Advanced Dental Admission Test (ADAT)

The ADAT is for anyone interested in advanced dental education programs, post-graduate training, or advanced standing in pre-doctoral programs. Learn how to apply and prepare.
About ADAT

The Advanced Dental Admission Test (ADAT) is used by 400+ advanced dental education programs to assess applicants’ potential for success. The test takes 4.5 hours to complete and is offered at test centers throughout the U.S. and Canada.

ADAT Infographic

FAQ - Advanced Dental Admission Test (ADAT)

Who should take the ADAT?

Take the ADAT if you are a:

  • Third- or fourth-year dental student interested in post-graduate training (e.g., in a dental specialty area)
  • Practicing dentist interested in post-graduate training (e.g., in a dental specialty area)
  • International dental student applying to advanced dental education programs or advanced standing in pre-doctoral programs
What is included in the ADAT?

The ADAT consists of multiple-choice test questions presented in English, and includes a battery of three tests: 

  • Biomedical Sciences (80 items)
  • Clinical Sciences (80 stand-alone and case-based items)
  • Data, Research Interpretation, and Evidence-Based Dentistry (40 items)
How do I apply to take the ADAT?

Start by reading the official ADAT Guide, which explains:

  • How the exam is constructed and scored
  • How to prepare for the exam
  • Eligibility requirements
  • Fees and waivers
  • How to schedule, reschedule, or cancel testing
  • The ADAT Rules of Conduct

Once you have read the Guide, apply for the exam with your existing DENTPIN (the same DENTPIN you used to apply to dental school). You can also retrieve a lost DENTPIN.

After your application has been processed, you will receive an eligibility letter that permits you to schedule your testing appointment.  

Where do I take the ADAT?
The ADAT is offered at Pearson VUE Test Centers throughout the U.S. and Canada from March 1 – August 31, 2021. Once you have received your eligibility letter confirming that your test application has been accepted, you must contact Pearson VUE to secure an appointment. We recommend doing this at least 60 to 90 days before your desired test date, since schedules fill up. 

Visit the Pearson VUE site to find a testing site near you, see updated COVID-19 procedures, and schedule your test. 
Which programs accept ADAT?
More than 400 advanced dental programs require or accept ADAT scores. Consult the current ADAT Program List (PDF) to see how each program plans to use ADAT scores. If a program is not listed, they have not shared their intended ADAT use with the ADA. In that case, contact the program directly for more information. 

All programs have electronic access to ADAT scores. 
How do programs use the ADAT score?
Programs differ in how they choose to use the ADAT. Some supplement the scores with other information, while others only use ADAT results when required to break a tie between equally qualified candidates. Review the current Using the ADAT for Admission Purposes: A Guide for Advanced Dental Education Programs (PDF) for more information, including:
  • History of the ADAT
  • Evidence supporting the ADAT
  • Score scales and frequency distributions
Program administrators can also review earlier guides for Interpreting ADAT Results below:
Are there policies and procedures to support fairness in testing?

Yes. Fairness in testing is of vital importance, and is in fact fundamental to an examination’s validity. Fairness considerations are embedded throughout the ADAT program, affecting every aspect of how this examination is constructed, administered, scored, and reported.  The Fairness document provided below shares additional details of interest:

Policies and Procedures Supporting Fairness (PDF)

How do you protect my personal information?
Review the ADAT Program Use of Personal Information and Privacy Policy, which includes:
  • The Biometric Data Privacy Policy
  • Personal information used and disclosed in connection with the ADAT
  • Uses and Disclosures of Personal Information in Connection with the ADAT
  • Privacy and Security
You can also contact the ADA Department of Testing Services at for more information. 
Learning on Laptop
Prepare for the ADAT

Review the provided guides, practice tests, and texts to prepare yourself for the ADAT. When you’re ready, apply for the exam and schedule your appointment.

Review the official requirements and scoring for the 2021 ADAT.
Get familiar with the format and sample questions.
Prepare to take the ADAT with the tutorial. Installation requirements and instructions are provided.
See the texts subject matter experts referenced while writing the exam.
See the Pearson VUE test sites near you, review their policies and schedule your test.
Apply for the ADAT

Ready to begin? Make sure to review the prep materials before you submit your application. Remember to apply between March 1 and August 31. Typically, we recommend taking the ADAT the year before your program begins, but confirm deadlines with your desired program(s). 

Apply for ADAT

Additional ADAT information

ADAT Program Update, March 2019 (PDF): See updates about the ADAT program, as presented at the ADEA Annual Session on March 16, 2019. Topics include content specifications, a scoring breakdown, utilization, feedback from advanced dental education programs, reliability, and validity.

ADAT Examinee Information Report (PDF): This report is for informational purposes and reflects data about ADAT examinees collected during the 2016 through 2019 ADAT examination years. Data includes:

  • self-reported gender
  • ethnicity
  • whether examinees spoke English at home
  • dental school attended, dental school year of graduation, dental school year (if current student)
  • highest degree achieved, dental school grade point average (GPA)
  • the number of times examinees took the Dental Admission Test (DAT)
  • reported specialty area of interest

Important note concerning periodontics terminology

In 2017, the American Academy of Periodontology introduced new classifications. Periodontal items now incorporate the new classifications for this examination. During the transition period, it is recommended that individuals become knowledgeable with both sets of classifications, because individual researchers, practitioners, and existing textbooks can communicate information using either set of classifications. Periodontal educators recommend that individuals refer to the following aids:

Get my scores
Get my scores

Request your score report, learn how to interpret the results, or request an audit. 

Volunteer as a test constructor

Lend your talents to future applicants. The Department of Testing Services needs volunteer subject matter experts to assist with test construction. Volunteers may also earn CE credit.

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