Acing the DAT Test: 4 Tips From Successful Students – 2024 Guide

There are thousands of exams and tests that students take in order to be competitive and get to the top of the interested field or domain. These aptitude exams have a significant impact on students as well as establish a common ground for students to qualify for different courses and streams. The various institutions and universities take these exams as the primary base for evaluating a student’s profile supplemented by the previous school’s academics.

Global exams like GMAT, IELTS, etc. have proved to be an achievement in unifying skills and education across the globe. Amongst these exams, the DAT (Dental Admission Test) has received immense popularity over the past few years.

Students must take the DAT and OAT tests for bettering their chances of getting into the topmost dental institutions. A person can find here the best preparation courses and tests for excelling in OAT tests and similar exams.

However, it is not a cakewalk to master the DAT test. It requires vigorous and persistent studying to clear this exam. The following section will help the applicants and enthusiasts to ace this test.

DAT Test Structure


Before diving deep into the tips and hacks for clearing the DAT exam, it is crucial to understand the structure and outline of the test. Students applying for the exam should have a clear structure of the exam to plan their time for different sections.

The test known for dental admissions is a long exam with a time duration of 4.5 hours. The entire test is broken down into 4 parts or sections. These sections vary based on the questions and time allowed for the same. The primary section, namely ‘Survey of Natural Sciences’ comprises a total of 100 questions for which the allocated time is 1.5 hours.

The second section consists of questions related to ‘Perceptual Ability’ which consists of 90 questions. The time allowed for completing this section is 1 hour. Moving on to the next section, students are given an optional break of half an hour.

The perceptual ability section is followed by Reading comprehension which consists of only 50 questions with a total allocated time of 60 minutes. Students think of scoring and acing this section, but it is not as easy as it seems. As a result, students should capture the focus of the questions asked in this part.

The last and final section of the DAT test is quantitative reasoning which comprises 40 questions. It requires quick calculations as only 45 minutes are given to this section.

Topmost Tips For Mastering Different Sections Of the DAT Test


Survey Of Natural Sciences Test

Since this is the first section of the test, applicants have a fresh mindset and approach to this section. They usually get this section done with a sound mind. This part is all about basic sciences.

Out of the 100 questions, the section comprises 3 sections. These are namely chemistry, organic chemistry, and biology, with marks distribution as 30, 30, and 40, respectively. As mentioned earlier, students have a fresh mindset and quick thinking ability in his section. Experts suggest aspirants go through the questions in the section quickly.

Moreover, 100 questions with 90 minutes time limit imply that students do not even have 1 minute to answer one question. Therefore, if an applicant is unsure about a question, they should skip the question as soon as possible and not ponder over it for a long time. Time remains the most vital weapon while facing this section.

Therefore, time management is something that every person attempting this test should learn. This can be achieved while practicing more questions and writing more practice and mock papers.

Perceptual Ability Test

This section revolves more around thinking abilities than technical or theoretical knowledge. It tests a person’s spatial reasoning and physical dexterity. Although time management is a consistent thing to note, accuracy is the key in this section. If a DAT test taker is not good at academic skills and subject-based knowledge, this is the section that they can aim for.

The one-hour section tests clinical skills in the form of questions that are designed like a puzzle. Apart from accuracy, rigorous practice also holds the utmost importance to excel in this section.

In a detailed breakup, a student can expect questions involving easy-to-moderate paper folding, view recognition, angle discrimination, 3D form development, apertures, and cube counting.

Reading Comprehension Test


This section will most probably be present in most of the entrance exams or aptitude tests. With an allocated time of 1 hour, students should be quick in reading the passages provided in the questions. The three passages consisting of 50 questions in total gave numerous topics varying from science to economics.

Successful students state that skimming through the passages is great practice for cracking the passages accurately within the given time frame. Reading newspapers and editorials regularly can help the students get an edge over other competitors in this section.

Quantitative Reasoning Test

The most essential tip in cracking the quantitative reasoning section is to understand the number of questions from different concepts and topics. The math-testing section has a rough bifurcation of different questions coming from various sections, which is shown as follows.

While 9 questions are asked from algebra, 6 questions are asked from numerical calculations. The highest number (10) of questions come in the form of a word problem. The other set of questions comes from conversions, probability & statistics, geometry, and trigonometry.

This section is undoubtedly the toughest section for most of the students as their energy and thinking ability is almost drained after attempting the earlier three sections. Applicants should be very clear in their concepts while attempting this section as the questions require a lot of time in reading and understanding the question.

Several skills like quick concept-based tricks are handy while taking this part. An additional relief for the students is that an on-screen calculator is provided which can save time while multiplying, adding, subtracting, and dividing.