All inquiries concerning the utilization of the DAT test results in the admissions process should be directed to the individual faculties of dentistry. The DAT Office cannot supply you with this information.
It takes 8 weeks from the testing date for the DAT results to be processed and available for dental school distribution. In general, because of the significant number of applicants applying to dental schools, candidates are encouraged to participate in the November test session of the year preceding application to dental school(s).
Approximately three weeks following the DAT, you will receive an email indicating that a personal copy of your DAT transcript is available for download. This transcript is your personal copy and is not to be sent or taken to dental schools. It is highly recommended that you save and or make a copy of your transcript for any future reference. This free copy is available for download only for a period of 3 months after the test date, after which a fee will be charged should you require a personal copy of your transcript.
The results of the DAT are the property of CDA and may be used as part of a national validation study of the DAT. Individual test results will not be released without specific written authorization by the test subject. Test results are kept on file indefinitely.
Scoring of Examinations
DAT scores for the written portion of the test are based on the number of correct answers. There is no penalty for wrong answers.
The Manual Dexterity Test is evaluated in 4 areas. Each carved pattern is evaluated for:
- Pattern reproduction – completeness and accuracy
- Planes – flatness and smoothness
- Angles – sharpness and accuracy
- Sectional relationship – symmetry and orientation
For each of the four areas, a criterion-referenced 4–point (0–3) scale is used to grade each carved pattern.
A carving must be two-thirds complete to be graded, and the design must be two-thirds correct to be graded. A carving that is incomplete or is an incorrect pattern will be penalized.
The results are reported to dental schools in terms of standard scores rather than raw scores. Through the use of standard scores, it is possible to compare the performance of one candidate with the performance of all candidates. The standard scores used in the testing program range from 1 to 30. While there are no strict passing or failing scores, the standard score of 15 signifies average performance on a national basis. The standard score is based on the underlying ability distribution and can be interpreted as norm referenced or criterion referenced.
A detailed explanation of the test scores is forwarded to all candidates with the student copy of the official transcript.
Verification of DAT Scores
All written portions of the DAT exam are computer-graded. A candidate who has concerns about the accuracy of the reporting process for the written portion of the DAT, despite all the control mechanisms implemented by the DAT Program, may submit a request for an administrative verification of his or her scores. A candidate who is concerned about the mechanical scoring process itself may also submit a request to have the written portion of the DAT re-graded manually to verify the accuracy of the computer-generated score.
The carving score will be manually verified for clerical and recording accuracy. A grading committee of dental faculty members evaluates all carvings. In light of the extensive reviews that have already been done during the grading of the carvings, requests to re-grade carvings will not be considered.
A request for a review and verification of test results must be accompanied by the administration fees which are set out in the DAT Fees section. A request for a verification of test scores must be provided in writing to the DAT Office within 6 months of the date on which the candidate wrote the DAT.
Rewriting the Test
Applicants are allowed to participate in the DAT Program an unlimited number of times. However, only the results of the last attempt and the total number of attempts will be reported on the official DAT transcript. Applicants who want the results of a previous DAT sent to one or more faculties of dentistry must make such a request online.
Suggestions to Applicants
Applicants are advised to practise to improve their carving skill. The information provided in the DAT Preparation Kit should allow adequate preparation for the test.
Applicants who are not accepted by a dental school are urged to review their ability and type of previous training in order to determine, to their satisfaction, whether they should continue planning on a career in dentistry, or whether they should consider making plans to enter a different profession or vocation.
Applicants are encouraged to consult with the counsellors and guidance officers in the university or college they are attending to gain counselling that may reveal more appropriate occupational areas for consideration.