Taking the DAT as a Non-traditional Student (2023)

There are over201,927 dentistsin the United States.

Dental students are well aware of how important it is to do well on the DAT exam. The DAT is an entrance exam for pre-dental students to proceed to dental school. This exam covers a wide range of topics to test your knowledge and academic abilities before entering dental school.

While the DAT exam is challenging, it can be even more difficult for non-traditional students. This is because non-traditional students tend to be individuals returning to education. However, with the right advice and guidance, you can ace the DAT exam in no time.

Interested in learning more about the DAT exam? Read this helpful guide on how non-traditional students can ace the exam.

What Is the DAT Exam?

The DAT exam is astandardized testthat is designed to test your knowledge and aptitude. This test is designed specifically for pre-dental students who hope to proceed to dental school.

The Dental Admission Test acts as a gatekeeper to help dental schools find students that have the knowledge needed to do well in dental school.

The DAT is a standardized test that's administered by the American Dental Association (ADA). Since the test is designed and administered by a respected body, most dental schools in the country rely on it. This ensures that students passing the test have what it takes to proceed to dental school.

What's In the DAT Exam?

When you take a closer look at the DAT exam, you'll notice that it covers a wide range of topics. These topics are related to the field of dentistry but also cover the wider scope of science. This ensures that every student has a good foundation to work from.

There are four main sections within theDAT exam. This is the Survey of the Natural Sciences, Perceptual Ability Test, Reading Comprehension, and Quantitative Reasoning. This covers a wide range of content but also tests your abilities and critical thinking skills.

(Video) sharing my stats as a non-traditional dental school applicant, accepted to 6 dental schools!

The Natural Science aspect tests your knowledge of biology, general chemistry, and organic chemistry. The Perceptual Ability test assesses your spatial perception and your ability to manipulate objects mentally. This is a key skill that all dentists need to have.

The Reading Comprehension section is there to test your language ability and critical thinking skills. Lastly, the Quantitative Reasoning section includes math skills, algebra, and geometry. This is mainly to test your problem-solving skills.

How Scoring Works

When it comes to the DAT exam, it's important to understand how the scoring works. Each section can range from 1 to 30 points for a total of 120 points for the entire exam. The average score is around17 to 18.

A good score is around 22. This kind of score will place you in the top 25% of all students that take the test. However, you want to get into the top 10% for the best chance of securing a spot at the top dental schools in the country.

For the best chance of making it into dental school, you want to get the best score possible. This can be done through hard work and having the right tools along the way. This includes study guides, tutoring services, and even study groups with other students.

Benefits of the DAT Exam?

The DAT exam is a standardized test that's administered by a recognized authority in the dental industry. This means that all the top dental schools in the country trust the test. In this way, you can use the same test when you apply to multiple dental schools.

If you're applying to dental schools, it's only natural for you to apply at multiple schools. It would be an absolute headache if all the schools you applied to asked you to do individual entrance exams. In that case, you'd spend years studying completing dozens of exams.

The standardized test makes it easy for students to pass and apply to multiple schools. This benefit extends to non-traditional students that may be returning to education. This is because the test is conducted by an outside authority that is not linked to any particular dental school.

This allows you to study and complete the test even if you have a busy schedule. This is ideal for people that are already working and want to get back into education toqualify as a dentist.

What Is a Non-Traditional Student?

A non-traditional student can be best described as an individual that does not look like a traditional college student. This could be due to a number of factors including their age, or social status.

(Video) NON TRADITIONAL JOURNEY TO DENTAL SCHOOL | I gave up too quickly make sure you don't!

Most college students are between the ages of 18 and 24. However, there's no age limit to how old you can be in college. This is why many people that are passed the age of 24 return to college to further their careers.

This is often seen with people that want to come back to get advanced degrees. If you completed college earlier but did not obtain a master's degree, it's common for you to return.

The same can be said for people that specialized in artisan careers and want to transition into a professional career path. This is often the case with dental apprentices that want to go back to college to become qualified dentists.

In this case, they would take the DAT exam and proceed to dental school.

Non-Traditional Student Challenges

There are a number of challenges that arise when it comes to non-traditional students. This is because non-traditional students are not in the same demographic as traditional students. Non-traditional students may have jobs, dependents, or even active careers that they are committed to.

