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Is it a bad idea to retake a 21 DAT?

Discussion in 'DAT Discussions' started by fas376, 05.01.12.


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  1. fas376

    fas376

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    Hello everyone! Nice to be in the dental forums for once (I'm in the pre-med forums and that place is full of stressed out people). My girlfriend doesn't have an account on this site so I'm posting this from mine.

    We're both Texas residents and she got a 21 on her DAT, which is an amazing score. However, she has a 3.32 cGPA which may have hurt her last cycle. She's thinking about retaking it and is aiming for a 22-23. Do you think this will help her?

    I noticed that a 21 is 93rd percentile. I'm sure the DAT is similar to the MCAT - the difference between a 21 and a 23 can be 2 questions. This worries me because if she ends up getting a lower score than a 21, it will hurt her chances greatly.

    What do you guys recommend?

    Score by Section -

    PAT: 19
    QR: 21
    RC: 22
    BIO: 21
    GC: 18
    OC: 21
    TS: 20
    AA: 21
    Last edited: 05.01.12
  2. MaxillofacialMN

    MaxillofacialMN Osteopathic Foot Dentist

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    21? Don't retake it. Like you said, it's only a small difference between 23 and 21 and it is very possible to go down in scores.

    21 is certainly high enough to attract adcoms to open your application, so although the GPA is low, bolster your stats with some other things. Also, it's a bit late to be thinking of randomly taking the DAT for this cycle, don't you think?

    Get her app done within the first week of cycles opening and apply broadly, she'll get a bite or two.
  3. fas376

    fas376

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    Thanks for your advice!

    She didn't randomly think about taking it. She's been studying for about a month now and her test is this Saturday. She's starting to get stressed because she's noticing how a few questions can make the difference between a 23 and a 20.

    Knowing this, is your opinion still the same - ie, don't retake?
  4. dymm

    dymm

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    Being able to see the full breakdown of scores may help fellow pre-dents decide if she needs a retake. For example, if your gf scored really low on PAT or one of the science sections... that may warrant a re-take. Just my 2 cents.

    P.S. nice avatar btw... I love it when we get people like that asking the same question on the dental forums :cool:
  5. fas376

    fas376

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    Bro, I know what you mean. You dental kids are much more laid back. We get people asking those questions all the time on the pre med forums.

    Anyway, I updated my original post and added what she got in every section. Let me know ASAP what you think since her test is this weekend! Thanks a lot for your help bro. And congrats on your awesome score.
  6. dymm

    dymm

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    The scores are looking good, and I would not re-take if I was in the same situation.. especially if she has other good things going for her app in terms of ECs, LORs, etc...

    (I am just a pre-dental student applying for the first time this cycle so you might want to get input from other people who are more qualified to answer your question tho)

    Best of luck with the applications, and everything else :thumbup:
  7. fas376

    fas376

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    Thanks for the advice bro! Hopefully some other pre-dents can answer. And good luck to you as well!
  8. fas376

    fas376

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    anyone else? thoughts?
  9. txlotusboys37

    txlotusboys37

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    Don't retake, a 21 is a solid score. Look at my scores in from my DAT breakdown. her overall science is a 20, which is still good.

    Oh, I'm a Texas resident and I was interviewed at all 3 Texas dental schools - was accepted to Houston and San Antonio. This past cycle was my first time to apply.

    PM me if you have more questions.
    Last edited: 05.02.12
  10. MaxillofacialMN

    MaxillofacialMN Osteopathic Foot Dentist

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    Studying for a month? Like a ton of studying? Or casual? I still think it is foolish to retake, but if she's studied reverently for the last month, then go for it.

    That being said, she needs to make sure she actually improves as you pointed out. If she doesn't, adcoms will think she was lazy about her retake, and to retake such a high score means you're trying to make up for something... I guess my advice would still be don't retake it unless she has studied ridiculously hard and is confident she will do better in a few days.

    As for the avatar, on the pod forums, we usually get the opposite: 2.6 gpa 17 MCAT, I mean, yeah pod school is easy to get into, but they don't let chimpanzees in either.... "oh hey guys I heard pod school is super easy to attend, here are my stats and my MCAT score I got by randomly clicking buttons on the test, do I have a chance?!"
  11. Davermz450

    Davermz450

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    I would not retake, I have about the same gpa and I am taking the DAT this aug and I hope to get that kind of score. If you don't mind me asking why didn't things work out last cycle? What is her BCP/sci gpa?
  12. fas376

    fas376

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    hahahaha yeah dude some people on this site are damn annoying. and yeah, I think she's been casually studying so hopefully I can talk her out of it! Thanks for the advice buddy
  13. fas376

    fas376

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    her sGPA and cGPA are the same. we're not sure why she didn't get in last cycle, but the only thing that really weakens her app is her low GPA, so we're pretty sure that's why she was unable to get in
  14. ushaseos

    ushaseos -Classified Information-

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    Like you suspect its the GPA that is holding her back. Her DAT isn't just average, its actually very good and none of the important scores are low so she really doesn't have to worry about DAT. She always has the post-bacc for GPA help, but it is a waste of 2 years or more.

    Did she speak to the schools that didn't accept her last cycle? Normally they are pretty frank in saying "This was not up to par" etc.

    If she is absolutely certain, she'll break 21 a retake is fine, but whether one can be certain of such a thing is debatable. To put it simply, I would only recommend a retake if she is fine risking a potentially lower score, or if she can create certainty where none is present.
  15. fas376

    fas376

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    Thanks man, I agree.

    On the MCAT, people always saying getting in the 13-15 range is luck. You may get a 15 on one test, and you may get a 13 on a different version. Luck plays a factor when your score is that high because some of your weak points may be targeted on the exam, so you never know. The same sh.it applies to the DAT.

    Appreciate the advice, buddy
  16. JonLee

    JonLee JonLee Gold Donor

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    I think your gf's scores definitely show that here GPA is not a very accurate representation of what she is capable of.
    Like most everyone else has said, don't think she should retake.
  17. fas376

    fas376

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    Thanks bro :thumbup:

    Seems to be an unanimous decision..
  18. Davermz450

    Davermz450

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    How much volunteer and shadowing did she have?? I agree with the above post to find out why she didn't get in. Good luck next cycle!!

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