DAT Study Schedule: How to Create & Samples

November 9, 2023


Reviewed by:

Jonathan Preminger

Former Admissions Committee Member, Hofstra-Northwell School of Medicine

Reviewed: 5/13/22

Looking to create a DAT study schedule? Continue reading as we provide two different sample study schedules and answer some of your DAT study related questions. 

Similar to how pre-law students have the LSAT and pre-med students have the MCAT, aspiring dental students have the DAT. The test is a multiple choice test that is taken online over the course of four and a half hours. 

DAT scores are evaluated by dental school admission committees to determine whether the student has the skills and knowledge to successfully complete dental school. A high DAT score will be deciding factors on whether you get into the dental school of your dreams. 

While you will also want to build a strong resume for your application, a high DAT score is critical to getting into the dental school of your dreams. 

We are here to help you! Continue reading as we outline two different sample DAT study schedules and answer some of your questions about studying for the DAT.

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How To Create a DAT Study Schedule

Follow these tips on how to create a productive DAT study schedule. 

1. Familiarize Yourself With the Content on the DAT

This should be the first step to take when building your study schedule. You should know the content and topics on the test in order to build the most effective study plan, and to know how much time you should dedicate to each topic. 

Knowing what to expect is half the battle to being prepared. 

2. Evaluate Your Schedule and Set a Timeline 

Once you book your test, and you evaluate your schedule (classes, work, other responsibilities), set up a timeline to prepare for the DAT. 

Setting a timeline is a good idea because it allows you to determine how many hours a day you need to dedicate to studying. If you have other obligations, such as a part-time job, setting a timeline will be extremely helpful for managing your time. 

3. Discover Your Study Style 

We all learn in different ways. Some people may find self-study the most effective way for them to study, others may find studying with friends or in a group more their style. Certain individuals may also want one-on-one tutoring sessions

Discovering your study style is important because it will allow you to build an effective study schedule that will work for you. There’s no point in creating a plan that you don’t want to follow. A bad study plan will probably have you dragging your feet to start studying, and even avoiding studying all together. 

4. Collect Your Study Materials 

Before you begin studying, collect all your study materials. This will make it easier for you to begin studying and spend less time trying to look for resources and notes. 

Class notes are great resources. Throughout your undergrad, take accurate, detailed notes and keep them organized. This will save you so much time when you begin studying because you already have a collection of reliable study materials.

The three main subjects that appear on the DAT are:

  • General Chemistry 
  • Organic Chemistry 
  • General Biology

Pay special attention in these classes and keep your notes organized. Feel free to look back on assignments for your science-based classes as well, as they can provide helpful information and even feedback from your professors. 

5. Identify Your Strengths and Weaknesses

As you begin studying, be sure to identify your strengths and weaknesses and spend your study time accordingly. Taking a diagnostic test before you even start studying is a great way to see which areas you should focus on while studying. 

It may be tempting to focus on your strengths and ignore subjects you’re unsure of. However, this will not help you in the long term when you go to take the test. 

6. Schedule In Practice Tests and Quizzes 

When building your DAT study schedule, you should pencil in a few slots to take practice tests and quizzes. Practice tests are a great way to have an overall idea of what to expect when you take the real exam; which is great for calming those pre-test nerves!

You can also time yourself, so you can expect how long certain sections will take. You only have four hours and thirty minutes to complete the test (not including optional breaks), so knowing exactly how long it will take you to complete each section is useful. 

Our DAT Practice Questions Pop Quiz can help you understand where you stand in your preparation for the test.

7. Set Up a Clean, Quiet Space 

Find a place that is free from distractions, so you can focus and make the most out of the time you have dedicated to studying. 

8. Take Time for Self-Care and Rest

As you build your DAT study schedule, make sure to put aside some time for rest and relaxation! 

Self-care is important, and if you burn yourself out you won’t perform well on the test no matter how much you have studied. 

Going into the exam prepared, relaxed, and rested is the best way to ensure you will do well.

One-Month DAT Study Schedule

Here is a sample one-month DAT study schedule. Sunday is left off of the schedule as it is a designated rest day. We’ve made sure to break down each day by topic so to keep track of what you are studying for, and what you’ve already covered.

DAT one-month schedule

While it is highly recommended to have at least two months to study for the DAT, it can be done in one month. You will be cramming a lot of topics into a short period of time, but if you stay focused and consistent, it is possible to sufficiently study for the DAT. 

Two-Month DAT Study Schedule

See a sample two-month DAT study schedule below.

Two-month DAT schedule

Our two sample study schedules are good starting points to building your own schedule, but feel free to adjust the plan to suit your needs and schedule. 

For example, we blocked off Sunday as a rest day, but another day of the week may work better for you. If you find you are more productive and focused at night, then by all means, study in the evenings rather than during the afternoon! 

Consistency and review are the most important pieces of a study plan to ensure your memorization and understanding of the materials and topics.

FAQs: DAT Study Schedule

Still have questions about how to create a DAT study schedule? We answer some of your frequently asked questions about making a DAT study schedule down below!

1. How Many Hours a Day Should I Study for the DAT?

If you are preparing for the DAT two months prior to your test date, you should dedicate 40 hours a week to studying. 

If you begin studying a bit earlier, you can spend fewer hours per day studying. If you have a busy schedule due to work or other commitments, you may want to consider studying for the DAT at least three months before the test date. 

In total, you should spend about 250 to 300 hours studying for the test. 

2. Is One Month Enough To Study for the DAT?

If push comes to shove, you can prepare yourself sufficiently for the DAT in a month. It is recommended that you study for at least two months, but it is doable in one month. 

However, try to avoid giving yourself only a month to study to not overload your schedule and overwhelm yourself with tons of information in a short period of time.

One month doesn’t really give you enough time for consistent and thorough review, which is essential for memorization.  

3. Are Two Months Enough for DAT?

Two months is enough time to study for the DAT if you dedicate enough hours to studying. Some people suggest taking two months to study for the DAT, as it gives you enough time to thoroughly dive into the three main topics that appear on the test, but it is also not a long enough time to forget everything in the first few weeks you studied. 

What is most important is that you utilize your study time wisely and effectively. 

4. Can You Study for DAT in Two Months?

Yes, you can study for the DAT in two months. In fact, two to three months is the recommended amount of time to study for the DAT.

If you want to study for the DAT in two months, follow our sample study guide to build your own plan.

Final Thoughts

The DAT is a difficult test, but it is not impossible. If you build a good study schedule that works for you and your learning style, you will go into the test prepared.

Properly preparing begins with building a functional, productive study plan. Read over our tips and sample study schedules as you begin to create your own. 

Good luck!

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