cmF

7+ Year Member
Oct 21, 2010
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Dental Student
Hey everyone. So after many months of studying and quite a few inconvenient bumps in the road, I finally took my DAT last week. I'm still really confused about the results and looking for some advice. Below are my TopScore results that were taken 6, 4, and 2 days before the exam and my actual DAT scores.

Order: TS1 / TS2 / TS3 / Real DAT
Bio: 18, 17, 18, 21
GC: 16, 15, 17, 22
OC: 17, 16, 17, 17
TS: 17, 16, 18, 20

RC: 20, 20, 21, 20
QR: 18, 19, 19, 15

AA: 17, 17, 18, 19
PAT: 20, 22, 21, 21

Now I've heard from many people on this forum that TopScore is the closest thing to the real exam, many of you scoring exactly the same in every section as on the real DAT. Considering how consistent my results were from TopScore, I'm really surprised about the sudden jumps in Bio/GC in particular. Anyone else make similar 3-5 point jumps like that?

The reason I'm asking is because I'm starting to think I got lucky in those sections. I didn't feel like it was luck initially because I answered each question the best I could, guessing on only 3 or so Bio questions and 3 GC questions. I'm concerned that if I retake, I won't be able to achieve a 20 TS again. On the other hand, I'm also concerned a 15 QR is going to shut the door on me (that section was sooo much harder than TS for some reason). What do you guys think? Should I risk retaking? If I do retake and score lower, will schools that take your highest score also see your most recent score as well?

Some background information: Mid-level university BA in Biology, 3.4 Overall, 3.4 Science, Strong upward trendline with 3.7ish last two years, 400 hours shadowing, lots of ECs, and good letters. Looking to apply to masters in January 2014, AADSAS in June 2014, and going to any school that will accept me regardless of location. Will having been accepted to a masters program and saying so in my AADSAS help admissions overlook my 15QR? Thanks for all your help!
 

AVB2104

5+ Year Member
May 17, 2013
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apply early and you should be ok.
 
Oct 2, 2013
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I think you should retake. Your PAT is good, but your AA isn't that great for your GPA. I think a 15 in QR is a little too low, but some schools just totally disregard it. If you don't retake, then you must apply early.
 
Oct 19, 2013
46
14
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Pre-Dental
I would retake definitely, QR is not that important, yes, but 15 is just way too low IMO
 
OP
cmF

cmF

7+ Year Member
Oct 21, 2010
260
14
AZ
Status
Dental Student
I appreciate the retake/no not retake replies but what I'm more concerned about is the following:

1) Did I get really lucky on the real DAT seeing as how my TopScore results so different? How abnormal is a 3-5 pt jump?
2) If I do retake and score lower, will schools that consider your highest score also see the most recent lower score as well? Or just the highest?
 
Jan 28, 2013
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The problem is that many schools have a cutoff score of 17 . So you might have a great application otherwise but they will auto-reject you. I would study hard for QR and also try to get that AA to 20+.
 
Oct 19, 2013
46
14
Status
Pre-Dental
I appreciate the retake/no not retake replies but what I'm more concerned about is the following:

1) Did I get really lucky on the real DAT seeing as how my TopScore results so different? How abnormal is a 3-5 pt jump?
2) If I do retake and score lower, will schools that consider your highest score also see the most recent lower score as well? Or just the highest?
No you did not get lucky, Topscore is harder than the actual DAT (I'm not sure if that's still true when they introduce the new DAT next year). Schools will see all scores that you designated to be sent to them, not just the higher score.
 
OP
cmF

cmF

7+ Year Member
Oct 21, 2010
260
14
AZ
Status
Dental Student
No you did not get lucky, Topscore is harder than the actual DAT (I'm not sure if that's still true when they introduce the new DAT next year). Schools will see all scores that you designated to be sent to them, not just the higher score.
There's a new DAT next year? Meaning the applied math or something right? Don't tell me they're doing something crazy like adding physics and a writing section o_O
 
Last edited:

Glimmer1991

5+ Year Member
May 5, 2012
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Hey, cmF!

Okay, I am going to be very blunt with my advice, especially having just come away from an admissions cycle that was stressful and sort of scary at times. Basically, I have come to the conclusion that schools are all looking for different things, and nothing is ever guaranteed. Some people with lower stats get accepted to "reach" schools, and some people with higher stats from schools that don't quite have the same reputation. With that being said, though, you still want to put yourself in the best possible position for an acceptance. I think the applicant pool is getting increasingly stronger, at least from what I see on this site--and we are all having to rise to the occasion.

Basically, you want to have something in your application that sets you apart. Its sounds like your ECs might be very good, which is obviously a plus. You've also done a good job on the shadowing, but I suggest you don't put much more time into that now that you're at 400 hours--I think it would be better spent on other endeavors. :)

However, your average GPA, combined with your slightly below average DAT score, has me a little bit worried. That upward trend is a big deal, and schools will take that into consideration. However, you have to get past the initial "screening" process for such a thing to be discovered. I can tell you are really dedicated, and I want to make sure you are doing everything you can. A masters program will really help, but will you have any grades from it by the time you apply? If not, it won't help you much. You might have to reapply, at which point schools would have a better idea of how you're handling the courses. Make sure your aim to get all As! :)

For now, though, if you're wanting what I would consider to be the "quickest" fix, I think a DAT retake would be a very plausible option. I know it would REALLY stink to have to study for it again, but those two low scores are worrisome. Some schools have strict cutoffs, so that is something to consider. I am sure you could do better, as it takes brains to get a 3.4 GPA. Were you using the right materials, such as Chad's videos? I think you could make at least a 19-20 in anything, and even that would up your chances considerably because those two low scores would be eliminated.

Schools are going to see all of your scores, but from what I've gathered, most of them care about the most recent one. I can't comment on TopScore, as I didn't use it--in fact, I never took a practice test... but my explanation behind that is in my breakdown. :)

Best of luck to you, cmF! It will all work out.

Edit: I want to make it clear that you certainly DO have a chance of an acceptance!! I am just giving this advice on the basis that you are wanting to do more to stand out as an applicant. :) I just saw a post by @Coffeeisamust, who seemed to have similar stats to you. Maybe you guys could talk.
 
Last edited:
Dec 5, 2013
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I would retake definitely, QR is not that important, yes, but 15 is just way too low IMO
 

lr2014

7+ Year Member
Dec 25, 2011
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I got a 15 on QR and my GPA was kinda like yours, got 10 interviews (applied to 14) and I was accepted to 3 schools (only went to 5 interviews, $$$). You definitely have a chance of acceptance, just have something on your app that sets you apart from other applicants. :)