Month: October 2016

What should you be aiming for on your DAT?

The Dental Admissions Test (DAT) is an important part of applying to dental school. It does not matter if you have a high GPA or a lot of volunteering experience, if your DAT scores are low you will have difficulty landing an interview and essentially getting into dental school.

According to the ADA statistics, the average DAT score of a dental applicant is 17.59 for the academic average, 17.56 total science, and 18.17 perceptual ability. What does this mean to you? As of right now, it does not mean much. Lets first take a look at the average scores of matriculating dental students.

The average academic score for someone who is accepted into dental school is about a 19. There are several schools with higher averages and some with lower averages. This means that if you want to have a good chance at being accepted into dental school, and you have an average or slightly below average GPA, you will need to score at least a 19 overall. Am I saying that if you score an 18 that you will not get accepted into dental school? No, there are is a great number of dental students who scored an 18 on their DAT and were accepted into dental school. However, if you only want to apply one cycle and have some choices, I would highly recommend aiming for a 20+ on your DAT.

So, why do I write this? My one purpose in writing this post is to help open the eyes of pre-dental students who do not know what they should be aiming for on their DAT. Do not take the DAT lightly! If the average score is around 17.5, that means that there are many students scoring below this and they will eventually need to retake the DAT if they want to have a fighting chance at getting accepted into dental school. You do not want to put yourself in this position! The ADA statistics also show that students who retake the DAT have nearly the same average as that of students taking the DAT for the first time. Does this mean give up if you have already taken it and scored low? Absolutely not because your score will reflect the effort that you put into studying. However, I would highly recommend studying for the DAT like you only have one chance at taking it. This is not a test that you want to prepare for more than one time.

For more statistics and information on the DAT visit the ADA at

Dental Schools Ranked by DAT Scores

seal-of-dentistryMany students wonder what dental school suits them the best according to their DAT scores. This was a question that I definitely had when I was trying to decide which schools to apply to. Remember, the DAT is a very big portion of your application and should not be taken lightly. However, this does not mean that if you earned a 19 academic average (AA) that you cannot apply to a school that has an average AA of 21. The statistics are just that, statistics! There are many prerequisites for dental school to keep in mind, and if a school accepts someone with an AA of 23 that means that they must have accepted several others with lower scores. 

When scores are reported they are seen in three general categories including Academic Average (all of your scores averaged together except perceptual ability scores), Total Science (average of the biology, general chemistry, and organic chemistry sections), and Perceptual Ability. Each of these general categories along with each individual section must be taken into account when choosing schools to apply to. 

Some schools will put a high emphasis on the science sections while others may put more weight on reading comprehension or the perceptual ability section. 

Other factors that you will want to consider while choosing schools to apply to include but are not limited to overall GPA, science GPA, extracurricular activities, leadership experience, volunteer experiences, and shadowing.  Your personal statement is a great opportunity to showcase this experience.

For your convenience, I listed the dental schools in order of highest Academic Average to lowest Academic Average. Below that, I also included a list of the schools as they ranked in 2010 along with how they ranked according to their perceptual ability scores, for those who may be interested in that comparison to see how things have changed.

Dental School Rankings 2010 (Academic Average)

  1. Columbia 21.7
  2. UCLA 21
  3. Harvard 21
  4. Stony Brook  21
  5. Alabama 20
  6. UCSF 20
  7. UoP 20
  8. Connecticut 20
  9. New York  20
  10. Pennsylvania 20
  11. Minnesota  19.63
  12. Nova 19.58
  13. Maryland  19.5
  14. New Jersey  19.45
  15. Buffalo  19.42
  16. Pittsburgh 19.4
  17. Washington 19.39
  18. Boston University  19.35
  19. Temple  19.3
  20. Houston  19.15
  21. Louisiana State  19.1
  22. Illinois at Chicago  19.1
  23. UNLV 19.01
  24. USC 19
  25. Colorado Denver 19
  26. Florida  19
  27. Iowa  19
  28. Kentucky  19
  29. Tufts 19
  30. Detroit Mercy  19
  31. Michigan  19
  32. Chapel Hill  19
  33. Case 19
  34. Ohio State 19
  35. Oklahoma  19
  36. Baylor  19
  37. San Antonio  19
  38. Virginia Commonwealth  19
  39. Indiana  19
  40. Loma Linda  18.79
  41. Oregon  18.71
  42. Southern Illinois  18.6
  43. Midwestern  18.5
  44. Creighton 18.48
  45. Missouri – Kansas City  18.02
  46. Western U. 18
  47. Georgia 18
  48. Louisville  18
  49. Mississippi  18
  50. Nebraska  18
  51. South Carolina  18
  52. Tennessee  18
  53. Marquette 18
  54. Arizona  17.84
  55. Howard 17.7
  56. West Virginia 17
  57. Puerto Rico  16
  58. Meharry 16

