6 Alternative Routes To Dental School If You Have Low GPA And Low DAT Score

Do you plan to get into a dental school but are worried about your low GPA or DAT score (or maybe both)? Are you wondering if there is still hope? Good news for you - there is!

dental scans
Photographer: Quang Tri NGUYEN | Source: Unsplash

To ask yourself the question “Is it possible for me to be accepted into a dental school?” you must first know where you stand statistically. Statistics play a key role in deciding whether a student is or is not qualified for dental school. This includes GPA and DAT scores.

The good thing about the DAT is that you can take it thrice, and they'll report your best score. But the fact that you couldn't get a satisfactory score on the first try may negatively reflect on your Dental school application.

To give you an idea, the average applicant normally has a DAT score as follow:

These DAT scores are "OK" and even with these DAT scores, you might encounter difficulties landing an interview in some cases and even more difficulties if your GPA is low.

You should know that some, not all, dental schools have a DAT score cut off. This is also true for GPA.

Most students who have successfully applied to and have gotten accepted in dental schools usually have a DAT score of 19 Academic Average and 19 Total science.

For reference, the average GPA for matriculation is around 3.5 for both cumulative (CGPA) and science (SGPA). Therefore, we will define a "low" GPA as 3.0-3.3 and a "very low" GPA as <3.0.

6 Alternative Routes To Dental School When Your GPA & DAT Scores Are Too Low

There are several options but some may be better than others depending on where you stand in regards to your GPA. Here are a few alternative routes to dental school.

1. Post-Baccalaureate Program

Some of you are deciding between a master’s or a post-baccalaureate program. To be honest, everyone is different. However, you can consider the post-baccalaureate program when you have a GPA that is lower than 2.75.

You will need to find a post-baccalaureate program to attend as your current GPA will not pass the cutoff for dental school. This option is also recommended for anyone with a GPA that is lower than 3.0. The reason for this is that the credits earned in these programs will directly affect your undergrad GPA.

You need to make it a priority to get an A in every credit as this will maximize the opportunity of bringing your GPA above a 3.0.

Not only will a 2.75+ GPA now qualify you to apply to dental school but the dental school will be able to see that you have an upward trend in your GPA and that you are capable of doing well in your classes.

The upward trend in your GPA will essentially indicate that with a little dedication, you're capable of earning high grades and this looks good to the eyes of the committee.

Note: Only post-baccalaureate affects your undergrad GPA. Other programs such as a master’s program and dental hygiene school will not raise your GPA and thus will not help you qualify for dental school if you have a sub 2.75 GPA.

2. Master’s Program

If your GPA is just above a 3.0 but still not optimal, you may want to think about getting into a master’s program. The GPA is indeed crucial for your dental school application, but the application is considered as a whole.

GPA score isn't the only thing that can convince dental schools to accept you. You can make up for a low GPA with good DAT scores or other experiences such as a Master's Program.

It is recommended to find a 1-year program to apply for, as this will allow you to beef up your application in a short amount of time.

A master’s program allows you to show the dental school that you are capable of doing well in grad-level courses. This also allows you to stay academically active which is a plus on your application.

If your first attempt at dental school results in rejection, because of a low GPA or Low DAT score - go for a master's program. The acceptance number of students in dental school with master's degrees is increasing every year.

3. Dental Hygiene School

Applying to dental hygiene school is similar to doing a master’s program. However, dental hygiene is a 2-year program which means that it will take an extra year before you can apply to dental school. This option may be good for some students. But if you know you want to be a dentist, we would recommend taking a faster route.

4. PhD

Enrolling in a 4-6 year Ph.D. program is not the most efficient way to get into dental school. There may be a few students out there who went this route but this is definitely not the easiest or even the best way of compensating for a low GPA.

5. Going Foreign

The idea of going to a foreign dental school usually crosses the minds of students who are struggling to get into dental school in the United States or Canada. However, it is not a short or easy process of taking your foreign degree and making it valid in the states.

First, you need to realize that there are a few ways of increasing your chances of getting into dental school with a sub-par GPA. Each of the ways will take considerable effort at proving yourself academically. There is no shortcut around this one.

