When dental programs look at your DAT scores, the first thing they look at is the Academic Average. The Academic Average is useful for admissions committees because it is a relative indicator of how well you performed overall on the DAT.
The Academic Average is calculated by taking the arithmetic average of your scores from the Biology, General Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, Quantitative Reasoning, and Reading Comprehension sections. This average is rounded to the nearest whole number. Your Perceptual Ability Test score IS NOT included in the Academic Average.
The average AA for acceptance is a score of 19-20, which is around the 85th percentile. Scores that are 20+ are competitive for most dental programs. To have a competitive Academic Average, aim for a score of 20+ with no individual section scores below 18. If you score an Academic Average of 17 or less, or have an individual section score that is 17 or less, it is a good idea to consider retaking the DAT.
Keep in mind that your DAT scores represent only a portion of your application, and it is possible to gain acceptance into many excellent programs with a well-rounded application. If you feel that your Academic Average is low but you have an otherwise excellent application, you may still have a good chance of being accepted.
To get a good idea of what scores are needed in each section to get the Academic Average you are hoping for, you can play around with the dynamic AA calculator below.
Academic Average Calculator
Enter your estimated scores into the calculator below and press the Calculate button to determine your academic average (AA).