Dental School Rankings 2010 (Perceptual Ability)

  1. UCLA 21
  2. UoP 21
  3. Harvard 21
  4. Stony Brook  21
  5. Minnesota  20.74
  6. UNLV 20.24
  7. Loma Linda  20.15
  8. Creighton 20.11
  9. Washington 20.02
  10. Buffalo  20.01
  11. UCSF 20
  12. Indiana  20
  13. Detroit Mercy  20
  14. Michigan  20
  15. New York  20
  16. Case 20
  17. Ohio State 20
  18. Pennsylvania 20
  19. South Carolina  20
  20. Virginia Commonwealth  20
  21. Oregon  19.93
  22. Temple  19.7
  23. Pittsburgh 19.6
  24. Maryland  19.3
  25. Houston  19.25
  26. Georgia 19.2
  27. Boston University  19.15
  28. Southern Illinois  19.1
  29. Alabama 19
  30. Midwestern  19
  31. USC 19
  32. Western U. 19
  33. Colorado Denver 19
  34. Connecticut 19
  35. Florida  19
  36. Illinois at Chicago  19
  37. Iowa  19
  38. Kentucky  19
  39. Louisville  19
  40. Tufts 19
  41. Mississippi  19
  42. Chapel Hill  19
  43. Marquette 19
  44. Oklahoma  18.98
  45. Louisiana State  18.9
  46. Nova 18.85
  47. New Jersey  18.73
  48. Arizona  18.34
  49. Missouri – Kansas City  18
  50. Tennessee  18
  51. Baylor  18
  52. San Antonio  18
  53. West Virginia 18
  54. Howard 17.4
  55. Nebraska  17
  56. Puerto Rico  16
  57. Meharry 16

*NOTE: The statistics that have been listed were taken from the “2010 ADEA Official Guide to Dental Schools”.

Don’t forget that the admissions staff is open to persuasion, so really doing a great job on getting quality letters of recommendation and, if you get an interview, being well-prepared to answer interview questions goes a long way.



The Hottest DAT Study Material 2017

I would like to present the Top 10 Hottest DAT Material for 2017. These study materials were chosen by your peers! Those who participated in choosing the top ten were students who previously studied for and took the DAT. Each of these students knows the time, money and effort that goes into being successful on the test. Likewise, they know which materials did and did not work for them and which ones best prepared them for the DAT. Without further adieu, I present to you the Hottest DAT Study Material for 2017!


#1 – DAT Achiever


 DAT Achiever dropped from the #1 spot in 2016 to the #2 spot in 2017. One thing you have to know about DAT Achiever is that it is a lot more difficult than the real test. I am sure it is called “Achiever” for a reason. If you look at breakdowns of students who used DAT Achiever and compare their scores to that of their actual DAT scores you will see that, on average, they score 2 to 4 points higher. The questions presented are challenging but not unrealistic. DAT Achiever is preparing students for the difficult questions because those are the questions that can make a difference between getting 18 or a 21 academic average. In order to make DAT Achiever an effective study tool, it is essential that you know why each answer given is either correct or incorrect. Feel like you have organic chemistry down? What about general chemistry or perceptual ability? DAT Achiever will challenge you in any section, so if you are looking for an edge over the other dental students this is the program for you. DAT Achiever accelerates in several areas including usability, question clarity, consistent upgrades, and solid customer support. For all these reasons and more DAT Achiever is the #2 Hottest DAT Study Material for 2017!

DAT Achiever was ranked #1 in 2016

#2 – Crack DAT PAT

Crack DAT PAT is the best resource that you can buy for the perceptual ability section of the DAT.Whether you feel that you can succeed or not Crack DAT PAT will help you to improve. There are 10 full-length tests along with thousands of bonus practice problems! The problems provided are unbelievably close to the real DAT. In fact, when I was taking the DAT I felt as if I was just taking another Crack DAT PAT test. This program is more than enough to do well on the PAT and there is no doubt that this program belongs in the Top 3 Hottest DAT Materials of 2017!

Crack DAT PAT was ranked #2 in 2016


#3 – Chad’s Videos (Organic and General Chemistry)

Were you ever frustrated because your chemistry professors did not seem to be able to make chemistry simple, interesting or easy to understand? I know I was but when I watched Chad’s Videos I was amazed at how simple and clear chemistry was. Both the General and Organic Chemistry videos are a great resource especially if it’s been a few years since you have taken the course. The videos are invaluable and definitely worth the minimal price he charges to gain access to the videos. I don’t have much to say except, CHECK THEM OUT! You definitely will not be disappointed with your purchase. The current videos are high-quality HD videos. Ever since the videos came out they have been gaining popularity and I suspect that they will maintain their spot in the Top 5 Hottest DAT Study Materials in the future.