If you are in a situation where you feel your GPA is low put in all the energy you have possible to get A’s in your courses from here on out. An upward trend is a positive in the eyes of the admissions committee and it is never too late to start!

Remember, while this is an option to compensate for a low GPA and fulfill your dreams of becoming a dentist, it isn’t ideal by any means. If you decide to go down this route, do thorough research to prepare for all the possible pitfalls associated with it.

6. Scoring High On The DAT

Out of all the other alternative routes to dental school, this is perhaps the most feasible. So far, everything we have written in this article was based on the assumption that both your GPA and DAT score is less than ideal, making you incapable of getting into a dental school.

However, if your GPA is low, but you have outstanding DAT scores, there is a fair chance that you might get into a dental school (unless your GPA is below the cut-off limit). So if your GPA is above 2.75 but still pretty low, work hard on your DAT.

Apart from giving your highest effort in studies, there is another option you might consider to earn a decent GPA and DAT score. This final option—strong extracurriculars, shadowing, and personal statement— is for both low and very low GPA students as a supplement to the other possible options.

With more holistic approaches to application evaluation, one can really shine if the rest of their application outside of the DAT and GPA is stellar. This is evident in the many stories you hear of applicants with low GPAs and DAT scores getting accepted.

However, the reason these students are successful is not solely from the number of hours and activities they have. These students with less than competitive applications can write a compelling and moving narrative around why they want to be a dentist and why they deserve a shot.

This is where your personal statement comes in.

You need a stellar personal statement that ties your entire application together into a strong narrative. By using your personal statement as a framing tool for a strong application narrative, you can shift admissions committees in your favor.

To do this, you will need to spend time reviewing your entire application, plan a narrative and then begin to weave your high-quality shadowing/extracurriculars within that narrative.

Final Thoughts

For many pre-dental students looking to apply to dental school, the largest hurdles to admissions are a low GPA and low DAT. While many schools are taking a holistic approach to application evaluation, GPA or DAT score still is, and always will be, a major factor in application evaluation.

The higher the GPA, the higher your chances of admission will be. It is important to know that, if your GPA is low, then the Dental Admission Test (DAT) score will be crucial in deciding whether you will be accepted. But you should know the minimum requirements for universities to which you are applying.

Looking for a tool that can assist you in preparing for the DAT exam? Get started with PATcrusher today to access the most comprehensive PAT Resources for the DAT.

How To Create The Perfect 8-Week Study Schedule For DAT

sDental Admission Test or DAT can be quite a stress. But with dedication and perseverance, it is not impossible to ace the test. On top of that, if you have a perfect study schedule, there’s no way you will not ace in DAT.

dentist at work

Cramped schedules have nothing to offer except for making you stressed and sleep-deprived. A simple and comprehensive study planner is all you need to prepare yourself fully to face the DAT.

Different students have different weak and strong suits. Hence, one routine will not work the same for everyone. Therefore, we aim to provide you with a basic and well-balanced schedule.

No matter what background you are from, this planner should suffice all your needs. If it doesn’t, do not hesitate to accommodate your needs and materials into the schedule.


Are 8 Weeks Enough for DAT Preparation?

Firstly, two months are sufficient to prepare yourself for the DAT. However, this might not work for every individual because every student has their own needs.

The timeframe you should set for preparing for DAT depends on how much time you can handle every study session.

Some students can effortlessly master any topic within 1 hour, and then some students will need 3-4 hours to grasp that topic. Some might require more than that.

Moreover, if a student with a fast reading pace forgets what they read, then they must start revising a few weeks or days before the test. So, during exams, the concepts are fresh in your mind.

On the other hand, a student with a sharp memory can start reading six months before the exam.

This is why the study schedule depends on the type of learner a student is. Moreover, the timeframe for DAT prep depends on how good you are at mastering topics.

If you want to go slowly, you should start DAT preparation six months before the exam. If you choose to study only two months before the exam, be ready for long study sessions.

