Dental Admission Test
Participation in the Dental Admission Test of the American Dental Association is
required for admission to the VCU School of Dentistry. We recommend that this test
be taken the year before the intended matriculation year.
Conducted by the ADA, the DAT has been in operation on a national basis since 1950.
It is administered electronically through private testing centers located in most
major cities and college towns throughout the U.S. and can be taken most anytime
throughout the year. While candidates can retake the test with a minimum of 90 days
between tests, they can attempt the test only three times.
The DAT is designed to measure general academic ability, comprehension of scientific
information and perceptual ability. While all dental schools require candidates
to take the DAT, test results are only one factor considered in evaluating the admissions
potential of a candidate.
The examinations are comprised exclusively of multiple-choice test questions presented
in English. The test requires just over one half-day for administration. There are
four examination sections included in the DAT test: science, perceptual ability,
reading comprehension and quantitative reasoning. The science section consists of
three subsections: biology, general chemistry and organic chemistry.
Test scores are based on the number of correct answers; thus, the candidate is not
penalized for guessing. Scores used in the testing program range from 1 to 30. While
there are no strict passing or failing scores, the standard score of 18 represents
the average performance on a national basis and the standard score of 20 represents
the average performance for VCU. The candidate receives the official DAT score after
completing the computerized test. Dental schools receive the scores approximately
three weeks after the testing date.
ADA Department of Testing Services
211 East Chicago Avenue, Suite 600
Chicago, Illinois 60611
More information on the DAT can be found on the American Dental Association website