The Perceptual Ability Test (PAT), a subtest of the Dental Admissions Test (DAT), has been used for many years by US Dental Schools to evaluate the perceptual ability of incoming applicants of their program. Perceptual ability is broadly defined as the ability to accurately process and interpret visual sensory information. Perceptual Ability skills are important in the field of Dentistry, as they are critical to the applied use of various dental tools and in surgical skills. It is assumed that performance on the PAT is predictive of dental students’ surgical skill development. However, multiple studies have found that the PAT subtest scores had little to no role in predicting students' performance by the end of dental school, suggesting that PAT scores may have limited value in predicting clinical achievement. We examined whether the PAT, along with other DAT subtests similarly demonstrate no significant relationships with students’ performance scores at Loma Linda University School of Dentistry. We found that the PAT scores significantly predicted performance in most Pre-clinical lab courses and some clinical exams, accounting for approximately 8 to 30 percent of the variance. This suggests the PAT maintains some utility in predicting both preclinical and aspects of clinical performance outcomes among Loma Linda University School of Dentistry students.
School of Behavioral Health
Grace J. Lee
Adam L. Aréchiga
Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)
Year Degree Awarded
Date (Title Page)
Library of Congress/MESH Subject Headings
Dental admission test
ix; 34 p.
Loma Linda University Libraries
This title appears here courtesy of the author, who has granted Loma Linda University a limited, non-exclusive right to make this publication available to the public. The author retains all other copyrights.
Schmid, Brandon, "Validity of the Perceptual Ability Test" (2020). Loma Linda University Electronic Theses, Dissertations & Projects. 1119.
Loma Linda University Electronic Theses and Dissertations
Loma Linda University. Del E. Webb Memorial Library. University Archives