Posted by: acedat | April 27, 2009

Quantitative Reasoning Part 1

Here, I am sitting down on my computer unable to watch the Lakers game since I don’t have damn cable.  (Yes, I started yesterday). So I am going to write my first real post regarding how to do well on DAT. This post will go over how I studied for the QR section of the DAT. I am going over this section first because I got the best score out of all the sections. I believe I only got one question wrong since I got a 29. But before I go into any detail, I would like to talk about one important tip on studying for the DAT. Some of you may know but I am sure there are people who do not know it but should know it. If you go to the DAT website, there’s a study guide made by the DAT people. If you are lazy to find it on your own, here is the link, Most of the stuff in the pdf file are pretty much useless in preparing for the DAT except the test specification section (page 18-19).  This is what I used to figure out what to study for each section. If you conquer all the topics listed in that section, I guarantee you will do well on your test.

So going back to quantitative reasoning, the guide lists the topics that must be studied. 

Algebra – equations and expressions, inequalities, exponential notation, absolute
value, ratios and proportions, and graphical analysis;

Numerical calculations – fractions and decimals,
percentages, approximations and scientific notation;

Conversions – temperature, time, weight, and distance;

Probability and Statistics;



Applied Mathematics (word) Problems.

 Those are the topics that you must be familiar with before going into the testing center. Do not overestimate any of the topics. For example, you must know the conversion for time, distance, temperature, and weight. I know one of my friends had a question on temperature conversion and I had a question that required a distance conversion.

Honestly, I have to say that if you know your high school math, you should do well. However, I do believe the difficulty of QR section lies in the limited amount of time rather than the difficulty of each problem. My best advice for you is to brush up on all the topics and PRACTICE. But before you do mass practice, let’s go over each topic.

Algebra – really basic. If you don’t know basic algebra, there are tons of resources on the internet that you can probably use. On my test, I saw quite a few basic algebra equation problems, but I don’t remember seeing any graphical analysis or inequalities. Still, I recommend you should still know them.

Numerical calculation – Don’t really have much to say about this section although I saw a few of these. Just practice if you are slow.

Conversions – Yes, these are on the test. If you want to get a 20+, you better know your conversions. I don’t think it’s necessary to know every single conversion in the world, but if you know the major ones you should be fine. For example, celsius to farenheit, miles to km, inches to cm, lbs to kg, and so on. Don’t worry about all the obscure ones, just know the ones you have seen in your life many times.

Probability and Statistics – Probably the hardest section for most people and for me. I had about four of these problems and I did not know how to do two of them. Fortunately, I had some extra time to do one of them manually without using any formula. Anyway, learn to do these types of problems. Know permutations and combinations for sure.

Ok, I am tired of writing, I will continue next time.





  1. Hey- thanks for this great website. Can you comment on how long it took you to study for the DAT, and how many hours/day you studied? Also, what is a good REALISTIC study schedule (ie. wake up at 9, study until 12 etc.) if I have two months. Lastly, I am planning on taking Kaplan, would you suggest any other (if there is any) program. Also, if I choose to supplement, what would be the best program/book (princeton review or anything else?) Thanks, sorry for the long post.

  2. Thanks for the blog. I’m taking DAT this summer and will definately be using your advice. Keep up the good work.

  3. Andrew,
    I can tell you exactly how much i studied for the DAT, but it might not be as useful as you think because we are in different situations. The best advice is to find out yourself how much you know and how much time you will need to learn the stuff you don’t know.
    Regarding your concern about the study schedule, at least for me, i study well in the morning and at night. I can’t really study in the day time for some reason esp when its hot. just figure out when ur concentraion is highest during the day and study during that period of time. Of course, take some breaks here and there. I am gonna go over my study habits too later so stay tuned.
    Lastly, you said you are planning on taking the kaplan class. if you can get hold of all their materials, i really don’t think u need to spend 1400 bucks to take their class. the only useful thing is the event theory for TFE. Other than that, I would save that money and time to study on your own. I will also go over this kind of stuff too later on.
    Hope it helps

  4. for geometry and trig, theres a lot of equations, do we need to know them. like volume of x, SA of parallelogram, etc.? thanks.

  5. I would recommend you to memorize the important ones.

  6. I just took it and it seems as if they designed the test for you to not finish on time. It is crucial not just to answer the question, but to answer it in the QUICKEST path possible. Skills of estimation work hear.

    I made the mistake of writing down everything that came to my mind as I read the question. This caused me to go down longer paths then needed. Before attempting to answer the question, think of how you want to approach the problem the quickest. If you think it will take too long, mark it with a good guess and move on.

  7. is it really as little time as im hearing because I seem to not do as well on these type test because of the pressure to finish. What can I do to mentally prepare myself for this outside of continual practice so I don’t just throw up my hands and say just answer several questions wrong. Am I freaking out too much I have not yet taken the test.

