20 Important Facts about Differential Aptitude Tests you Need to Know

20 Important Facts about Differential Aptitude Tests you Need to Know.
Differential Aptitude Tests can help in assessing the ability of high school students to succeed in certain areas.

20 Important Facts about Differential Aptitude Tests you Need to Know

This post presents exhaustive information on the Differential Aptitude Test (DAT), including practice questions and answers to increase your knowledge of the test and to help you prepare effectively to make the best scores in your DAT.

Please, read on:

What is Differential Aptitude Test?

The Differential Aptitude Test (DAT) is designed to assess the ability of junior and senior high school students and adult individuals to learn or succeed in chosen areas.

The test is appropriate for group administration and is mostly used in educational and occupational counseling, and can be used in the selection of employees.

The DAT consists of two levels, with two equivalent alternating forms for each level. The 8 subtests assess abilities and a score is made available for each subtest and also for scholastic aptitude.

DAT’s administration processes are simple to follow, and test materials are long-lasting and can be reused.

20 Important Facts about Differential Aptitude Tests

Here are important facts and tips you need to know about the Differential Aptitude Test:

  1. What areas of assessment does DAT measure?

DAT measures students to see whether they can succeed in certain areas. Students and adults who can learn in their area of study or work will really do well on the DAT.

Therefore, areas that the Differential Aptitude Test measures include cognition, language, and processing speed; reading comprehension, executive functioning, and reasoning/problem-solving, as well as attention and working memory.

  1. DAT’s assessment type and administration mode

The DAT measures a student’s performance in several areas of ability. The test is a paper-and-pen kind of assessment that is administered at a designated assessment center.

  1. The cost for Differential Aptitude Test

The DAT is not free but is provided at a certain fee depending on the platform offering the assessment.

Some websites collect $60.00 for the test. The charge of $20.00 is for the booklet, answer document, directions, and practice test materials; $20.00 for norms booklet; $20.00 for the technical manual while $1.50 is for scoring each answer document.

Some charge $125.00 with GST while writing the test out of town costs $50.00 with GST. So, the cost depends on where you take the test and which employer offers it.

  1. The DAT consists of eight scales

The DAT, which was first published in 1947 with multiple forms and levels, comprises eight scales, including Numerical Ability (NA), Verbal Reasoning (VR), and Abstract Reasoning (AR); Mechanical Reasoning (MR), Spelling (SP), and Special Relations (SR); Language Usage (LU) and Perpetual (Clerical) Speed and Accuracy (PSA).

  1. The Differential Aptitude Test scoring pattern

The DAT score consists of a total of nine scores in addition to scores from NR and VR called the Scholastic Aptitude (SA) score.

All the tests of DAT are multiple-choice except Perpetual Speed and Accuracy (PSA).

Problems are presented in MR using drawings. Users may have the tests scored by the psychological Corporation or choose to score them by hand.

Minimum and maximum standard scores are not established in research but reported in the DAT manual.

In order to assist with vocational counseling and planning, the DAT is linked to the Career Interest Inventory.

  1. Equipment required for the Differential Aptitude Test

The DAT has two administration methods such as standard administration and computerized administration.

Equipment required for the standard administration includes a paper and pencil, while in the computerized administration section computer, keyboard, and a mouse are basic requirements.

  1. What is the total time required to take the Differential Aptitude Test?

The Differential Aptitude Test (DAT) takes up to three hours to complete. While subtest times differ from 12 to 25 minutes, the whole parts of the test take three hours of administration.

  1. What is the age range for the Differential Aptitude Test?

For children who want to participate in the differential aptitude test (DAT), 6 to 12 years are acceptable. However, for the adolescent age, 13 to 17 years are allowed to take the test.

  1. Differential Aptitude Language Usage (LU) Test

This test comprises 50 sentences that are divided into 4 parts each and lettered A, B, C, and D.

You will be required to consider each sentence as an example of formal, written English. One part of a sentence has an error in grammar, punctuation, and capitalization.

If any part is wrong, you are to decide which one it is.

  1. Differential Aptitude Spelling (SP) Test

This test consists of a collection of words, some of which are correctly spelled while some are incorrectly spelled.

You are required to specify whether each word is spelled right or wrong by blackening the proper circle on the Answer Sheet.

Fill in the circle that has R for RIGHT if you think that the spelling of the word is right. And then blacken the circle that has the W for WRONG if it is spelled wrong.

  1. Differential Aptitude Space Relations Test

You will be given 60 patterns that can be folded into figures, and there are 4 figures to the right of each pattern.

Your job is to decide which of these figures can be made from the pattern shown. The pattern often shows the outside of the figure.

  1. Differential Aptitude Abstract Reasoning Test

You will be presented with rows of designs of figures, and each row across the page is one problem.

You are required to mark your answers on the Answer Sheet. Each row comprises 4 figures known as Problem Figures and 5 figures called Answer Figures.

The 4 Problem Figures form a series, and you are required to tell which one of the Answer Figures would be the next or 5th one in the series.

  1. Differential Aptitude Mechanical Reasoning Test

This test is made up of a number of pictures, and questions are asked concerning those pictures. You will have to answer according to what you see in the pictures.

