Perceptual Ability Test: Acing DAT Top Front End Section

Struggling with your dental college admissions? Well, the struggle is real. With 6 sub-sections to master, answering 90 questions in 60 minutes is no small feat. However, amongst the categories of Keyholes, Angle Ranking, Cube Counting, Pattern Folding and, Hole Punching, one of your worst nightmares is Top Front End.

gray and white click pen on white printer paper
Photographer: Nguyen Dang Hoang Nhu | Source: Unsplash

Before we progress any further, it must be noted, this article is only an introduction. All pointers mentioned here are just the tip of the iceberg meant to familiarize you with TFE questions. And some basic strategies to aid your preparation.

In case you are interested to learn more, head out to PATCrusher for extensive details, along with a 7-day free trial!

Table of Contents


  • The dental college acceptance test includes a perception ability test subdivided into 6 categories.
  • Among these, Top Front End Section is the most challenging part to ace.
  • The article explores the entire test in detail along with a few strategies to help clarify persisting questions.

What Consists Of The View Recognition/ Top Front End Section?

Alright, let's start with the basics. Each of the categories for PAT contains 15 questions. But if you want to ace the Top Front End section, you must allocate a maximum of 50 seconds per question. This way, you will require 12.5minutes to solve the entire section, perfecting the overall 90minute time symmetry.

However, this is easier said than done. Remember, your approach should be efficient: deriving fast yet accurate results. And to build the caliber you need complete dedication on aspect: Practice. The more you practice, the better your brain responds while solving the actual test.

Question Pattern

The Perceptual Ability Test designs Top-Front-End to present you with dual projections of a specific object. Your job is to determine how it would look from the third angle. Now, this third view can be any of the three choices: top, front, or end. Interestingly, the test draws upon your imagination to visualize the 2-D diagram in three dimensions. It all depends on how well you can paint the picture in your mind. Simultaneously, you will know the answer faster.

The Perceptual Ability Test designs Top-Front-End

In the picture above, you can view the 3-D object as is. However, for the examination, any one of the views will be missing. You will have to select the right image from the asked angle among the 4 given choices. Hence, you have to choose the option that completes the missing puzzle perfectly.

PAT Top Front End
Source: PAT Top Front End By Rudy Gerrard.

Tick tick, the show does not end here. The Top-Front-End projections are not just simple outlines. In fact, the objects are engraved with broken and solid lines to represent hidden and visible edges from both the given angles.


The hidden ends which are not visible when viewed straight on from the directed angle are sketched by broken or dotted lines. On the contrary, the edges visible when straight-on viewed are represented through solid lines.

Determining the Views: Top, Front, or End?

So, how do you identify the prospective views of any object? Simply put, the aerial or top view is generally depicted in the upper left-side corner. Imagine looking at the object from above. Hence, here the projection is downward, while the surface is viewed parallelly from the point of vision.

Coming to the front view, it is the first sight when you look at an object head-on, almost blocking the extended end of any material. Here the observatory projection appears on the lower left-hand corner.

Finally, the projected vision on the lower right-hand side shows the end view. You can also remember this as the boundary depicting the breadth of the object. The height of the object is observed from the front view. Even, the length can be easily measured from the top view, along with cross-sectional values. Picture it the way you want to retain the information best. But keep in mind, the views are consistently found in the same positions. In many cases, they will also be labeled for understanding. Hence, learn the determination process for yourself. This helps your mind grasp the entire image more easily.

The top view generally depicts no difference in depth or height. Rather, it only gives an idea that the object has a step or a form of depth. You cannot even compare the heights of the objects that well from above. However, this information is easily conveyable when observed from the front end. As aforementioned, in case the lower step is covered by the higher end, the dotted lines represent the presence of a step. Therefore, the shape is well-defined in terms of any extensions or depth the object may have. However, without disrupting the original view from the intended direction.

Why Do You Need Dual (Solid and Broken) Representation For PAT Top Front End?

In order to solve the most challenging questions, you must correctly interpret the function of solid and dotted lines. Indeed, in some instances, visualizing the 3D images from existing projections may become extremely difficult. Hence solidifying the basics. Focusing on the differentiation, identifying where the solid and broken lines can be present, form a finer grasp of visual.

Let us illustrate the situation with an easy example.

PAT Top View Front View End View

Here, you have been asked to identify the correct end view. The solid lines represent a small rectangle coming right up at us. However, the dotted lines clarify that there is something below the top level as well, hidden away. This is applicable for the front end as well. Hence, when looking for the final answer, you must keep both these aspects in mind for the given projections.

Consider the last three options now. All three are quite similar to the eye. And though they have a rectangular extension, none of these images portray a consistency to the front view. Thus, simply eliminate the choices, B, C, and D.And you have your answer!

PAT Series

Why A?

We need an object that is tall and corresponds to the end view. If you look at A carefully, it has an extension up, which we see from the solid rectangle on top. The extension on left corresponds perfectly with the solid rectangle on the front view. Finally, the tiny little rectangle fits in like customary design, hidden when viewed from the top and front sides. Hence, the dotted lines help you guide the correctness of the answer. Yes, in this case, the eliminating approach simplified the process, however, you may not always have such direct choices. This is why it is crucial to understand how the guidance that dual representations provide.

101 Hacks

A few simple tricks can actually make a significant difference to boost your game. And here we have covered a bunch of the most operative strategies to guide you on.

  1. All three quadrants can be joined to form a single representation.
  2. You can count the horizontal and vertical lines of the given projections with the given choices to identify the correct answer. This method is known as line counting. However, this is not a smart decision to rely on. Rather, you can opt for line matching, a more sophisticated version of line matching.
  3. Always start with the outer boundaries to derive the final 3-dimensional outcome.
  4. Try to identify anything unique about the provided projections and deduce from this hinge point.
  5. Continuously try to visualize what and how the missing feature would fit in with the given set of choices.
  6. Lastly, remember, holes that pass through solid lines in one view will always appear in dotted lines for the other given view.

For far better understanding and examples check out the entire tutorial by PATCrusher.

Ending Note

Yes, this section is difficult. Yes, it requires immense concentration and effort. However, it is not impossible to ace Top Front End. With proper guidance and consistent practice, you can beat the challenge easily. However, you must follow the recommendation to solve a minimum of 20 questions, regularly. This helps you build focus and gain a deeper insight into the realm of tricks and tips.

We certainly hope, this article could help you derive a basic outline for you to tread on further. But if you are actually looking to pursue a full-blown course, with a volume of practice tests, and other supporting resources, you can check out PATCrusher. You can simply use their PAT Top Front End Generators (TFE Generator) to provide your marathon practice runs. Get started with their free trial, which is all service included. And the best part? Even if you choose to upgrade, they have the best price in competition along with exciting features! Take that first step to your dreams, today.

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