Preparing for the DAT: DAT Test Materials

What does the Dental Admission Test consist of?

The Dental Admission Test (DAT) consists of multiple-choice items distributed across a battery of four tests: the Survey of the Natural Sciences (Biology, General Chemistry, and Organic Chemistry), Perceptual Ability Test, Reading Comprehension Test, and Quantitative Reasoning Test.

How many questions are on the DAT test?

The US DAT has 2 additional sections: 30 questions in Organic Chemistry added to the Natural Sciences Test. 40 questions in the Quantitative Reasoning (QR) Test which covers Math.

You can find more details on the DAT prep items below:

Survey of the Natural Sciences (100 Items)

• Biology (40 items)
Cell and Molecular Biology: The origin of life, cell metabolism (including photosynthesis/enzymology), cellular processes, thermodynamics, organelle structure and function, mitosis/meiosis, cell structure, experimental cell biology, biomolecules, and integrated relationships.

Diversity of Life: Biological Organization and Relationship of Major Taxa (Six-Kingdom, Three-Domain System) – plantae, animalia, protista, fungi, eubacteria (bacteria), archaea, and integrated relationships
Structure and Function of Systems: integumentary, skeletal, muscular, circulatory, immunological, digestive, respiratory, urinary, nervous/senses, endocrine, reproductive, and integrated relationships
Developmental Biology: fertilization, descriptive embryology, developmental mechanisms, and integrated relationships
Genetics: molecular genetics, human genetics, classical genetics, chromosomal genetics, and genetic technology, and integrated relationships
Evolution, Ecology, and Behavior: natural selection, population genetics/speciation, population and community ecology, ecosystems, and animal behavior (including social behavior), and integrated relationships

• General Chemistry (30 items)
Stoichiometry and General Concepts: percent composition, empirical formulae, balancing equations, moles and molecular formulas, molar mass, density, and calculations from balanced equations
Gases: kinetic molecular theory of gases, Dalton’s, Boyle’s, Charles’s, and ideal gas law
Liquids and Solids: intermolecular forces, phase changes, vapor pressure, structures, polarity, and properties
Solutions: polarity, properties (colligative, noncolligative), forces, and concentration calculations
Acids and Bases: pH, strength, Brønsted-Lowry reactions, and calculations
Chemical Equilibria: molecular, acid/base, precipitation, calculations, and Le Chatelier’s principle

Thermodynamics and Thermochemistry: laws of thermodynamics, Hess’s law, spontaneity, enthalpies and entropies, and heat transfer
Chemical Kinetics: rate laws, activation energy, and half-life
Oxidation-Reduction Reactions: balancing equations, determination of oxidation numbers, electrochemical calculations, and electrochemical concepts and terminology
Atomic and Molecular Structure: electron configuration, orbital types, Lewis-Dot diagrams, atomic theory, quantum theory, molecular geometry, bond types, and sub-atomic particles
Periodic Properties: representative elements, transition elements, periodic trends, and descriptive chemistry
Nuclear Reactions: balancing equations, binding energy, decay processes, particles, and terminology
Laboratory: basic techniques, equipment, error analysis, safety, and data analysis

• Organic Chemistry (30 items)
Mechanisms: Energetics and Structure – elimination, addition, free radical, substitution mechanisms, and other mechanisms and reactions
Chemical and Physical Properties of Molecules: Spectroscopy (1H NMR, 13C NMR, infrared, and multi-spectra), structure (polarity, intermolecular forces (solubility, melting/ boiling point, etc.), and laboratory theory and techniques (TLC, separations, etc.)
Stereochemistry (structure evaluation): Chirality, isomer relationships, and  conformations
Nomenclature: IUPAC rules and functional groups in molecules
Individual Reactions of the Major Functional Groups and Combinations of Reactions to Synthesize Compounds: Alkene/alkyne, aromatic, substitution/elimination, aldehyde/ketone, carboxylic acids and derivatives, and other. For each area listed above, the following sub-areas apply: general, one-step, and multi-step
Acid-Base Chemistry: Ranking acidity/basicity (structure analysis and pH/pKa data analysis), and prediction of products and equilibria
Aromatics and Bonding: Concept of aromaticity, resonance, atomic/molecular orbitals, hybridization, and bond angles/lengths

• Perceptual Ability (90 Items)
– The Perceptual Ability Test is comprised of six subtests:
1. Apertures
2. View recognition
3. Angle discrimination
4. Paper folding
5. Cube counting
6. 3D form development.

• Reading Comprehension (50 items)
– The Reading Comprehension Test contains three reading passages on various scientific topics. Prior understanding of the science topics is not a prerequisite to answering the test items. The reading passages require the ability to read, comprehend, and thoroughly analyze basic scientific information.

• Quantitative Reasoning (40 items) a basic four-function calculator is available on the computer screen during this section
– Mathematical Problems: algebra (equations and expressions, inequalities, exponential notation, absolute value, ratios and proportions, and graphical analysis); Data Analysis, Interpretation, and Sufficiency; Quantitative Comparison; and Probability and Statistics
– Applied Mathematics (Word) Problem

Can I use a calculator on the DAT?

Yes, there is a basic calculator available for the Quantitative Reasoning test.

A Calculator is commonly used it on DAT.

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