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.

Test components

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

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
(800) 232-1694

More information on the DAT can be found on the American Dental Association website.