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Am I ready?

Discussion in 'DAT Discussions' started by drat, Apr 11, 2004.

  1. drat

    drat I catch huge fish.
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    I've been studying from the Kaplan prep book infrequently for the past couple of months, (I work full time on top of marathon training so time is scarce!) and have now completed my second Topscore practice exam, with what I guess I consider significant improvement...Do I have a ways to go before the actual exam? And why did my AA only improve by 1 point even though I performed better the second time around?

    First Topscore. . .
    AA - 18
    Bio - 16
    Chem - 17
    Orgo - 15
    PA -16
    Quant - 18
    Reading - 22
    Science - 16

    Second Topscore
    AA - 19
    Bio - 16
    Chem - 20
    Orgo - 21
    PA - 20
    Quant - 18
    Reading - 22
    Science - 19

    Also, there seems to be a lot of chatter about DAT making up for a sub-par GPA. . .What's a low G.P.A? Is a 3.49 from an Ivy League considered average or low? And does anyone have any idea how important G.P.A is if I am 2 years out of school?

    Random, vague questions, I know.

    Thanks for any help!
    DRAT!!
     
  2. The Musketeer

    The Musketeer Guardian of Justice
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    I should be good to go for the real DAT! 3.49 GPA is very competitive, on this fourm, we always mention LOW GPA is within 3.00 GPA range (and many of them still get into dental schools) :) . It is okay if you are out of school for 2 years; I am in the same situation and I still got into a dental school. Just perform well on your DAT (around 20 AA and similar on other sections) and you should get in no problem!
     
  3. Mo007

    Mo007 Gifted Hands
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    The OP's scores show he/she is capable of getting some high scores... but it all depends on the DAY you take the test - Don't PANIC!. Many people do, its very easy to.

    Other than that - I expect minimum 20's across the board.
     
  4. sxr71

    sxr71 Senior Member
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    I think you are in good shape to do well on the DAT. One thing I would do before taking the test is to read the Kaplan biology section beginning to end. Read it thoroughly and read it well. If you read it well, you can expect a bio score in the mid-20s just like the rest of scores will be. I remember getting similar numbers on Top Score, and I got a 24 AA. I think you will get a similar or higher score, just brush up on that bio and don't skip a page - trust me on this.



    BTW, with a mid 20s AA and a 3.49 from an Ivy League school, you should be able to get into pretty much any dental school in the country if you apply early.
     
  5. HBomb

    HBomb Senior Member
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    I think you're in really good shape, and I think you can get 20/21 AA right now. I might be in the minority here, but I still think you should wait and continue to study. Here are my reasons: 1) You continue to show an upward trend. To me that means you still have room to improve. Why take it now and do good, when you can continue to study/practice a little bit more and do GREAT? 2) I personally would not be happy with a 16 Bio score. I don't think you are either. I think you can improve in this subject. 3) This is kind of related to my first point...if you do great on the DAT, you can write your ticket to practically any dental school. Why put any doubt in the minds of any adcoms? Make them have no choice but to accept you.

    Good luck.
     
  6. Calculus1

    Calculus1 G.V. Black Fan
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    I disagree with HBOMB, I got a 21 on the DAT and I never raised my Kaplan scores above 17 AA(19 in organic, then a 25 on actual test). If you go into the DAT relaxed and confident, you'll do fine. I don't know if I could "guarantee" mid 20's accross the board, but I bet you can get a sufficient score for most if not all schools you will apply to. I would also read through the bio and DON'T skip the parts about taxonomy and ecology like I did(I got raped in those sections). They also ask a bit of their biochem in the biology section NOT organic. I'd say read a bit more bio and then go take the sucker.
     
  7. HBomb

    HBomb Senior Member
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    Calc, I just wanted to say that I also think drat will do fine on the DAT...and will get into dental school no problem. Based on the TopScore test, I think drat would likely get 20/21 AA right now (or higher). But my initial impression of drat, based on 3.49 GPA from an Ivy League School, is that drat won't be satisfied with a 21 AA. I personally think drat is capable of accomplishing more. In fact, what I was eluding to, was that I think drat should shoot for 25 AA, 25 Science (or higher) virtually guaranteeing interviews at the most selective dental schools. Plus, there will be more opportunities for scholarships with higher DAT scores. Drat did mention a very time-limited schedule and that would be the biggest drawback for not taking the DAT now. But in my opinion why shoot for a certain level when you know you are capable of accomplishing so much more?
     
  8. Calculus1

    Calculus1 G.V. Black Fan
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    Drat, if you don't see your schedule lightening up between now and say, June take the thing as quickly as possible. That way, if you feel like you have to take it again you'll still have time in this app. cycle. The earlier you take it, the earlier your file is going to be complete. As for being two years out, they will still look at your grades as if you just graduated this May, esp. because it's only been a couple of years. A 3.49 is very respectable, you certainly don't fall under "low".
    Hbomb, I don't know what you scored on the DAT, but a 21 is 95th percentile, that's a pretty competitive score.
     
  9. sxr71

    sxr71 Senior Member
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    I agree with Calculus1. I realize that there are no solid correlations between Top Score Pro scores and actual DAT scores since some people get 4-5 points above on each section and others get around the same or even less. On average it seems that you can get 2-3 points above your Top Score Pro scores on each section. I think that applies more if you have Top Score Pro scores in the 20s (indicating that you likely know your material).

    I believe in a such a thing as too much studying. If you go overboard and study for months, I'll bet that it will end up hurting you. You'll focus too much on recently covered material and forget the older material, or you will suffer from burn out. Personally I wouldn't do more than 1 week to 4 weeks of solid study depending on your knowledge of the material from your classes and your personal ability. Maybe the OP can do some work on quant (in addition to bio - which he/she absolutely needs to read one more time) and I think the OP is ready for the test. In fact if I were the OP I would wish that the actual test were sometime this week since I believe in taking the test as soon as you're ready, waiting only lowers your readiness IMHO.
     
  10. drat

    drat I catch huge fish.
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    Thanks, guys, for the responses. I definitely agree that I need to read up on the bio some more, especially the ecology and tax. stuff. I didn't think I would be asked those questions on the exam -- seemed so high school! -- but clearly I was wrong. Most definitely will brush up on that. But it is encouraging to think that my actual scores could increase 2-3 points on the actual DAT. That's cool. I'm totally clueless about all of this, and don't even know what a good, competitive score is. Obvi

    Again, thanks for the input and I will certainly keep y'all posted on how I do...!! I hope to have the test completed by Memorial Day. BTW, what schools are considered the top dental schools?

    drat
     
  11. gatorfan99

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    Your definately ready!!

    My Kaplan practice scores were actually like 3-4 points lower then what I got in the real thing. The only exception was the the PAT part, the real test's PAT was wwayy harder then the Kaplan's exams..

    By the way, your GPA is fine.
     
  12. Calculus1

    Calculus1 G.V. Black Fan
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    This is pretty debatable question with really no right answer. Some schools are better for clinical skills, while others prepare you for a career in public health or academia (esp. Harvard). Personally, I chose the school that could give me the best possible clinical education and I like the city that it's in(Dallas). See what you get on your DAT then start looking at where you wouldn't mind spending at least four years of your life. When you've narrowed it down enough apply to as many as you like or can afford. APPLY EARLY!!!
     

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