This makes time management a massive challenge for them. In addition to this, they may not have the resources available to them since they have a family to support. This adds to the complexity of taking time off to study for the DAT exam.

While this does make the process difficult, it does not make it impossible. With the right resources and guidance, it's possible to ace the DAT exam and excelin dental school.

Studying for the Dental Admission Test

Studying for the Dental Admission Test is a massive undertaking. This is why it's so difficult for non-traditional students that don't have as much free time as normal students. However, it's not impossible.

It's important to embrace study groups, collaboration, and guided resources while you study. This will better your chances of doing well in the exam. In many ways, it's more important tostudy effectivelycompared to the total duration of your studying.

This is why it's important to learn how to study in the most efficient way possible. This makes the most of your time.

(Video) My Path to Dental School | As A Non Traditional Student

Best Study Tips for Non-Traditional Students

If you're a non-traditional student, studying for the DAT can be a challenge. However, it's possible to master the exam with the right guidance. Here's a quickguide on some of the best study tips for non-traditional students.

1. Set Clear Goals

Start by setting clear goals that you want to achieve. If you're targeting a specific score on your DAT exam, note it down. This will help you stay focused and motivated as you study.

2. Create a Study Schedule

Before you start studying, make sure to create a study schedule.This is a detailed schedule that will help you plan out your studies for the time leading up to your exam. In this way, you're always prepared and have more than enough time.

3. Stay Organized

It's important to stay organized as you study. This is vital in every aspect of your life and can help you stay focused on your goals.

4. Use Technology

Technology can help you in severalways. From getting answers to planning out your schedule, technology can make your life easier.

5. Invest In Study Guides

Study guides are specific study materials that are designed to help you study for your test. This is always a great investment to make as they can help you prepare for your exam. In some cases, these study guides will also include practice exams that you can use as you study.

6. Engage With Others

Engaging with others is key to understanding complex topics and subjects. Whether it's fellow students or lecturers, don't be shy to ask for help whenever you need it.

7. Prioritize Your Diet

Your diet is incredibly important to keep an eye on. Since you don't have lots of time, it's easy to resort to junk food. However, maintaining a healthy diet is essential to study in the most optimal way. Keep your brain and body happy so you can work at your best.

8. Find a Study Group

Finding a study group is essential. This allows you to learn from others that are also studying for the same exam. In this way, you can have discussions and share resources to help each other learn more effectively.

Frequently Asked Questions

Still have a few questions about the DAT exam? We've got you covered. Here's what you need to know about taking the DAT exam as a non-traditional student.

(Video) The NON-TRADITIONAL Pre-Dental Student

What Is the DAT Exam?

The DAT exam is an entrance exam for pre-dental students to gain access to dental school. This exam covers a wide range of topics that include physics, biology, organic chemistry, and quantitative thinking. In this way, you're fully tested before entering dental school.

This standardized test is used by many dental schools to prove competency. In this way, passing the test is key to gaining acceptance at dental school.

How Long Is the DAT Exam?

The DAT exam is a big exam that takes 4 and a half hours to complete. This entrance exam is done throughout the year at test centers around the United States. This makes it incredibly accessible to non-traditional students.

Is the DAT Exam Compulsory for Dental Schools?

The DAT exam is a standardized test that is used by many dental schools in the United States. The DAT exam covers a wide range of topics and is trusted by the best dental schools in the country.

However, some dental schools don't make it a requirement. This is why it's important to check whether it's a prerequisite before gaining acceptance to the dental school of your choice. In many cases, it's better to do the exam so that you can choose the dental school you want to go to.

What's the Best Studying Tip for the DAT Exam?

When it comes to studying for the DAT exam, the best tip is always to embrace study guides and study groups. This gives you the most resources to focus on your exam.

In this way, you have everything you need to ace your DAT exam in the blink of an eye. These resources are available online. In this way, you can access everything you need even if you have a busy schedule.

Can Non-Traditional Students Pass the DAT Exam?

The DAT exam is difficult and poses a challenge for traditional and non-traditional students. With the right guidance, you can ace the DAT exam even if you're a non-traditional student.

It's true that non-traditional students have more challenges to overcome. Despite this, you can master the content and pass the DAT exam in no time.

DAT Exam Prep for Dental Students

If you're a non-traditional student, you may find it difficult to prepare for the DAT exam. However, there are a few tips and strategies you can do to ensure that you achieve the best score possible. This includes investing in study guides and finding study groups to help you learn more effectively.

