Students often harbor dreams of becoming a dentist. After all, it’s a well-respected profession with excellent career prospects. Dentistry has been around for centuries, and it’s unlikely to go away anytime soon, considering we all have teeth that need care now and then.
Oral health is highly essential. Yet, it’s also one of the most neglected aspects of an individual’s general health. Dentists often recommend people to floss frequently. However, the reality is that many people avoid these recommend practices because they’re tedious and time-consuming. As a result, people often find themselves with a toothache. Alternatively, they might discover lingering cavities in their mouths.
Statistics show over 200,000 dentists in the US in 2019, meaning 61 dentists for every 100,000 civilians existed nationwide. These figures indicate a shortage of dentists, which is why the profession is experiencing rising career prospects. Furthermore, the US News and World Report ranks dentistry as the second-most desirable profession in the United States after software development.
However, before you can become a dentist, you’ll need to go to dental school. Getting into dental school can be challenging because you’ll have to pass the DAT exam.
What is the DAT Exam?
The DAT Exam, also known as the Dental Admissions Test Exam, is a pre-requisite for applying to any dental school in the US. The DAT functions similarly to the LSAT for law students or the MCAT for medical students. The exam measures a student’s aptitude in biology, organic chemistry, and general chemistry.
The DAT Exam Structure
The DAT exam consists of four sections. They include the following:
Natural Sciences Survey
There’s a 90-minute survey on natural sciences. The section tests students with 40 questions related to biology, 30 questions about general chemistry, and 30 organic chemistry. Since there are 100 questions to answer and only 90 minutes to solve them, you’ll have to be quick.
Perceptual Ability Test
The second section comprises six problem sets about spatial reasoning and your understanding of three-dimensional manipulation. You’ll have 60 minutes to complete this section.
The reading comprehension section of the test administers three academic essays to students. Students have to answer questions from the essays.
The quantitative reasoning portion tests students on their mathematical understanding. Like the SAT, you’ll have to answer questions about fractions, algebra, trigonometry, etc.
What is a Good DAT Score?
The DAT score ranges from 1 to 30. Considering that the average score is 17, anything higher places you in the above-average category. Most experts consensually agree that a score of 22 or higher should cement your position when applying to a top-ranked dental school. You might be interested in knowing that the top 25 percentile score for the DAT ranges between 19 and 20.
DAT Fees and Attempts
You’ll have to pay a non-refundable $475 fee for the DAT exam every time you take it. Students are permitted three tries. If you wish to take additional attempts, you’ll have to seek special permission. Moreover, you’ll have to wait 90 days between attempts before you try your hand at the exam again. In addition, DAT scores are valid for two years, so you’ll have to plan accordingly.
Studying for the DAT
Considering the DAT is one of the most grueling exams you’ll take, you’ll need extensive preparation and study. We recommend studying at least 250-300 hours before you attempt your exam. Many students often begin preparing during their junior year – which isn’t a terrible idea if you want to avoid taking gap years.
Get Expert Help to Ace the DAT Exam
Although many students opt to self-study, getting DAT tutoring can help you raise your scores. Thus, we can help increase your chances of getting into your dream dental school. If you’re looking for DAT tutoring in NYC, UniKings Tutoring can assist you.
In addition to providing DAT classes, we also offer organic chemistry tutoring if that’s a subject you feel is your weak point. Moreover, we also offer career counseling, MCAT test prep, and more. Visit our website for more information, or register for a class today.