How Long Is The DAT (And Why)?

Exact Answer: 5 Hours And 15 Minutes

DAT is an acronym for Dental Admission Test. This admission test is necessary for admission into most dental schools of the United States Of America and Canada. The DAT score attained by the candidates serves as an important basis for selection for dental schools.

American Dental Association is tasked with the conduction of these admission tests at Prometric test centers. The DAT score provides a uniform and compact basis for judging various candidates’ applications for admission. It helps dental colleges know whether they are suited to study and if they have the basic knowledge of the subject.

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How Long Is The DAT?

Stage Of TestTime Taken
Tutorial (Being Optional)15 Minutes
Survey of Natural Sciences90 Minutes
Perceptual Ability Test60 Minutes
Break (Being Optional)30 Minutes
Reading Comprehension Test60 Minutes
Quantitative Reasoning Test45 Minutes
Post-test Survey (Being Optional)15 Minutes

The Dental Admission Test or DAT lasts for about 5 hours and 15 minutes. However, it is to be noted that the 15-minute Introductory tutorial, a half-hour break, and a 15-minute post-test survey are optional. Thus, the compact time of DAT comes down to 4 and a half hours.

Introductory tutorials are designed to give the candidates a brief idea about the test center and other information as the test center mat deem fit. These tutorials span for about 15 minutes.

Survey of Natural Sciences with about 200 questions in its fold comprise the first section of the DAT. This test extends for about an hour and a half.

The Perceptual Ability Test forms the second section of the DAT. This section contains 90 questions that are expected to be solved in an hour. These questions are related to reasoning and may be seen as riddles or puzzles.

Next comes an optional break which spans for half an hour.

The third important part of the test is the Reading Comprehension Test. 50 questions have to be answered and the time is about an hour.

The Quantitative Reasoning Test forms the fourth pillar of the DAT test. In this section, there is a time limit of 45 minutes to answer 40 questions related to mathematical reasoning.

At the end of the test, there is a post-test survey which takes about 15 minutes. However, it is also optional.

Why Is DAT Test So Long?

The DAT test is a pre-requisite test for admission into dental colleges. This test helps colleges to select the best candidates for their dental courses. The students of today will be the dental doctors of tomorrow.

These doctors will be in charge of medications and dental care for their patients. As it is known, the mouth area is a very sensitive and significant area of the body. Thus, the Dental Admission Test has to be strengthened accordingly so that incapable candidates are prevented from entering dental colleges.

Survey of Natural Sciences tests the candidates’ aptitude for scientific subjects like Chemistry, Inorganic Chemistry, and Biology. This helps to know whether the candidate has relevant information about those topics.

The Perceptual Ability Test is designed to test the candidate’s spatial ability. It helps to measure clinical skills and assess their textual knowledge.

While the 30-minute break is essential for students to recapitulate, revitalize, and rejuvenate. It can also be used for snacks, water, or the washroom.

In Reading Comprehensive Test, there would be three passages and 50 questions in total. These questions may range from scientific subjects to business subjects and help check the candidates’ language skills.

At the core, the Quantitative Reasoning Test is a maths test. They are designed to test the students’ mathematical capabilities which might be needed in dental school.


The Dental Admission Test would take up, at least 4 hours and 30 minutes in total. In addition to this, an hour under different stages is offered to all the prospective candidates. When combined with all the optional time spent or offered, the total time for a DAT test is 5 hours and 15 minutes.

The DAT is a compulsory test for admission to dental colleges. It tests the students’ overall abilities and their suitability for studying the topic.


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