counselor suggest to not apply for 3rd time and improve my app first.

mikexima

10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Jul 2, 2007
227
1
141
Status
Pre-Dental
So I applied in 2008 for 2009 cycle with AA18 TS19, cGPA 3.1 and University GPA of 3.6........ no interviews received!!! I was an undergraduate

Then I applied again in 09 for '10 cycle with AA17 TS 18 on second try and cGPA 3.3 and University GPA of 3.6....... I still havent had a single interview over the course of two cycles and this cycle is pretty much over too.

only major changes between the two cycles were 80 hours of volunteer work at UCLA dental, about 100 extra hours of shadowing, raising cGPA by .2 and taking dat for the second time which resulted in a lower score, i also finished my BA meanwhile.


I spoke to my counselor today and she mentioned that I should hold off on reapplying this year and retaking DAT because I need some major changes to my app as its not strong enough. I scored 15-16 on RC and QR both times and that along with my GPA is the main drawback. she says that I need to come up with impressive changes......

So my options are:

A) postbach Certificate for prehealth professionals. A 24 unit program at a local university where you take upper division bios that is designed to prepare you for MED/Pharm/Dental. will take about a year and a certificate is given to you.

B) go for a masters in public health that will take about two years.

I absolutly hate to think that I have to go through this much more schooling before actual dental school and the insane tuition that comes along with these programs.

I have strong volunteer/work experience but lack a solid DAT/GPA........what do you guys suggest and would do if you were in my shoes?
 
Last edited:
Nov 20, 2009
81
0
0
Status
ill be honest with you, you stats are not that good. from the looks of it, i dont think the third time applying will change anything. i think you counselor is pretty much correct. the best and most productive idea now would be to do the masters to raise you gpa a bit. of course, you will have to come up on your dat. id guess you need at least 20+ to be considered a good candidate. try all the dat software it may help (i havent used it personally) whatever you have to do let me say this: persistence will pay off. Good luck
 

ucla2134

10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Nov 19, 2006
785
1
141
Status
Pre-Dental
You know what will get you in? DAT score. Your GPA is ok, the only thing that you need is your 22+ DAT and i guaranteed you will get in.
 
OP
M

mikexima

10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Jul 2, 2007
227
1
141
Status
Pre-Dental
I know the DAT will get me in and ive already started to study for it for about a week but going from 18AA to a 22AA within 3-4 months of studying is not real easy. not to mention all the time and energy that will be spent on secondary apps meanwhile. Ive scored 21 on bio and 20 pat, chemistry in 18-19's both times but the RC and QR is whats holding me back ! according to my counselor, i shouldnt even bother for a third try cuz most schools dont even want to see you try it 3 times in a row without solid changes to your coursework.
 
Feb 17, 2010
301
2
0
Status
Dental Student
A simple way to improve your RC score: Read. Read the New Yorker, NY Times, Wall Street Journal, anything academic and practice analyzing what you are reading. Ask yourself: What is the author's main point? What is he/she trying to convey? And with what evidence? Read a couple hours everyday and I promise you your RC score will increase by a solid 3-4 points.

As for the QR section, again, it's all practice. Get an SAT math book and do as many practice problems as you can do.
 

ucla2134

10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Nov 19, 2006
785
1
141
Status
Pre-Dental
I know the DAT will get me in and ive already started to study for it for about a week but going from 18AA to a 22AA within 3-4 months of studying is not real easy. Ive scored 21 on bio and 20 pat, chemistry in 18-19's both times but the RC and QR is whats holding me back !

i took the DAT twice, first time i score 15RC, 13 QR, AA is 18. Rejected at every school. Second time my reading is 20.

3 to 4 months is A LOT of time to study.

On reading, this is how i suggest:
1/ Read as many scientific articles as you can, try to jot down the key words and in the end try to summarize what is the articles about.
2/ Buy a reading program. My reading speed improved significantly. There are some reading program that you can paste the scientific article to the reading program. This reading program will train your eye too
3/ the reading on Topscore and Acheiver are pretty good. Try to practice on each at least TWICE.

