Please note: Although described below, the Manual Dexterity Test is not currently being offered.
About The DAT
What is the Dental Aptitude Test (DAT)?
The DAT is a test that helps dental schools select first-year students.
The DAT consists of 4 components for the English test and 3 components for the French test. The English test consists of a Survey of Natural Sciences, a Perceptual Ability Test, a Reading Comprehension Test, and a Manual Dexterity Test. There is no Reading Comprehension Test on the French DAT. For more detail on the test components, see the DAT Candidate Guide.
Why do I need to take the DAT?
Most of the 10 Canadian dental schools require DAT scores as part of their admission requirements. Canadian DAT scores are also accepted by most American dental schools.
Where do I write the DAT?
The DAT is administered at Prometric test centres across Canada.
How many questions are on the DAT?
There are 210 questions on the English DAT, plus the Manual Dexterity Test. There are 160 questions on the French DAT (no reading comprehension test), plus the Manual Dexterity Test.
- The Survey of the Natural Sciences consists of 40 biology and 30 general chemistry questions.
- The Perceptual Ability Test consists of 90 questions.
- The Reading Comprehension Test (English only) consists of 50 questions.
What is the format of the DAT?
All DAT test questions are multiple choice, except for the Manual Dexterity Test.
How many times can I write the DAT?
Applicants are allowed to participate in the DAT Program an unlimited number of times. However, the eligibility requirement for multiple DAT attempts are as follows:
- During the period from March 14, 2022 to March 15, 2023 the DAT may only be written twice.
- After March 15, 2023, the DAT may only be written three times within a twelve-month period.
- After three attempts of the DAT, a candidate must provide proof of their continued application to dental school, and may only attempt the DAT one time per twelve-month period.
Only the results of the most recent attempt, and the total number of attempts, will be reported on your official DAT transcript. Applicants who want the results of a previous DAT test sent to one or more faculties of dentistry must make this request online.
Registering For The DAT
How do I register for the DAT?
You must register for the DAT online.
All registrations must be completed using the DAT website. Email or phone requests to register are not accepted and will not receive a response. It is your responsibility to register for the DAT through the website.
When do I register for the DAT?
You may register for the DAT at any time, but you should register many months before the dental schools need your DAT scores. When your registration is complete, you are eligible to write the DAT within a 6-month testing window. After you write the DAT, it can take up to four weeks for your scores to be made available. To ensure you are able to make a testing appointment that is convenient for you, you should register well in advance of when you intend to take the DAT.
What is the “eligibility window”?
A DAT registration gives you a 6-month window in which to write the DAT – this is the “eligibility window.” The eligibility email indicates when your 6-month eligibility window begins. You can book a test appointment anytime, but the appointment has to be within the eligibility window. If you do not write the DAT within the eligibility window, you forfeit the DAT registration fee, it is not transferable to another registration.
Can I email a registration request?
No. You must register for the DAT on the website.
I completed an online registration, but have yet to receive a confirmation email. What should I do?
An email confirming your DAT registration request is automatically sent to you from CDA immediately after your registration is processed. If you have not received your confirmation email by the end of the following day, check your spam filter to ensure the email was not blocked. Next, confirm with your credit card company that you were, in fact, billed for the test registration. If so, email the DAT Office at email@example.com to verify that your application has been processed.
When is my registration complete?
Within 3-4 business days after your registration, you will receive an email from CDA confirming your eligibility and indicating the beginning and end date of your testing window. With this email, you registration is complete, and you can book a testing appointment with Prometric.
I was billed twice for my online DAT registration. How do I get a refund?
CDA monitors online transactions and will provide a refund directly to the same credit card account.
What is my DAT ID number?
Your permanent DAT ID number is your unique ID number that must be used in all communication with the DAT Office. Your DAT ID number will be assigned to you when you register for the DAT.
Are standby or walk-in registrations permitted for the DAT?
There are absolutely no standbys or walk-ins permitted for the DAT.
Test Appointment Booking
Can I see what appointments are available before I register for the DAT?
Before you register for the DAT, you can visit the Prometric site and see what appointments are available for a regular-length test at the moment you check availability. If you will be applying for accommodation with an extended test time, all the appointments you see may not be available for a longer test. However, longer test times are anticipated and should be available. Since it takes a few days from registering to receiving your eligibility email to book a test, the appointments available may change.
To view appointment availability:
- Visit https://www.prometric.com/test-takers/search/cda-adc
- Select “Locate” from the left menu. On the following screens:
- Select “Canada” and the province (or “United States” and the state if you will write the CDA DAT from the United States)
- For Appointment Selection choose “Canadian Dental Aptitude Test”.
- For Test Centre Selection enter the city or postal code.
- Available test centres will appear. Click “Availability” to see available dates. Click an available date on the calendar to see available times on that date.
The guide says the English DAT is 3 hours, 50 minutes. Why does the appointment say 4 hours, 15 minutes?
The appointment time slots for the English DAT are 4 hours and 15 minutes. This is not the test time, it is the time Prometric reserves for the entire test session.
I was granted accommodation for time-and-a-half, how will Prometric know this?
The details of your eligibility, including any accommodations granted, are transmitted with your eligibility to Prometric. As you book your appointment it will indicate any accommodations. These will also be listed on your appointment confirmation email.
Why does the appointment confirmation email list the “American Dental Association”?
The appointment confirmation email you receive should note:
- Subject = Canadian Dental Aptitude Test, #0000000xxxxxxxxx
- Exam Code = CDAT Canadian Dental Aptitude Test
It also notes Program = American Dental Association. CDA uses the ADA relationship with Prometric for the administration of the Canadian DAT. Provided the subject and exam code are correct, the Canadian Dental Aptitude Test will be administered to you.
