Quantitative Reasoning on the DAT
The quantitative Reasoning section includes 40 questions that you are supposed to solve in 45 minutes. The content of this section is as follows:
- 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
This section is designed to test the math skills necessary for students in dental school. In this section, you will have access to a basic calculator that can’t perform the complex functions of a scientific or graphing calculator.
Since you will have to click on the calculator and you can’t type the numbers in it, it will take some time to do a calculation. It is recommended that you avoid using the calculator as much as possible since it is time-consuming. Since you will not have access to a calculator in the Survey of the Natural Sciences section, developing your ability to do the calculations without the calculator can overall be helpful in the DAT.
Quantitative Reasoning Test Taking Techniques
You have over one minute time to answer each question, so time management is important here like other sections. Unlike other sections, the Quantitative Reasoning section is the last section, which means many students are exhausted by that point or might have mismanaged their time in other sections which means they could have even less time to spend for this section.
One feature you can use as an efficient way to answer each question is that the entire section is multiple-choice to your advantage. You might be able to work backward from the answer choices to find which one is correct or pick specific numbers to work with instead of variables where it makes the math easier, which is similar to answer elimination methods used in other sections. However, a well-placed guess can sometimes be the best tool you can use for a problem. You need to have a steady pace in this section or you will fall behind, it is wise to just guess and pass the hardest problems and mark them for later rather than completing the full calculations on the spot. In this way, you will not fall behind and you can get back to the questions you have marked in the end if you have time to spare. It is important to manage the time properly, but it is just as important to not rush or maybe panic. Rushing usually leads to a misperception of questions and errors in calculations. The test makers base many wrong answers on the most common misperceptions. It’s far better to guess as needed, skipping some questions and taking the time you need on others than to rush through an entire section.
Even if you are ahead in time during an exam, sometimes you just don’t know how to answer a question, so instead of wasting a few minutes on a question you know, you can’t get the correct answer to, guess, and pass. If you don’t know how to approach a problem, you aren’t likely to choose the right answer anyway, but you can use the time you save here to solve problems that you stand a better chance of answering correctly but you just need more time for answering.
Try a sample Quantitative Reasoning question to get an idea of what to expect on test day! You can get practice for each question type, along with a full answers and explanations in our free DAT practice tests.
George walked at an average speed of 9 feet per minute, his friend walked at an average speed of 18 feet per minute. If they walked 20 minutes to meet each other, how far in meters was it from George to his friend?
A. 240 m
B. 264 m
C. 164 m
D. 74 m
E. 124 m
The answer is C:
Distance = Speed × Time
Speed = 9 + 18 = 27 feet/m
Time = 20 min
Distance = 27 × 20 = 540 feet
1 m = 3.281 ft ———> 540/3.281 = 164.5m
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