If you are interested in going to dental school to become a practicing dentist, the first step in that journey requires that you take the Dental Admission Test (DAT). This test is designed to assess a candidate’s potential for success in dental school.
The DAT can be overwhelming for students considering the test covers a large amount of subject matter so it is imperative to plan ahead so you can score high and get accepted into a top-tier dental school.
Below we cover six tips to help you prepare for the DAT so that you can start your new career off on the right foot.
Prepare to hit the books
Since the DAT covers so much material and is so important to the future of your career, you should make sure you spend as much time as possible studying. If you are able, you should try to study for at least eight hours a day, every single day. Even if you can’t commit a full eight hours, try to do what you can so that you don’t end up skipping a day of your studies!
Skipping a day of studying can be hugely detrimental to the score you earn on your DAT. You forget information so much faster than you think, especially when studying so much over a short time. Even if you can only take an hour or two of your day to read over some textbooks or your other study materials, this is so much better than skipping a day!
Find practice questions online
One of your best resources for studying for the DAT is the internet. On the internet, you can find a lot of different practice questions and exams that can give you a feel for what the real DAT exam is like.
The best part about taking practice exams is that it can help you identify the areas where you need to spend the most time studying. If you notice that you are missing a lot of questions on a particular subject, you can pay extra attention to that subject while you are studying.
Also, remember while taking practice exams that the only score that matters is what you earn on the real exam! Do not get discouraged if you do not score well on practice questions and learn from the ones you missed.
Alternatively, you can always purchase a DAT prep course online to help you get ready for the exam. These prep courses streamline the studying process and provide a ton of fresh study materials for you to learn from.
Do not focus too much on one subject
While it may feel tempting to work through your notes and practice material subject by subject, this could end up being detrimental to the final score on your DAT. If you break your material into too many sections, it may be harder to recall information during the time of the actual test.
To avoid doing this, try to study a variety of topics every day. This keeps the information fresh in your mind and keeps you from getting stuck trying to master each subject.
Try to go in with a positive attitude
One of the most important parts of being successful on the DAT is the attitude you take the test with. If you go in feeling tired and anxious, you’ll likely find that you have trouble remembering the information you spent hours studying the day before! Make sure that you are well-rested and in a generally good mood when you take your test. It’s normal to be anxious but try not to let it cloud your judgment and get in the way of earning a high score on the DAT!
To help you stay in a good mood during your exam, you should try to get a good night’s rest the day before, and eat a good breakfast before you go in. You don’t want to get halfway through your exam and realize that you’re too hungry to even think about answering more questions!
Make a study plan
One way to guarantee that your time spent studying will be beneficial to your final score on the DAT is to make a study plan. You should first consult with your advisors or professors and identify your areas of weakness that you need to study. Creating an effective study plan based on your weaknesses will allow you to structure your studies to make sure you are spending your time wisely.
Once you’ve identified your areas of weakness, find study material online that can help with that specific subject. You should identify a timeline for what you need to study to make sure that you get everything done on time!
Don’t get overwhelmed with too many study materials
This whole guide has talked to you about finding materials online to help you study, but too much of a good thing can end up being bad overall. If you try to use every study material that you find, you’ll be trying to cover way more material than you can reasonably study before your exam. Identify a couple of good resources that cover the areas where you need to study most and try to stick with those for a while before branching out into other materials.
Once you feel that you’ve learned all you can from a resource, feel free to move on and find something that might be a bit more of a challenge. This can also help you save a bit of money too since study materials for the DAT can wind up getting expensive. If you stick to just a few resources, you’ll earn a high score on the DAT and save some money!
Preparing for the DAT can be extremely overwhelming. With so much material covered on the exam, and with so many different resources to study from online, it can be difficult to find an effective study plan that can help you earn a high score on your DAT.
The most important thing overall is that you stay persistent with your studies. Don’t get discouraged and work as much as you can right up until the day of your exam to keep the information you’ve learned fresh and at the front of your mind.