DAT PAT Angle Ranking Technique


Dental Admissions Test Perceptual Ability Angle Ranking Technique

The angle ranking section of the Dental Admissions Test (DAT) may seem hard at first, but using some of the key techniques laid out on this page you will be able to ace the Perceptual Ability Angle Ranking section of the DAT. First I will give a brief overview of this section. The angle ranking section of the DAT consists of 15 multiple choice questions which you must determine the relative sizes of the interior angles of the four figures from smallest to largest. A tip for this section is to sit back in your seat and don’t get too close to the computer screen, being too close to the screen won’t allow you to view all the angles and distinguish between the angles because you don’t have anything to compare the angles to. 

The best technique for this section is elimination. Usually the largest and the smallest angle will be easy to pick out, check out the practice question below.


A. 3-1-4-2
B. 3-1-2-4
C. 3-4-1-2
D. 1-3-4-2

The smallest angle is obviously angle 3. So that eliminates choice D. Next you should look for the largest angle. The largest angle seems like a split between angle 2 & 4, but upon further examination you see that angle 4 is pointing vertical while angle 2 is not. They both have a near identical lines pointing left. From this observation we can conclude that angle 2 is the largest angle. We now can eliminate choice B, and we are left with choice C and A. Since we know angle 3 is the smallest and angle 2 is the largest we just have to compare angle 1 and 4.

At this point we must use the “Laptop Technique”.

Imagine each angle is a laptop viewed from the side. The vertical/horizontal lines won’t move at all, however the non-vertical/horizontal lines can move. Imagine which laptop would be easier to close, the easier laptop to close would be the smaller angle, in which case that is the smaller angle, using this technique we see that angle 1 is smaller than angle 4, which eliminates choice C. The only choice left is A, which is the correct answer.

An Alternative Technique called the “Laser Technique”.

DAT,PAT,Laser,Technique,Dentistry,educationYou can use this technique to distinguish a smaller angle between two angles, these angles must have a similar horizontal/vertical line you can compare to. In this technique you imagine the vertical/horizontal line as the base of the laser that is laying flat on the ground. The other line is the gun base that will shoot the laser. The laser with the steepest slope will be the smaller angle, obviously figure 1 has the smallest angle.

Rapid Eye Technique

This is a new technique created by condog51 and posted here on youtube this technique involves looking at the innermost area of two closely related angles as circled below:


Concentrating on the interior areas circled above look back an forth between them quickly, pretty soon you will be able to distinguish the larger of the two angles.



Practice your angle ranking and perceptual ability skills with The Eyeballing Game- This game was designed for woodworkers, this game features angle discrimination, finding convergence of angles, midpoints, and more! This is a great game to help hone your skills for the angle ranking section of the Dental Admissions Test (DAT).


More Perceptual Ability Resources

Listed below are the top 4 most popular DAT PAT Simulated Sample Test resources for explanations and practice problems.

1.Ross’ PAT Videos


2. Crack DAT PAT for the Dental Admission Test (2011-2012 Royal Flush Edition)Test Preparation Software)


3. Barron’s DAT: Dental Admissions Test (Barron’s How to Prepare for the Dental Admissions Test (Dat))


4.  DAT Achiever Dental Admission Test Prep 7 Full-Length Sample Exams 


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