Hero image background
BlogStudy Guides
13 February, 2024

How to Study for the Canadian DAT?

The Canadian Aptitude Test is required to get into most Canadian Dental Schools. In this article, we will review how to study for the Canadian DAT.
Storyteller Avatar
Booster Prep

Congratulations! 🎉 You’ve decided to apply to dental school and are getting ready to study for the Dental Aptitude Test (DAT). You’ve made an excellent decision because dentistry is a very rewarding career.

Now, what is the Canadian DAT? The Canadian DAT is a multiple-choice standardized test designed to assess a student’s aptitude for a career in dentistry. It is required for admission to all dental schools in Canada. Starting in 2022, the entire exam will be offered completely online, with each section being scored on a scale ranging from 1 to 30. The table below summarizes the format of the Canadian DAT. Please note that the Canadian DAT is a different exam than the American DAT. You can learn more about the differences between the Canadian and American DAT here.

Please Note – The difference between the Canadian DAT and the American DAT is that the Canadian exam does not have any Quantitative Reasoning or Organic Chemistry sections. 

How long should I study for the Canadian DAT?

This depends on your personal schedule and the number of commitments you have. For example, are you currently working a full-time job or are you taking a full course load? The Canadian DAT is administered all year round starting in 2022, so it’s important to plan ahead to determine the best time to take this exam.

The study timeline for the DAT varies greatly from person to person. Some need to study for 3-4 months, while others can do well with 2 weeks of studying. As a result, it comes down to your previous knowledge of the topics, your motivation, and your goals. Many sources recommend studying for 200-250 hours. This includes content review, taking practice tests, reviewing the practice tests, and studying any weak spots. Again, this varies depending on your comfort and knowledge of the topics covered.

When should I write the Canadian DAT?

Although you can take this test at any point in your life, most students write the Canadian DAT during the summer of their 2nd or 3rd year of university for a few reasons:

  1. You have completed the core biology and chemistry courses.
  2. Your knowledge of the biology and chemistry concepts is relatively fresh as you recently took the courses. Therefore, this will minimize the amount of content review you will have to do.
  3. If needed, you have time to rewrite the test before applying. This is especially important since most Canadian dental schools look at your MOST RECENT or BEST scores.
    It is important to note that this is just a recommendation. You can take the test at any point in your life and still do extraordinarily well – it all boils down to your motivations!

What resources should I use?

There are limited preparatory resources available for the Canadian DAT because most are tailored for the American DAT. Although they are both dental school admission tests, they vary significantly. The American DAT covers different topics, follows a different format, and is lengthier in comparison to the Canadian DAT. You can learn more about the differences between the Canadian vs American DAT here. If you are preparing for the American DAT, we recommend using DATBooster, as it’s widely used by most Americans preparing for the exam.

In Canada, the most popular and widely used resource to prepare for the Canadian DAT is DATCrusher. Unlike most DAT resources, DATCrusher has been created specifically for the Canadian DAT. The premium membership is the MOST representative resource for the Canadian DAT and is based on what has appeared on the Canadian DAT in the past. It includes 4000+ high-yield practice questions, unlimited PAT questions, in-depth soap carving videos, PAT generators, detailed solutions with built-in 3D models, and many more features. Additionally, PATBooster is also included in the DATCrusher premium membership.

Furthermore, it’s recommended to use DATCrusher’s detailed 8-week study schedule. It provides a flexible study timeline that will allow students to balance a full course load and prepare for the Canadian DAT. It has been proven highly effective by thousands of students and will help you ace the DAT. To help you stay motivated and work with fellow pre-dental students, you can join the Canadian DAT Study Group with 3000+ past members, including past test-takers.


With careful planning, the right resources, and a realistic timeline, you can master all of the content and write your DAT with true confidence. It may seem daunting now, but you are one step closer to achieving your goals and getting accepted into dental school.