DAT: What to Study

The Dental Admission Test (DAT) is all about science and math. Since undoubtedly you have taken myriad science and mathematics courses throughout your college career, you should be up-to-date on the material that will be covered on the DAT. You will already have acquired the appropriate textbooks and review books for the subjects.

The DAT also includes the Reading Comprehension Test and the Perceptual Ability Test (PAT). There are six sections to the PAT, which require visual and mental dexterity. The PAT measures your ability to work with two- and three-dimensional objects, and be able to manipulate them visually and analyze them in different formats. The six sections are aperture passing, orthographic projection, angle discrimination, paper folding, cubes, and form development.

Survey of the Natural Sciences

Biology

  • Cell and Molecular Biology: origin of life, cell metabolism (including photosynthesis) and enzymology, cellular processes, thermodynamics, organelle structure and function, mitosis/meiosis, cell structure, and experimental cell biology

  • Diversity of Life: Biological Organization and Relationship of Major Taxa (monera, plantae, animalia, protista, fungi, etc.) — using the five-kingdom system

  • Vertebrate Anatomy and Physiology: Structure and Function of Systems — integumentary, skeletal, muscular, circulatory, immunological, digestive, respiratory, urinary, nervous/ senses, endocrine, and reproductive

  • Developmental Biology: fertilization, descriptive embryology, developmental mechanisms, and experimental embryology

  • Genetics: molecular genetics, human genetics, classical genetics, chromosomal genetics, and genetic technology

  • Evolution, Ecology, and Behavior: natural selection, population, genetics/speciation, cladistics, population and community ecology, ecosystems, and animal behavior (including social behavior)

General Chemistry

  • Stoichiometry and General Concepts: percent composition, empirical formulae, balancing equations, moles and molecular formulas, molar mass, density, and calculations from balanced equations

  • Gases: kinetic molecular theory of gases, Dalton's, Boyle's, Charles', and ideal gas laws

  • Liquids and Solids: intermolecular forces, phase changes, vapor pressure, structures, polarity, and properties

  • Solutions: polarity, properties (colligative, noncolligative), forces, and concentration calculations

  • Acids and Bases: pH, strength, Bronsted-Lowry reactions, and calculations

  • Chemical Equilibria: molecular, acid/base, precipitation, calculations, and Le Chatelier's principle

  • Thermodynamics and Thermochemistry: laws of thermodynamics, Hess' law, spontaneity, enthalpies and entropies, and heat transfer

  • Chemical Kinetics: rate laws, activation energy, and half life

  • Oxidation-Reduction Reactions: balancing equations, determination of oxidation numbers, electrochemical calculations, and electrochemical concepts and terminology

  • Atomic and Molecular Structure: electron configuration, orbital types, Lewis-Dot diagrams, atomic theory, quantum theory, molecular geometry, bond types, and sub-atomic particles

  • Periodic Properties: representative elements, transition elements, periodic trends, and descriptive chemistry

  • Nuclear Reactions: balancing equations, binding energy, decay processes, particles, and terminology

  • Laboratory: basic techniques, equipment, error analysis, safety, and data analysis

Organic Chemistry

  • Mechanisms (Energetics, Structure, and Stability of Intermediates): SN1, SN2, elimination; addition, free radical, and substitution mechanisms

  • Chemical and Physical Properties of Molecules and Organic Analysis: inter- and intra-molecular forces, separation, introductory infrared spectroscopy, lHNMR spectroscopy, 13CNMR, chemical identification, stability, solubility, and polarity

  • Stereochemistry: conformational analysis, geometric isomers, stereoisomers (enantiomers, diastereomers, meso compounds), and optical activity (planes of symmetry)

  • Nomenclature: IUPAC rules and functional groups in molecules

  • Individual Reactions of the Major Functional Groups and Combinations of Reactions to Synthesize Compounds: carbon-to-carbon bond formation, functional groups conversions, multi-step synthesis, redox reactions, name reactions, grignard, witting, deiels-adlet, aldol reaction

  • Acid-Base Chemistry: resonance effects, inductive effects, and prediction of products and equilibria

  • Aromatics Arid Bonding: concept of aromaticity, resonance, atomic/molecular orbitals, hybridization, and bond angles/lengths

Survey of Quantitative Reasoning

  • Mathematical Problems: Algebra — equations and expressions, inequalities, exponential notation, absolute value, ratios and proportions, and graphical analysis

  • Numerical calculations: fractions and decimals, percentages, approximations, and scientific notation

  • Conversions: temperature, time, weight, and distance

  • Probability and Statistics, Geometry, Trigonometry, and Applied Mathematics (Word) Problems