Because you will also compete with the students who have studied 4-6 hours every day for a long time, hence, to compensate for that, you have to study more in your shorter timeframe.

You can surely prepare for DAT in two months and even nail it down. But it is not going to be easy.

The point is, the less timeframe you choose to prepare yourself, the more smartly you will have to prepare yourself.

How to Prepare Yourself for the DAT?

Before we present a routine, we would like to offer you some insights into preparing yourself for the DAT. You can always change the routine according to your needs. But some certain points will help you to achieve your goal.

Treat the preparatory phase like a full-time job

The study hours should be 40 hours per week. You can alter your daily schedule making sure you are reaching this 40-hour goal.

There will be lazy days when you will not feel like studying. Then again, there will be days when you will want to put in extra hours. Whatever it is, do not overdo or underdo it.

Multiple day-offs are the ultimate killers for your preparation. Keep a regular study habit. Try to follow the schedule closely. The plan will only be helpful if you are following it as much as you can.

Do not pile up your reading table with tons of studying materials

This is a common mistake most pre-dental make- piling up their table with many studying materials.

There is a common misconception among pre-dental that more study materials increase getting into a DAT school.

But the truth is, you need reliable study materials.

The quality of your study material is more important than the number of study materials you have. There are dozens of options on the internet. Do your research and pick up the right one. For example, you can choose PATCrusher. PATCrusher has helped 14000 students to crush the PAT section of the DAT.

With its unlimited questions along with detailed explanations, there’s no way you will go wrong.

Do not put all your efforts into one topic at once

While focusing on a single topic with a lot of effort is not a bad idea, it is not a smart idea either. Studying one subject for a long time can be tedious. Moreover, it prevents you from studying other topics. Consequently, you may forget those subjects.

It is necessary to put more effort into your weaknesses. But let’s not forget that DAT consists of different parts. Hence, you have to master all those along with turning your weak zones into strong ones.

One of the efficient tricks is to practice the actual test questions daily. Not only will you comprehend the DAT question, but it will also help you to skim through all subjects at once.

Your DAT study schedule must include practice tests and quizzes. The more practice tests you go through, the more prepared you are for these tests.

Because the answers you got wrong helps you to understand your failings and take action accordingly. If your study sessions cover half of your DAT Prep, the other half comes from the mistakes you make during mock tests.

You can choose PATCrusher to help you with this. The app will let you practice on the go. You will get a detailed score as well that will help you to analyze your preparation technique better.

Stay fit and healthy.

Long study sessions require you to sit on your chair for a long time. You might develop back pain, neck aches due to this.

Therefore, you should do some yoga and stretching exercises daily to keep yourself fit.

As much as studying is important to ace the DAT, being fit and healthy is also important. All your efforts will be futile if you fall sick right before the exam.

Components of The DAT

You will notice that PAT, reading comprehension, and quantitative reasoning occupy low study hours in our routine. That’s because they are not demanding study hours compared to the other subjects.

For instance, when it comes to PAT or the Perceptual Ability Test, you need experience solving the problems.

PATCrusher is a great tool for that. It ensures higher scores for all its users. If you go to the review section of our website, you will notice several students confidently recommending it.

Reading comprehension test depends upon the experience with reading material. Look out for some scientific articles and try to understand and analyze them. Mastering quantitative reasoning depends on your practice.

8-Week DAT Study Schedule

Here’s our 8-week study schedule that can help you crush the DAT.

Week 1

week 1 DAT schedule

Week 2

week 2 DAT schedule

Week 3

week 3 DAT schedule

Week 4

week 4 DAT schedule

Week 5

week 5 DAT schedule

Week 6

week 6 DAT schedule

Week 7

week 7 DAT schedule

Week 8

week 8 DAT schedule

The DAT preparation schedule presented above is basic. If you follow it thoroughly, you will surely crack the DAT with a significant score.

The schedule does not focus on weak points or the number of study materials a student might have. Hence you can alter it on your own.

You get Sundays to chill out. After such a stressful and tedious schedule throughout the week, you should take a day off and socialize a bit.

