the exam in its entirety.

Despite it’s faults, we still believe that this can be a useful tool as you enter the late stages of your DAT test prep. The questions will give you a highly realistic look at the types of questions/wording/content you will see on the actual exam which is useful for any student. The raw score you receive at the end will also give you a good idea of how you will score on the real exam which can help you decide if you what areas you need to work on.

Just make sure you’re bringing in some other DAT prep materials to help you, and don’t be afraid to reach out if you need some extra help!

Still have questions about the DAT? Check out our tutoring experts’ responses to these 25 most frequently asked DAT questions.