MCAT vs. DAT (Meaning, Similarities, Differences, Study tips)

MCAT vs. DAT is one of the hottest debates in the medical education sector.

Both tests are used to select students for admission into medical-related degree programs.

While many may argue that MCAT is more difficult than DAT, both tests still require high-level preparation to pass.

MCAT and DAT are important admission requirements for prospective medical and dental students of colleges in countries like the United States and Canada.

Thus, this article will provide information about MCAT and DAT, discuss the similarities and differences between MCAT and DAT.

Finally, it will share some examination preparation tips for MCAT and DAT.


What is MCAT?

The Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) is a highly organized admission computer-based test designed by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) that tests aspiring medical students in the United States, Australia, Canada, the Caribbean Islands, and 15 other countries.

MCAT measures the problem-solving and analytical abilities of these aspirants. Moreso, it is one of the most revered medical admission tests in the world.

MCAT vs. DAT: Tips to note about MCAT

Test pattern:

MCAT had adopted the Computer-Based Test (CBT) pattern since 2007 when the pen and paper method was scraped.

Question type:

Multiple Type Questions (MCQs) is the question type in MCAT. 

Official website of AAMC:

The official website of MCAT is

MCAT application:

You can apply for the MCAT by visiting the official website of the examination to create an account.

Also, sign in using the verification email link sent to you and fill in your information after clicking on “Start Exam Registration” which creates your appointment.

Furthermore, agree to the terms and conditions, select an exam schedule and test center.

Finally, pay the application fee online using a Visa or MasterCard credit card to generate an email ID sent to you through the mail.

Refunds after cancellation:

The Gold, Silver, and Bronze zones are the three categories of deadline in the MCAT. Gold zone offers partial refund, silver zone and bronze zones offer no refunds after cancellation.

Number of times: 

MCAT is held up to 25 times in 21 different countries each year.

Cost of MCAT:

To take the Medical College Admission Test, candidates must pay a registration fee above $300 but varies according to country.

Change of appointment:

To change your MCAT appointment, candidates must pay a service fee.


Candidates can only cancel their appointment before the deadline of the gold zone.

Number of questions:

MCAT contains 221 MCQs.

Test structure:

The abilities of medical aspirants are tested in four subject areas;

  • Chemistry and Physics,
  • Psychology and Social Sciences,
  • Biology and Biochemistry,
  • Critical analysis and Reasoning skills.

Eligibility requirements:

To take the MCAT, candidates must pursue a career in medicine, including veterinary medicine.

Also, international students must either possess or pursue MBBS to sit MCAT. Moreover, Americans and Canadians must possess an undergraduate Degree to take the exams.

MCAT Preparation material:

Some MCAT preparation materials are available to help students prepare effectively for the exams.

These materials are MCAT sample papers and mock tests, Barron’s new MCAT, and MCAT practice tests by Sterling Test Prep.

Read this: GRE vs. MCAT (Meaning, Similarities, Differences, Scores)

Score validity:

MCAT results are valid for three years. Medical colleges, on the other hand, have the authority to decide what age the result must be in order to process admissions.

Restrictions on attempts:

MCAT can only be taken three times within a year, four times within two years, and seven times in a lifetime.


To successfully register for MCAT, candidates must mention that they are registering for MCAT in the verification statement. 

Length of test:

Medical College Admission Test lasts for 7 hours 30 minutes.

Score range:

The scores range of MCAT is from 472 to 528, and the sectional score range is between 118 and 132.


Students can void their scores by selecting the “void the MCAT” option on the online examination site.

Score report:

MCAT scores are released no later than 5 pm on the same day of the test. Candidates can check their scores on their AAMC accounts.


Candidates that feel that they undeservedly got poor scores can contact AAMC and get a positive or negative reply after three weeks.

Exams day instruction:

All candidates are expected to arrive at the exams venue at least 30 minutes before the commencement of the exam.

However, they must present a valid ID as a pass into the exams hall.


What is DAT?

DAT, which means Dental Admission Test is a standardized test created by the American Dental Association (ADA) to test the scientific knowledge and critical thinking abilities of students aspiring to pursue a Dentistry degree in the United States and Canada.

