DAT (Dental Admission Test) Frequently Asked Questions|Gold Standard DAT Prep

Frequently Asked Questions





What is the DAT?

The Dental Admission Test (DAT) consists of 280 multiple-choice questions in four separate tests. The DAT is a computer-based test (CBT) approximately five hours long. There is an optional 15 minute break. The four subtests of the Dental Admission Test are:

  • Survey of the Natural Sciences (NS) – 100 questions (90 mins)
    • General Biology: 40 questions
    • General Chemistry: 30 questions
    • Organic Chemistry: 30 questions
  • Perceptual Ability Test (PAT) – 90 questions (60 mins)
  • Quantitative Reasoning (QR) – 40 questions (45 mins)
  • Reading Comprehension (RC) – 50 questions, 3 reading passages (60 mins)

For more information about the DAT, registration and exam content, please click here: ADA DAT

For information about the DAT for Canadian dental schools, click here: Canadian DAT

What are the changes to the new DAT?

In early 2016, the ADA announced that they would not institute the DAT changes that had been under consideration over the past 3 years: "Please note that all DAT content changes indicated in Volumes 4 and 5 of the DAT Newsletters will no longer be implemented. This includes changes to the Biology, Quantitative Reasoning, and Critical Thinking sections." HOWEVER, in January of 2017, some new question types were introduced to DAT QR which fall under the umbrella "Quantitative Comparison". These questions still compose a very small minority of actual DAT QR questions so we are also implementing the new style of question slowly into our practice tests. You can find additional practice questions here: New DAT QR on SDN

What is the difference between the Canadian DAT and the US DAT?

The Canadian DAT has the optional Manual Dexterity 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 cover Math

When can you take the DAT?

The Dental Admission test is scheduled throughout the year at various Prometric Test Centers at different locations within the US and Canada. Once your registration is confirmed by the ADA, you can schedule a test date, preferably at least two months prior to your preferred date. For more details, visit ADA DAT and DAT Checklist

What is the DAT exam schedule?

A total time of 4 hours and 15 minutes is allowed to complete the four DAT subtests. If you include the tutorial, break and survey, the total test time comes to five hours. See "What is the DAT?" for details.

Exam Section Questions Duration
Tutorial (Optional) (15 minutes)
Survey of the Natural Sciences 100 90 minutes
Perceptual Ability Test 90 60 minutes
Break (Optional) (15 minutes)
Reading Comprehension Test 50 60 minutes
Quantitative Reasoning Test 40 45 minutes
Post Test Survey (Optional) (15 minutes)
Total Content Time 4 hours, 15 minutes
Total "Seated" Time* Approx 5 hours

* Total seated time does not include check-in at the test center

How is the DAT exam scored?

We have placed all the important information about how the DAT exam is scored and the specific DAT Scores for dental schools here: DAT Scores

How many times can I take the DAT?

According to the American Dental Association (ADA), you may retake the exam 90 days after your last attempt, up to a maximum of three times per year. Applicants with more than three attempts will require permission from the ADA to retake the DAT. If eligible, you may be allowed to retest once for every twelve-month period. Find out more at ADA DAT

How long should I study for the DAT?

Every student is different, but on average, to optimize your chance for success, you should study 3-6 hours/day for 3-6 months. It may be more or less depending on your past study experience and habits. For more detailed advice on creating your own study schedule, click here: DAT Study Schedule

We also have many free study resources to supplement your DAT preparation:

It is also important you acquire and practice with the official sample exams from ADA DAT

Am I eligible to get into dental school?

Unfortunately, we do not provide dental school application information. We are a DAT preparation company. You must contact the dental school which interests you if you have any doubts about the information that they provide online from their websites or through the ADA. You can find a list of programs, websites and scores (GPA/DAT) here: US Dental Schools

What is exam day like?

Prometric Online Tutorial

What to Expect on Test Day from Prometric on Vimeo.


What does 'The only prep you need™' really mean?

Gold Standard DAT offers a program which is unprecedented in its completeness and tailored to suit your needs. The expression “The Only Prep You Need” specifically refers to students who dedicate themselves to DAT exam preparation, register and fully participate in our Comprehensive Review program, consisting of review books with over 1400 pages in color, videos (DVDs), online chat forums, audio MP3s, iPhone apps and over 3000 practice questions with online access.

When should I take the Gold Standard DAT prep course?

We generally recommend that students complete at least 3 basic sciences (Biology, General and Organic Chemistry) in university/college and, if necessary, speed reading courses. Some students may begin our courses weeks, months or even years prior to their anticipated test date, depending on their knowledge or experience.  Bear in mind, our program does not just review information. Gold Standard DAT teaches the information you need to know, in order to excel at the DAT.

