Ace The PAT In 60 Minutes

February 9, 2022
Written by Rudy Gerrard

You get 60 minutes to cover the PAT section of DAT. The section has six subsets. Hence, roughly 10 minutes for every section.

But it doesn't work like that.

gray and white click pen on white printer paper

PAT is a relatively challenging yet easy section of DAT. But many people fail to score well in it due to time management issues.

To get elected into your preferred dental school, you must have a good PAT score along with an average score because dental schools take both these into consideration while setting up eligibility criteria for dental aspirants.

Table Of Contents


  • PAT is a relatively challenging section of DAT.
  • The section is divided into six subsections, with 15 questions in each.
  • There are only 60 minutes to solve the PAT section.
  • Without proper practice, you will certainly miss the chance of scoring well in the PAT.
  • PAT requires high time-management skills to nail.
  • Some smart tricks can save you a lot of time in PAT.

A Quick Tour To PAT's Subsections

The perceptual ability test contains 90 questions, 15 questions in each subset—every subset of PAT holds a particular objective. Let's have a glance at each subset of PAT-

pat subsections
Source: https://www.datbooks.ca/

Apertures (Keyholes)

You get a clear view of the subset in this subset, and the aperture will be drawn in scale. Your goal will be to determine the aperture through which the 3D item will pass.

View Recognition (Top/Front/End)

In this subset, there will be images of solid objects seen from top, front, and back. The provided photos will give two views of every object. You have to choose the missing part from the given four options.

Angle Ranking

In this subset, you will be provided with images of four angles. Your job is to rank those angles in ascending order.

Paper Folding

A square-shaped piece of paper will be folded multiple times in this subtest. Following that, a hole will be punched. You must determine the location of the holes. You have to mentally unfold the paper to determine the position of the hole.

Cube Counting

The students have to find out the painted portion of a figure by observing several figures.

Pattern Folding

In this section, students will be provided a flat pattern, and they need to identify the actual figure based on that pattern.

Some Smart Tricks To Solve The PAT

The PAT section of DAT is intimidating to some and easy to others. It depends on the practice and how smart a student is. While through practice you might find it easy, there is still a chance that you will not be able to answer all the questions of this section just because of lack of time.

Some tricks can save your time and help you score well in PAT. Let's open the mysteries for acing the PAT within 1 hour.

Apertures (Keyholes)

The top/front/end method

Many students have expressed their frustration about this subset. But with these simple tricks, you can ace the subset without a fuss.

The trick is to picture every object from the top, front, and end parts. That's all it takes to nail the part.

However, you will only successfully get the correct answer with this trick when you practice a lot. Otherwise, chances are, you will make mistakes.

View Recognition (Top/Front/End)

Line counting method

This trick also requires you to picture the object from three separate angles. What adds to it is that you have to count the lines of each angle. After that, imagine the answer with the calculated answer and eliminate the wrong options.

Top/Front/End method

This trick also focuses on pictures. You have to visualize the object from a 3D perspective to apply the trick. Subsequently, you have to compare the view with the options to choose the correct answer.

Angle Discrimination (Angle Ranking)

Laptop method

This method is straightforward. Just consider every angle a "laptop." Then choose the laptop with a very narrow angle as the smallest one and a larger angle as the largest one.

Laser method

This method is only applicable while there is a vertical and horizontal line. Afterward, pick one of them as the foundation of the laser. The trick is to picture the laser from that line to other lines mentally. Using this trick, you can easily rank the angles.

Circle method

It is a simple procedure. First, assign a height to each figure. Then, for each image, create a horizontal circle around that height. The most broadened circle will point to the greatest angle. Similarly, the smallest circle will point to the smaller circles.

Paper Folding (Hole Punches)

Tic-Tac-Toe method

This is a super easy subtest. Many students don't even apply any tricks. They picture the position in their mind and identify the hole.

However, as a beginner, we have got that as well if you need one. Draw a 4x4 square and make a mark in the punched hole in the paper. Then, in each square, make the same mark. While you unfold the paper, you will notice a hole.

Cube Counting

Cube counting method

This trick only requires you to count and read the question. All you need to do is- locate how many painted sides are on a cube.

cube counting method
Source: https://www.researchgate.net/figure/Cube-counting-method

Make a table and enter your obtained numbers. You will get your answers.

3D Form Development (Pattern Folding)

Side counting method

Although this trick is not applicable for all the problems of this subtest, it is a handy trick. There will be several shapes of patterns with numbers on their sides. Count the numbers of giant patterns. Compare them to the given number in the solution.

Shape matching method

This trick is very simple. Choose the giant pattern and compare it with the provided shapes in the answer.

Time Management In PAT

The PAT section is very different from other sections of DAT. Considering that PAT contains questions that you need to think about to answer. Whereas in other sections, you can ace the parts easily if you read well.

Hence, time management is a big issue in this regard. You will miss the chance to pursue dentistry in your dream dental school if you have not scored well in PAT.

time management

Therefore, you have to make sure you don't spend time behind those subtests that are very much easy.

Roughly you get 40 seconds for every question. There's no time to waste. Since there is no negative marking, don't miss any questions. Even if you don't know the answer, follow your intuition.

The rule of omission can save you a lot of time. The omission is to eliminate the options that will not be the answer. There will be options that you know are not the answer to every question.

Eliminating those options lessens the chance of confusion and saves time.

Additionally, the only secret to doing well in PAT is to practice. The PAT is solely based on problem-solving. Therefore, the more you practice, the more you get acquainted with the tricks.

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