Dental Aptitude Tests

The Dental Aptitude Test (DAT) Program is led by the Canadian Dental Association (CDA) along with the American Dental Association to avail students evaluate their aptitude for a career in dentistry and to assist dental schools in selecting first-year-students. The test is a multiple-choice test, conducted each year by a number of universities across Canada. The Canadian DAT is completely paper-based tests.


The Dental Aptitude Test is planned to measure general academic ability, comprehension of scientific information, two- and three-dimensional visual perception and manual dexterity of the students.

Dates and Deadlines

DAT is held twice a year, in November and February, at various test centers across Canada. Students can take part in the DAT Program an unlimited number of times.

DAT: Format

The Dental Aptitude tests has an English and a French test. The DAT consists of four elements for the English test and four elements for the French test. The test is a multiple-choice, except for manual dexterity test and is managed over one half day.
  • The English DAT consists of a Survey of Natural Sciences, a Perceptual Ability Test, a Reading Comprehension Test and a Manual Dexterity Test.
  • The French DAT consists of a Survey of Natural Sciences, a Perceptual Ability Test and a Manual Dexterity Test.
Total No. of Questions on the English DAT: 210 questions on the English DAT, plus the Manual Dexterity Test, i.e. Soap carving.

Total No. of Question on the French DAT: 160 questions on the French DAT, plus the Manual Dexterity Test, i.e. Soap carving.
  • The Survey of Natural Sciences consists of 40 Biology and 30 General Chemistry questions.
  • The Perceptual Ability Test consists of 90 questions.
  • The Reading Comprehension Test consists of 50 questions.

DAT: Duration

  • Manual Dexterity Test – 30 minutes (optional)
  • Survey of Natural Sciences – 60 minutes
  • Perceptual Ability – 60 minutes
  • Reading Comprehension – 50 minutes

Format: Detailed

  • Manual Dexterity Test
    The Manual Dexterity Tests are considered as a part of the admission requirements for a few of the Canadian dental schools. It is an important parameter in selecting students for the degree in Dentistry. It consists of carving a specified model out of a cylindrical bar of soap. It basically is the ability to perform fine motor skills in an orderly manner.

  • Survey of Natural Sciences
    The Survey of Natural Sciences section comprises of questions based on Biology and General Chemistry.

Biology includes following topics : origin of life; cell metabolism, enzymology; cellular processes; thermodynamics; organelle structure and function; mitosis/meiosis; biological organization, Vertebrate Anatomy and Physiology - structure and function of vertebrate systems, Developmental biology, Genetics: molecular genetics; human genetics; classical genetics; Chromosomal genetics; Evaluation, Ecology, and Behavior: natural selection; population genetics/speciation; population and community ecology; ecosystems; animal behavior.

General Chemistry includes following topics: Stoichiometry and General Concepts, kinetic molecular theory of gases; Dalton's, Boyle's, Charles', and ideal gas laws; liquids and solids; Solutions, Acids and Bases, Chemical Equilibria; Thermodynamics and Thermo chemistry,  Chemical Kinetics, Atomic and Molecular Structure, Periodic Properties, Nuclear Reactions  and Laboratory.
  • Perceptual Ability
    The perceptual ability section includes angle discrimination, form development, cubes, orthographic projections and apertures.

  • Reading Comprehension (For English DAT only)
    The reading comprehension section consists of 3 reading passages. It requires the candidates to understand, analyze, organize and comprehend the scientific information. Questions are based on the dental and basic sciences.

DAT: Special Arrangements

For Special test arrangements, the candidate must take permission from Canadian Dental Association (CDA). These special sittings as a result of medical disability or religious reasons are made available only if the candidate provides the evidence to support the request.

The completed application for accommodation or special arrangement, including supporting documentation, must be submitted by:
  • September 15 for the November DAT Exam
  • December 15 for the February DAT exam.

List of Canadian Dental Schools: Contact Details

  • University of Alberta
    Undergraduate DDS / DHYG Admissions
    School of Dentistry | Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry
    Edmonton Clinic Health Academy
    5th Floor, 11405 - 87 Avenue NW
    Edmonton AB T6G 1C9
    Phone: 780.492.1319
    Email id:
    British Columbia

  • Faculty of Dentistry, University of British Columbia
    278 - 2199 Wesbrook Mall
    Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z3
    Tel.: (604) 822-3416

  • Faculty of Dentistry, University of Manitoba
    780 Bannatyne Avenue
    Winnipeg, MB R3E 0W2
    Tel.: (204) 789-3631
    Nova Scotia

  • Faculty of Dentistry, Dalhousie University
    5981 University Avenue
    Halifax, NS B3H 3J5
    Tel.: (902) 494-2824

  • Faculty of Dentistry, University of Toronto
    124 Edward Street
    Toronto, ON M5G 1G6
    Tel.: (416) 979-4901, ext. 4373

  • School of Dentistry, Western University
    Dental Sciences Building
    London, ON N6A 5C1
    Tel.: (519) 661-3330

  • Faculty of Dentistry, McGill University
    Strathcona Anatomy & Dentistry Building 3640 University Street
    Montreal, QC H3A 2B2
    Tel.: 514-398-7227

  • Faculte de medecine dentaire, Universite de Montreal
    C.P. 6128, succursale Centre-ville
    Montreal (Quebec) H3C 3J7
    Tel.: (514) 343-6076
    Email: (French Only)

  • Faculte de medecine dentaire, Universite Laval
    2420, rue de la Terrasse/ Bureau 4535
    Quebec, QC G1V 0A6
    Tel.: (418) 656-2247
    Email: (French Only)

  • College of Dentistry, University of Saskatchewan
    B526 Health Sciences Bldg, 107 Wiggins Road
    Saskatoon, SK S7N 5E5
    Tel.: (306) 966-5117

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