This is the number of hours per subject depending on the schedule-

DAT Study Schedule FAQ

How many times can you take the DAT?

You can sit for the DAT as many times as you want to attain a desirable score.

But if you exceed three times, you have to forward ADA a school-going proof or any dental progress-related evidence to take the test.

How long does it take for DAT scores to publish?

You will receive non-official preliminary results immediately after your DAT. But the score might change after standardization.

Hence you will be able to access the official results within a month of sitting for DAT.

Wrapping Up

Let no one lie to you- DAT isn’t easy. Nonetheless, it is not rocket science as well.

People have cracked the DAT before. Hence, don’t bother to worry that you will not be one of them. The 2-month study schedule presented in this article, combined with hard work is enough for you to ace the DAT.

Shine bright with persistence and dedication. Make your dream come true.

An efficient DAT study tool like PATCrusher will help you in this journey. Sign up for free today and make yourself prepared for the DAT battle.

8 Reasons Why You Should Become a Dentist

When it comes to health care professions, there are myriad options from physician to the technician. It is quite impossible to emphasize one over the other because every profession is critically important to ensure the well-being of health.

dentists with instruments
Image from Unsplash by Yusuf Belek

As a kid, we have the freedom to become whatever we wish to be in our dreams. We are carpenter one day, scientist the next day, and an actress the other day. As we grow up, we realize, the reality is far away from our dreams. Choosing your career path is a crucial time and it’s obvious to feel lost for a certain time.

However, if dentistry ever crossed your mind, we are here to help you. In this article, we are offering you eight reasons to chase your dreams and pursue a career in dentistry.

Table of Contents

8 Reasons To Consider A Career In Dentistry

1. Oral health is a priority

According to a survey, nearly two-thirds of individuals in the United States said their current health priority is their oral health. As a health-related priority, oral health was ranked higher than mental health, exercise, and diet.

oral health priority chart
Source: statista.com

If you've ever had a toothache, a cavity, or any other dental emergency, you know that finding a competent dentist is important not just for your health, but also for your comfort and confidence.

More and more people every year prefer a regular dental checkup just like any other routine checkup to avoid painful dental issues. The proactive and preventive approaches to deal with patients have made people more aware of the importance of oral health.

2. Putting back the smile on people’s face

Dentists have a notorious reputation for alleviating sufferings in exchange for discomfort and pain. Patients’ pain is not their goal rather a part of their work.

While dental pain is one of the most excruciating experiences to go through, dentists try to relieve patients' suffering by treating problems.

Dental medicine has come a long way in the 21st century and works in many ways other than giving people relief from pain. We should indeed accept ourselves the way we are but at times our teeth get in a bad state due to our own habits.

Eating too much chocolate, not brushing our teeth properly, or not extracting out the tooth at the right time can become the reason why we start hesitating to smile more often.

But, dentists are no less than magicians. They have the solution for every unique problem and can put the smile back. So if you become a dentist, you can actually help people laugh confidently.

girl smiling confidently
Image from Unsplash by Matheus Ferrero

The role dentists play in a person's makeover is by far one of the most satisfying aspects of dentistry. It's a great feeling to go out with confidence, especially if they've been hiding their teeth for years.

An increasing number of an adult is seeking orthodontic treatment because they want to be all in smiles with no fear. So, do you not want to help them?

3. Dentistry is not just about teeth

Dentists' work goes beyond giving people ease and fixing the teeth' alignment. Imagine someone met with a car accident that deformed their facial bones. Who they’ll go to? A qualified oral surgeon.

Maxillofacial trauma can cause damage to soft tissue, bruises, and fractures and can break bones, jaw, or cheekbones. These injuries can lead to permanent facial disfigurement. So, it’s not just check-ups and fillings.

You will get to work on the most important part of the human body, the face. The oral and maxillofacial surgeons receive highly specialized training which prepares them to handle the challenges related to fractures and damages.

So you have a lot of options to explore if you find interest in other aspects of dentistry. As mentioned earlier you can opt for being an Orthodontists who are expertise in braces and other devices to straighten teeth.

