Barron’s DAT Review

Barron's DAT ReviewRating: ★★★★

The Barron’s Dental Admission Test book was written by several dentists and was first released back in 1999. After its release it became one of the more popular review books for the DAT. Many students found it helpful in explaining key concepts and it received much praise for its PAT review material.

Over time, however, as other DAT review materials have been released that are superior resources to Barron’s the popularity of Barron’s has dwindled. Although some still find it useful and appealing as a review material for the DAT.


Barron’s DAT is a comprehensive review source made up of a 512-page textbook and a CD-ROM. The textbook offers test-taking advice, descriptions of dental education and the practice of dentistry, reviews of all the DAT topics, and two full-length practice tests along with answers and explanations. The CD-ROM includes two additional full-length practice tests along with automatic scoring and explanations that simulate the actual DAT.

Here is a more detailed outline of what the textbook contains:

  • Acknowledgments
  • Chapter 1 Introduction
  • About the DAT
  • Scoring
  • A Note to Canadian Students
  • The Art of Test Taking
  • Chapter 2 Dental Education and Practice
  • The Application Process
  • Dental School
  • The Profession of Dentistry
  • Chapter 3 Survey of the Natural Sciences Review
  • Biology
  • General Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Chapter 4 Perceptual Ability Test Review
  • Chapter 5 Reading Comprehension Test Review
  • Chapter 6 Quantitative Reasoning Test Review
  • Chapter 7 Model Examination A
  • Chapter 8 Model Examination B
  • Appendix
  • Acronyms
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Periodic Table of the Elements
  • List of Elements with Their Symbols
  • Reference Tables for Chemistry

Additional Information

When first released this book was very popular among pre-dental students and it was commonly used along with the Kaplan review book in preparing for the DAT. It covers every section of the test and offers more test-taking strategies as well as explanations of concepts than the Kaplan review book did. It was organized better and more user friendly than Kaplan’s review book. It was also used quite commonly for its PAT review material which was more thorough and helpful than most other review materials at the time.

Now, however, this book is not used as much due to other superior resources available today. There are multiple reasons why this book is not used as much and is not highly recommended.

The book is littered with errors, grammatical and informational, throughout all of the practice tests. There are blatantly obvious errors and others that might not be as obvious. It almost appears as if the publishers didn’t even bother to proofread and edit the book; even the second edition, the most recent edition, is filled with errors. It will leave many students scratching their heads wondering if they are wrong or if it’s the book. This book would be extremely stressful and confusing to use if you were not using any additional review materials with it in order to recognize the errors and not be mislead.

The practice tests included in the textbook and CD-ROM, without considering the errors, are slightly easier in every section than the actual DAT. They can be helpful because they will provide you with the additional practice which is always beneficial. But there are better and more representative materials out there to use.

My Suggestion

Barron’s DAT book and CD-ROM can be helpful in explaining key concepts and providing you with helpful test-taking strategies for the DAT. It does a good job of providing a straightforward overview of the main ideas of each topic; more like a quick reference guide than an in-depth review book. There are some good tips for the PAT that can be helpful in scoring higher on this section, but nothing monumental that you cannot learn in other review materials.

Although it is extremely cheap and affordable, I cannot highly recommend this review source due to the numerous errors within it that will cause much-unwanted stress and confusion. If you decide to use it in preparing for the DAT then I would use it as a supplemental review source and would not rely solely upon it. Use it to review concepts and if you choose to get additional practice from it then beware of the errors that you will encounter.

Barron’s DAT Review Course Breakdown

1. Popular Among Pre-Dental Students
2. Commonly Used With Kaplan Review Book
3. Great Test Taking Strategies
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