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One of the most prestigious (and lucrative) careers in existence is that of dentist, and this health care specialty is booming, with few indicators that the demand for new dentists in the US is going to decrease any time soon. Choosing to become a dentist is a wise decision for many reasons, but it should be kept in mind that it will take a lot of dedication and hard work in order to see the dream fulfilled. In addition, those who start planning out their path to a dental career as early as possible will have an edge on those who donít decide on this career path until later in their education. One of the obstacles that must be overcome, and one in which early preparation can make a decisive difference, is the DAT.
The DAT is the Dental Admission Test. Dental schools require that anyone seeking admission submit a DAT score as part of their application. A person is responsible for making his or her arrangements to take the test, which is given at Prometric testing centers across the country, and can be taken just about any day of the year. There is a substantial fee to take the test; currently itís $320. In order to qualify to take the exam, a person needs to have completed at least one year of college, including biology and chemistry courses. The DAT covers reading comprehension, quantitative reasoning, mathematics, chemistry, organic chemistry, biology, and perceptual ability. There are a total of 280 questions and five hours are allotted for completion.
There are actually eight different scores generated and reported. Each section is scored separately, then all six are combined and averaged into an Academic score, while the average of the scores on chemistry, organic chemistry and biology comprise the Science score. Scores can range from 1 to 30, with the average score being 17. Each dental school can determine which scores they consider most important. Naturally, just as with SAT and ACT scores for undergraduates, the better known and top ranked dental schools will tend to admit students with higher DAT scores than less selective schools. Retaking the test is allowed, for those unhappy with the results of their first attempt at the DAT. However, schools will be made aware of all scores a student has achieved, so a higher score on a second or third attempt may not be that impressive to admissions committees. Also, a student will have to pay the $320 fee for every attempt, so retaking the test can be a real strain on personal finances. The best approach is to be fully prepared to make a very good score on the DAT on the first try.
DAT test breakdown | Paying for Dental School | DATTestQuestions.com
by Enoch Morrison
Last Updated: 05/08/2013
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