  1. Differential Aptitude Numerical Ability Test

In this test, you will be presented with 40 numerical problems. There are 5 answers next to each problem.

You will be required to choose the correct answer and mark its letter on the Answer Sheet.

  1. Differential Aptitude Verbal Reasoning Test

In this test, each of the 50 sentences has the first word, and the last word is left out. Therefore, for the sentence to be true and sensible, you will have to select words that will fill the blanks.

You are to select from among 5 pairs of words for each sentence to fill in the blanks. The first word of the pair you choose goes for the blank space in the starting of the sentence, while the second word of the pair goes for the blank space in the ending of the sentence.

  1. Percentile and Stanine

After an individual has taken a test, the results are produced in raw scores. For instance, a score of 21 has no meaningful outcome unless it is discovered how it relates to the total potential score.

It’s common therefore for scores to be converted to percentages as an indication of how the individual performed related to a potential score.

Nevertheless, percentages could be deceiving. For example, a score of 90% might seem to be an excellent score, but if all the other candidates score 95% a different perspective might be put on this score of 90%.

For that reason, two systems known as percentiles and stanine are utilized to convert raw scores to a system that provides mean to the result. They compare the total possible score and the score related to the scores obtained by other candidates.

The percentage of candidates who fall below a particular raw score is indicated by a percentile score. If a score falls at the 85 percentile, it means that an individual’s score is better than 85% of the students.

A percentile score of 95th means that an individual’s score is greater than 95% of the students and that this student’s score is in the top 5% of the students.

Stanine scores are a variety of single-digit numbers between 1 and 9, while 4 and 6 represent an average score. A stanine score can be used in conjunction with percentile scores.

  1. Perceptual Speed and Accuracy

This assessment evaluates the ability to compare and score written lists hurriedly and perfectly.

This test may forecast achievement in some types of routine clerical tasks like filing and coding.

This test can also be used to forecast hand-eye coordination and is executed under severe time conditions.

Scoring high can be helpful in areas such as pilot, computing, finance-related careers, administration, and secretarial work.

  1. Differential Educational Aptitude Test

The scores from numerical and verbal reasoning are combined in this test. The score offers the best general assessment of educational aptitude or the ability to learn from teachers and books and to perform excellently in academic subjects.

  1. Differential Aptitude Next Generation Test

Next Generation is a new version of Differential Aptitude Tests (DAT) that uses modern Computerized Adaptive Testing (CAT) technology to provide five new DAT tests in a number of languages.

CAT varies greatly from the traditional kinds of tests since it provides a modern technique of delivering item-banked tests to job candidates or students with a lot of improvements from the previous edition.

The average time given to complete this test is 12 minutes. It’s an item-banked test for online/computer testing that is suitable for proctored testing.

Languages in which this test is presented include US English, UK English, French, Dutch, Spanish, German, Italian, Portuguese, and Turkish.

  1. Differential Aptitude Tests can be used to evaluate intelligence and achievement

This test is used for the assessment of any combination of abstract, verbal, spatial, mechanical, and language abilities.

DAT is utilized in the prediction of achievement in a training program and overall job performance.

Whether taken online or in paper and pencil at an assessment center, this test takes anywhere from 12 to 20 minutes to complete.

The Differential Aptitude Test (DAT) was used to determine the connection of the aptitude subtests (assessed by the DAT) with ability and accomplishment.

Self-concept, study orientation, and motivation are affected factors included as a changeable predicting achievement.

A practical study was carried out in which 60 Grade 9 learners were assessed. Reliable instruments were used to measure variables. Relationships were calculated and multiple analyses were used to forecast achievement.

Certain factors causing the relationship between aptitude and intelligence were found.

Emotional factors gave details of more of the variance in achievement in the main subjects than aptitude variables.

One conclusion is that Grade 9 achievement measures emotional rather than cognitive factors.

Reference is made about the use of the DAT Study in forecasting school success.

Differential Aptitude Test Practice Questions and Answers

Here are Differential Aptitude Test practice questions and answers that will be of great assistance to you in your career path and get you ready for the test you are about to take:

Question 1

Verbal Reasoning

The…….is to bark as the cat is to …….

Select one of the following answers.

A. meow ——- kitten
B. dog ——–meow
C. dog ——scratch
D. seal ——– kitten
E. tree ——– Scratch

The answer is B.

Question 2

Numerical Ability

16×2 + 4y2 + 3×2 =

A 19×2 + 4y2
B 19×4 + 4y2
C 23x2y2
D 23x4y2
E None of these

Answer: A. 19𝑥2+4𝑦2

Question 3


Which word is not spelled correctly?

A. Cycle
B. Gurl
C. Arrow
D. Wrote

The correct answer is B. Other words are spelled correctly except “Gurl”, which is wrongly spelled.


DAT is created to assess the ability of junior and senior high school students, and adults to learn or succeed in certain areas.

The DAT is a way through which your skills and abilities, such as verbal, numerical ability, abstract reasoning, mechanical reasoning, and space relations are measured.

The DAT is used with adults looking at a large variety of career and planning options, including some industrial firms.

>> Learn how to make a great score in Aptitude Tests; prepare for the test with free but effective practice tests.