Biology Test Content for DAT





Brief Overview of the DAT Biology Test Content

Prospective dental school students have to take the Dental Admission Test (DAT) to prove their eligibility, to study in a dental school of the USA. Moreover, your scores in this test will be taken into account by the admissions authority to evaluate, whether or not you will be able to complete the first year of dental school.

This is essential because most dental school students consider the first year to be the most taxing. Having said that, the importance of scoring high marks in the DAT, cannot be impressed any further. This article will help you gain insight into the Biology sub-section of the examination

Learning about the Biology Sub-section

The examination comprises of 4 parts of which, Biology is an important sub-section of the Survey of Natural Sciences (first section of the DAT). Since scoring high marks is necessary, it is essential that you give ample importance to this sub-section. Moreover, questions on Biology take up nearly 14% of the entire question paper and hence, you must prepare well for it. The following list will provide an insight into the topics covered under this sub-section, in order to aid your preparation for this sub-section:

  • Study of cells: Here your knowledge of cell structure, microbes and the chemical processes occurring inside cells will be examined.

  • Taxonomy: Questions related to Taxonomy will evaluate your knowledge of the animal kingdom and bio-diversity.

  • Working of the human body: These questions can cover anything related to the functioning of the human body. You will come across questions dealing with systems, like the respiratory system, endocrine system, circulatory system etc.

  • Genetics: Questions on genetics will deal with molecular genetics, human genetics and the development of genetic technology.

The above-mentioned list outlines some of the topics covered under this sub-section. However, before you commence your preparation, ensure that you have a thorough knowledge of the topics, which you can learn by clicking on the following link: http://www.ada.org/sections/educationAndCareers/pdfs/dat_examinee_guide.pdf. There are some other aspects that you must understand in order to prepare well for the test. These aspects have been discussed in the following section of this article.

Characteristics of the Biology Sub-section of DAT

Unlike all the other sub-sections of the DAT, the score you receive will also be used to calculate your Academic Average, which is one of the 8 scaled scores mentioned in the score card. Thus, the Biology sub-section of DAT is responsible for not just one, but two scaled scores and percentile ranks. Some other features of the test are as follows:

  • Type of questions that you will come across: Like all the other sections of the DAT, the Biology sub-section also comprises of multiple-choice questions. The questions are usually theoretical. However, some of them may require you to apply your knowledge of Biology and Chemistry, in order to arrive at the correct answer. This is especially true of the questions on genetics.

  • Number of questions: The question paper consists of 40 questions on Biology. These 40 questions are a part of the total of 100 questions that you will have to solve under the Survey of Natural Sciences section.

  • Scoring system: Since Biology is a sub-section of the test, it is very difficult to say the exact marks allotted for the Biology questions. However, there is no negative marking for a wrong answer and hence, if you are confused, you can always take a guess!

  • Time allotted for the Biology sub-section: ADA has allotted 90 minutes to solve 100 questions in the Survey of Natural Sciences section. Amongst the 100 questions, 40 will be from Biology. Thus, on an average it can be said that you will get about 44minutes to solve the Biology questions.

The above-mentioned list will help you understand the exact requirements of the Biology sub-section. Once you have understood them, preparing for the Biology sub-section will become easier. Since Biology is an essential part of the test and you want to become a dentist in future, it will help if you revise all that you have studied under Biology in college, as a part of your preparation.