Test Rescheduling and Cancellation
Can I cancel and reschedule my test?
Yes, you can cancel and reschedule your test. You must reschedule at least 24 hours before your testing appointment, and you cannot reschedule on a weekend or holiday. For example, if your appointment is at noon on Monday, you must reschedule before noon on Friday. Rescheduling/cancellation fees apply – please see the DAT Candidate Guide. You can cancel a test appointment and reschedule on the Prometric website. The fees are collected by Prometric when you make the request.
How do I reschedule or cancel my testing appointment?
Reschedule or cancel your testing appointment at the Prometric website. Go to the CDA DAT page at the Prometric site at https://www.prometric.com/test-takers/search/cda-adc. Click Reschedule/Cancel on the left and follow the prompts.
You will be asked for your “Confirmation/Tracking Number”. This number was provided to you in the Prometric appointment confirmation email, it is not your DAT ID or your DAT Eligibility Number.
Follow the prompts to reschedule/cancel your testing appointment.
If I choose not to take the DAT, will my registration fee be refunded?
No. Once a registration is complete (you have recevied an eligibility email) fees are neither refundable nor transferable. You are required to complete a new registration and submit a fee for each exam.
How can I cancel my entire DAT registration?
DAT fees are not refundable nor transferable. To cancel your entire DAT after the registration deadline, simply do not book an appointment or show up for your DAT exam if you have an appointment booked. Note:
- There is no need to send an email to the DAT Office.
- Your record will be cancelled after the DAT Exam date.
- No information is sent to dental schools regarding your cancellation or your not showing up for the exam.
What are the DAT no show consequences?
DAT Fees are not refundable nor transferable. If you do not show up for your scheduled DAT (you do not attend), your record will be cancelled and no information or scores will be sent to dental schools. You do not need to send an email to the DAT office if you choose to not attend the exam. Please do not email the DAT Office the day of or before the test and expect a response.
If there are circumstances beyond my control that prevent me from taking the DAT, can I get a refund of my registration fee or transfer to another exam date?
If an emergency occurs on the day of a testing appointment that prevents you from completing the test, a written “Request for Relief” must be submitted to CDA. This request should include applicable documentation and must be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org within five business days of the appointment. See the DAT Candidate Guide for more information.
Changes to applicant contact information
My address has changed since I registered for the DAT. How can I update my address?
Send an email to email@example.com with your new address. Remember to refer to your DAT ID Number. No phone calls, please.
Please report a change of address as soon as possible after you move. If the change has not been reported to the DAT office before the registration deadline, please email it to us after your DAT exam date.
My name has changed (or needs to be corrected) since I registered for the DAT. Can you update it?
Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with your new or corrected name. Remember to refer to your DAT ID Number. You must fax or email supporting documents, such as a marriage certificate or a court document, that indicate the name change, to the attention of the Dental Aptitude Test Program. The fax number is 613-523-7736. No phone calls, please. The name change will be transmitted to the Prometric test centres, and the ID you present to write the test must match the new name.
When do I get my DAT scores?
Approximately four weeks after the DAT is written you will receive an email informing you that your scores are available for download from the website.
How do I send transcripts of my DAT scores to dental schools?
When you register for a DAT exam, up to 5 official transcripts of your DAT scores are included in the DAT registration fee (and 1 personal copy). During registration, you can choose to have official transcripts of your DAT scores sent to the schools of your choice.
How can I check to see which schools I selected to receive my DAT scores?
When registering for the DAT or requesting a DAT transcript, please print a copy of your confirmation page to ensure that you have a record of which schools you requested be sent a copy of your DAT scores.
Modifying Dental Schools On Your List To Receive Your DAT Scores
How can I cancel some or all the schools I chose to receive my DAT scores?
To cancel schools that you have selected to receive your DAT transcripts (scores), you must:
- Email the DAT Office (email@example.com) indicating which school or schools you no longer want to receive your DAT scores. There is no refund for cancellations.
- The subject heading of your email must be: school cancellation of scores.
- Allow ten days for processing your request.
Can I switch the list of the schools I have chosen to receive my DAT scores?
Switching school lists is not permitted. New schools must be added via the DAT website. There is a fee for each new school. See the fee section for more details.
I am not applying to dental school this academic year. Will I still be able to order the 5 transcripts included with registration fees at a later date?
No, your registration fee entitles you to select 5 schools at time of registration only. You can order transcripts later but additional fees apply.
The DAT registration fee includes one personal copy and up to 5 official transcripts of your DAT scores sent to dental schools of your choice. If during registration you do not know which schools you plan to apply to, or you are deferring application to dental school until another year, you can delay sending your DAT scores. However, there will then be an administration fee for each transcript you request. There is no deadline to when you can send your DAT scores to dental schools. See the Transcript Fees section for more information. For information about admission or transcript requirements, please contact dental schools directly.
There is no refund nor discount if you choose to not send a copy of your transcripts to any dental schools during registration.
Ordering DAT preparation material
Where can I order DAT study material?
How long will it take for my order to arrive?
DAT orders are shipped by Canada Post, with typical shipping times of 10 to 12 business days in Canada. Because shipping to the United States or outside of North America can take longer, we cannot guarantee delivery times for these orders.
If you have allowed a reasonable amount of time and your order has not yet arrived, email the DAT Office with your complete mailing address and your full name exactly as entered during your DAT Registration.
If my order is returned to CDA, will you send it again?
If your order is returned to CDA because of a delivery problem, you can request we send it again. The fee for this service is $10.
Does the DAT provide testing accommodations for individuals with disabilities?
Yes, please click here for more information.
I have more questions. Who do I contact?
Your questions can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. However, due to a high volume of questions, may take up to 14 business days to reply. Phone calls will not be returned.