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DAT perceptual ability info:

Time Management on the PAT

PAT organization and time given

The perceptual ability test (PAT) will be the second section on your dental admissions test (DAT), following the Survey of Natural Sciences (SNS) section. The PAT consists of 90 questions - or 15 questions for each of the 6 problem types; in order, it includes 15 keyhole problems, 15 top-front-end problems, 15 angle ranking problems, 15 hole punching problems, 15 cube counting problems, and 15 pattern folding problems.

You are given 60 minutes to complete the PAT; this means you have 10 minutes per problem type and 40 seconds per question.

Time per section on the DAT perceptual ability test (PAT)

Time management strategies!

We suggest that you consider a few different time management strategies and determine which would work best for you. What you choose to do should depend on whether you have plenty of time on the PAT or whether you tend to run out of time or get stuck on a particular question.

Strategy 1: Go through PAT in order

If you’re pretty good with timing - i.e. you do not usually run out of time and you do not usually get stuck on a particular problem type - then just proceed through the problems, in order. However, keep paying attention to your time. Check your time at the end of each problem type and make sure that you are AHEAD of the times listed here. If possible, make sure that you have enough time at the end to answer questions you marked during your test.

Managing your time on the DAT perceptual ability test (PAT)
Strategy 2: Go to your quickest question type(s) first

If you seriously struggle with time management on the DAT, you’ll want to come up with a custom plan. For instance, if you get stuck on a particular type of problem, then you should save that problem for the end. If there is another type of problem that you can answer quickly, consider going to those problems first.

Here’s an example of how this could work.

Say that you sometimes get stuck on keyholes and top-front-end problems, and you seriously get stuck on pattern folding problems. Say that you can complete angle ranking and cube counting problems very quickly. Then we would recommend that you start with your quickest problem types (angle ranking and cube counting) and then proceed to the problem types that take you longer. Try not to get too crazy with your ordering. For instance, you could answer angle ranking and cube counting problems first, then go back to the beginning, as shown here.

Strategy for saving time and not running out of time on the DAT perceptual ability test (PAT)

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