DAT Scoring System

The job of a dentist is one of the most well paid professions today. Dentists have become extremely popular with the masses and more people visit dentists today than they have ever before. With the increased awareness about health and hygiene it can be said that dentists will always remain in demand. A student on the path of becoming a dentist is surely headed to a rewarding career and needs to be congratulated for it. However, it is a long way that he has chosen and hence he should be prepared for the milestones as they come.

The first and probably the most important milestone to be crossed to be a dentist is the DAT, which is a decisive step to test where you are either chosen or rejected by dental schools of America. This is determined by the score that you receive in the test. All dental schools consider the scores of students in order to take them into their institutions. There is no point in dreaming high if you don’t get past the initial step of the test.

How can DAT Score help to Predict your Performance?

The test is instrumental in understanding the ability levels and skills of students that are considered necessary for dental studies. These skills tested not only include academic achievement skills but also test basic outlook and mental setup of students as required for success in dental schools. It tests students for their knowledge of science subjects like Biology, Organic Chemistry, General Chemistry, Mathematics etc. and also tests them for Problem Solving, Logical Reasoning and Perceptive Skills. These skills are considered basic for the studies that students will take up in their future. Hence, if they perform well in the test, it predicts that they will be successful in completing the college coursework as well.

Scoring you Performance

The tests are scored according to the points gained due to correct responses. The points thus gained form the raw scores. These raw scores are converted into scaled scores in order to make the performance of a student comparable to those of students who have taken the test in different administrations. Incorrect responses do not affect the score at all. Students can make the most of this scoring system as it provides scope for guessing the answer.

You should keep in mind that you are not only in competition with the students taking the exam along with you, but with all the students who have taken it in recent years and who are eligible for the same seats as you are. Therefore, if you want to get noticed amongst all other applicants, the only way to do so is by getting a high score.

Receiving the Score Report

An unofficial score report is provided to the student at the Prometric test center immediately after he completes the test. This is the only copy received by students and no other score report is sent later. However, the unofficial score report is audited before it is made official. The audit is conducted to maintain accuracy of the score received by students.  Students who want to get their scores audited after that can get it done by placing a request in a written form and paying a fee of $50.

Score Report Received by Dental Schools

The official score report is sent to the dental schools about three to four weeks after the test. This is the score report that has gone through an audit for accuracy. The score report can be sent to up to five dental schools, the fee of which is included in the one-time registration fees. If you want to change your choice of schools or send your score report to more schools, an additional fee of $25 per school must be paid.

What Does the Official Score Report Contain?

  1. There are a total of 8 standard scaled scores mentioned in the range of 1 to 30. These include the scores in the following areas.
    1. Perceptual Ability Score
    2. Reading Comprehension Score
    3. Quantitative Reasoning Score
    4. Biology Score
    5. General Chemistry Score
    6. Organic Chemistry Score
    7. Academic Average – Includes average of Quantitative Reasoning score, Reading Comprehension score, General Chemistry score, Biology score and Organic Chemistry score rounded off to the nearest whole number
    8. Total Science Score – Includes the score in Biology, General Chemistry and Organic Chemistry
  2. Result of four most recent tests, in case the student has taken retests.
  3. A list of the total number of attempts at the exam.
  4. Percentile equivalents of each of the scores mentioned on the score report are also mentioned in the score report.


Once the student has appeared for the exam, he cannot cancel his scores and his attempt will be reported in the score report. Students can also not choose to send scores of selected test attempts. Taking a clue from the scoring pattern adopted in the test, students should make a note that there is an emphasis on making the first/initial attempt the best. If you are not serious about the test and in turn attain an insignificant score, it will be reported in the score report, which leaves a bad impression about your attitude on the dental schools receiving your score report.

Good Scores in DAT

Good scores do not determine if you have passed or failed the test. However, the score received in it is a measure of your competitiveness. It is only if the score is massive that it will be of good use. Generally, a score of 17 is considered an average national score. A score above the national average must be earned to make a good impression. If you are able to score about 22, it can ensure you a seat in a dental school. However, with each progressing year, there is an increase in competition. Hence, the score considered good enough today might be considered average in the coming years.

Moreover, consistent performance in all the tests has a great value. Since the score report is detailed and explains your performance clearly, a careless attempt in any one of the tests is bound to get noticed. Hence, you must make it a point to score well in all tests with adequate preparation.

There is no doubt that good scores are impossible to attain without preparation. It is therefore essential to set a high aim before you start preparing for the exam so that you are focused and motivated throughout preparation. Make the best use of preparation materials and the guidance available and train yourself accordingly.


DAT determines whether you make it to dental schools or not. Those who have chosen to be a dentist in future may be congratulated for doing so, but real best wishes come only after they have scored a safe score that allows them a seat into a dental school.