Advice Needed: How to explain/counteract low QR?!

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nwdmd

Summary: What can I do to counteract a low QR score other than retaking in 3 months? (Trying to avoid changing my summer plans..)

I took the test last friday, AA 20/TS 21...QR 14!!!!!I received 20 in all the other sections except Gchem (25), arguably the most equation heavy of the 3 sciences?

I'm very worried about my low QR, I've been researching these forums and pre-dents... and the ADEA guide. I was hoping to get additional advice.

Is it possible to explain a low QR score to schools?
I had been scoring 18+ on practice tests and wasn't too worried about this section. I let my mind wander and lost track of time (had to blindly guess on 5+ questions) I honestly did not feel this section was overly difficult. The 14 was definitely a shocker.

Posts regarding strict cutoffs are inconsistent, and pre-dents has examples of exceptions. (i.e. "sailfish024")..

I've called a few schools and each has said that QR is generally the least "critical" section, but still suggested a retake if I was hoping to be invited for first round interviews.

It seems that when in doubt, admissions advisers would probably suggest the safest route (retake). But if a 14 QR was the only red flag in a complete application... Would they really not consider me competitive until I retook?

I'm prepared to retake if necessary. However, I can't retake until mid-July. I'd REALLY like to avoid changing my summer plans (which was my initial reason for taking the DAT in April).

-Would it be possible to take the GRE during the next couple of months in order to prove that I can perform well on standardized math tests? Can I send my SAT scores?

-Should I take more upper div. math classes next year? Maybe take college trig?

Other info:
I received A's in Calc 251 and 252.
GPA: ~3.75 (No C's)
Meaningful ECs/shadowing
Planning to submit my complete app. right around May 15.

I hope that the last 3 years of hard work won't be highly affected by me being a space cadet for 45 minutes...

Thanks for any advice! This forum has been an incredible resource!
 

Dan3223

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I had a 15 in QR and didnt do as well as you on the other sections...and didnt have as high of a GPA as you... and I got in.

Obviously taking it again and getting a better QR score would be ideal... but I think can you get in without retaking it.

Edit: keep in mind though that some schools have a minimum requirement for sections of the DAT... so you may run in to trouble there.
 

jon68

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Sure you can get in with a 14 in QR, but will you??? I guess that is the question.
I guess if I had an extra year to sit around and wish I was in dental school then I wouldnt retake.
If you want to be absolutely sure you get in, I would retake.
A 14 is pretty low and IMO I wouldnt risk it. It may only be one section but there are plenty of other people that didnt get a 14 and have the same GPA as you, they are the ones that are going to get your interview and your spot in the class.
 
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ummjoey

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i think you should be okay? everything else in your application looks good?

i say just apply, but if you are really sacred then just retake it.
 

AdidasPete

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If that is the only blemish you got you will def be in better shape then most. And if they ask why it was low, remember it is the last section and people get TIRED. I was totally googly-eyed by the end of that test and took longer than I should on a lot of the QR and it was my lowest too. If you do get interviews, I'd go in armed with every reason possible to explain it away from SAT's to calc grades to just let them know it was a fluke.
Regardless, I'm a first year and its what April now and the ONLY math I have used since school started was calculating what I need on exams to honor... You won't need to know that sorta math and they know it... I'd call your #1 choice and BEG for a straight up answer, but if they are cool with someone havin a bad 45 mins thats completely uncharacteristic of their prior work, I think then you're money...
Good luck!
-Pete
 

doc3232

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Some schools do have cutoffs but not all as you have heard.
 

predent0305

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There seems to be a low trend in QR- at least in the last cycle. I had a 19AA but my QR was a 15. I considered retaking- but I just didn't have enough time in my schedule. I still got accepted to BU and Midwestern :) Good Luck.
 

rimmies

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There seems to be a low trend in QR- at least in the last cycle. I had a 19AA but my QR was a 15. I considered retaking- but I just didn't have enough time in my schedule. I still got accepted to BU and Midwestern :) Good Luck.
My QR was low as well however it was never brought up....
 

jigabodo

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They might not even ask you anything about the QR score. It's usually one of the least important sections adcomms look at and majority of people haven't been doing so well in that section either.
 

skyskier

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I had similar scores as well (20AA, 21TS, 15QR, 3.77GPA, 3.84sGPA). My low QR score was never really brought up in a negative light. At one interview the interviewer (the director of admissions at the school) mentioned the low QR score and specifically told me that it didn't bother him. I was accepted to that school. As stated above, some schools do have cut-offs for DAT scores. That being said, I was still offered interviews to 11 out of the 15 schools I applied to. It certainly can't hurt to take the DAT again, but if you have to have a low score in one section, the QR is the section to have it in.
 

lgwdnbdgr

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Since we don't work on wisdom teeth in first year, Pete only has to count to 31.

Seriously, I'd agree with Pete. QR just isn't all that important for most schools. It is one part of one exam in a topic that really won't have much of an impact on your success in dental school. Carefully check that you apply to schools that don't require at least a 15 on each section. If you really want to go to a school that DOES require at least a 15, call them. They'll probably make an exception for QR, especially since you did very well on every other section. Don't worry about retaking the DAT unless those conversations don't go well. You have plenty of time -- if you retake the DAT 3 months from today, you'll still end up taking it two months earlier in the cycle than I did.

If that is the only blemish you got you will def be in better shape then most. And if they ask why it was low, remember it is the last section and people get TIRED. I was totally googly-eyed by the end of that test and took longer than I should on a lot of the QR and it was my lowest too. If you do get interviews, I'd go in armed with every reason possible to explain it away from SAT's to calc grades to just let them know it was a fluke.
Regardless, I'm a first year and its what April now and the ONLY math I have used since school started was calculating what I need on exams to honor... You won't need to know that sorta math and they know it... I'd call your #1 choice and BEG for a straight up answer, but if they are cool with someone havin a bad 45 mins thats completely uncharacteristic of their prior work, I think then you're money...
Good luck!
-Pete
 

Chuda2008

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I think it depends on what schools you want to apply to and how "difficult" they are to get into. I got a 17 QR and AA 20 and one school specifically asked me to retake the DAT before inviting me for an interview because it was bellow the cut off for that school. It comes down to how much of a gamble you are willing to take. Good luck
 

AdidasPete

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Luckily, I only have to count UP to 31, but skip 3 OTHER pesky ones like 16... If I'd have done better on QR, I totally would have been able to get to whatever comes after 31...
 

ebobe

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i know this thread is probably too old to help anyone, but i just wanted to say that i, too, got a miserable 14 on the QR while my other scores were passable. i was flat out asked about it at my interview. first thing. i told the truth, i was unprepared for the time constraint. i had to blindly answer about 5-6 questions. the instructor said to me, "well ok, as long as it wasn't due to a incompetence in math." i got in....
so i really think if you do terrible in QR, it isn't a big deal. just make up for it in other areas.
 
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nwdmd

Ebobe,

Thanks for commenting, your timing is perfect!

I see that you recently got into Pacific, congrats!

I'm actually in the airport, on my way to SF for Pacific's pre-dental clinical sim course.

It's great to hear that they were able to look past such a low QR. I'm very intrigued by the school, I've heard nothing but great things on here and from students/alumni.

I'm even more excited for this weekend!

(and the Arrested Development movie!)
 

qwerty86

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My TS is 23, QR 14 which screwed up my AA. Still got in. Dont stress on it too much. At my interviews I was asked why was QR was so low. I was just honest and told them I didnt realize that it would have lot of pre-cal in it. Nonetheless, I got in.
 
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