The Tic Tac Toe method is a common way for students to ace the Hole Punching section of the Dental Admissions Test (DAT). The hole punching section of the Dental Admissions Test (DAT) involves visualizing a square piece of paper being folded up. Hole(s) are then punched in the paper and you must determine where the holes are in the folded sheet of paper when its unfolded.
Disclaimer: The Tic Tac Toe method takes lots of practice to use this method fast and efficiently, make sure you practice before taking the Dental Admissions Test.
In the Dental Admissions Test Perceptual Ability section you will be given a question like the one shown below:
You will have to determine where the hole punches are on the unfolded figure, and select choice A-E. The best way to tackle this problem is to draw a 3×3 Tic Tac Toe grid like the one below, I have also included a caption above each fold to help guide you through the tutorial, you will not see the 3×3 grid or the labeling of the folds on the real Dental Admissions Test.
You should start off putting an X in your tic tac toe grid to show were the first hole punch as like I did in the figure below.
You then must unfold fold 4 mentally, unfolding fold 4 leaves you with a hole right below your first hole, so put an X on your tic tac toe grid right below your first X, like I did in the figure below:
Unfolding Fold 3 will be more tricky because you must deal with half punches, half punches are basically half-holes.. To symbolize the half punches I will put a little dot in the corner were the half punch is, then I will expand it to a full punch once the proper fold has been completed. Unfolding Fold 3 should look like the figure below:
There is also another half-fold I will indicate by a dot in the upper corner of the respective tic tac toe grid present when unfolding this fold, the grid should look like the figure below:
Fold one is a mirror image fold meaning that when you unfold this fold you will create a mirror image along the plane of symmetry (aka the fold), this symmetry fold is seen often in the hole punching section of the Dental Admissions Test so make sure you know it well! What it means for our tic tac toe grid is that the half folds (indicated by dots in the upper right hand corner of the grid) will become full hole punches, and the full hole punches (indicated by the X’s in the grid) will become reflected along the plane of symmetry. Your unfolded object will look like the figure below:
I also have a youtube video below explaining this method:
Now that you have learned this awesome method for the hole punching section of the Dental Admissions Test (DAT), try it out on PreDDS.NET’s practice hole punching test located here:
Listed below are the top 4 most popular DAT PAT Simulated Sample Test resources for explanations and practice problems.
Good Luck on your DAT!