In other words, Gold Standard DAT is a complete prep course, which covers in detail the Natural Science Subjects and provides innovative strategies to help ace the Quantitative Reasoning (QR), Reading Comprehension (RC) and Perceptual Ability tests (PAT).

How well do the Gold Standard DAT practice tests represent the actual DAT?

The Gold Standard DAT Practice Tests are based on the official ADA format and closely simulate the real DAT. Our team of writers include Ivy League dental students who aced the DAT, as well as professionals with academic degrees in dentistry and medicine. We continually evaluate and update our practice materials to ensure they reflect the real exam. We offer a Free DAT Practice Test which students can use to sample our content and assess their degree of preparedness.

Which are the best Gold Standard DAT products you would recommend?

We have a variety of products tailored to suit every need and budget. Students have the choice of purchasing individual tangible products including Gold Standard DAT books and Natural Science DVDs. We equally offer online products - DAT Practice Tests, Natural Science videos and Science Review DAT apps, which can be purchased individually or as add-ons to an existing account. Our course packages – DAT Books Set and DAT Home Study Course include most products with added bonus features. For more information on our products, visit Gold Standard DAT

What if I am not satisfied with the Gold Standard DAT program?

We do not provide refunds nor accept returns on any tangible and online material purchased. We guarantee, that we have to the best of our abilities, determined the accuracy of the information presented in our listings. We offer a Free DAT sample test to ensure students are well informed about our products prior to purchase.

Do you have any free DAT study tools?


How do I pay for a package on DAT-prep.com?

Click on the Add to Cart button of your preferred product(s). You will be redirected to the Gold Standard checkout page. It will show a breakdown of the purchase amount (item price, quantity, etc.). Enter your shipping destination for a calculation of shipping costs.

Click on Checkout or Checkout with PayPal to complete your payment via PayPal. Please confirm your shipping address and verify the items purchased.

You can also choose PayPal’s Bill Me Later® option to purchase the DAT Home Study Course

How can I make my payment if I don't want to use PayPal?

On the DAT-prep.com home page, click the Add to Cart button of your preferred product(s). You will be redirected to the Gold Standard checkout page. It will show a breakdown of the purchase amount (item price, quantity, etc.). Enter your shipping destination for a calculation of shipping costs.

Then, click on the Gold Standard Secure credit card payment link. Enter your Package or Item title and its total cost (product cost + shipping cost as calculated above). Click Checkout to enter your credit card and shipping information.

If you would like to pay by phone, Contact Us to complete your payment. There is an additional $15 administrative charge for payments by phone.

How do I confirm my payment has been processed?

Once your payment has been processed, you will receive a confirmatory e-mail from our merchant provider (Authorize.net or PayPal) containing your invoice number. If the deduction is unsuccessful, the e-mail notification will state the nature of the problem.

How soon, after my order is processed, would I receive my account log-in information?

Once your payment has been successfully processed, you will receive an e-mail from learn@gold-standard.com, containing your log-in details. This email sometimes goes into the Junk or Spam folder.

Note if the product was purchased through eBay or Amazon, the login details will be sent to you within 1 business day. If you require further assistance, please contact us at learn@gold-standard.com. Have your transaction number and email address of purchase handy.

How do I register to become a member of DAT-prep.com?

Click Register at the top right-hand corner of the DAT-prep.com home page. You will be redirected to a registration page. Fill in the required fields and click Register to access your account.

It is recommended you fill out the registration form completely and supply proper information for the fields marked with an adjacent asterisk (*). This will provide us with relevant and accurate information for future assistance.

How do I log-in on DAT-prep.com?

Click on log-in at the top right-hand corner of the DAT-prep.com home page. Enter the username and password provided after your purchase or created when you registered on the website. Note that some password characters are case sensitive. Click on login to access your account.

How do I know I have logged in or registered successfully?

If you've logged in successfully, you will be taken to your Members page. Your contact details will be found under Account Details, Practice Tests under the Tests tab, Gold Standard Chapter Reviews and online courses under Lessons, online videos under Videos and your scores and explanations under History. If you have any problems logging in, feel free to contact us at: learn@gold-standard.com

I have not received the license key for my DAT TopScore Pro purchase. What do you suggest I do?

We apologize for the inconvenience. Please send a request to: learn@gold-standard.com, including your transaction information and we will email you the access information within 1 business day.

Where do I register my Gold Standard DAT Book?

Log-in to your DAT-prep.com account. Go to Gold Standard Book Owner on the Members page and enter your access code that is imprinted inside the box set into the require field. If you own a single copy of the Gold Standard book, go to Individual Book Owners, click on the cover of the book you own and enter its access code as instructed into the required field.

Where can I find my DAT 4-Book set access code?