In the same way, you have the option to become a periodontist, endodontist, oral pathologist, or maxillofacial surgeon. So, there’s no way to think that choosing to study dentistry you’ll narrow down your career path. Rather, you’ll open up the door to a diversified field.

4. Be your own boss

If you've ever dreamed of being your own boss and want to work in medicine, dentistry provides a variety of flexible choices. When you graduate from dental school, you have a lot of options for where you want to work. You have the option of joining a practice or pursuing your business dreams and opening your own clinic.

Dentists can operate in either private clinics that serve persons with personal health insurance or go for public practices that are sponsored or subsidized. As the services are expensive, not all countries can include them in national health services.

It is important to have time for family while you make a comfortable living. Being a dentist you will have that. It is the kind of skill that no one can take away from you and you will always have work to do.

5. Balance the ratio of dentist to population

There were 61.04 dentists per 100,000 people in the United States in 2020. And about only one in five professionally active dentists reported that their practice, research, or administration area is an ADA recognized specialty.

So, you can already have the idea that how much the imbalanced ratio demands skilled dentists. Dentistry was named one of the best jobs in the U.S. News & World Report's "100 Best Jobs" list for the eighth year in a row.

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment growth will be 7.6%, resulting in 10,400 additional dental positions by 2028. The need for new dentists is rapidly increasing so you are going to have a promising career.

6. More interaction with people

A normal day in the life of a dentist is diverse and intriguing, as they deal with individuals of various ages, personalities, and cultures.

Dentists use the newest technology in diagnosing and treating patients, from computers to magnetic resonance imaging and more, so no two days are ever the same.

A dentist develops great interpersonal skills while working with different people. Whether it’s dealing with kids or adults, dentists have a wittier way to keep patients distracted as much as possible. Overall if you are a fun-loving person, you’ll be a good fit for it.

7. Contribute to the future of oral health care

Dentistry is frequently referred to be a form of art. It necessitates a level of skill and technique that is unique to the field. Dentistry is primarily concerned with preserving good oral health, but it also focuses on the capacity building of everyone practicing.

In addition to clinical practice, dentists may play an important role in shaping the future of oral health care by contributing to dental education and research. By establishing themselves as faculty members, dental educators have the potential to alter the dental school curriculum and the professional function of the dentist.

dental props
Image from Unsplash by Jonathan Borba

As a dental researcher, the dentist combines the latest technology with cutting-edge scientific discoveries. It improves the profession by identifying novel oral health phenomenon or finding solutions to a variety of oral health problems.

8. Earn a lucrative salary

Although you shouldn't pursue it only for the money, a dental career pays well everywhere in the world, and you'll be able to make a good living. Dentists in the United States earned an average salary of $158,000 per year, or approximately $76 per hour, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

In comparison to other professions, your working hour will be less but you will earn an hourly wage two and a half times more than average.

Dental wages provide a pleasant standard of living for all over the world. Dentists earn substantially above-average incomes in most nations, and they may choose where they live and work in some situations.

Even though dentistry is one of the best-paid professions in many nations, some dentists opt to relocate to countries where incomes are even greater. Ireland, for example, pays a greater salary to dentists than the United Kingdom, and some UK-trained dentists opt to practice in Ireland.

Before preparing to move, prospective dentists who want to live and operate outside of their home country should research the language and license requirements of other countries.

Final Word

The reasons for wanting to be a dentist are as diverse as the people who want to be dentists, but one thing that all dentists have in common is a genuine desire to help people.

Looking for great resources to help you crush the PAT section? Get started with PATcrusher today!

DAT Study Tips - The Guide to a Perfect 30

boy reading book sitting on chair

­­­Are you sitting for the Dental Admission Test (DAT) this year? Are you a little confused about how to prepare for it? Worry not, because this article discusses a few tips for studying for the DAT 2021.

Strategies for studying

DON’T CRAM! This is something I cannot emphasize enough. When you cram and pull all-nighters, you feel like you are retaining and learning a lot of information, but this is fleeting. Instead, you will find yourself forgetting vital information during a very crucial time in your exam. The only thing cramming successfully does is overload your brain and cause anxiety as you try to fit an entire course’s worth of studying into a night or two. When you are cramming, you become more concerned about finishing your syllabus and how much you are studying instead of what you are studying.