Chad’s Videos were ranked #4 in 2016

#4 – DAT BootCamp

This is an excellent resource for studying the math and science sections. The problems are difficult and much like the real DAT. I was only able to go over the first few tests right before my DAT and I wish I was able to go over more! I saw problems on the DAT that were just like the real test. Need help with the quantitative reasoning section? Get the math destroyer! Not only are the problems good but the solutions are excellent. Definitely not lacking for problems to solve. You may want to supplement this with the outline from the ADA, a good textbook, and the internet in order to have a clear understanding of all the material you need to know for the DAT. I am not surprised that DAT Bootcamp climbed into the Top 5 on the Hottest DAT Study Materials for 2017.

Math Destroyer was unranked in 2016

#5 – CliffNotes AP Biology

Not much to say here, except that the notes are clear, concise, and contains just about everything you need for the DAT in terms of biology. It does lack a little in the physiology portion and a few other small topics so if you are looking to get the 21+ you may need to supplement this with Kaplan or Wikipedia. However, for the $10 that you spend on Amazon for this book it is definitely worth the money. It is basically condensed notes ready for memorization. There is not a lot of fluff to sift through and is an easy read, unlike some of the other more boring materials such as Schaum’s Outlines. For the price this is a must have resource!


Cliffnotes AP Biology was ranked #5 in 2016

#6 – Top Score Pro

If you are looking for the most accurate representation of how you are going to score on the DAT then take the Top Score Pro tests. Throughout the pre-dental community, the consensus is that Top Score Pro will give you the most accurate judgment of how you will do on the DAT. However, remember that while some students, like myself, will have nearly identical scores others will have as much as +/- 4 points on the real DAT. Most commonly scores are with in +/- 2 points. With that said Top Score Pro does lack in a few areas. The biggest area is the biology section. Don’t get me wrong, the questions in the biology section are great but they add a lot of taxonomy questions (5-7 per test) to the test which causes students to score lower on their practice test. The actual DAT may only have 2-3 taxonomy questions. Also, if you are scoring 17-18 on the quantitative reasoning section you may want to do some extra practice (perhaps with Math Destroyer) because often times students quantitative reasoning scores decrease from what they were getting on Top Score Pro. All in all, this program is well worth the money and once again I am surprised that it is not in the top 5 Hottest DAT Study Materials for 2017!

Top Score Pro was ranked #7 in 2016

#7 – Chad’s Practice Material (Quiz)

I never had the opportunity to use these materials but they have made the Top 10 both in 2016 and 2017.  Don’t worry about purchasing these separate because they are included with your purchase of Chad’s Videos (#4). It sounds like Chad continues to make improvements on his material and that is why it has climbed to the 8th spot on the top 10 list!

Chad’s Practice Material was ranked #10 in 2016


DATQVAULT is one of the newer DAT study materials on the market. Last year this product was just getting recognized by the pre-dental community and now it has made the top 10 list. More and more students are finding that the sets of questions offered are helpful for learning and accurately testing their knowledge. I can’t say much more than this about it as I have not had the chance to use it myself. This sounds like it is a quality product and that is why it made the Top 10 Hottest DAT Material 2017!

DATQVAULT did not make the Top 10 in 2016

#9 – Crack DAT Reading

The reading section is a crucial section on the DAT. More and more students are looking for ways to do better in this section. Crack DAT Reading provides high-quality practice exams that mimic the real thing. The difficulty level is high and will prepare you for passages on the real DAT. Crack DAT Reading provides plenty of practice tests so that you can find a reading strategy that works for you. This is a great resource and I am glad to see that it made the Top 10 in 2017!

Crack DAT Reading did not make the Top 10 in 2016

#10 – DAT Destroyer 

Overall, this is a fantastic resource for the sciences. The problems are difficult and as it states it will “destroy” you on your first time through. It is essential that you don’t just memorize the answers but understand everything possible about each answer choice given. The problems are organized according to Biology, General Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, and Quantitative Reasoning. However, the problems within each section are not organized by topic but randomized. Because of this and the difficulty of the problems it is important that you have a good base knowledge of the subject before you begin. If you do not have a base knowledge Dat Destroyer will only frustrate you and make studying difficult. Excellent resource if you are looking to score high on your DAT. It includes biology, organic chemistry, general chemistry, and math all of which are an excellent resource and highly recommended by the pre-dental community. There is no doubt that this is a helpful resource and has jumped from #3 spot in 2016 to the #1 spot in 2017!


DAT Destroyer was ranked #3 in 2016

Let us know what you think of the results. Remember, we didn’t pick them, you did!