You can find the access code imprinted within the back cover of the box containing the 4-book set. If you require further assistance retrieving your access information, contact learn@gold-standard.com. We will endeavor to respond to you within 1 business day.

What is the online access period for Gold Standard DAT practice materials?

The Gold Standard Textbook Owner access allows users a 12-month access period to online content from the date its code is activated.

Online access to our DAT Practice tests is available for up to 7 months. We also offer unlimited online access to all Natural Science videos at $39.95 per month, with the option of cancelling anytime. Please refer to the appropriate product on DAT-prep.com for more details.

Can I transfer my online time or materials to another student?

No. All course materials including online access are for exclusive use of our students, are non-transferable and non-refundable. Suspicious patterns of account use can result in permanent account deletion according to our Terms of Use

Why does the GS DAT 4-Book set cost $199, when the individual books cost only $195?

The GS DAT 4-Book Set contains a personal access code found within its box. This code grants access to an extra full-length practice test (valued at $30), 10 hours access to the Natural Science videos online, and over 3000 practice questions within the books and online.

Why are the Gold Standard Natural Science DVDs a total of 15 hours viewing time, meanwhile the Gold Standard Owner access allows for 10 hours viewing time?

The 4 Gold Standard (GS) textbooks contain 1408 pages in color, 3000 practice questions (in the books and online) and sell for less than most college textbooks. This in itself is great value, and therefore, we are unable to provide unlimited access to online videos.

The 10 hours do not include the complete set of videos. You can choose 10 hours of viewing time from the complete 15 hours available. However, note that once you have viewed an hour of videos, you will have 9 hours left. By implication, if you watch the same video 10 times you will have no viewing time left. The online video technology is similar to YouTube’s Flash video. Hence, its online download ability is disabled. The online videos are a bonus feature for students who want a little video access from time to time through an online medium.

The complete set of DVDs cost about $200. When you buy them, you own them, can upload them for personal use and watch them as often as you want.

Can I upload the audio and video files to my iPod?

Yes, you can upload our MP3 audio and video files to your iPod. An email will be sent to you with all the necessary information, once your purchase is processed.


What are the system requirements for the online courses and practice tests?

Your PC should include: Windows 95, 98, Me, XP, or NT 4.0, or 2000; Pentium 200Mhz or greater; 32 MB RAM or greater (64 MB for NT or 2000); Acrobat Reader 5.0 or higher (available as a free download from Adobe); Internet Explorer 5.5 SP1 with Internet Tools or higher; and JAVA 2.0 plug-in or greater (also available as a free download from Oracle Technology). It should also include a sound card and speakers or headphones.

You will need a reliable internet service with a 28.8kb modem (at least 56kb recommended). Cookies must be enabled. America Online users will need 5.0 or higher, and will need to minimize the AOL window and Internet Explorer 5.5 or higher.

Which browser should I use to access the online practice materials?

Our online practice materials can be accessed using any browser (Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, and Safari). However, our practice tests work best using Firefox which is a free download and can be used on a PC or Mac.

How do I access the Gold Standard DAT Book chapter review questions?

Follow the steps under "Where do I register my Gold Standard DAT Book access?". The chapter review and questions will be found under the Lessons tab of your DAT-prep.com account.

How can I access the online practice course I just added to my account?

Log out of your DAT-prep.com account and log back in after a few minutes. Once logged in, depending on the package purchased, you will find the Chapter Reviews under the Lessons tab and practice tests under the Tests tab. If you require further assistance, please contact us at learn@gold-standard.com

Can I temporarily pause my online access to the Gold Standard DAT practice tests and reactivate them when I'm ready?

No. Please refer to our Terms of Use

I have not used my online access to the Gold Standard DAT practice exams for some period of time. Can I get a refund or extension because of time not used?

No. Please refer to our Terms of Use

How can I extend my online access to DAT practice materials once the initial access period expires?

Unlimited online access to all Natural Science videos at $39.95 per month is available, with the option of cancelling anytime. Log into your DAT-prep.com account and click on the Videos tab in order to complete your purchase.

We do not, however, offer extensions on the access period for our DAT Practice Tests. Students requiring an extended period of use for the DAT Practice Tests, need to complete a new purchase.

For Gold Standard Textbook Owner access extension, contact us at learn@gold-standard.com for further assistance.

I am having problems saving test scores in History. What can you suggest I do?

Our DAT tests are optimized for Firefox so whether you are using a PC or Mac, try using Firefox which is a free download. You need to enable Java Script by going to the Edit tab on Firefox, clicking on Firefox Preferences, then Content and Enable JavaScript.

If you use add-ons on Firefox, check if any of them require JavaScript off, for these can block the application. You can check the add-ons by: Going to the Tools tab and clicking on Add- Ons. Lastly, before closing any test or browser wait a few seconds, to ensure all test data is saved in our database.