Therefore it is a good idea to learn your study materials by breaking it up into smaller portions. Try studying consistently, and regularly over a longer period of time.

Sit for mocks frequently. There are two main advantages of frequently taking mock tests. The first is the fact that you are automatically revising and touching up on material you have previously studied. The second being the fact that mocks are a great way to gauge your progress. Good performance in your mock tests is an indication that the studying strategies you are currently using is working and you can continue as is. However, if you are earning subpar results in your mocks, then it might be time to reevaluate your strategy and proceed accordingly. Mock tests also have a habit of exposing your weaknesses. So, use your mock test results as a bearing to figure out which sections require more focus and time.

Choosing a Study Plan

Your study plan has to be specially catered to meet your need. Everyone’s study plans differ from each other because it entirely depends on the person’s learning habits, situation, weaknesses, strengths, and routines.

Different people study and prepare for exams differently. While some may prefer self-study, others seek help from professionals and veterans who have already given the exam. If you are someone who prefers self-studying, enrolling in a test preparation course is a good idea. Test preparation courses have a positive and negative side. The positive side is that it creates the illusion of a class-like structure compelling you to study. A drawback of test preparation courses is that you will be stuck with their material for better or worse and they usually cost a pretty penny. Therefore, it is up to you do figure out which study plan best works for you.

An important tip in the list of tips for studying for the DAT 2021 is that you must choose your study plan wisely. A good example to a study plan is featured on DAT prep and will help you to get started.

Time management

Time management is key to acing the DAT. Time management is also crucial in successfully preparing for the DAT. Therefore, make a study schedule and then stick to it!

Prepare for the DAT like it is your full-time job. This means putting in at least 40 hours of study time each week. This adds up to about a total of 200 to 250 hours of study time, which should be more than enough to effectively prepare for the DAT.

6 to 8 weeks is the recommended prep time for the DAT. So, register for the test with this timeline in mind.

Study Efficiently

Create a schedule and stick to it.

Creating a good, functional study schedule is imperative for your preparation process. Here is an article on how to create a good study schedule.

The human attention span is notoriously short and as mentioned before, cramming is never a good idea. Therefore when creating your DAT study schedule, try breaking up the syllabus into little portions and span your entire prep schedule over the course of a couple of weeks (roughly 6-8 weeks).

The recommended total preparation time is about 200-250 hours, which means you should roughly 36 to 40 hours a week. Putting in 3 to 4 hours of study time a day is optimal. Further break down these 3 to 4 hours of daily study time into shorter study sessions, each lasting for about 40-50 minutes. Really focus on what you are studying during the study session. You can download apps such as Forest and Focus to make sure you aren’t distracted by notifications popping up on your phone.

Take a 10-15 minute long break after each study session. These breaks are equally important because they help rejuvenate your brain allowing you to retain information better. Avoid looking at social media during your breaks. Instead, go on walks and get some fresh air. Stretch your legs and rest your eyes for a bit, you will feel a lot better.

Make sure that your breaks are no longer than 15 minutes at a time. Taking frequents breaks that last longer than 15 minutes threatens your concentration and can destroy your study flow. However, if you do want to take breaks that are longer than 15 minutes, try fitting in about 2 or 3 study sessions (each lasting for about 40-50 minutes) beforehand.


The environment you study plays an important role in how well you study and prepare for your exam. Make sure you have a dedicated study corner that is comfortable and is equipped with proper lighting (this is to avoid eye strain). But, avoid studying on your bed, because while you should be comfortable in your study space, you shouldn’t fall asleep.

Some students prefer studying in a quiet, secluded place like home, while others prefer a coffee shop or even the library. Go wherever you feel most comfortable and be in whatever environment that makes you the most productive.

Sometimes a change of scenery goes a long way. So, don’t be afraid to change up your study spot every once in a while and amp up your productivity.

Study Material

Use diverse material to prepare for the DAT.

