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Updated: Feb 7, 2021

"Success is not a destination, but the road that you’re on. Being successful means that you’re working hard and walking your walk every day. You can only live your dream by working hard towards it. That’s living your dream."

-Marlon Wayans

Photograph Courtesy - @Indykadeer

Reasons for a new exam - ADAT (All information is from this link)

  • The Joint Commission on National Dental Examinations no longer reports candidate scores for those who pass NBDE Part I and NBDE Part II ( from January 2012) and new INDBE

  • A number of dental schools have moved away from GPA and are reporting grades as pass/fail.

  • Advanced dental education programs are seeking other ways to compare program applicants.

  • Both program directors and students have expressed concern about how qualifications will be assessed in the admissions process

Mainly aimed at

  • Third- and fourth-year dental students and practising dentists interested in post-graduate training

  • International dental students applying to advanced dental education programs

  • Advanced standing in pre-doctoral programs

  • A student in 3rd / 4th year in a Non Accredited Dental school (eg: From India)

Scope of the examination

  • The test consists of multiple-choice test questions it has 3 parts

1.Biomedical Sciences (80 Items)

  • Anatomic Sciences (20 items)

    • Gross Anatomy

    • Histology

    • Oral Histology

    • Developmental Biology

  • Biochemistry and Physiology (20 items)

    • Biological Compounds

    • Metabolism Molecular and Cellular Biology

    • Connective Tissue

    • Membranes

    • Nervous System

    • Muscle

    • Circulation

    • Respiration

    • Renal

    • Oral Physiology

    • Digestion

    • Endocrines

  • Microbiology and Pathology (20 items)

    • General Microbiology

    • Reactions of Tissue to Injury

    • Immunology and Immunopathology

    • Microbiology, Immunology, and Pathology of Specific Infectious Diseases

    • Systemic Pathology

    • Growth Disturbances

  • Dental Anatomy And Occlusion (20 Items)

    • Tooth Morphology

    • Pulp Cavity Morphology

    • Calcification and Eruption

    • Principles of Occlusion and Function

    • Clinical Considerations – Tooth Morphology and Anomalies

2. Clinical Sciences (80 Stand-Alone and Case-Based Items)

  • Endodontics

  • Operative Dentistry

  • Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery and Pain Control

  • Oral Diagnosis

  • Orthodontics and Paediatric Dentistry

  • Periodontics

  • Pharmacology

  • Prosthodontics

  • Principles of Ethics

  • Patient Management

3.Data, Research Interpretation, and Evidence-Based Dentistry (40 Items)

  • Study Design

  • Data Analysis

  • Result Interpretation

  • Inference and Implication

You can attempt a practice test by the ADA

Preparing for the test

  • I have seen mixed feedback about the exam check some of the details from the SDN, what I understand is that its very applied questions, and checks your holistic knowledge of dentistry.

  • I do suggest to get one of these study packages below.

Taking the test

  • The ADAT is administered at Pearson VUE test centres in the United States, its territories (including Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands), and in Canada.

  • It is an exam conducted over 4.5 hours with optional 3 x 10 mins break in between.

  • The exam consists of 200 questions

  • An interactive tutorial is available to download from the Pearson VUE Website.

  • Interesting fact - A total of 356 candidates took the ADAT in 2019. Two candidates took the test twice. One of them was a graduate of an accredited dental school, the other – a graduate of a non-accredited dental school.

Getting the results

  • Official ADAT results are reported electronically within three to four weeks after the candidate has taken the examination.

  • Test results are posted to the candidate’s My Account page and sent to the advanced dental education programs selected on the candidate’s ADAT application or indicated in additional score report requests.

Interpreting the results

  • In all honesty, this was too hard for me to comprehend fully but this is what I have understood (after reading it a few times!!!!) Please check the link yourself

  • When ADAT results are reported, the candidate’s full testing history is reported (i.e., test results for all testing attempts are listed).

  • There is no negative marking

  • ADAT scale scores range from 200 to 800. Higher scale scores in a specific area indicate higher cognitive skills in that area. Any test not taken is designated a score of 200.

  • ADAT scores are calculated based on responses provided by candidates in conjunction with the known characteristics of administered questions (e.g., question difficulty levels).

  • The ADAT program employs sophisticated psychometric procedures to accurately and fairly evaluate candidate skills.

  • ADAT Scale Scores are presented in the following areas

  1. Overall ADAT (Critical Thinking in Dentistry)

  2. Biomedical Sciences

  3. Clinical Sciences

  4. Data, Research Interpretation, and Evidence-Based Dentistry

  • When examining and comparing candidate performance, we should use caution when interpreting differences in percentile standing. Differences in percentile standing communicate differences in candidate relative standing in the population tested, NOT the amount of difference between candidates in their underlying skills.

  • For example, assuming the data are normally distributed, a five per cent (5%) difference in percentile standing could correspond to:

    • A small difference in skills for candidates who fall in the middle of the distribution (e.g., 50th percentile)

    • A large difference in skills for candidates scoring in the tails of distribution (e.g., 95th percentile).

Eligibility to retest

  • Candidates are required to submit a new application and fee for each testing attempt.

  • Candidates who apply to retest much wait at least 45 days between testing attempts and are limited to two testing attempts per calendar year.

  • Candidates who have taken the ADAT two or more times previously will be limited to one testing attempt per calendar year and will need to submit evidence that they have actively applied to advanced dental educations programs within the previous 18 months.

  • Acceptable forms of evidence include the following (candidates need to submit only one)

    • Copy of a completed and submitted ADEA PASS application

    • Letter of rejection from an advanced dental education program

    • Letter on letterhead from an advanced dental education program encouraging a retest

    • Letter on letterhead from a college or university advisor or instructor verifying the candidate is applying to advanced dental education programs

Interesting statistics about ADAT in the ADAT Examinee report

  • females more than take this exam

  • most application to NYU

  • more sort after is the paediatrics, ortho and then endo in 2016 to the maximum in endo in 2018

​Getting in touch with others taking this exam

  1. What's app link invite for FTD

  2. Some FB groups



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