The DAT at a Glance

Reading Comprehension

Reading Comprehension is the only question type that appears on all major standardized tests and the reason isn't too surprising. No matter what academic area you pursue, you have to make sense of dense, unfamiliar prose. Dentistry, of course, is no exception.

On the Reading Comprehension section, you'll have 60 minutes to address three passages, each with 16 to 17 corresponding questions (for a total of 50 questions). These long, dense excerpts are often filled with scientific jargon and technical explanations. Questions may ask you to identify the main idea or a detail, make an inference, or determine the function of a part of the passage.

The questions are designed to test your ability to retain information and ascertain the structure and purpose of the passage.

Try a sample question for DAT Reading Comprehension:

Read the passage and answer the following question.

Which of the following is not cited in the passage as evidence supporting the connection between cortisol and depression in women?

A. Cortisol has been shown to lead to the expression of genes which contribute to depression.
B. Half of depressed people have increased levels of cortisol.
C. The gland which secretes cortisol is often enlarged in depressed individuals.
D. The number of CRH secreting cells is sometimes increased in depressed people.
E. Estrogen acts to increase the amount of CRH in circulation.

Answer & Explanation:

The answer is A.

The passage never states that cortisol affects the genes which contribute to depression. It does discuss the role of estrogen in activating the genes that produce CRH. By using the language of the passage, this answer choice tempts you to believe it is cited in the passage. Don't be fooled. All of the other answer choices present information that is cited in the passage to support the connection between cortisol and depression in women.

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