Make interactive notes that summarize the content covered in various sections of the DAT syllabus. You can create flashcards to remember small facts easily.

Some students prefer studying alone, while others study better in groups. In case you prefer the latter, go ahead and connect with other pre-dental students who are also going to be sitting for the DAT very soon and create study groups to study with them.

Study out loud, sit for mocks, discuss with your friends. Do whatever you feel is best for you. Try and allocate more time to the sections you are weak at.

In the end, always remember that consistency is key. So, practice, practice then practice some more. I hope these tips for studying for the DAT 2021 will come in handy when you implement them in real life. Prepare with dedication and patience and you will find yourself acing the DAT with flying colors.

DAT Study Tips to Score a perfect 30

DAT study tips

Studying for an important exam is an intimidating process. The preparation process for the Dental Admission Test (DAT) is even more so. We usually have to learn a lot of things in a very limited amount of time. Accomplishing this can sometimes be very chaotic. So, to help you along, here are DAT study tips to score a perfect 30. Dont Forget to Sign up for DATPrep to get access to free Practice exams and help with studying for the DAT.

#1 Study like it's your full-time job

Your main and only focus should be your preparation for the DAT. Design your study schedule depending on how much time you have left till the actual exam and how late you started preparing. Generally, it is suggested that you should put in 40 hours of study time a week to prepare for it successfully.

But keep in mind not to overwork yourself. Consistency is key. Study every day to maintain a steady flow and to ensure that you do not forget whatever you have studied in the past.

Take occasional breaks so that you can feel rejuvenated. One day per week as a break is ideally suggested.

#2 Be wary of distractions

This may sound very obvious, but the biggest hurdle to your exam preparations is your notoriously short attention span. Therefore, be wary of potential distraction. Keep your phone locked away during your study sessions. Download apps such as Forest, Focus, etc. that help increase focus by locking away distracting sites on your phone. Study in a quiet secluded place away from the commotion of other people such as family, friends, neighbors, or roommates. You may give your family, friends, and roommates copies of your study schedule and ask them not to bother you within that time.

Studying can be a mentally taxing process, so as time goes by, these distractions become even more tempting as escape routes. The instant you lose focus due to one of these distractions, you also lose the time it takes to return to the level of concentration you just had.

Therefore, stay away from potential distractions and study with single-minded focus.

#3 Change study locations

Sitting at your desk for hours and staring at study materials can quickly become monotonous. So, change up your study location. Go to the library or find a quiet corner in a coffee shop. Many studies suggest that the change of location can amp up our productivity.

Moreover, you will not be alone in the actual exam hall, so studying in public places such as libraries and coffee shops will help you learn how to ignore others and continue your work unbothered.

#4 Sit for Mock exams

Go all the way with your prep. Try and recreate the exam conditions as closely as possible, sit for mock exams, and make sure to time yourself.

Giving practice tests in a library or a computer café is, therefore, a good idea. Turn off your music, television, and phone. However, the DAT is a very long exam, so keep that in mind if you do sit for a practice test in a public place. You should closely recreate exam conditions to give yourself enough time to adjust to them. Study at the same time of day as your official test, especially on the same day of the week. This will help you acclimatize to the idea of giving the test at that time of the day.

These were a few mentionable DAT study tips to score a perfect 30. However, remember that the most important thing is to practice because practice makes permanent.

Best DAT Study Schedule (Study Smarter, The Right Way)

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With any sort of exam “start early” is something that is mentioned over and over again. This is so that we have an ample amount of time to properly study our exam materials and have surplus time to review it all. Early preparation is recommended for the DAT too. However, sometimes due to unforeseen and unavoidable circumstances, we are unable to start our prep for exams early. And then we realize that we have an important exam coming up in a few weeks and not nearly enough time to comfortably revise. In these situations, we need to make the most of whatever available time we have left. But the process of organizing your study schedule can sometimes be an overwhelming process. Which is why this article exists. This article describes the DAT study schedule for three different lengths of the preparatory period- 12- 15 weeks, 8-week, and 1 month.