Believe me, you can IMPROVE on reading
Practice makes perfect

Good luck
 
OP
M

mikexima

10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Jul 2, 2007
227
1
141
Status
Pre-Dental
i took the DAT twice, first time i score 15RC, 13 QR, AA is 18. Rejected at every school. Second time my reading is 20.

3 to 4 months is A LOT of time to study.

On reading, this is how i suggest:
1/ Read as many scientific articles as you can, try to jot down the key words and in the end try to summarize what is the articles about.
2/ Buy a reading program. My reading speed improved significantly. There are some reading program that you can paste the scientific article to the reading program. This reading program will train your eye too
3/ the reading on Topscore and Acheiver are pretty good. Try to practice on each at least TWICE.

Believe me, you can IMPROVE on reading
Practice makes perfect

Good luck
so you are saying that I should reapply this cycle and try my hardest to get a solid dat score instead of spending two years on a masters program?
 

Destiny11

7+ Year Member
Mar 2, 2010
691
26
161
Status
Pre-Dental
Your GPA is okay.
1) Do the post-bacc to raise that overall GPA and science GPA. Your university GPA is meaningless...only the AADSAS GPA that counts.
2) Study for the DAT like your life depends on it. Put everything else on hold during that few months if you can. Aim for 20+, and no single section lower than a 18. Your 15 and 16 scores might have automatically cut you off at some schools. You can still apply this year (select a few schools that you have a decent chance), and take the DAT in July/August.
3) Keep your hope up, be persistent! If you really want to be a dentist, you just have to do what it would take to get you there!

Also, if you want to do a master's, you will need to do one that's heavy in science classes
 
OP
M

mikexima

10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Jul 2, 2007
227
1
141
Status
Pre-Dental
You can still apply this year (select a few schools that you have a decent chance), and take the DAT in July/August.

yeah thats a great idea too. last year i applied to over 30 schools, im sure you know how crazy expensive that was......

here is another option: I can sign up for the masters program and study real hard for the DAT right up until school starts. then take the DAT in august and if I do real good, I'll go ahead and revise my application within a week and submit it in september. if i do poor, ill just skip this cycle....

or I can submit my app in june 3rd to schools i have the best shot at and take the dat in august and if i do real good, i'll just add more schools to my app.

the only thing is if i enroll in the masters then I probably wouldnt be allowed to enter dental school until i finish the program. not sure how this works. but if thats the case then everything else is pointless once i sign up for masters
 

ucla2134

10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Nov 19, 2006
785
1
141
Status
Pre-Dental
so you are saying that I should reapply this cycle and try my hardest to get a solid dat score instead of spending two years on a masters program?
3 things will greatly influence your chance:

1/ DAT score
2/ Apply EARLY
3/ Apply to school that most likely will grant you an acceptance, meaning easy school. For instance: NYU, USC, Boston, Midwestern, Western, Tuff.... Any big private school you should apply to.
 

pacific2013

7+ Year Member
Sep 5, 2009
156
0
141
Status
Pre-Dental
So I applied in 2008 for 2009 cycle with AA18 TS19, cGPA 3.1 and University GPA of 3.6........ no interviews received!!! I was an undergraduate

Then I applied again in 09 for '10 cycle with AA17 TS 18 on second try and cGPA 3.3 and University GPA of 3.6....... I still havent had a single interview over the course of two cycles and this cycle is pretty much over too.

only major changes between the two cycles were 80 hours of volunteer work at UCLA dental, about 100 extra hours of shadowing, raising cGPA by .2 and taking dat for the second time which resulted in a lower score, i also finished my BA meanwhile.


