Whether you’re still preparing or just got your results back, many students wonder what is considered a good score on the DAT
The DAT is a brutally hard exam that has been kicking test takers butts since 1950. Meant to test the limits of your problem solving and critical thinking skills, some students actually find it harder than the MCAT. And since exam scores are used when comparing applicants side-by-side, you’ll definitely want to know what a good score is. We explore that topic and more in this detailed guide.
If you want to get into a decent dental school, you will need to get a good score on the DAT. The score that you see on your score report is based on a 1-30 scale.
An average score is 17-18, a good score is 20-21, and a very high score is anything above 22.
Your raw score for the DAT is the number of correctly answered questions per section. All of the multiple-choice questions are worth one raw point. You won’t get any penalties for incorrect answers so it is best to fill out the entire test, even if you end up guessing on some questions. The raw scores do not show up on your score report, but they are converted into the scaled scores that will fall within the 1-30 range.
Schools are given your 1-30 score, but they are also given your composite score. This is a scaled score that shows your overall performance. It is an evaluation of your performance on the test as a whole.
The schools you are applying for will take your numerical score and your composite score into account during their admissions evaluations. Achieving a high score on both increases your chances of getting into the dentals schools you have applied to.
What Is the Highest DAT Score Ever?
Many people compare getting a perfect score on the DAT to winning the lottery since the chances of getting a solid 30 is such an extremely rare occurrence. In fact, there has never been a candidate that has earned a 30 on their exam.
The highest DAT score is a 28AA (28 Academic Average), which was earned in the early 2000s. Since then, many people have come close, but so far nobody else has been able to beat that score or earn a perfect score.
Your best bet to earn a high score on the DAT is to spend plenty of time studying and preparing. I mean 150+ hours. You can look around online for practice tests that you can take to gauge where you are currently and you can use this information to make a plan for your studying and preparation for the test.
In addition to online practice tests, you can make flashcards, rewrite your notes, make study guides, and you can purchase prep books to help you with the reading comprehension section. When selecting the best prep books, take time to look at our list of Best DAT Prep Books here.
What Score Is Needed to Get into a Good Dental School?
For most institutions, you will need to score at least 18 to get into dental school. There are, of course, schools that will accept lower scores but if you want to get into a good school, you will need to strive to get a higher score.
To gain access to a more prestigious dental school or a specialty program at your school, then you will need to get an overall score of 21 or higher. Keep in mind though, that other factors may be considered in the admissions process, such as work experience and letters of recommendation.
The best way to ensure you will get an adequate score to get into your dream school is to make sure you spend sufficient time preparing for the exam. If you have a difficult time studying on your own, you might consider joining a study group or find a classmate to study with.
Online study guides and DAT practice tests will help you get a feel for what the actual DAT will be like, making it easier to feel like you’re prepared once your appointment rolls around.
How To Improve Your DAT Score
Whether you got a low practice test score or need to retake the exam, there are several things you can do to increase your score. Not everyone is a good test taker, and that is okay. You are allowed to take the DAT a total of three (3) times, so if the first time doesn’t go as well as you had hoped, you do still have a couple of opportunities to raise your final score.
The first thing you should do is take a look at where you struggled the most and where you excelled. If there were areas that you found particularly challenging, be sure to put extra focus on those subjects. The trick to improving your score is focusing on the problem areas rather than cramming in all of the information.
Once you figure out which areas you need help in, make some study guides or flashcards, depending on how you learn and study best. These are great tools that you can keep on hand to review anytime you have a bit of downtime.
In the waiting room at the doctor’s office, on the bus or train, while your dinner is in the oven. Frequent and short study sessions can be helpful because they don’t seem as daunting and overwhelming.
Another way you can improve your score is by taking a DAT prep course. Our team sees great value in these courses, as they provide you with excellent study materials, on demand video lessons, practice tests, outlines, strategy guides, and more.
The DAT is scored based on a scale, with scores falling in the range of 1-30. A “good” score is typically considered a 20 or higher. If you score 22+, you’re in very good shape. An average score is 17-18.
What Is the Highest DAT Score Ever?
The highest DAT score is a 28AA (28 Academic Average), which was earned in the early 2000s. Since then, many people have come close, but so far nobody else has been able to beat that score or earn a perfect score (30).
What DAT Score Is Needed to Get into a Good Dental School?
For most dental schools, you will need to score at least 18 or higher. There are, of course, schools that will accept lower scores, but if you want to get into a quality dental school, you will need to strive to get a higher score (18+).