Getting Ready For A National Test: Dental School As An Example

Success on any exam depends solely on the level of planning, the time dedicate of dedication, and the quality of focus put into preparation. This is same with the DAT-Dental Admissions Test. Truth be told, you can’t just get lucky and score well without executing a sufficient review beforehand. Hence in this article, we will be discussing the necessary tips that will prove useful when preparing for your DAT.

The Dental Admission Test (DAT) has been in use since 1950 as an exam to measure prospective dentists’ ability to manage the rigorous schooling required to achieve a DMD. Overall, the test measures general academic ability, how individuals understand and apply scientific information, and the applicant’s perceptual ability.

Tips Needed for the DAT

Before proceeding to take the test, here are some essential tips to help you set yourself up for success.


  1. The Calibration Stage
    Before you can even register to take the DAT, you will be need to first acquire a DENTal Personal Identifier Number (DENTPIN®). Pre-dental and current dental students can log in to their DENTPIN account or create a DENTPIN account through the ADA.After acquiring a DENTPIN, next, you should take a hard look at your schedule to decide upon the best date and time for you to sit for the exam. Be realistic with your schedule. Are you working fulltime? Are you a fulltime student? It’s going to take you at least a few months to master the material, so scrutinize your schedule before selecting a test date and time.

    If you are two weeks out from your test date, and just know in your gut that you’re not ready to achieve your potential, then you will be required to pay an extra fee to reschedule your test. But in the end, it’s a small sacrifice.

    It has been proven over time that registering for a DAT test date as soon as registration becomes available makes it possible for you to select the most preferred date, as Prometric centers have limited seats available for each test date.

  2. Develop a Study Schedule
    As important as registering for the exam is, preparing for the test is of utmost importance. You can buy a flight to France, but you’ll need to pack a suitcase first. You must develop a regimented study schedule that with weekly goals or deliverables, so that you can have milestones building up to test day.
    When preparing, using the right material is essential, and that is specific for each individual. Some people work with a DAT tutor, some people review old course notes and DAT prep books on their own, and some people watch science videos on YouTube. Find what works best for your learning preferences, given the foundation of knowledge you are building upon.
  3. Maintain a healthy lifestyle
    You’re going to be dedicating a lot of hours (and maybe blood, sweat, and tears) into your DAT prep. Thus, it is essential that you do all you can to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Some people invest all waking hours into studying for the test, and as important as this may seem, allocating time to exercise, eat healthy foods, sleep, and socialize is also a crucial part of the studying process. With this, your brain won’t be overly anxious, and you will be able to have the needed rest.
  4. When your test is soon
    Once you near test day, try to remember the following in order to put yourself in the best situation for success:

    1. Make sure you sleep well the week leading up to the exam. Get a noise machine, a fan, whatever it is to ensure you have the best possible sleep conditions.
    2. Allow time for review the morning of test day. Read through your notes before leaving home for the testing center.
    3. Make sure your alarm is working. Set multiple alarms the night before. You must appear!
    4. Eat a healthy breakfast before leaving home.
    5. Make sure you get to the Prometric center early. Research the route the night before, and allocate extra time in case of traffic.
    6. Take your notes in the car with you. Or whatever method of transportation you are using. It’d be great if you can get someone to drive you, so that you can review your notes en route. Just don’t get carsick!


  1. Conclusion

Many people take the test each year (approximately 13,000, in fact). If you’re nervous, talk with someone who’s taken the test and enrolled in dental school. Ask for tips for strategy or psychological preparation. So long as you study adequately, you can do this!

Eliza is a co-founder of Tutor the People. She works mostly advising students on their academic and professional pursuits, and matching students one on one for MCAT prep, GRE tutoring, CPA prep, LSAT test prep, and GMAT tutoring.

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