I spoke to my counselor today and she mentioned that I should hold off on reapplying this year and retaking DAT because I need some major changes to my app as its not strong enough. I scored 15-16 on RC and QR both times and that along with my GPA is the main drawback. she says that I need to come up with impressive changes......

So my options are:

A) postbach Certificate for prehealth professionals. A 24 unit program at a local university where you take upper division bios that is designed to prepare you for MED/Pharm/Dental. will take about a year and a certificate is given to you.

B) go for a masters in public health that will take about two years.

I absolutly hate to think that I have to go through this much more schooling before actual dental school and the insane tuition that comes along with these programs.

I have strong volunteer/work experience but lack a solid DAT/GPA........what do you guys suggest and would do if you were in my shoes?
1)What is your BCP (Bio/Chem/Physics)GPA? Most schools don't care or don't weigh the overall/cumulative GPA as much as BCP GPA.

2)Did you take community college courses during your second application cycle? I notice your University GPA didn't change even though your cumulative GPA went up. Unless you are a non-traditional, which you are not, Adcom frown on people taking JC/CC science courses to cushion their GPA.

I would personally go for the Masters program heavily in science, NOT M.P.H. because your science gpa will not increase by taking MPH courses. Plus, Adcom wants you to succeed in science courses offered in the graduated level instead of undergraduate level. If, however, your postbach Certificate for prehealth professionals offers a significant leverage to any D-school I would definitely take that option.
 
OP
M

mikexima

10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Jul 2, 2007
227
1
141
Status
Pre-Dental
1)What is your BCP (Bio/Chem/Physics)GPA? Most schools don't care or don't weigh the overall/cumulative GPA as much as BCP GPA.

2)Did you take community college courses during your second application cycle? I notice your University GPA didn't change even though your cumulative GPA went up. Unless you are a non-traditional, which you are not, Adcom frown on people taking JC/CC science courses to cushion their GPA.

I would personally go for the Masters program heavily in science, NOT M.P.H. because your science gpa will not increase by taking MPH courses. Plus, Adcom wants you to succeed in science courses offered in the graduated level instead of undergraduate level. If, however, your postbach Certificate for prehealth professionals offers a significant leverage to any D-school I would definitely take that option.
1) its 3.0

2) I had 3 years of CC then i transfered to a university and never took classes in community college again. I maintained a 3.6 in uni over the years which brought up my overall as my CC was about ~3.0. in another words, the GPA was brought up by taking UNi classes, not CC.

3) the PostBaccalaureate Certificate Program for Pre-Health Professionals is strictly hardcore science classes and its about 24 units, which can be knocked out in a year. the MPH is obviously a masters in public health. they both have pros and cons, the postbach is all science, its a shorter duration but at the end is just post bach. the MPH is masters and IMO valued more, its longer and its not science based.
 
Mar 21, 2010
145
0
0
Status
A) postbach Certificate for prehealth professionals. A 24 unit program at a local university where you take upper division bios that is designed to prepare you for MED/Pharm/Dental. will take about a year and a certificate is given to you.

B) go for a masters in public health that will take about two years.

I absolutly hate to think that I have to go through this much more schooling before actual dental school and the insane tuition that comes along with these programs.

I have strong volunteer/work experience but lack a solid DAT/GPA........what do you guys suggest and would do if you were in my shoes?
I know that it's very hard to suggest you anything at the moment.
There are thousands of applicants who are in the same boat as you.
Even if we give you a solution, the other thousands of people would do the same/similar things.

I am sorry to say this but dental schools are very competitive and you had to be ready since the first day of university.
 

MatthewLeeDDS

10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Jan 5, 2009
302
24
151
Status
Dentist
Maybe you should dedicate this summer to studying more for the DAT and shoot for a 20+ AA...

I know you said your scores were pretty similar both times... how much did you actually study for the DAT and especially the QR and RC sections? I bumped my AA 7 points from a diagnostic to the real thing in just 1 month of studying 8-10 hrs/day with the Kaplan BB, Barron's AP Bio and TopScore.

