What’s a good DAT score? What’s the average DAT score? When considering your DAT score goal, it’s always wise to look at average scores at the schools to which you’re applying. For starters, though, here is what you need to know about your DAT score:
The DAT is scored on a 1 to 30 scale. For each section of the test, the actual number of multiple-choice questions you answer correctly per section is your raw score. All multiple-choice questions are worth the same amount—one raw point—and there’s no penalty for incorrect answers. That means you should always fill in an answer for every question whether you have time to fully invest in that question or not. Never let time run out on any section without filling in an answer for every question.
Your raw scores will not appear on your score report. Instead, they are converted to yield your scaled scores, the ones that fall somewhere in that 1–30 range. These scaled scores are reported to schools as your DAT scores.
In addition to scaled scores for individual sections, schools are also provided a composite score, which is a scaled score that factors in your performance on all the sections. Your composite score is not merely an average of the scores from all the sections but rather an evaluation of your performance on the entire test.
Scores that will put you in the top 10% of all test takers
|SURVEY OF THE NATURAL SCIENCES||21+|
These scores will put you in a highly competitive place in admissions (top 25% of all test takers)
|SURVEY OF THE NATURAL SCIENCES||19-20|
These scores put you ahead of the pack (50%+), but won’t be as advantageous when applying to highly competitive programs
|SURVEY OF THE NATURAL SCIENCES||17-18|
These scores may be enough to get into a wide variety of dental schools, but will be below average compared to the testing population
|ACADEMIC AVERAGE||17 and below|
|SURVEY OF THE NATURAL SCIENCES||16 and below|
|BIOLOGY||16 and below|
|GENERAL CHEMISTRY||16 and below|
|ORGANIC CHEMISTRY||16 and below|
|QUANTITATIVE REASONING||14 and below|
|READING COMPREHENSION||18 and below|
|PERCEPTUAL ABILITY||17 and below|
What DAT score do I need?
For each administration, the average scaled scores are approximately 17 for each section; this equates to the 50th percentile. To be considered competitive, you’ll likely want to score above the 50th percentile. Especially competitive schools may want scores above the 70th percentile range. It’s important to check the scores for each individual school. One commonality is that most schools will consider scores that are evenly distributed across sections to be more favorable than a very high performance on one section offset by a very low performance on another section of the test. Performing consistently across the board is preferred.
Because all of your section scores factor into your cumulative score, maximizing your performance on every question is important. Just a few questions one way or the other can make a big difference in your scaled score. Make an extra effort to score well on a test section if you did poorly in a corresponding class; the best revenge for getting a C in chemistry class is acing the Chemistry section of the DAT!