How to Study for the DAT


This information can also be found on the student doctor network at:


* My motto is “study smarter not harder.” Basically that means quality over quantity. Make your study sessions count.
* Change study locations to keep things fresh and interesting.
* Study at least 5-10 hours a day. I like to subtract 1-2 hours from my gross study time due to breaks, talking, lunch, and other distractions to find my net study time which should be around 8-9 hours a day. Realize that "the more you put into the DATs the more you get out of it," guaranteed. Always picture your goal in your mind when things get difficult.
* Don’t always study in absolute silence since during the actual DAT there will be keyboard clicking from people typing essays and people walking in and out of the room.
* Practice on laminated sheets since this is what the real test uses. I was given 2 thick black dry erase makers (should have been fine tip) with 2 teal/green colored 8.5 x 11 checker board (like graph paper) laminated sheets, and a large dry eraser.
* Do PROBLEMS. The test is problems, not your ability to memorize or read things. You learn the most from testing yourself and doing lots of problems. Most importantly is to learn from your mistakes and understand the overall concepts so that you can do any type of problem.
* Eat properly and sleep well, you can’t learn if you don’t take care of your body.
* Strongly avoid taking classes, working, or doing extra circulars while studying in order to put your full focus and effort into studying and doing well.

How to Learn

* Use reasoning and critical thinking to understand a concept or problem. This way you can always reason through to the correct answer, especially during the test.
* Use mnemonics when necessary by searching for them on the internet or making your own.
* Use associations between what you already know and what your trying to learn.

Time Line: Assuming 10 weeks at 5-10 hours per day.

Modify the time line to your needs.

* Week 1
o Read entire Kaplan Review Notes and Lesson Book
o Create O-Chem flashcards based on DAT Destroyer Road Maps (found in middle of O-Chem solutions) and Kaplan Review Notes. Don’t worry about random or “weird” reactions, simply the main ones that you should know.
o Begin to review Kaplan flash cards
* Week 2
o Do all of the Kaplan online workshops and take notes

* Study Partner

o Find 1-2 other people maximum to study with. Together you will motivate, support, and learn from one another.
o Share or split costs of DAT study material.

* DAT Information: ADA Dental Admission Test (DAT) Website

o DAT Examinee Guide
o Test Specifications

* Kaplan Online Resources: (The Kaplan classroom course is not necessary if you are sufficiently disciplined and motivated.)

o Kaplan Review Notes (Big Blue Book)
+ Overall good book, but biology section is not sufficient.
o Kaplan DAT Lesson Book (Think White Book)
+ Know everything in this book, since it is basic knowledge that is commonly tested.
o Kaplan Flash Cards
+ Basic information that you must know.

*(taken from Student Doctor Network)