How to prepare for the DAT with a time crunch

Here are a few things that you should consider and perform as part of your preparation for the DAT regardless of how much time you have before the exam.

  1. Treat your preparation for the dot as a full-time job this means try putting in at least 40 hours of studying per week. While this is the recommended studying time do not overwhelm yourself by overworking. Consistency is key. You might not want to study for eight hours on a particular day but want to study more than 8 hours on another day then do that. The idea is to study every day, to stay in touch so that you don't forget the previous material nor do you deter from your study flow.
  2. Before you jump in and start studying, or before you start creating your DAT study schedule go over the syllabus. Then mark the chapters that you think require more of your attention and mark the chapters that you find relatively easy. When preparing your study schedule be sure to complete the more difficult chapters and topics early on and leave the easier ones for later.
  3. Picking the right study materials is crucial. If you try and study everything you will be overwhelmed regardless of how much time you have to prepare. Therefore, it is imperative that you go over the contents of each available DAT preparation review material and choose the correct one for you. If need be contact someone who already sat for the DAT or consult any of the many websites dedicated to DAT prep.
  4. While studying one topic at a time may seem like a very organized approach to revision it can often be counterproductive. Studying one topic at a time can be monotonous and can lead to boredom, which causes your brain to lag resulting in poor information retention. So create your DAT study schedule in such a way that it covers all the subjects in an equally distributed pattern.
  5. Practice, practice, then practice some more. You should practice questions every day. You will learn more from questions that you get wrong than from questions that you are able to answer correctly. Practice will help you understand and learn how to approach a question, it will improve your time management and most importantly it will teach you what not to do. It is suggested that you take at least three full-length practice tests before the actual exam.
  6. Falling sick before your big exam is a huge concern for many candidates. Therefore, it is crucial that you take care of your body and your health. Drink lots of water, and maintain a well-balanced diet. Also, try to get at least eight hours of sleep every day.

The DAT study schedule

DAT study schedule

As mentioned above this article gives you the general guidelines for creating a study schedule over three different lengths of preparatory periods.

Conquer the DAT in a month!

Normally a candidate sitting for that exam prepares for over 200 hours. However if for some reason you only have a month to prepare for the DAT, fear not! Preparing for the DAT in a month can be very difficult but it is not impossible. Especially if you already have a strong base in math And are willing to study dedicatedly for a significant amount of time every week.

So here is a weekly guideline you can use to prepare for the DAT in a month.


  1. Perceptual ability: there are six subsets for PAT. Learn what each subset involves.
  2. Biology: cell and molecular biology
  3. General chemistry: atomic and molecular structure, periodic trends, and stoichiometry
  4. Organic chemistry: nomenclature, stereochemistry, aromaticity, and bonding
  5. Quantitative reasoning: numerical calculations, algebra, and conversions


·Dedicate 1 whole day this week to the following:

And then on the 6th-day practice a full-length test. Try recreating exam like conditions to help improve your time management and deal with the stress of exam conditions.


Start off this week by reviewing all that you have learned so far and by doing a survey of your progress thus far. See where you have improved and which topics and areas require more improvement. Then revise your study plan accordingly allocating more time and energy to those areas.

Dedicate one day of this week to each of the following:

On the 6th day take another full-length practice test and time yourself and then compare your test results from the previous week to see if you have improved.


The DAT study Schedule- 6-week study schedule

This six-week study schedule is based on how one dental student prepared for the DAT in six weeks. This study schedule requires you to put in about 50 hours of work every week for six weeks.

A few points to note-

Here is a weekly breakdown of how she had approached the DAT prep-

WEEK 1-2


WEEK 4-6

The DAT study Schedule- 12-15 weeks study schedule

This study schedule requires you to put in about 20 hours of work every week. This DAT study schedule especially helpful for candidates who are full-time students or have jobs and cannot dedicate all their time to DAT preparation.

Final thoughts

All the study schedule formats discussed here are just suggestions and guidelines. Use these to base your actual DAT schedule on. Everyone has different needs, different areas to focus on. Make sure your study schedule is specially tailored to cater to your needs.