Perceptual Ability Test

The Perceptual Ability Test (PAT) is designed to test your spatial visualization skills, especially your ability to interpret two-dimensional representations of three-dimensional objects.

These skills will be useful to you as a dentist as you construct a mental image of teeth from X-rays, deal with casts and fillings, etc. On the PAT, you'll have 60 minutes to answer a total of 90 questions divided into six categories, each consisting of 15 questions.


With keyhole questions, you are presented with a 3-D object and you must determine through which of five openings this object can pass. It can pass through the opening in any orientation, but it cannot be rotated.


This question type presents you with two projections of an object. You are expected to determine the third.

Angle Ranking

In angle ranking questions, you are presented with four angles, labled 1-4. You are required to rank the angles in increasing order.

Hole Punching

In this question type, a square piece of paper is folded one, two, or three times. Then, one or more holes are punched at specific locations. You are required to mentally unfold the paper and determine the locations of the holes.

Cube Counting

Cube counting questions present you with several stacks of cubes. Each stack is constructed by cementing together identical cubes. You are asked to imagine that the stack as a whole is painted on all sides except for the bottom. Then, you are asked to determine how many cubes have a particular number of sides painted.

Pattern Folding

In pattern folding questions, a flat pattern is presented and you are asked to select the 3-D figure into which it folds.

Try a sample question for the Perceptual Ability Test

In this question a flat pattern will be presented. This pattern is to be folded into a three dimensional figure. The correct figure is one of the four given at the right of the pattern. There is only one correct figure. The outside of the pattern is what is seen at the left.

Answer & Explanation:

The answer is C.

The different faces of the flat pattern form figure C when folded.