One of the first steps to becoming a dentist is passing the Dental Admission Test (DAT). You’ll need to study hard to get a great DAT score, so below, we’ve put together a list of the best DAT prep books available. The best DAT prep books will include a self-paced course, online exams, questions with explanations, video explanations, and more.
The challenge is finding study material like DAT prep books that provide good practice questions, prep courses, interactive workshops, and detailed study notes. To ease your stress, we have outlined the most comprehensive DAT prep books to help you feel confident on exam day. You will also find other study companions, DAT prep sections, and even some free DAT prep books.
Should I Take the DAT?
Yes, you should take the DAT because your DAT score is a part of the dental school admissions process. Students are advised to take the DAT at least one year before they plan to apply to a top-tier dental school. Thousands of students who take this dental exam do so after their junior year of college. Dental students have a chance to retake the DAT once every 90 days and up to three times.
After you have passed the DAT, found a way to pay for dental school, and graduated, you must also take the National Board Dental Examination to become a licensed dentist in your state. But the DAT is the actual exam that brings your chances of becoming a dentist closer to reality.
Common DAT Sections You Need to Prepare For
- Natural sciences. This section comprises subjects like biology, general chemistry, and organic chemistry. Students will need to study those three subjects extensively.
- Perceptual ability. Students are given various tricky questions and must use their critical-thinking skills to provide valid solutions for them. This part consists of two- and three-dimension problem-solving questions. The perceptual ability section comprises 90 questions, and test-takers have 60 minutes to answer.
- Reading comprehension. The reading comprehension section involves questions about dentistry and basic sciences and has three pages of 16-17 questions in total. Test-takers have 60 minutes to answer these questions. This section also includes much scientific jargon and technical explanations.
- Quantitative reasoning. This section tests mathematical ability and problem-solving skills. The questions in the quantitative reasoning section deal with simple to difficult arithmetics. Test-takers have 45 minutes to answer 40 questions.
The 10 Best DAT Prep Books to Help You Get Ready
1. Sterling Test Prep DAT Biology Practice Questions
- Best for: Brushing up on biology with sample question types
Sterling Test Prep DAT Biology is one of the most innovative study books and has a huge selection of questions and answers to enhance your biology knowledge. Pre-dental students will find thousands of practice questions with concise explanations in this wonderful prep book. This prep book is the way to go to score high in the biology section of the DAT.
2. Kaplan DAT Self-Study Tool Kit 2022
- Best for: Those who need an all-over refresher in each DAT section
Kaplan has been around for more than 80 years, and its authors are not just experts in the dentistry field but professors as well. All the recent changes made regarding the DAT blueprint are incorporated in this package. The Kaplan Self-Study Tool Kit offers amazing test-taking strategies, exam tips on major topics, and realistic practice scenarios for pre-dental students.
3. Cracking the DAT
- Best for: Detailed explanations of DAT sections
Published by Princeton Review, Cracking the DAT offers users comprehensive coverage of math, biology and chemistry, perceptual ability, and more. Cracking the DAT has numerous examples, diagrams, and tables. Princeton Review has a reputation for more than 35 years of publishing DAT prep review books.
4. DAT Exam Study Guide Secrets
- Best for: Explanation and increased understanding of ADA terms
Published by Mometrix, the DAT Exam Study Guide Secrets is a great prep book for pre-dental students who want to pass the DAT with flying colors. This complete review offers practice tests, detailed examples, explanations, tips, and test-taking strategies. The procedures and principles required by the ADA are available within this comprehensive guide as well.
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5. Barron’s DAT
- Best for: Practice exams and general comprehensive review guide
This prep resource provides a guide for US and Canadian audiences, as well as a thorough review of all DAT advanced topics such as organic chemistry, biology, and quantitative reasoning. Students can access a full-length practice test and practice materials, including a mock DAT exam, and the results can be viewed via smartphones, computers, or tablets. It’s available for purchase on Amazon.
6. DAT Flashcard Study System
- Best for: Explaining DAT exam strategies
Mometrix’s DAT Flashcard Study System is packed with illustrations and examples and exposes a dental student to hundreds of practice questions. It also has study materials that include the critical data students need to pass the DAT. Students can find the DAT Flashcard Study System on Amazon or other online stores.
7. DAT General Chemistry Practice Questions
- Best for: General chemistry exam content review and practice questions
This book has a plethora of study materials to help ramp up general chemistry knowledge. Also, the Sterling DAT prep book has more than 15,000 additional practice test questions. Concise answers are also provided so pre-dental students can understand each question and potential wrong answers. This prep guide is available at many online stores.
8. The Gold Standard DAT Prep Book
- Best for: Organic chemistry with practical illustrations
This prep package provides test-takers with full-length practice tests and a comprehensive review guide of major DAT content areas, as well as hundreds of practice questions in areas like biology, general chemistry, and organic chemistry. The Gold Standard DAT Prep series is considered a comprehensive expert guide. The physical book and an e-version are available on Amazon.
9. DAT Study Guide 2021-2022
- Best for: Brushing up on biological sciences
This study plan contains easy-to-read summaries of questions and answers. This option for students is a comprehensive review guide of the most crucial parts of the actual exam. The older edition of this pre-book is the DAT Exam Study Guide Secrets. Like other invaluable resources and practice materials, this prep guide is available on Amazon.
10. Kaplan DAT Prep Plus 2022
- Best for: DAT test general studies
This prep material provides detailed content, test-taking strategies, and expert guidance on how to score high on the DAT. It includes several standardized tests and an updated comprehensive review that reflects the changes to the blueprint of DAT exams. It also offers two full-length practice tests and expert tips to aid students. The Kaplan DAT Prep Plus 2022 is available on Amazon.
Free DAT Books and Resources to Help You Get Ready
- Crash Course
- Craig Savage
- Feralis Notes
- Khan Academy
Best DAT Prep Books FAQ
Yes, it is possible to study for the DAT in one month and pass, but it would be very challenging to get a good average score. A good science and math foundation would be helpful. Also, devoting a significant amount of time each week to doing online tests and having a study schedule using DAT prep books, practice exams, and various online resources would be beneficial. This way, you can ensure that you include detailed answers for your test.
You should study your DAT prep books for at least 3 hours each day for four months, according to the American Dental Education Association (ADEA). However, a three-month study schedule of three hours per day for five days each week is also ideal. Some sources also recommend between 200 and 250 hours.
The DAT is hard because of the large variety of subjects it covers. It lasts just 4 hours and 15 minutes aside from the recommended breaks. However, a study schedule using the DAT prep books we’ve listed above will make the exam easier. Prep books offer detailed explanations of tons of practice questions to all DAT prep sections, and students can have online access to many materials on different websites.
You can retake the DAT three times unless the ADA grants special permission, according to the American Dental Association. A new application and fee will be required each time.
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