(Video) What Is A Non-Traditional Student? How to Know if You Are One

The DAT exam is an incredibly important part of becoming a dentist. This is why it's so important to prepare well in advance. However, the DAT Destroyer from Orgoman is ideal to help you ace your exam.

Click hereto learn more about the DAT Destroyer.


Taking the DAT as a Non-traditional Student? ›

This allows them to devote more time to weaker areas and practice tests, which can ultimately lead to a score higher on test day. For many non-traditional pre-dental students, their free time is just that: free.

What are the struggles of non-traditional students? ›

While non-traditional students are often highly resilient, you may experience low self-esteem, depression and/or anxiety. Feeling this way is a natural reaction to stress. There are ways you can engage in self-help to reduce your stress, including: Listening to music.

What is the advantage of being a non-traditional student? ›

Advantage: Problem solving skills

A nontraditional student advantage comes from solving problems on the job and in their careers. Nontraditional students have skills that younger students may not have. They better manage the stress that comes with unexpected situations and roadblocks.

What is considered a non-traditional graduate student? ›

THE NON-TRADITIONAL GRADUATE STUDENT is defined as an adult who is pursuing a higher degree part-time while working full-time, or one who returns to school full- or part-time after a significant break or interruption (starting a family, starting a career, switching careers, or serving in the military), while ...

What percentage of college students are non-traditional? ›

According to the NCES, about 73% of students enrolled in higher education fit into a broader definition of nontraditional student.

Why do non-traditional students dropout of college? ›

Lack of support plays a role in failure as well. Many students lack support in their personal, professional, or academic life. Low self-esteem leads many non-traditional students to give up and quit college.

What are 2 characteristics of a non traditional student? ›

These characteristics include older than typical age, part-time attendance, being independent of parents, working full time while enrolled, having dependents, being a single parent, and being a recipient of a GED or high school completion certificate.

What do you call non-traditional students? ›

Enrollment patterns: When and how you enroll at a college can determine whether you're a traditional or nontraditional student. Those who enroll one or more years after graduating high school or those who attend college on a part-time basis are considered nontraditional by NCES.

What are 3 disadvantages of having a non-traditional career? ›

Additionally, nontraditional occupations may pose a few challenges.
  • Societal and internal challenges. ...
  • Lack of career mentors and sense of isolation in the workplace. ...
  • Negative feelings from coworkers.

What is a challenge that nontraditional students face when attending college? ›

Many non-traditional students attend classes part-time or at night because they work full-time. It is also often the case that these students rely on a full-time job to make a living. In cases like this, balancing work commitments with finding the time to attend classes, do homework, and study can be difficult.

What are the obstacles to success for the nontraditional student in higher education? ›

Feelings of isolation, inattention to nontraditional student needs, administrative inflexibility in special circumstances, and the lack of a nontraditional student organization and liaison were identified as obstacles that continue to persist for nontraditional students' academic success and engagement in their ...

Do medical schools like non traditional applicants? ›

All medical schools accept students with backgrounds considered nontraditional. However, some schools are more open to nontraditional applicants than others. For example, John Hopkins School of Medicine boasts a low 7% acceptance rate, but recent data shows that 14% of the matriculants were nontraditional applicants.

How do non traditional students afford college? ›

Nontraditional students should submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, FAFSA for short, just like younger students. Adult students are eligible for federal work-study, federal grants and loans. The FAFSA is the first step for students to receive any type of federal financial aid.

What demographic is the least college educated? ›

Asian Americans had the highest educational attainment of any race, followed by whites who had a higher percentage of high school graduates but a lower percentage of college graduates. Persons identifying as Hispanic or Latino, without regard to race, had the lowest educational attainment.

How are traditional students different from non-traditional students? ›

Traditional-aged college undergraduate students are typically between the ages of 18 and 23 years and pursue their college education immediately after graduating from high school. Nontraditional undergraduate students tend to be older than 24 years in age or have taken time off from pursuing higher education.

What are examples of non-traditional learning? ›

Non-traditional education is education that is offered in ways other than common daytime college classrooms. There are many versions of non-traditional education, such as college-prep education, evening courses, independent learning, online learning, residencies, cross-registration and one-on-one learning.


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