How to Interpret DAT Scores. DAT stands for Dental Admission Test. It is administered by the American Dental Association and is designed to determine the eligibility potential of a candidate for dental school. The test is computer-based and can be taken on any day of the year. It can be completed in 5 hours or less. The cost of each exam is $175. Here's how to understand and interpret DAT scores.

Step 1

Know the section breakdown of the test. Pre-test, 25 minutes; Survey of Natural Sciences: biology, general chemistry and organic chemistry, 90 minutes; Perceptual Ability Test: spatial reasoning and dimensional manipulation, 60 minutes; Reading Comprehension: 3 academic essays, 60 minutes; Quantitative Reasoning: algebra, trigonometric identities, roots and functions, 45 minutes.

Step 2

Understand the DAT scoring. Upon completion of the test, the test taker receives eight scores. The first six scores correspond to "biology," "general chemistry," "organic chemistry," "perceptual ability," "reading comprehension," and "quantitative reasoning." The fifth score is the average of the previous five, rounded to the nearest integer. The last score is a standard score based on the 100 questions of the natural sciences section. Each of the six sections is marked on a scale of 1 to 30.

Step 3

Be sure you know the significance of a score. A score of 15 is considered a pass. A score of 18 represents the national average. A score of 20 or over will likely lead to admission, although entry criteria vary from school to school.

Step 4

Be aware that upon test completion you will receive an unofficial report with the scores. It is subject to review and correction for accuracy. The official report will be sent to the schools you have applied to, three weeks after the exam.


  • You may take the DAT up to 3 times without penalty. You need to get permission before taking the test additional times.

  • You can't retake the DAT within 90 days of competing it.


  • Application is done through the American Dental Association.

  • The test can be taken at a Thompson Prometric testing center.