How Long Should You Study For The DAT & When To Start?

If you want to study dental medicine, the DAT test is the first requirement for students who want to get admission. Like it is the case with many other areas in medicine, you will need some knowledge before starting college in this area. Therefore, it can be easier if you learn more about it in high school. The test is quite complex, and you will need time and effort to pass it.

The first step is to get DAT exam prep books. Also, it is important to determine the right moment when you will start learning so you can prepare in the right way. We are going to analyze more about that in the following article.

Start On Time


Different factors can affect your learning and preparation process. For example, if you are dealing with the final exams in college, or you want to deal with this test right after high school, it can be more challenging since you will have to prepare for multiple tests simultaneously.

Therefore, the crucial part is to determine the right moment when you will start to prepare.  Some of the best options are to start during the semester, during the break between two semesters, or after graduating and finding your first job.

Moreover, keep in mind that it won’t be so simple to prepare and secure a good grade on this test. It depends on your previous skills and education. The point is to find the right materials and learn more about them. The average time when you should start learning at least the basics is six months before the test.

That will give you enough time to get through all details and improve your chance of getting good results. You can choose some additional lectures that are not essential for the test, but you will face them in dental school, such as physiology, microbiology, general biology, chemistry, and more.

If you are interested in starting to prepare for this test during the semester, keep in mind that having a good plan will be essential. As we already mentioned, it can be a challenging period since you will have to prepare for some other tests as well, especially when it comes to final exams.

That will make it harder to learn for DAT with the right efficiency. However, there is a way for that if you start on time. You semester will start in January or February, which means that there is a lot of time left before summer, when you will have to pass your exams and DAT as well.


When you compare the amount of lectures with the time you have, it seems like you could achieve both things without much struggle, but only if you follow the right strategy all the time. Therefore, you will have to spend at least two hours a day for learning for DAT, and the same amount of time must be reserved for your finals. Also, it is a good solution to schedule the DAT for right after the finals, one or two weeks at max.

If you start six months before the test, not only that you will achieve to learn all required lectures, but you will also feel more relaxed since you will have enough time to repeat a lot of lectures and make sure that you are familiar with all topics that could be on the test.

Another solution is to wait to finish the semester, and then schedule the test over summer. A lot of people are interested in this option since can be less demanding and struggling. Many students will find it difficult to prepare multiple lectures at once. It can be challenging to concentrate and focus on a particular subject when you have to deal with different areas.

If that is your case, you can wait for the summer, and then apply for DAT. You will need around two months to prepare. That is more than enough considering that you are on a break. However, you will need to spend more time learning. Two hours a day might not be enough, but that depends on your capabilities and previous knowledge.

Apply While Working


If you missed the chance to apply for DAT during your studies or you decided to make a change in your career after college, there is still a chance to apply for DAT and complete it successfully even if you are working. However, be aware that this test can be very difficult and that it will need a lot of time and struggle to prepare.

People working regular jobs might be more frustrated when they have to study for hours after finishing their shifts. Therefore, a good strategy and approach are crucial. Again, starting on time is essential. Consider that having a regular job will make it more difficult to prepare, which means that you should start at least five months before the test.


The minimum is at least three months before the test. However, you will avoid a lot of stress and struggle if you start even earlier, around five or six months before the DAT schedule. There will be a lot of difficult lectures. Therefore, a good idea would be to meet someone who is also preparing for the same test and then study together.

There are numerous materials available online. Read a lot of about this area and even those lectures that won’t be on the test since that can be useful during dental studies. Also, we have to mention simulations. There are many examples of previous tests that will help you learn more about the structure and other details.

Ultimately, it is all about having a good plan that will involve regular studying of at least two hours per day. It will become a routine after some time. Also, do not focus on the practical part of dental medicine since it is not time for that yet. Focus on theory instead since that is the most important part of the test.