Killer Strategies To Ace The PAT

DAT might be hard to ace, but if you secure your marks in PAT, it will be a piece of cake for you. The DAT is divided into four subsections- The Survey of Natural Sciences, The Perceptual Ability, Reading Comprehension, and Quantitative Reasoning.

Students find the PAT part intimidating. They are bound to feel that. Because that part is scored separately from the other three parts of the DAT. Hence, it is essential to perform well in this part.

woman reading book
Photographer: Eliott Reyna | Source: Unsplash

The admission authority considers the average score and PAT score of an applicant.

Hence, this section of the DAT has a significant role to play in clearing the exam and getting into your dream dental school.

While many pre-dental find it intimidating, some students who have already cleared DAT claim it to be the easiest of all. In fact, they find it interesting.

Table Of Contents


  • PAT is the most interesting section of the DAT test.
  • Although it sounds complicated, it is actually the easiest part of the DAT.
  • There are three rules of thumb to ace the PAT: omission, time-management, practice.
  • The PAT is divided into 6 subsets. Each section has 15 questions.
  • You get 60 minutes to solve the 90 questions of PAT.
  • The 6 subsets are apertures (keyholes), view recognition (top/front/end), angle ranking, paper folding, cube counting, pattern folding.
  • With some simple tricks, it is a piece of cake to solve every question.

General Guidelines For The PAT

Here are some rules of thumb to ace the DAT-


In every question, you will be sure about at least one or two options that are definitely not the answer. Find and eliminate those in the first place. There is less confusion and fewer chances of being wrong when applying this trick. Besides, the trick saves a lot of time as well.

Time Management

Ensure that you finish the subsets without spending a great deal of time. Additionally, you should answer all the questions. For each question, you get 40 seconds on average. Hence, you cannot waste time. Not even a second.


This is probably the most common strategy. The only way to ace the PAT is to practice, practice, and practice. The more you practice, the more you get used to problem-solving. Moreover, the time management skill also improves.

Having said that, we strongly encourage you to subscribe to PATCrusher to get a huge source of problems to practice. They provide one of the best services for nailing PAT.


The Perceptual Ability Test includes 6 subtests. Each subset consists of 15 questions. Students have to answer a total of 90 questions in the PAT section. All the subtests have a particular objective.

The PAT is divided into 6 subsets, each containing 15 questions. That means there are 90 questions in total. Each subset is different in its objective. Here is we present a brief introduction of every subset presented in the PAT-

Apertures (Keyholes)

In this subset, you will see a 3D object consisting of an outline of 5 apertures of opening. The objective of this subset is to find the one aperture the 3D object can pass through. There will be a good view of the object and aperture drawn in scale.

Apertures Keyholes
Source: PATCrusher

View Recognition (Top/Front/End)

There will be pictures of solid objects. You will see top, front, and end views of all those. The images presented there will have two views of the object with four options as answers. You have to complete the missing view.

View Recognition Top/Front/End

Angle Ranking

There will be images of four angles. You have to rank them in ascending order.

Angle Ranking

Paper Folding

In this subtest, a piece of square-shaped paper will be folded several times. A hole will be punched in afterward. You have to identify the position of the holes. To solve the problems, you have to unfold the paper mentally and identify the position.

square shaped hole paper

Cube Counting

In this subtest, you have to observe several figures and identify the painted sides of that figure.

cube counting

Pattern Folding

You will have one choice to identify the ideal figure based on a flat pattern.

Pattern Folding

Tips & Tricks For The PAT

Let’s open some secrets to you that will help you score 90 out of 90 in PAT.

We will give you multiple tricks to apply. We encourage you to apply them all and choose the ones you love most if you have enough time.

However, if you don’t have enough time, choose only one of each and go with that.

Apertures (Keyholes)

The top/front/end method

This subset of the PAT is considered the hardest one by some students. But don’t worry. We have got your back. You can ace the part applying this single tip.

Visualize each object from three parts- front, top, and end. That’s it. That’s the trick. Visualizing every object from different objects.

However, to nail the part, you have to do a lot of practice and get familiar with different figures.

View Recognition (Top/Front/End)

Line counting method

The trick is to observe the object from three different views again and count the lines of each view. Afterward, visualize the answer with the counted answers and discriminate the wrong ones.

Top/Front/End method

The trick requires you to visualize every object from a 3D perspective and compare the view with every available answer to opt for the correct answer.

Angle Discrimination (Angle Ranking)

Laptop method

Imagine every angle as a “laptop.” Then choose the “laptop” that is easiest to shut at the smallest angle and the toughest one to shut at the largest angle.

Laser method

You can only apply this method when there are vertical and horizontal lines to compare. Choose any of them as a base for a laser. Then mentally visualize the laser from that line and the others. This trick makes it easier for you to rank the angles.

Circle method

This is a straightforward method. First, pick a height for every figure. Then draw a horizontal circle surrounding that height for every image. The largest circle will point to the largest angle. Similarly, the smallest circle will point to the smaller ones.

From a distance

Lay back at the chair and look at the angles from a larger distance than usual. This trick will allow you to eliminate all the wrong answers quickly. However, the trick is not efficient. Because if you miss one line, you are bound to make a mistake.

Paper folding (Hole Punches)

Tic-Tac-Toe method

Draw a 4x4 square and place a mark in the hole is punched in the paper. Then place the same mark in every square. When you unfold the paper, you will see a hole. This section is so easy that many students don’t apply any tricks. They just simply visualize the positions and identify the hole.

Cube counting

Cube counting method

You will ace the trick if you are organized and mindful. To ace, the subset, count the number of the painted sides of the cubes. Afterward, build a table and fill it with the numbers you got. There you go; you have your answers.

Just concentrate while counting and reading the question. It will do.

3D form development (Pattern Folding)

Side counting method

This one is similar to the above one. Concentrate more on the most giant shape of the pattern. Each figure contains numbers on its sides. Count them and compare them to the numbers appearing in the answer. However, the methods will not work for all problems.

Shape matching method

In this method, you can choose the most oversized shape of the pattern and compare it to the shapes of the available answers. This, too, will not work for every problem. But it will make the elimination process more effortless.


The time is limited to solve each part of the PAT. You get 60 minutes to solve the PAT, roughly 10 minutes for each subset.

However, 10 minutes is more than enough for sections like Paper Folding, Angle Discrimination, Cube Counting. They are a piece of cake if you have enough practice. You can use the extra time for the more complicated questions.

Bottom Line

You will need to prepare for the PAT using many more examples than the ones given here. You may be wondering where you get some practice and preparation needed to successfully ace the Perceptual Ability Test. Luckily, we have some great sources that we can recommend to help you with this.

PAT is easy only when you have a good practice. However, managing the resources of practice might be a big deal. That’s why we recommend PATCrusher.

Indeed, there are other services as well. But since PATCrusher is focused solely on PAT, it is more enriched than others. The competitive score will let you comprehend how ready you are for the PAT.

Moreover, the quality of content and the costs matter as well. Based on those factors, PATCrusher is by far the most efficient service to ace the PAT.

Get started for free to crush the PAT!

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