Canadian DAT: Dental Aptitude Test

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.

DAT Test 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: Test 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.

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

  • Survey of Natural Sciences – 60 minutes
  • Perceptual Ability – 60 minutes
  • Reading Comprehension – 50 minutes

DAT detailed Format

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.

DAT Score

The DAT score transcripts are available 6 to 8 weeks after the DAT is written.

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