My suggestion is to go full blast on the DAT and if that can't get you the 20+ you'll need, then you may be looking at one of your original 2 ideas if dental school is still your ultimate goal...
 

jj007

10+ Year Member
Oct 31, 2008
130
0
0
Status
Dental Student
You know what will get you in? DAT score. Your GPA is ok, the only thing that you need is your 22+ DAT and i guaranteed you will get in.
Yet another guarantee by a SDN predent. There is no such guarantee in life except for tax and death. Even if you manage to get a 22+ on your DAT, all that can really be guaranteed (if there is such a thing) is that you will get interviews. Interviewing well is another skill that you need to have to get into dental school.

To answer your question, I totally agree with your counselor. Applying a third time without significant improvement on your DAT is a waste of money. You need to really do well on your DAT. Unfortunately, this will be your last chance since I believe that you can only take the DAT at most 3x. If you don't have the time to study both for the RC and QR, I would focus on the RC. What did you get in BIO, CHEM, OCHEM, and PAT?
 
Last edited:
Jun 14, 2009
800
3
0
Status
Pre-Dental
Yet another guarantee by a SDN predent. There is no such guarantee in life except for tax and death. Even if you manage to get a 22+ on your DAT, all that can really be guaranteed (if there is such a thing) is that you will get interviews. Interviewing well is another skill that you need to have to get into dental school.

To answer your question, I totally agree with your counselor. Applying a third time without significant improvement on your DAT is a waste of money. You need to really do well on your DAT. Unfortunately, this will be your last chance since I believe that you can only take the DAT at most 3x. If you don't have the time to study both for the RC and QC, I would focus on the RC. What did you get in BIO, CHEM, OCHEM, and PAT?
You can take it more than 3 times. You just have to present some sort of academic progress after that to prove you aren't some hobo taking the test multiple times to memorize the test or whatever. But like everyone says, applying again will likely get you nowhere if your app has not changed significantly and your current credentials aren't even enough to get you an interview. In case you didn't before, set some test date before which you can study full-time. Half-ass studying while taking courses/work/volunteering doesn't get you very far.
 
OP
M

mikexima

10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Jul 2, 2007
227
1
141
Status
Pre-Dental
I did not half ass my study at all. i was pulling off solid 18-19+ AA's on topscore and achiever. reading on these tests is MUCH easier than the real deal. i was pulling 23+ on PAT.
i did kaplan online tests, kaplan lesson and BB. topscore, achiever and destroyer along with princton review problems.

the first time i took the test i had 21 bio, 20 pat, 19 o chem, 18 g chem, 16 math, 15 reading...... the second time i studied 3 months for about 4-5 hours a day and went into the test confident to pull a 21. i came out with 20 pat, 17 bio, 19 g chec, 18 o chem and 16 reading, 15 math. something got into me during the test and i totally lost all confidence cuz the bio was super hard and everything from there went down hill and i started doubting myself on many questions which i knew the answers to. then came the reading and i felt i did horrible, i honestly thought i did 12-13 and at that point i felt that it was over and I lost all hope during math. i admit both times i took the test, i focused more on sciences than i did on reading or math.

I'm holding a 20 hour/week job which is the only thing that will sort of interfer with study time but thats only working 3 days out of the week. I think I should allow 2 weeks to revise my app and really focus on the dat for a 3rd try and take it in late august. after that Im gonna start the postbach certification.
 