  8. Hi looking for DAT Destroyer and DAT Crack PAt at a reasonable price can u help

  9. Thanks so much, I really want to pass this test, but I’m not sure that what books are most useful. I looked up some Kaplan books online, but I’m not sure which books and how many books I do need to study. Would you please tell me the title of books whcih I have to buy.

  10. Is this blog complete or did you just finish up on that last section.

    1. How many times can you take the DAT and do dental schools take the average or the best?
    2. Can you take the DAT early in your (collectivly) undergraduate and then use it when you graduate with your BA?
    3. What is an exceptional score on the DAT?

    Thanks a lot

  11. I might add some more contents if i feel necessary.

    1. You can technically take it as many times as you want; however, most people will recommend you taking no more than twice. I think most schools take the latest score if I remember correctly
    2. No, you need to have them taken within two years at the time you apply
    3. Scores above 23 is very good and should get you in somewhere even if you might have a low GPA

    • Dear acedat,
      I applied to all three dental schools but havent taken the dat yet. I was suppose to take in end of this august but i am not ready so i may push it back to september. I dont have the Kaplan blue book i have from a friend Princeton MCAT Review Book but I don’t think its the Hyperlearning one. I do have the Kaplan MCAT. Do u think I could do it with these or should I order the ones you recommended? I don’t have a solid background in Bio. or Quant. section and of course have not even done a practice test yet. I am a R.D.H. and have the passion for dentistry but not a very high GPA due to having a large family and not alot of study time right now. But I can make it possible just a little tough right now. Please give me your best advice also on doing this.

    • Oh my science GPA 3.17 what do you think about that?

  12. most of this stuff you take in high school…should be fairly easy!

  13. i got a 24 for both the academic average and the PAT… i studied for about 2 months solid, at least 3 hours a day. i got the topscore pro from amazon, and in my experience (may not be true for you), topscore pro scored harsher than the actual DAT, and i think what made the difference for me was that i took every single practice test i could get my hands on. i guessed on 3 questions on the real QR section and ended up getting a 30.

  14. Lily. You recommend getting TopScore Pro. Did you study anything else for the DAT?

  15. tony, i used the topscore pro, the kaplan book for DAT, the barron book for DAT, barron book for biology. for gen chem (my worst section, got a 19), i studied out of the old textbook and the review books, kaplan and barron. for orgo, i used the kaplan book as a guide for the reactions i needed to know, and used my old textbooks to get the important reactions and mechanisms.

    reading was pretty easy, just had to pick out key words. math was also easy, but tricky. i tried one of the GMAT math books for practice.

    PAT i just used the kaplan book and the barron book. the stuff on topscore pro was helpful too.

    anyway, the DAT is just like this blog says.

  16. I am a junior in college and I just changed my major to Pre-dental and I was doing some research about the DAT and i stumbled across your column! I am going to try and do everything you recommend because my GPA is not a 4.0! I just ordered the AP biology book you recommended off of Amazon because it was less than $3 haha but thank you for taking the time to do this! I know it has been a while since you wrote all this stuff but i really do appreciate the help! Thanks again!

  17. Wow I never realized this blog existed when I made my website lol, but I realize how it can be tough deciding which study materials to buy.

    I took the DAT last year, but can confirm that Top Score is a great simulation of the test. DAT Achiever is also a great study aid (but it’s a lot harder than the actual test). I have free info about how to study for the DAT on my website at (hence the lol about this blog’s name).

    But, anyone who reads this comment should also check out SDN (student doctor network) as it is an invaluable FREE source of great info. Good luck studying!

  18. Hello, I graduated college with a B.A. in Biology last year with a GPA of 3.8.. sad thing is I’m trying to study/relearn everything because I would like to get into dental school but I am feeling discouraged. I have forgotten a lot of information that I should know and don’t really know how to study for this and do well. :/ If i purchase the books listed above will I be okay? Thanks!

  19. Hi Amanda, first, great GPA! Don’t feel discouraged because relearning the material for the DAT is much easier than trying to achieve a GPA like that by taking a masters course! You will be ok granted you learn them thoroughly. It has been a few years since I’ve taken the DAT, but I know that the DAT a common resource still used by many students. It is very difficult, but once you master the questions, the actual test is a cakewalk. If you have a solid background in math, the math destroyer isnt really needed as there is a small section in the DAT destroyer for Math, but it sounds like you could use the extra questions in Math Destroyer to jog your memory! Good luck!

  20. I just now saw your reply thank you so much for your encouragement! I’m really going to start this studying/relearning journey to chase this dream. I’m going to look into getting the DAT destroyer.. What other books are recommended.. I saw topscore and kaplan white and blue?

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