It is a multiple-choice test that measures the perceptual abilities, quantitative reasoning capabilities, comprehensive skills, and mathematical aptitudes of dental aspirants.

MCAT vs. DAT: Tips to note about DNT:

Exams Pattern:

This test adopts a Computer-Based Test system.


This test has four sections:

  • Perceptual Ability
  • Reading Comprehension
  • Quantitative Reasoning
  • Mathematics

Nature of Questions:

Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs) are the nature of questions in this test.

Year of commencement:

This test began in 1950.

Score validity:

DAT scores are valid for a minimum of 3 years.

Attempt restrictions:

Only three times can a person take the Dental Admission Test (DNT) in a lifetime. DAT, on the other hand, is only required every three months.

Registration Fee:

Aspirants must pay a registration fee of $475 to take the exams.


Calculators are allowed in DAT.

Official website:

The official website of DAT is

Length of test:

DAT lasts for 4 hours 15 minutes only.

No fixed date:

There is no fixed date for DAT exams. Candidates can take the exams on any day of the year.

Number of questions:

280 Multiple-Choice Questions are contained in DAT.


DAT scores range from 1 to 30. The highest DAT score is 30, which is an excellent score.

A great score is between 22 and 29; a good score is between 19 and 20, and an average score is between 17 and 18.

A good score:

To gain admission into a dentistry degree program, aspirants should have a minimum score of 21.

Score report:

Once a test is completed, an unofficial score is sent to candidates.

Read this: 514 MCAT (Meaning, Good MCAT score, Poor MCAT score)

MCAT vs. DAT: Similarities between MCAT and DAT

MCAT and DAT are two tests that are similar to one another in the following ways;

Computer-Based Tests:

MCAT and DAT are tests that are created using a Computer-Based Test format.

Admission requirements: 

MCAT and DAT are admission requirements for medical school and dental school, respectively.

While medical school aspirants take Medical College Admission Test, dental school aspirants take the Dental Admission Tests.

Comparable contents:

MCAT and DAT have comparable contents. Both tests contain biology, chemistry, and reading comprehension.

Lengthy tests:

Both exams take a long time to complete. While MCAT lasts for 7 hours 30 minutes, DAT lasts for 4 hours and 15 minutes. 

Costly exams:

Both MCAT and DAT are admission exams that cost lots of money. While aspirants can pay up to $315 to take the MCAT, DAT candidates pay a fee of $430.

MCAT vs. DAT: Differences between MCAT and DAT 

MCAT and DAT differ from each other in the following ways;


Medical College Admission Test assesses its candidates on many subjects, including physics. However, DAT has no physics questions.

Perceptual Ability: 

The Perceptual Ability section is only available in DAT and not MCAT.

Release of scores:

MCAT scores are released after almost a month, while DAT scores are released immediately after the test.


DAT and MCAT answer mathematics and maths-related questions in their respective tests. However, while a calculator is allowed in DAT, it is forbidden in MCAT exams.

Test dates:

MCAT candidates can only take the test on their allocated dates. However, DAT candidates can take the test at their desired date.

MCAT vs. DAT: How to pass

Medical College Admission Test and Dental Admission Test are difficult tests that require effective preparation for success.

Candidates can pass MCAT and DAT in flying colors by applying the following tips;

  • Study hard personally
  • Join a study group
  • Regularly exercise 
  • Employ the services of a private tutor
  • Get enough rest
  • Organize yourself on the eve of the test
  • Eat healthily
  • Use practice tests


MCAT vs. DAT is an interesting topic among aspiring medical and dental students.

Both tests are standardized tests that assess different traits and abilities of aspirants seeking admission into medical and dental schools, respectively.

The two tests share some similarities and also differ in several ways.

However, earning outstanding scores in both tests will increase the admission chances of candidates.

Hence, this article provides some tips for passing Medical College Admission Test and Dental Admission Test.

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Hello, I am ST Admin! For five years, I began actively assisting students in Europe, the United States, and Canada in their pursuit of college advice and scholarship prospects. I am the Administrator of at present.

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