Last edited:
Sep 5, 2009
312
0
0
Claremont, CA
Status
Dental Student
3 things will greatly influence your chance:

1/ DAT score
2/ Apply EARLY
3/ Apply to school that most likely will grant you an acceptance, meaning easy school. For instance: NYU, USC, Boston, Midwestern, Western, Tuff.... Any big private school you should apply to.
Thats a pretty dumb statement. No dental school is easy to get into. Each school looks for different things. I am attending Western. I got accepted to Tufts, Western, and Indiana with a 3.6 cgpa, 3.6 sgpa and a 20 aa (I got a 14 on QR but nobody seemed to care). I don't have a dental school in my state so my options were to apply to private schools around the country. I am a second year applicant and last year I applied with a 3.54 cgpa a 3.53 sgpa and an 18 aa and I didn't get a single interview and I have TONS of community service and volunteer work. I would definitely retake the DAT because with 3 to 4 months, you should easily be able to raise it up from a 17aa. Your gpa is low but I honestly think that if you can bump up your DAT to a 20+ and apply early, you will get some interviews.
 

doc toothache

10+ Year Member
Jan 17, 2006
8,109
2,248
281
Status
Dentist
And you believe that your fellow pre dents are much wiser than your counselor/adviser?
 

cmcner

10+ Year Member
Jan 4, 2008
444
145
281
Status
Dentist
And you believe that your fellow pre dents are much wiser than your counselor/adviser?
Sometimes they are, sometimes they aren't. My adviser told me not to reapply this year and I got 2 interviews. In my mind those interviews mean that at least I didn't waste my time applying, I may still even get accepted this year.

OP I would suggest you take everyone's advice and treat it as what it is advice. There is good advice and bad advice out there and both types can come from anyone regardless of title. You should make a well informed decision about your next move and decide on it yourself. Do a lot of research, ask a lot of people questions, verify their answers and choose what you think is right, not what other people suggest.
 
Last edited:

SuperTank

5+ Year Member
Jul 7, 2009
640
0
91
Phoenix
Status
Dental Student
Sometimes they are, sometimes they aren't. My adviser told me not to reapply this year and I got 2 interviews. In my mind those interviews mean that at least I didn't waste my time applying, I may still even get accepted this year.

OP I would suggest you take everyone's advice and treat it as what it is advice. There is good advice and bad advice out there and both types can come from anyone regardless of title. You should make a well informed decision about your next move and decide on it yourself. Do a lot of research, ask a lot of people questions, verify their answers and choose what you think is right, not what other people suggest.
Ditto. My counselor told me not to bother applying this cycle, as I would only have about a month to study for the DAT, and I graduated 4 years earlier. He suggested I spend a half year studying for the DAT and apply next cycle. I took the DAT and applied anyway and got three interviews and one acceptance.

But in this case, I think I would take the counselor's advice. If the OP applied to 30 schools last year, and was not accepted, there is little point in reapplying without significantly improving his application. The op needs to improve his application, through a higher DAT score, a higher GPA or both.
 
OP
M

mikexima

10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Jul 2, 2007
227
1
141
Status
Pre-Dental
well since i didn't get in this year and graduated already, I have a full year off and one thing is for sure........ im not gonna be sitting at home for a year and do nothing. I had plans to take some classes during this time before my counsoler suggested to do so anyways....

I think im gonna go for the postbach certificate. I can finish it in 1 year, its all science and its gonna be cheaper. I will bring up my science and overall GPA a bit this way and take another shot at the DAT, just not sure if im gonna do this before or after attending postbach.... this way I can apply this cycle to a few easy schools and if i dont get in, I can apply to more schools the next cycle in '11.

I just dont want to get myself involved with 2 years of masters program and be behind 2 cycles. i mean, its good that its a masters degree and all that but it just takes too long, too costly and its not even science related.

im just thinkin outloud.....
 

cmcner

10+ Year Member
Jan 4, 2008
444
145
281
Status
Dentist
I just dont want to get myself involved with 2 years of masters program and be behind 2 cycles. i mean, its good that its a masters degree and all that but it just takes too long, too costly and its not even science related.

im just thinkin outloud.....
You know there are a lot of 1 year SMPs out there.
 
OP
M

mikexima

10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Jul 2, 2007
227
1
141
Status
Pre-Dental
SMP as in science masters program? what are some?