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Paying the price for the DAT

When I made the decision to pursue dental school, I knew that I would not only have to take one of the most difficult exams of my life, but also pay for it as well. The challenge of taking the DAT did not deter me, but the significant cost in order to achieve the success I wanted almost did. Through my initial research, I learned that taking the DAT alone was $415! I would also need to purchase several DAT study materials to prepare me for the exam. I realized I would need a job to cover the expenses and soon secured a supervisor position at a local beach.

Having the latest version of study materials was of great importance. This gave me confidence that I had the best information available. When I researched further into the supplies I would need, I understood that I was going to need multiple study tools. There is not one ultimate resource that will stand apart from the others. Some products are stronger in individual sections of the DAT compared to others. Many of these products are sold as subscriptions and your license to access them is limited from anywhere from three months to one year. I also acquired a separate resource purely for the quantitative reasoning section. I knew that this was going to be my most challenging section.

Many DAT resource providers offer practice exams. These can run from $30 to $120. I took several of these exams to aid me in my preparation. Many of the questions are samples from previous versions of the exam, however, they are still useful.

My expenses totaled roughly $820 for the DAT and preparation materials. With all of the products available, it’s important that you research your options. There is no set combination of materials that will work for everyone. Each source will benefit different learning styles. There is no shortage of resources available to you. I refrained from purchasing test prep courses that would have added to my total significantly. While I incurred significant expense, I earned a 22 AA on my DAT. In my opinion, the costs “paid off” as a wise investment. While the DAT comes with significant expenses, no matter how much money you spend or the materials that you secure, it’s hard work and dedication that will enable you to triumph over the DAT.

~Thomas Earl, Virginia Tech ’18, predental

Join predentals nationwide in celebrating ASDA DAT Week! During the week of April 17-21, ASDA will be promoting valuable webinars and resources to prepare students for the Dental Admission Test. Predentals that join ASDA during DAT Week will be eligible for prizes, including DAT resources. Check out this week’s webinars:

Study Methods for the Natural Sciences (DAT)

April 19, 2017 | 7:00 – 8:30 p.m. CDT | Register now

Dissecting the DAT

April 20, 2017 | 7:00 – 8:30 p.m. CDT | Register now

Free for members; $10 for non-members


Thomas Earl

Thomas Earl is a junior at Virginia Tech. He is a Human, Nutrition, Food, and Exercise major with a minor in military leadership. As a member of the Corps of Cadets, he is involved in the Army ROTC program. He is currently the treasurer for Virginia Tech's predental club.

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