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How to select DAT Study Materials?

How to select DAT Study Materials?

There are several DAT study materials and resources on the market.
This article will discuss what we recommend what to look for when purchasing study resources.

When planning for the DAT, it is important to consider what materials you will purchase. The resources you choose will directly influence your score, so it is imperative to select high-quality DAT resources. There are four must-have study aids to purchase:

  1. Subject Notes
  2. Video lectures
  3. Practice Questions
  4. Full Length Practice Tests

In this article, we will discuss the importance of each resource type and give recommendations on where to find them, including some free DAT practice tests!

📚 Subject Notes

Subject notes serve as a corner stone of content review. On the ADA’s DAT Guide there is a long list of materials that will be tested. Trying to find all the relevant information in textbooks or class notes is near impossible. However, having a well-structured and organized study guide will save you time and effort during the content review portion of studying. From these core study resources you can create your own notes or flashcards as you see fit. If you like creating flash cards, Anki is a great program to use while reviewing subject notes. Be sure to check out our article on using Anki to prepare for the DAT. Remember, having all tested material organized into digestible segments is invaluable.

🎥  Video Lectures

Video lectures serve the same purpose as subject notes; they present all the necessary information in an easy-to-understand format. Subject notes are for those who learn best reading while video lectures are best for auditory and visual learners. One huge benefit to videos are visual aids/animations. Many science and PAT concepts on the DAT are best explained in a dynamic, visual fashion. High quality video lectures provide these high yield visual aids to make complicated subjects easy to digest. In addition, video lectures are on demand resources; you can play them at anytime, anywhere, and at whatever speed works best for you. The flexibility and efficiency of video lectures are a must when preparing for the DAT.

✏️ Practice Questions

After learning the material during the content review portion of studying, it is important to test your knowledge retention via practice problems. These practice problems will reveal what information you have retained and what information needs more attention. Once you know what material didn’t stick from your content review, you can put more time into that subject.

When it comes to choosing practice questions, you want a wide variety of problems that are independent from full-length tests and that come from various sources. Having these separate problem sets will give you more freedom regarding the parameters of how you complete them. For example, you can complete the problems timed or un-timed, focus on a specific subject, or focus on a specific topic within a subject. This freedom allows for customization of your day-to-day studies in accordance with your needs. In addition, practice problems from multiple sources will protect you from any question construction bias a single source might have.

⌛ Timed, Full-Length Practice Tests

Timed, full-length practice tests are a must have in your study arsenal. These tests serve two main functions: (1) test your knowledge under time restrictions and (2) build test taking stamina.

Answering questions under a time restriction is hard. Time restrictions add pressure, and pressure often makes it difficult to recall information. Therefore, getting comfortable under testing conditions is a must for high performance. By taking full length tests, you can observe yourself under the actual time restraints and identify sections where time is hindering your performance. Once you have identified such sections, you can allocate more study time there. Overtime and after many full-length tests, you will become accustomed to the DAT’s time restrictions. This will make test day much easier.

In addition, full length practice test builds your mental stamina. The DAT is a long test, and to perform well you must sustain a high level of focus for several hours.  Much of this stamina will be built from the many hours you will study each day; however, it is important to practice the full five hours on a regular basis. With enough practice, the five hours begin to feel shorter and shorter. Eventually, the time will fly by. That is when you have built up the proper stamina to take the DAT.


Having these study resource will provide a strong foundation to score well on test day. Fortunately, DATBooster provides each of these resources in their subscription package (plus much more!). We recommend exploring the DATBooster site and testing the free content to see if the product is right for you. Lastly, while preparing for the DAT, be sure to utilize various study strategies such as Active Recall and Pomodoro Techniques to help accelerate your learning.

Once you choose your resources, hit the books hard and don’t look back! In case you aren’t quite sure how to begin preparing, be sure to check out our article on how to prepare for the DAT. Good luck studying!

Written by Davied Sanchez
UNC School of Dentistry

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