Scoring of the DAT:

Standard courses and scores

Right after you complete the test, eight standard scores on a scale of 1-30 are calculated and given to you. The first six scores come directly from the test: Perceptual Ability Test (PAT), Reading Comprehension (RC), Quantitative Reasoning (QR), Biology (Bio), General Chemistry (GC), and Organic Chemistry (OC). The other two scores reported are summaries of the previous six: the Academic Average (AA) is the average of five scores rounded to the nearest whole number: Quantitative Reasoning, Reading Comprehension, Biology, General Chemistry, and Organic Chemistry.
The Total Science score is a standard score based on all 100 questions in the Biology, General Chemistry, and Organic Chemistry tests. Dental schools frequently summarize their applicant’s scores by listing the academic, science, and perceptual ability (PAT) scores they typically see in their matriculating classes.

Average scores among participants

The mean (average) score for any scored section is set at 17, except the reading comprehension section in which the 50th percentile score is 19. Scores higher and lower than this are fractions of standard deviations from the mean. This probabilistic scoring system results in the maximum not occurring for the compiled section scores (natural sciences and academic average) each year. For example, in 2003 a 25 academic average was labeled as 100.0th percentile, since less than eight people got this score, and no one got any higher score (About 13,000 people take the DAT each year).

The mean academic average score for admissions is commonly 19. The importance of each section varies depending on the dental school. PAT or Reading Comprehension may be considered important by some and not so important by others. The PAT particularly is most of the time considered as a threshold score, and therefore is the only score not included in the academic average; the threshold varies between 16 and 18.

What is a good score on DAT?

Based on the preliminary data from the ADEA (American Dental Education Association) Survey of U.S Dental School Applicants and Enrollees in 2013, the Enrollee DAT score for the Academic Average ranges from 12 – 28, the Perceptual Ability score ranges from 10 – 30, and the Total Science score ranges from 12 – 30.

If you would like to know the average DAT scores for your desired schools we recommend you check the ADEA Guide to Dental Schools.

There are many schools that have different cutoffs for minimum DAT scores and some schools don’t have any, so you should learn about the cutoffs your desired school has.

Score report

Since the 2011 dental application cycle, applicants no longer report their American DAT scores on their applications themselves. The application service ADEA AADSAS will download all scores to the applicant’s dental application. All test scores will be downloaded if the test is taken multiple times. During the registration for the DAT, the applicant can indicate potential dental schools to send the scores to. As long as the applicant indicates at least one ADEA AADSAS-participating dental school in the DAT registration, the official DAT scores will be imported into the dental school application that is sent to every school designated in the ADEA AADSAS application. The only exception is if the school an applicant is applying to does not participate in the ADEA AADSAS application process.

After you complete your exam, you will receive an unofficial score report at the Prometric test center. In this report, scale scores are reported. After you have taken any part of the DAT, you cannot void those scores. It will take three to four weeks until your official report is prepared. It will be sent electronically to the schools you have selected on your application, to your “My Account” and also your pre-dental advisor, if you made a request for them to receive it. Remember the schools will receive all your testing attempts scores.

Also, it is worth mentioning that some questions on the DAT are experimental and are not scored. The data collected on the unscored questions will be used to determine whether the question is appropriate for use in future test construction. Unscored questions look the same to candidates as scored questions.

Remember there are heavy penalties for misrepresentation of the DAT scores so it is NOT worth it.

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