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Considering pre-dental - any help?

Discussion in 'Pre-Dental' started by stateofbalance, May 16, 2008.

  1. stateofbalance

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    Hi, everyone. I am a freshman in university considering a pre-dental concentration. I feel that this is the right path for me, but I have a lot of confusions I need cleared up before I make my decision.

    My current GPA is 3.2. I have looked at the admission statistics for several dental schools I may be interested in applying to in the future, and it seems the averages are around 3.5. I will be working to get my GPA up of course, preferably to a 3.5 or higher, but will I have less of a chance of being admitted because I started off weak? Also, I have repeated a course. Will that affect my chances, even if I improve overall?

    Other statistics have worried me as well. It seems that for the schools I've been looking at, 4,000+ students apply when there are only about 200 or fewer seats in the dental school. This suggests to me that many fine applications get rejected simply because there isn't enough room for a school to accept everyone who would make a good dentist. I guess what I'm wondering is, out of those thousands, do the majority get eliminated quickly for things such as low GPA, low DAT, few or no extracurriculars, etc.? Do many people apply to dental school who have weak applications, or are there truly thousands of very strong students that I will compete with? If the latter is true, how does ANYONE, good scores or no, have a chance?

    These are a couple of the things that have me hesitating to make a decision, along with the question of what will I do if I don't get accepted to dental school, of course. I'm sure all pre-dental students have wondered about that. I am motivated to give this my best shot, but I can't help but feel somewhat hopeless, given some of these numbers I keep coming across.

    Thanks!
     
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  3. Cofo

    Cofo Super Cool Member
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    If you want something bad enough, you can accomplish anything.
    Some personal rules I have made for myself are:
    1. Keep a positive attitude, and NEVER GIVE UP. You ARE smart.
    2. Spend A LOT MORE time studying instead of socializing with friends (this will pay off in the end.)
    3. Don't worry. You won't have to worry if you follow the first 2 rules.

    I am a sophomore, and my first semester I had a 2.455 (my gen chem teacher is a Bastard) This past semester I made all A's. The dental admission committee likes to see improvement in scores. They understand that freshman have a hard time adjusting to college level work/environment/expectations. As long as you improve your grades, you will be fine. :) Ask anyone on here, and that is what they will tell ya. Good luck. You can do it! Spend your time wisely (aka STUDYING)
     
  4. stateofbalance

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    Thank you very much for your reply! I truly am motivated and I am trying hard to believe in myself and that I can succeed, but it's tough when many people around me seem to be of the opinion that "it's nearly impossible to get into dental school."

    So do you think a dental school will look as favorably on someone who made a strong improvement in grades as they will on someone who always had good grades? Of course grades aren't the only consideration, but I don't want a low GPA to put me out of the running!
     
  5. DRHOYA

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    Upward GPA trend are your best friend:thumbup:. IMHO, I would rather see an applicant that can earn higher grades as level of difficulty increases, and not someone who aces GenBio, GenChem, then gets B- and C's in upperlevel courses.
     
  6. doc3232

    7+ Year Member

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    I disagree. It is well known that those supposed "easy" Gen. Chem and Bio are actually weeder classes that give out about 10-15% A's while upper division classes give out 25-40% A's. I know some upper division classes only give out A's and B's. That is why IMO gpa trend always shows increase in later years.
     
  7. ysk1

    ysk1 Membership Revoked
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    Many people in those upper classes are those who survived the weeder classes and therefore much more competent than the general population in the weeder classes. The reason some upper classes give only A's and B's is not because the courses are necessarily easier or profs are more generous but the students are much more mature and competent. (In upper classes there is a greater percentage of people who deserve A's and B's compared to first-year weeder classes.)
     
  8. stateofbalance

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    I have to wonder whether you're right about the first-year classes being weeder classes. I know quite a few people who changed their majors after struggling through general chemistry (class average was about 60% or lower).

    Thanks for the replies, everyone.
     
  9. DRHOYA

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    I don't know how accurate that assumption is. At my institution, regardless if it was General Biology, or Biochem, you put the work in, you received the grade you acheived, simple as that. Professors did not give out 25-40% A's in upper level courses for no reason. In fact, the test averages in upper levels was lower than test averages in the Gen Ed's, showing that only a few people out of a class of say 30, actually got A's.
     
  10. La Dentista

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    I would agree that the first-year classes really are a way to weed out the people who think they want it but really don't.
    When I took bio1, the class test averages for our four tests were 80%, 49%, 60%, 62%.
    The truth though is... if you put the effort into it, you can ace the class pretty damn easy.
    Don't stop studying... that's when you lose your grip on things.
     
  11. jigabodo

    Dentist 10+ Year Member

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    Your GPA is totally fine. Just focus on getting nothing below 3.5 the next 2 years and you should be golden.

    Hey, my freshmen year GPA was below 2.0 and I still made it.

    Good luck! :)
     
  12. stateofbalance

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    Congratulations! That's wonderful to hear.

    What was your GPA when you applied? And can you tell me anything about the competition? It seems like an awful lot of people apply, and sometimes it feels like a person is lucky to get an interview, no matter who they are. Of course, I'm ignorant about a lot of this stuff, so I need a little more info before I make a decision. :]
     
  13. 1992Corolla

    1992Corolla CheerioKing
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    I too had an initial GPA of 1.7 when I started college. A little elbow grease and I w able to bring it up a lot and get in.
     
  14. DRHOYA

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    I also started with a 2.6 my first semester, and now i'm fine. Don't worry, you'll get traction. You just have to find the right study habbitts, and what really motivates you. :thumbup:
     
  15. doc toothache

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    The number of applicants per school is significant. However, keep in mind that the reason for the high number is due to the fact that each applicants, on average, applies to 9 ds. Statistically, 1/3 of those that were rejected will have been accepted elsewhere.
     
  16. jigabodo

    Dentist 10+ Year Member

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    You can find all you need to know about me in my predents.com profile, which is right underneath my avatar.

    Good luck!
     
  17. joonkimdds

    joonkimdds Senior Member
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    For me, Genbio and genchem were the most difficult :(
     

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